Bikes FAQ

How to Take Off a Bike Chain Without a Chain Breaker Tool

It’s possible that it’s necessary to replace your bike chain if it is squeaking or if you are having difficulties effortlessly changing gears. A specialized chain breaker tool, sometimes referred to as a bike chain removal tool is intended to make it simple for you to pull off the chain from your motorbike and carry out any necessary maintenance.

But if you don’t have one on hand, here is how to change a bike chain without a chain tool. Even so, you can still replace a bike chain with instruments you might currently have available at home, such as a hammer or a set of needle-nose pliers.

How To Change A Bike Chain Without A Chain Tool

Suppose you don’t have availability of a professional chain tool. In that case, you could still replace your bike chain while using pair of pliers, a nut, and a hammer in addition to performing the necessary stages:

  1. locating and eliminating the master link
  2. locating and dismantling the chain link
  3. chain replacement
  4. repairing and reattaching your bike’s chain after cleaning it
  5. keeping up with your chain on a bike

The Essential Household Tools And Bike Chain Parts

The Essential Household Tools And Bike Chain Parts

The use of various tools from your standard household toolkit is essential, even if this technique does not necessitate the utilization of specialized equipment. What you will require to replace your bike chain without a professional tool is described below as common household items.

  1. New Chain

The kind of chain influences the speed of the bike. The implication is that a 7-speed chain is necessary if you have a 7-speed bike. It should be emphasized that chains for higher speeds are almost always comprised of stainless steel or include some kind of special covering that prevents rusting.

  1. Replacement Master Link and Pin

A master link, a distinctive link that joins both endpoints of your chain, or a new pin are two essential components of more modern chains. Both a new pin and a master link may be bought online as substitutes if your chain does not already include them. Make sure the manufacturer of your bike chain and the chain speed are compatible while searching for these replacements.

  1. Pliers

The capacity of your pliers is thought to be sufficient to keep your bike chain firmly in position.

  1. Hammer, Nut, and Gloves (optional)

Hammer and nuts are as important as the other items that you need for changing or replacing your bike chain without a chain tool. A hammer will help you to put the required force on the chain to enhance it according to your needs. On the other hand, gloves not just ensure that your hands are clean but then also safeguard them from the substances you are operating with that contain sharp corners and can make them dirty or filthy from chain maintenance. Make sure the manufacturer of your bike chain and the chain speeds are compatible while searching for these replacements.

How to Take Off an Old Bike Chain

How to Take Off an Old Bike Chain
  1. Break the chain by identifying the master link in the bike chain. A master link, as well as its pins, typically are a slightly different shade than the other links in your chain. For illustration, a black master link might be combined with a chain that is brass in appearance.
  2. You may take off the master link from the chain plate by gripping it with your pliers and tugging it toward you.
  3. After that, you will be required to use a hammer, nut, and pin to detach the bike chain from the vehicle.
  4. Make sure the chain pin of the master link is perfectly positioned over the nut’s hole when putting it over the link in your chain.
  5. The pin’s pointy edge should be hammered with a hammer. Due to this, the pin will be capable of removing itself from your chain plate with simplicity.

How to Install the New Bicycle Chain

  1. Without using a chain tool, you can attach the new bike chain to your bike:
  2. Your fresh bike chain should be wound around the chain wheel of your bike.
  3. Chain through the front derailleur of your bike, then wrap it around the cassette in the rear.
  4. The smallest cog on your bike is where you should loop the chain.

Note: Be careful not to allow your chain to fall from the front.

Adding the New Chain to the Bike

The bicycle chain has to be reattached to the vehicle:

Check to ensure that your bike chain is dry before reattaching. To guarantee the performance of your bike, this has to be regulated.

Hold the chain that has been disconnected using a wire or a part of a coat hanger. Thus, there will be sufficient slack for reconnecting the bike chain.

Make sure your wire’s ends are securely braided so that the chain is maintained.

The master link should be used to reattach the chain. If your bike chain is separated and you lack a master link, reconnect it by pressing the rivet into the chain.

How Frequently Should Your Bike Chain Be Changed?

The pins holding the chain links on your bike may start to rust after you put a lot of miles on it. You will need to take your bike chain off someday since it’s going to have rusted or worn out. Another clue that your bike chain needs to be changed is if it is noisy or if you are having some problems changing gears. According to REI, it’s generally a good idea to change your bike chain each 750 to 1,000 miles.

How to Measure Your New Chain Length for Your Bike

There are several choices available when selecting a new chain for your bike. For your particular bike size, some can be overly lengthy. As a result, you should first cut the chain to accommodate your bike. Before eliminating the excess links, it is crucial to verify that the other ends will connect. There are several approaches to doing this.

Your old chain and your new chain should be compared. The most straightforward approach is this one. Lay each chain next to the other to get an estimate of the length. Count how many links will need to be cut from the new chain to ensure that it is an identical copy to the old one for reference. The chain tool should be used to remove links.

Without passing the chain through the rear derailleur, run the chain through the front derailleur and put it into the two largest chainrings, the front, and the rear. Pull the chain’s ends as tightly as you can after connecting the two ends. When the chain comes together with an extra overlapping of two links, which is the amount you are aiming for.

How to Maintain a Chain on a Bike

Your bicycle’s chain has to be maintained on a regular basis if you want to try and ensure it works at its finest. Additionally, by doing this, your drivetrain should last longer, and your bike will be capable of changing gears more effortlessly.

Without routine chain care, you put yourself in jeopardy for biking that is both ineffective and noisy due to excessive chain wear, a decrease in the chain links’ elasticity, a decrease in the efficiency with which you can change gears, and long-term, irreparable bike deterioration. Therefore, how do you maintain the chain on your dirt bike? As challenging as it may seem, it is not.

Regular cleaning and lubricating is the simplest method for maintaining your chain in excellent condition; doing so effectively bogs down the component’s deterioration in terms of wear and tear and physical condition. Additionally, it stops the accumulation of dust, dirt, grime, and other debris.

You may achieve this quickly and efficiently by utilizing a solvent and cloth for routine maintenance or a chain-cleaning gadget for a good cleaning. You might even clean each connection with a brush or toothbrush to get rid of the junk that is difficult to access, if at all practicable.

The degreaser should be left to dry after cleaning. After that, add lubricant to the chain in small amounts, evenly dispersing it between each link. The extra lubrication may be easily removed with a clean towel once the lubrication has dried; this is a significant stage. In the future, additional debris will cling to the exposed grease if this step is missed.

How Frequently Should I Maintain My Bike?

Regularly checking the chains and specific links on your bike is the most crucial thing to do. This is simply accomplished by slowly turning your pedal forward and backward whilst lifting the rear wheel of your bike off the floor.

There are, in essence, only two broad standards that you ought to adhere to.

  1. Whenever your chain makes noise, lubricate it.

When riding, “dry” chains frequently produce a significant amount of noise. It won’t be missed by you. This typically manifests as an extreme “clacking” or squealing sensation.

  1. Following a ride through the rain or snow, lube your chain.

Rust may eventually develop on your chain if you leave it untreated after biking in humid conditions. It stays this from occurring by being cleaned and lubricated. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that you release your chain using a chain removal tool every few months or six months. After that, immerse your bike chain in chain solvents to clear any obstructions that are too big to be pulled out by hand. After the material has completely evaporated, don’t neglect to dry the chain completely. Only after that should it be greased and reassembled.


How can a bike chain be cut without a chain tool?

You’ll need an alternate tool, such as a hammer, pliers, or tiny nail, to cut the link if you do not have a chain tool. You can press the pin with their assistance without difficulty. You may use a hammer to hit the chain when it is placed over a socket. After that, you may slide the bolt through every one of the uncovered holes.

Do I need a tool for my bike chain?

An excellent chain breaker, also called a chain splitter or just a chain tool, is an essential element of any home technician’s arsenal because it enables you to connect chains that use pins rather than quick links, shorten new chains, and break old chains.

A chain can be broken by hand, but how?

Put on your gloves and take hold of the chain with one hand in each. The tip needs to be close to the pinky edge of the palm. To keep the chain from sliding under stress, loop it over the back of your hand, up the palms once again, and over the end while keeping it in position with the points of your fingers. You may do this as many times as you want.

How can a chain link fence be opened with the least amount of effort?

The chain link you wish to change should be in the middle of your pliers. Open the pliers slowly while they are situated in the middle of the chain link. The chain-link part may be opened by beginning to push the pliers further and further up the chain-link section.

Can a bike chain be repaired without a master link?

Employing a chain pin. Using a chain tool and the chain pin that comes with your new chain, reconnect the chain if it does not already include a master link. Always employ a new chain pin when fixing an existing chain rather than reusing an old one.


Even though it is definitely more challenging to change your bike’s chain without the right equipment, we can only sometimes guarantee that we will have access to them. In the unlikely event that you have a roadside bike failure, you will be adequately equipped for success if you learn how to change your bike chain without a chain tool. Always remember to follow the instructions exactly; every step is either required or intended for your ease.

Yousaf Khan

Yousaf Khan is an experienced biker with over 10 years of riding experience. He has a passion for motorcycles and has traveled extensively on his bike, covering thousands of miles across various terrains. Yousaf is well-versed in different types of biking, including adventure riding, touring, and off-roading. He is an active member of several local and national motorcycle clubs, promoting safety and responsible riding. Yousaf's dedication to the biker community extends beyond his own riding, as he regularly shares his insights and experiences with fellow bikers around the world. When he's not on the road, Yousaf enjoys spending time with his family and sharing his knowledge through this blog.

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