Why Does My Bike Chain Keep Popping?

If your bike chain keeps popping off the sprocket after you cleaned and tightened it, you are likely looking for an easy way to prevent this in the future. 

This sounds like a pretty simple problem, but there’s a lot of factors involved.

First, let me explain what happens when the chain pops off the sprockets:

• The chain links fall out of place. This causes the chain to wear unevenly, making it weaker and less effective.

• When the chain falls out of place, the chain link ends up hitting the ground first. This makes the chain much more likely to break.

• When the sprocket hits the ground, it could damage the teeth of the sprocket. That means the chain won’t turn smoothly anymore.

Let’s go through these points one by one.

1. Cleaning and Lubricating the Chain

Before you start fixing anything else, make sure the chain is clean and lubricated properly.

Clean the chain using a brush attachment on your drill. Use oil designed specifically for bicycle chains. You can find bicycle chain oil at most hardware stores.

Once the chain is clean, use a small amount of oil to coat each link of the chain. Make sure the oil covers every part of the chain.

If you don’t have an appropriate size brush attachment for your drill, simply use a toothbrush to apply the oil.

2. Tightening the Chain

After you’ve cleaned and coated the chain, tighten the chain as needed with a chain tool. 

Use the following steps to adjust the Chain tension:

• Turn the adjustment screw clockwise until the chain feels snug.

• Turn the adjustment counterclockwise until the chain feels loose.

• Check the adjustment again after you’ve turned the adjustment screw back to zero.

• If dealing with chain stretch, loosen the adjustment slightly

• If the adjustment is too loose, especially the outer link, tighten the adjustment slightly.

3. Adjusting the Sprocket Tension

Next, take care of the sprocket.

Make sure the sprocket is correctly aligned with the crank arm.

To do this, follow these steps:

• Remove the wheel from the frame.

• Put the crankset assembly into the correct position.

• Put the wheel back on the frame.

• Tighten the crankset bolts securely.

4. Replacing the Chain

Finally, replace the chain.

The easiest way to replace the chain is to remove the freewheel (if applicable). Doing so will allow you to slide the front derailleur over the chain without having to worry about getting it caught in the rear derailleur or otherwise damaging it.

If you’re replacing a new chain, be careful to match the number of links between the two sides.

It may also help to check the length of the chain before you install it.

You’ll need to measure the distance between the center of the smallest ring to the middle of the largest ring.

This measurement should equal approximately half the width of one link plus twice the thickness of one link.

However, if your chain has been damaged, it may be impossible to get an exact measurement.

In this case, you will have to estimate where the chain needs to go based on how far down the chain guide the chain came out when it broke.

Once you’ve found the proper location for the chain, insert the first link through the hole at that point.

Follow this process for every remaining link.

5. Reassembly

After reassembling the parts, make sure they fit together properly.

If there’s any doubt, use a torque wrench to ensure that everything is tightened properly.

6. Wiping Down the Frame

After performing the above maintenance tasks, wipe down the frame.

Use a clean rag dampened with rubbing alcohol.

How To Fix A Broken Chain

Here are some steps you should take before fixing a broken chain:

1. Make sure your bike isn’t locked up somewhere. If it’s locked up, you’ll need to unlock it first.

2. Take a look at the chain to make sure it doesn’t have any missing links or broken links.

3. Check both sides of the chain to make sure all the pins are in place.

4. Remove the wheel and remove the brake pads. 

5. Clean the area where the pin was removed by applying a little bit of grease around the axle

How do I keep my bike chain from breaking?

Bicycle chains come in different sizes depending on how much pressure they can withstand. The most common size for a bicycle is 1/8 inch. When you’re riding uphill or going over rough terrain, you may notice that your chain breaks. This usually happens when there’s too much force applied to one side. You might be surprised to learn that this problem is fairly common among cyclists.

If you’ve ever found yourself without a working chain, here are some things you can try:

1. Try using a new chain. It will help if the old chain has been stretched out a lot.

2. Adjust the rear derailleur so that the chain engages closer to the middle position.

3. Be careful not to over-tighten the bolts holding the crankset together. This could cause damage to the bearings.

4. Use a chain tool or Multi – tools to check for worn parts.

5. Replace the chain with a longer model.

6. Lubricate the chain regularly.

7. Avoid having a heavy load on the chain.

8. Keep an eye out for signs of wear.

9. If your riding style puts you in muddy conditions, use a mudguard to protect against water splashing onto the chain. These are also called Outer plates.

10. Don’t forget about lubricating the sprockets!

What causes a broken bicycle chain?


It is not the “chain” that breaks, but rather the “links”. The links are actually made of very long metal wires. When they break, it’s like breaking a wire in your house — you get an electrical short and everything lights up or gets hot (or whatever). You can fix them by replacing the link with another one, which is what you do when you buy a new bike.

A picture of a typical chain link from wikipedia — note that the link looks much longer than it really is!

You can also try tightening the bolts of the cranks, as mentioned in other answers. However, this isn’t always successful.  

Your bike may also have a Chain wear indicator.  If so, check the power links and look for chain stretch.


The reason for the chain breaking is because of its design. The chain consists of multiple interlocking links, each of which is held in place by two sets of pins. These pins are designed to be inserted into holes in the frame and crank set. Unfortunately, these holes are not perfectly aligned, and so the pins become slightly misaligned during assembly. Once assembled, the chain cannot be easily adjusted to correct this issue.


When a rider goes over bumps, rocks, etc., the chain may move within the frame. As shown above, the chain can slip forward, causing the chain to disengage from the front sprocket. This results in a loss of power, and possibly a fall.


When a rider rides downhill, gravity pulls the chain downward, resulting in slack between the chain and the bottom bracket. The chain then begins to rub against the lower bearing cups on the bottom bracket, eventually wearing away enough material to allow the chain to slip off the sprockets.


Some riders mistakenly believe that the chain should never be removed until absolutely necessary. While this is true for many types of bicycles such as racing bikes, it is not the case for all bicycles. For example, mountain bikes have removable pedals for easy access to the drivetrain.


Some bikes have a chain tensioner pulley built right into the crank arms. This keeps the chain tight and reduces chances of it slipping off the sprockets due to slack.

Causes of a broken chain and the quick and easy ways to fix it

Source: (havefunbiking.com)

The second most common mechanical problem to a flat tire, is a broken chain. Read on to learn the causes of and quick remedies to fix your chain.


  • Causes of a broken chain and the quick and easy ways to fix it
  • Wear
  • Impact
  • The parts of your bike chain
  • How to fix a broken chain
  • Removing a broken chain link and shortening chain
  • Install a quick link
  • Install a chain pin
  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Post navigation

There are many reasons why your bike chain may need replacing. Here’s how much it costs to replace a bike chain.

What Is A Chain?

A chain is a series of interlocking metal rings that connect two or more components together. In bikes, they usually connect the rear wheel to the drivetrain.

Bicycle Chains Are Made Of Two Part – Links And Pins The first thing you should know about your bike chain is that it consists of two main parts: links and pins.

Links are what connects all of the individual pieces of the chain together. They look like little U-shaped metal plates, which are then connected by connecting pins.

Pins are used when assembling the chain. They allow the different parts of the chain to connect to one another.

Chain Repair Costs May Vary Based On How Bad Your Breakage Is

When a chain breaks, it often leaves behind sharp edges that can cut through clothing or skin. This is especially true if the break occurred while riding.

Broken chains can also be dangerous since they can come off unexpectedly in traffic. When you ride or walk along roads, you could injure yourself if a piece of the broken chain gets caught under your feet or between your foot and the ground.

This article will teach you how to fix a broken chain so you won’t have to worry about getting injured because of it.

Types of Bike Chains

There are several types of bicycle chains available for purchase online today. You can buy a cheap chain made out of steel or aluminum, or you can go for a high quality chain that has been manufactured using stainless steel.

The type of chain you choose depends largely on your budget. Steel chains tend to be inexpensive and durable, but they don’t last as long as the ones made out of stainless steel. These types of chains often rust over time.

Stainless steel chains are generally more expensive than their cheaper counterparts, but they are usually more durable. Stainless steel chains are known to last longer than any other kind of chain. They are also easier to maintain since there are fewer moving parts than with other types of chains.

Stainless steel chains are also lighter than the others. Since they weigh less, they require less force to pedal. This means you will not experience any loss of power as you ride. If you want to save money, you might consider buying an inexpensive chain. However, this type of chain will wear down quickly, and you will have to replace it sooner than if you had purchased a higher quality chain.

Steel vs. Stainless Steel Bicycle Chains

It is important to note that most bicycles sold in stores these days use steel bicycle chains instead of stainless steel ones.

However, stainless steel chains are still very popular among cyclists who prefer them due to their durability.

High Quality Bicycle Chains Can Be Expensive

You can find a wide variety of bicycle chains at your local hardware store, including those made from stainless steel. However, some people opt to get chains made from steel or aluminum rather than purchasing a chain made completely out of stainless steel.

Some riders prefer to spend extra money on high quality bicycle chains since they feel they provide added value to their bikes.