The chain on a bicycle absorbs more punishment than any other bicycle part. This is one of the biggest expenses besides having to replace tires. You want to make sure you take care of your chain. Although chains rarely snap, they do become worn and loose. To lessen this wear, wipe the chain with a solvent-soaked cloth whenever dirt builds up on the links. Several times a year remove the chain for cleaning and lubrication. Always store your bike in a garage and out of the rain. Rain will cause it to rust, causing you to replace it faster.
Periodically check the chain tension on one and three speed bikes. You can tighten a loose chain at the rear wheel. If there is no more room for adjustment at the rear axle, the chain has worn and stretched. Fit a new one whenever this happens. Always check to see what condition your childs chain is in. Failure to do so can cause injury if the chain should slip off, and there is the possibly your child can get their pants leg stuck in the loose chain.
If the chain clatters or grates as you pedal, inspect it for wear. Sound links should fit firmly between the teeth, not ride up on them. If the chain constantly falls off after adjusting it many times, replace it. Locate chain connector and, with pliers, disengage clip or other fastener holding side plate in place. Remove side plate. Pull connector free to release the chain ends. Remove chain from bicycle. You can buy chains in stainless steel and aluminum alloy.
The aluminum bicycle chains are lightweight and designed for racing bikes. Stainless steel chains are good for all-terrain bikes, won’t rust, and are stronger than aluminum alloy.
Test chain by pulling on any two adjacent links with your hand. If there is a lot of play, replace the chain, if not, clean it. Loosen rear wheel nuts and move wheel forward as far as possible in its slots. Holding it there, replace the chain.
Pull chain tightly over both sprockets. If necessary, shorten the chain by removing the proper rivet. Center the rivet over the hole in a small nut and drive it out with a punch. If the rivet is hardened, grind off its head.
Replace the chain, connector, and side plate. Crimp fastener in place. Its closed-end must face the direction of travel. Slide the wheel back until the chain has only 1/2 inch of play and tighten wheel nuts. Be sure the axle is even or wheel will wobble.
To clean the chain, remove it and soak it in kerosene for one hour. Clean off any residue with a stiff wire brush. When the chain has dried, install it. Then, drip chain oil into the links as you turns the chain through two complete cycles. Be careful not to get any oil on you while spinning the wheel. The oil can get in your eyes, so wear protective glasses while performing this action. By taking care of your bicycle, you can enjoy if for many years to come.
To clean the chain