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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889

    Chain fell off... (first time)

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    The weather seemed not too bad to practice riding this afternoon, so after lunch I changed clothes, put the bike on the rack, and headed for a truly gigantic parking lot (they take really good care of it, even on the weekend, no ice at all).

    I was about 10 minutes into my riding practice when my chain fell off of the large gears (sprockets?). I couldn't move it at all, it seems jammed between sprockets and frame. After a few minutes it became apparent that my practice was over for the day so I came home

    I visited this site http://www.ehow.com/how_117855_fix-bike-chain.html which seems to have a pretty clear description of the process, but I cannot seem to free the chain. Of course I haven't even seen this done before, so am probably missing something obvious and easy - what is the best way to free a jammed chain?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    I FIXED IT!!!

    I turned the bike upside down and played with the lower chain to loosen it and get it back on the appropriate sprocket. I am not even going to wonder how it happened, as I am learning the mysteries of shifting right now as well - so it probably isn't a surprise...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Weir, TX
    Posts
    403
    If it's wedged in there really good between the cassette and the chainstays (frame) you'll need to loosen the wheel like you were going to take it off to get the chain free... and then pull it back over one of the smaller sprockets. Make sure your derailleur is lined up with the sprocket you put the chain back on before you try to ride again (just eyeball it from above - if you're off by a gear either way nothing catastrophic should happen).

    Secondly, how/why did it come off to begin with? Were you shifting when it happened or did it go off on it's own? It might be worth stopping by your LBS so they can check the cable to make sure it's adjusted fine and nothing slipped.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    Quote Originally Posted by sarahspins View Post
    If it's wedged in there really good between the cassette and the chainstays (frame) you'll need to loosen the wheel like you were going to take it off to get the chain free... and then pull it back over one of the smaller sprockets. Make sure your derailleur is lined up with the sprocket you put the chain back on before you try to ride again (just eyeball it from above - if you're off by a gear either way nothing catastrophic should happen).
    Thanks for the tip should this happen again. I am pretty sure that it was due to my shifting - the left shifter requires more force to shift it than I expect it to, and I suspect it was operator error in this case. They just adjusted my shifter cables the other day (brand-new bike) as they were rather loose.

    I have a one-on-one maintenance class at my LBS on Jan. 16th, and it couldn't come sooner This was actually one of the questions I was going to ask - what to do when the chain comes off...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,315
    I think it sounds like it came off the rings (of the crankset) and not the cassette sprockets, since you said it happened with the left shifter. It's not uncommon, though it usually doesn't get really jammed in anywhere. Try pedaling backwards and shifting again in the front. That may free it without getting off the bike. Otherwise, you'll need to get off and pull the chain manually (from the bottom) and place it on the small ring. Then hand pedal to get it engaged.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    Quote Originally Posted by aicabsolut View Post
    Otherwise, you'll need to get off and pull the chain manually (from the bottom) and place it on the small ring. Then hand pedal to get it engaged.
    This is what I did, and you are correct that it just came off of the front rings. Once I got it home and turned it upside down I figured out that I needed to work with the chain from the bottom - and will try your suggestion about how to fix it if (when) it happens again. I do think it was from my feeble attempt to shift - the left trigger shifter just takes more to shift it than I expect it to - and of course I am still getting used to it.

    I kind of feel like a child looking mournfully out of the window at the snow and ice wondering when it will go away so I can get out on my bike again

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Here is a sure fire trick to getting a dropped chain back on, without getting off of the bike. It has to be done quickly, though.
    As soon as you feel like the chain has popped off, put the front gear in the biggest chain ring. It might take a little extra hard push. Keep pedaling and you will feel the chain pop back on.
    And, if you have to put the chain back on while you are off the bike, this works, too. Just put it in the big ring and twirl the pedals around to pop it on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    51

    some advice

    I know this thread is kind of old, but if this happens to anyone else it could have to do with the way your derailleurs are set.

    One of the 3 little screws you find on them (depending on the make/model) sets how far left or right it will allow the chain to be moved to set it down on the sprocket. If it's set too tight it won't move the chain at all, if it's set too loose it can cause your chain to actually lift beyond the largest or smallest sprockets and cause your chain to get jammed.

    If this happens to you and you have no real mechanical skills do yourself a favor and bring it in your LBS to have them properly adjust it.

    If you are feeling brave enough you can watch a video on line http://www.bicycletutor.com that can show you how it's done, but that's only if your derailleurs are set the same way.

    I personally wouldn't risk it unless i was absolutely sure i was messing with the right screw because once you start playing around with the other adjustments it can be a bit tedious trying to get everything back in order.

 

 

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