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How to Untwist a Bike Chain

Chain lubricant can increase bike chain efficiency  by 50 percent.
old bicycle image by paologo from Fotolia.com

The bicycle chain is a very important part of your bicycle. It is the force that carries power from pedal to wheel. It is imperative to ride.

In the construction of a bicycle chain, two side plates are held together by something akin to hollow rivets. When you open a link of a bicycle chain while on the bike, you can see the ends of the rivets flush with the inner plates. The outer plates hide the inner rivets.

Bike chains can only become pesky when they are twisted. Below, you will find the method for untangling your chain that's as painless as possible!

Grab the longest available part of the chain with one hand. With your other hand, take the part of tangle which is hanging loose.

Bring the loose part of the tangle up to the longest part. You want to be sure to do this in a delicate, straight line. Avoiding further tangling is key!

Now, grab from below, and turn the whole mess upside down. Shake vigorously for quick untangling. You may need to step in with placements as it untangles. It will likely untangle itself as you shake.

This will work 80 to 90 percent of the time. If it doesn't work at first, do try again.

If this method fails completely after a few patient tries, all hope is not gone. Look at what twists and tangles still remain in the chain. Take it little tangle by little tangle, and return it to a straight line.

Make sure to test your chain for any wear or tear before putting it to use on a ride!

Things You'll Need:

  • twisted bike chain
  • patience


This method also works well with other types of twisted chains. Be patient. Work slowly. Lube your chain every 300 miles! Try and try again. If it doesn't work the first time, try again with even more patience.


  • Don't lose your concentration. Staying calm and focused gets the job done faster! Never try to do things that require vast amounts of patience and concentration if you are tired. Rest, then try it later.
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