Weight Loss Made Easy!

Sign Up For Women’s Cycling Free Monthly Newsletter!


Follow Us On Facebook


follow me buttons

How to Fix a Dropped Bicycle Chain

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

How to fix a dropped-chainWhen 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.

We want to know what you think! Scroll down to leave a comment.

Like this article? You’ll love getting our free newsletter!



6 comments to How to Fix a Dropped Bicycle Chain

  • beck

    Super helpful, especially as i was reading this it was raining

  • Nita

    This has happened to me a few times already. The first 2-3 times I did get grease ll over my hands gloves and handlebars. This last time I was with an experienced rider and I did downshift and it went right back on. Great article and that was me exactly!!!!

  • I take these gloves with me because I hate dirty hands. They are easy to pack, sturdier than regular latex gloves and easy to work with.

  • Gail

    I keep my spare inner tube in a sock which serves as a glove if needed.

  • Kathy Dyck

    My bike pack always carries my favorite bike tool….a stick. I brag to all of my friends about my tool kit and then pull out my stick. It has to be sturdy enough not to break when lifting a chain but not too long for my pack. Just push the rear derailleur forward and lift the chain onto the appropriate front gear. Very easy and no dirty hands. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I have helped out with my special bike tool on the pathways in Calgary. Everyone should carry one. Best thing is, they’re free!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>