By Laurel-Lea Shannon
When I first started road cycling I quickly found out how easy it is to drop the chain and end up at the side of the road with grease-covered hands. Unless you have a Grease Monkey wipe with you, it’s hard to get the grease off. The grease travels from your hands onto your handlebar tape, your water bottle, and, if you’re not careful, your face and jersey. What a mess!
What I didn’t know is that there are ways to fix a dropped chain without manhandling it and getting covered in grease.
The Clean Way to Fix a Dropped Chain – One
There are two clean ways to fix a dropped chain. The first one you can try without even getting off your bike. While pedalling slowly, shift into a larger gear using the left gear shifter. That move should return the chain to the chainring. If not, you’ve still got one more shot at keeping your hands clean.
The Clean Way to Fix a Dropped Chain – Two
Get off your bike. Shift into a larger gear using the left gear shifter. Lift the back end of the bike off the ground and spin the crank (pedals). That usually works. If it doesn’t, prepare to get your hands dirty.
The Dirty Way to Fix a Dropped Chain
Hopefully it won’t come to this, because you’re going to get dirty. Start by giving yourself more chain to manoeuver by pushing the rear derailleur forward. With your other hand grab the chain and place it on the chain ring. That’s it. You’re ready to go.
Dropped chains happen to every level of rider but if it happens a lot, have a more experienced cyclist review your shifting technique. If there’s nothing wrong there, take your bicycle to the local bike shop and have them check the gears, and check if the chain is stretched and needs replacing.
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