Biking comes with its sheer joy of pleasure. But bike chain stuck challenges can easily ruin this thrilling experience.
In this post, we look at 8 ways your bike chain gets stuck and how to fix it. With this information, your biking experience will become hassle-free and enjoyable.
1. A Muddy Chain
Muddy conditions can often lead to your chain getting stuck. This is a problem common for aces o if you live in humid and dirty areas.
Additionally, you are likely to experience this problem during the rainy season o if you ride on muddy terrains.
Mud is a combination of soil and water, and it may also have small rocks which will prevent the chain from sitting on the sprocket teeth appropriately.
The rocks cause the chain to go to the wrong gear or fall; depending on the crankset type and axle, your chain will get stuck.
Moreover, a dirty and muddy chain brings other problems like
- It impairs shifting performance
- It brings in tear and wears on the derailleur and drivetrain parts
- It reduces flexibility on the chain links
- It increases wear and tear of the chain
How to Fix
- Cleaning a muddy chain and bike is a routine exercise for every biker. To get it right and ensure your bike and its components are top-notch, follow these steps;
- Brush out the dirt with a firm or old toothbrush
- Use soapy water to clean the chain and wipe it dry
- With a chain lubricant, relubricate the chain and wipe off the excess lubricant because it attracts more dirt and grime.
2. The Chain Suck
Chain suck is a common problem when shifting gears and pedalling hard. It is described as when the chain does not let go of the chainring and wraps itself on the front derailleur when you shift gears.
The problem emanates from various reasons, which are easy to detect and solve. The most common causes are a dirty drivetrain, a dry or non-lubricated chain, and a worn-out drivetrain.
How to Fix
Fixing the chain suck problem is procedural. However, if one of the solutions solves the issue, there is no need to move to the next.
Therefore, finding the exact problem is vital to finding the perfect solution. The steps in solving this problem are to start by checking the chain.
- If it is dirty, clean and lubricate it
- If the chain is clean, check if it is stretched and adjust it
- If it is beyond adjustment, replace it with a new one
- If these two solutions do not solve the problem, check to see if the chainring is worn out and have an expert replace it
3. Bike Chain Jammed in Back Wheel
More often than not, you are likely to experience a bike chain stuck in the back wheel. This may be due to several reasons, such as a rotated, dirty, bent, worn-out, misaligned, misadjusted, or too-long chain.
However, if it is a new bike or derailleur, adjusting the limit screws too far out can cause the same problem. This is because the derailleur will shift past the last cog, thus throwing the chain and making it get stuck
Also, your chain will most likely get jammed if you have been involved in a crash. Such accidents bend the derailleur or hanger, which tilts the metal towards the wheel and tosses the chain between the cassette and spokes.
How to Fix
Despite looking challenging, fixing this problem is petty simple. The first step is to determine the extent of the chain stuck.
If it is off-tack above the derailleur, rotate it forward, but if it is off all the way, adding tension by tacking is the best option.
However, if it seems technical to unjam, have your bike inspected by a bike mechanic.
4. Bike Chain Stuck Between Chainring and Frame
A chainring is a round, spiked component that drives your chain round. In lingo terms, they are the front gears attached to your bike’s crank arms. It allows you to pedal and change gears, which makes it possible for you to go faster or slower.
However, a crankset and chainring are nowadays used interchangeably. Some of the reasons why your chain gets stuck between the chainring and frame are:
- Bent teeth
- A small bent sprocket
- A poorly adjusted derailleur
- A stuck link on the chain
- Bent chain
In gear shifting, the chain may inappropriately fail to move from one chaining to the next and get stuck. This is common and may lead to more problems if not addressed to either prevent it from happening or reduce its frequency.
How to Fix
- Shift the small chainring and try shifting to the small cog as best as possible.
- Next, remove the chain from the small chainring and place it on the bottom of the bracket.
- Turn your bike upside down
- Release the quick-release skewer and unscrew it a bit. This helps ease the wheel take-out process
- Jiggle the chain until it is free from where it was stuck, and put it on the small chainring.
- Replace the wheel using the back derailleur and tighten the skewer
5. Stiff Chain Link
A chain is a crucial part of your power transmission. But over time, due to wear and tear, mud, grime, or other causes, it may have a stiff link which causes it to get jammed.
Nevertheless, other problems may cause a stiff link, such as;
- Improper installation, which leads to misalignment
- Inadequate lubrication, which leads to rust and corrosion
- Riding too fast, especially if the chain is not well-maintained which hastens the wear and tear
- Excessive load
How to Fix
Stiff chain links are easy to diagnose and require a step-by-step procedure. But if you want to avoid this problem, it is best to buy a specified chain.
This means purchasing a chain rated for speed and load. Additionally, when fitting your chain, align it well to avoid problems in the future.
It is also recommended to degrease your chain regularly or clean it after a while to keep it in top shape.
However, if the problem has occurred, locate the stiff link and remove it with the help of special tools or take it to a bike repair shop.
6. Chain Stuck Due to Derailleur Limit Screws
A derailleur’s limit screws are crucial components of any drivetrain. And if not well-set, they can cause many problems, including jamming bike chains.
The derailleur’s limit screws prevent it from moving too far inward or outward. Ideally, as the derailleur moves, the screws stop it at the end of the travel. Also, the screws prevent the chain from going onto the frame or the spokes.
How to Fix
The first step in addressing this problem is checking if the derailleur hanger is bent. If it is, align the hanger, and your problem is sorted.
Next is looking for the H-limit screw. The best way to check the correct adjustment of this screw is to look for the ‘L’ mark.
Alternatively, check the derailleur’s manual online or turn the screws and note the derailleur’s movement.
After finding it adjust it so that the derailleur cage’s inner plate is 0.1-0.2mm from the chain when in the smallest cog.
7. A New or Worn Out Chainring
New chainrings may lead to bike chain jammed issues because they do not fit well with your other components.
On the other hand, worn-out chainrings do not work optimally with the entire drivetrain, which may make your chain get stuck.
How to Fix
The best way to fix this problem is replacing your worn-out chainring. But if it is a new one giving you problems have a pro look at it to determine the best remedy.
8. Bent Teeth
A bent chainring is one of the most common ways a bike chain gets stuck. The teeth on your chainring grip and pull your chain up and down as you pedal, so if they’re bent, it can cause serious problems.
You might notice that your crank arm has become loose or there’s an odd grinding sound when you turn it–these are signs of something wrong with your crankset and chainring.
If this happens after a crash or fall where it might have gotten caught in spokes or other parts of the bike frame, it may be why it happened.
How to Fix
To fix bent teeth: replace them with new ones from a shop or online retailer like Amazon
I hope these 8 scenarios on why your bike chain gets stuck and how to fix it has lifted your veil.
And even if you cannot fix it yourself, find a reliable bike repair shop or a trusted mechanic who will help halt these bike chain stuck issues.
Finally, remember proper maintenance is the best solution to keeping bike chain jamming problems at bay.
Having a problem with a bike chain keeps falling off? Here are the top 12 reasons why a bike chain keeps coming off and how to fix it.