What Happens If Bike Chain is Too Long?

Wondering what happens if your bike chain is too big is a good question. The first is to understand why the chain is loose or becomes too long and the causes of it. Or is it time to replace the bike chain? This in turn will help you to prevent the chain from becoming too long and how to fix it.

The problem with a bike chain that is too long or is loose will cause the chain to slip off. And this will affect changing the gears cause the dérailleur does not have enough capacity to pick up the slack with the chain being too long.

In this post, we will go through what happens if the bike chain is too long. Let’s get started!

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What Happens If Bike Chain is Too Long?

If the bike chain is too long it will cause problems when changing gears as you shift gears and the derailleur can’t pick up the extra chain length. As a result, the chain may keep slipping off. While if the chain is too short it can bind and do a lot of damage if you shift into a chainring and cog.

There are a number of reasons why your chain might be loose. These are as follows.

  • Got a new chain and it’s the wrong size.
  • Your crank tooth needs to be replaced.
  • Your front and rear derailleur are not properly aligned.
  • The chainring, derailleur, or the chainring are damaged.
bike inspections

Got A New Chain And It’s The Wrong Size

You have bought a new chain and it is too big. The easiest thing is to compare the length of your old chain, then you will need to remove a couple of links to match the length.

Your Crank Tooth Needs To Be Replaced

The crankset is the component of a bicycle drivetrain. And within the crankset, there is the crank tooth. You need to check if the crack teeth are worm or your bottom bracket or rear hub bearings may be loose.

Grab the crank and check does it need to be adjusted or replaced if it is required.

Derailleurs

Your Front And Rear Derailleur Are Not Properly Aligned

One of the common reasons that your bike chain might be too long is that there be a misalignment of the front or rear derailleur.

Noisy gear shifts will be a good indicator of this problem, and in some cases can lead to the chain slip off the cogs.

The Chainring, Derailleur, Or The Chainring Are Damaged

The reality is that accidents will happen that’s why helmets are so important to wear. After a simple fall from your bike and could be enough to damage your derailleur, chainring, or chainring.

You will need to check if any of these components if are damaged that could be affecting the chain.

How To Prevent Chain From Becoming Loose?

Overtime bike chains will lengthen over time as they wear down. The thing about worn bike chains will wear out the cogs in the front and rear cassette. To help to extend the life span of the chain, the following tips will help.

  • Check that the chain is not clogged with dirt and grime and if so clean the chain.
  • Ensure that the chain is well lubricated.
  • Regularly check the front and rear derailleur.
workshop

Do Bike Chains Stretch?

The short answer is no but technically the bike chain will get worn over time that affects the chain in a way that causes the chain length to increase. Mechanics usually refer to this as chain stretch.

Products For Bike Chain Maintenance

There are a number of products that can help and that make life easier to maintain your bike chain. Here are a few products that are worth looking at.

Finish Line Shop Quality Bicycle Chain Cleaner



Finish Line started making bike chain cleaners products in 1988. Their products are quick, efficient, and easy to use. Their chain cleaner has once again redefined the way bicycle chains are being cleaned.

You don’t need to remove the chain as there are cleaner clips directly to the chain. Plus the 30-degree exit angle eliminates mess. Magnet at the bottom collects metal filings and various contaminants.

Chain Gang Bicycle Chain Cleaning System



This is a complete cleaning solution for cleaning bike chains and chainrings bicycle drivetrains. A dirty chain can cause poor shifting and unnecessary wear to expensive parts. This kit contains everything needed to quickly and easily clean the chain, freewheel cogs, and chainrings.

The Chain Gang includes a CM-5.3 Cyclone Chain Scrubber, a GSC-1 GearClean Brush, a chain scrubber, a gear brush, and degreaser, and an 8 oz bottle of CB-4 Bio ChainBrite.

JNUYISW Bike Chain Oiler Roller Lubricator



With this bike chain roller, you will have your chain lubricated in seconds. As well as you will not have to worry about dirty fingers or splashed oil.

You must first clean the chain with a cleaning tool, then pick up your oil, drop it gently on the oiler, but the oiler on the chain, turn the pedal, and then you can easily oil it.

Wrapping Up

Finally, if you think your bike chain is too long you need to fix it as this can cause more cause to your bike as well as increase the chances of more accidents. One of the signs is that your chain keeps slipping off. Plus this will affect changing the gears cause the dérailleur does not have enough capacity to pick up the slack with the chain been too long loose.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on what happens if the bike chain is too long was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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If Bike Chain is Too Long?