How To Fix a Mountain Bikes Skipping Chain

How To Fix a Mountain Bikes Skipping Chain
How To Fix a Mountain Bikes Skipping Chain

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How To Fix a Mountain Bikes Skipping Chain
How To Fix a Mountain Bikes Skipping Chain

Tips to Quickly Fix a Mountain Bike Chain That Is Slipping

Mountain bike chains are one of the essential parts of your bike. The bike chain helps you transfer power from the pedals to the wheels and is largely responsible for how your bike moves. How To Fix a Mountain Bikes Skipping Chain, theres nothing more annoying than having a poorly adjusted chainring. Not only does this affect your pedaling efficiency, but if your chain is constantly slipping, it can also affect your cycling performance and increase the risk of an accident while cycling. However, this can be fixed by following our tips for repairing a broken mountain bike chain.

Mountain bike chain slippage often occurs due to poor maintenance, an improperly adjusted chain, or an impacted derailleur. To repair a skipped chainring, it must be properly adjusted, well maintained, and compatible with the trail you are riding.

Research from the Journal of Industrial and Mechanical Design highlights that bicycle performance is largely dependent on the chain drive system.

A major reason a mountain bike chain is overlooked is when it is not compatible with your bike and hiking trail. For example, road bike chains are designed to help riders downshift and navigate high-speed roads and flat terrain. Mountain bike chains, on the other hand, are designed to handle heavier loads and higher gearing in mountainous terrain. Therefore, it is essential to understand your bike type and riding terrain.

Pedaling, shifting, and the rough road you travel on your bike will gradually wear down your bike's chain and sprocket.Tips to Quickly Fix a Mountain Bike Chain That Is Slipping
Pedaling, shifting, and the rough road you travel on your bike will gradually wear down your bike’s chain and sprocket.

Why Does My Mountain Bike Chain Skip?

As one of the most moving parts of cycling, it’s no wonder you experience bike chain problems with heavy use.

Mountain bike chains can jump if they are not properly maintained, are not suitable for the type of bike, or if the bike derailleur needs repair.

Your bike chain is one of the key elements that makes cycling the most energy-efficient mode of human transportation. In fact, the mountain bike chain is responsible for transmitting power from the pedals to the rear wheel and is therefore the main moving part of the bike. That said, a bike chain that is affected or that slips and moves out of its intended position will always hinder your cycling performance and is more likely to put you and your bike in danger. Knowing when your bike chain is affected or jumped in the first place is essential to repairing it. A sign that your bike chain has slipped is when you hear a clicking or cracking sound in the chain area. Additionally, if you notice your pedals suddenly losing power while moving or your bike slowing down or stopping completely, you may be dealing with a broken bike chain.

Now that you know how to tell if your bike chain is slipping, here are some reasons why it might happen:

Reason 1. Having an Ill-Fitting Bike Chain

Bike chains like these come in a variety of lengths, shapes, and sizes, and each is designed for different bikes, trails, and cycling needs. Understanding the basic factors that govern bicycle chains will go a long way in helping you make an informed decision when choosing a new chain or adjusting an old one.

A chain that is too long is more likely to slip or jump between gears on the bike. Conversely, a short chain will be difficult to fit into your gears and is more likely to break while riding, so having a bike chain that fits properly is essential.

Reason 2. A Worn Out or Damaged Bike Chain

Over time and after traveling long distances, bicycle chains will become loose or worn out. A worn bicycle chain does not fit snugly against the teeth of the sprocket. The more you ride, especially on rough terrain or uphill, the more likely it is that the chain will slip off the ice, leading to a skid. Additionally, if any part of the chain is broken, especially the chainring or cassette, it will be much harder for your bike chain to stay in place because it is more likely to jump.

Reason 3. A Loose Bike Shifting Cable

Shift cables are more likely to stretch over time and with constant use. Cables that are too tight cannot hold the bike chain in place and can be another reason why your bike chain slips while riding. You can fix this problem by tightening the cable on the recumbent bike or replacing it with a new one if it cannot be repaired.

Reason 4. Affected Chain 

Compromise of one of the internal parts of the bicycle chain will jeopardize its overall operation. Additionally, components like the derailleur, cables, and pedals are located near the bike’s chain and often act as components that make it possible to ride the bike. Therefore, it is important to regularly check the various parts of the chain and drive to avoid unwanted mechanical problems.

Each part of the chain is important for it to work properly.

Reason 5. Neglecting to Do Proper Bike Chain Maintenance

Because bicycle chains are subjected to significant dynamic forces, they are more likely to rust, wear out or become damaged over time. Additionally, because they are the main rotor of the bicycle wheel and connect the pedals to the rear wheel, various parts of the chain are susceptible to dirt accumulation. These particles can cause friction along the entire length of the chain and limit smooth movement. This is why it is so important to perform timely and proper ATV chain maintenance, as explained in our article, including cleaning with a tool kit.

A mountain bike chain that is not properly maintained could break and then need time-consuming repair.

Reason 6. An Altered Derailleur

A bicycle chain connects the front and rear wheels. This connection allows cyclists to adjust pedaling effort and generate maximum power during cycling. The bicycle chain is wrapped around this device and is the main driving force behind the mechanism. Because the bike chain and derailleur work together, damage to one part can affect the other.

The rear derailleur is usually more affected than the front. Because the frame is thinner and lighter, it is more likely to bend or break on impact. Damage to any part of the derailleur will affect its ability to guide or hold the bike chain properly, resulting in the bike chain slipping.

Once adjusted to the new position, the derailleurs are adjusted to align with the selected chainring and guide the length of the bike chain to the final gear. However, if one of the derailleurs is not adjusted correctly, the bike’s chain will be more likely to jump while riding.

A mountain bike chain could be skipping due to the derailleur not adjusting to the correct position and not shifting the chain correctly.

Common Symptoms of Mountain Bike Chain Skipping

Typically, you can’t detect a chain break when you first start it, and it often takes a long time and damage before the rider notices anything is wrong. Therefore, it is essential to carry out regular inspections of your bike chain to better manage the situation before it gets much worse.

Common problems with skipping mountain bike chains are noisy chains, reduced pedaling power, ineffective shifting, and other damaged bike parts.

As mentioned earlier, the main way to know when your bike chain is slipping is when you start hearing annoying friction noises in the chain area or notice a sudden decrease in your pedaling power.

Worn sprockets or chains can affect pedaling efficiency and always affect riding performance. As mentioned earlier, the bicycle chain is the main part responsible for propelling the bicycle. These chains are connected together to improve kinetic energy and improve drivability. If any of the internal parts of the bicycle chain are damaged or worn, the transmission of kinetic energy from the pedals to the bicycle wheel through the bicycle chain will be affected.

Here are some common symptoms of why mountain bike chains jerk, why they happen, and quick tips to solve them:

Symptom 1. Chain Skipping While Pedaling

Cycling is one of the main ways to detect if your bike chain is slipping. The bicycle chain is responsible for transmitting power to the bicycle wheel when starting the pedaling motion. However, several factors can cause the bike chain to jump when performing this action.

The first could be poorly fitted pedals with loose handles that could be replaced with pedals. Poorly adjusted pedals affect the bike chain’s power transmission and increase the risk of the bike chain jumping while riding. Another reason why your bike chain keeps slipping while pedaling is improper bike chain length. If your bike chain is longer than the required chain or if a part of the bike chain is broken or poorly maintained, your bike chain is more likely to be ignored while riding. If you notice your bike chain slipping while you’re pedaling, you may need to adjust your front or rear derailleur.

Symptom 2. Chain Skipping Under Load 

When your bike chain jumps under the load of the pedals, it is called a virtual jump. The greater the distance and the rougher the road, the more your bike chain needs to change speed. However, if you adjust the chain incorrectly, the pressure transmitted through your pedals may be uneven, and the bike’s chain will compensate by skipping or shifting gears with increased pedaling intensity.

Symptom 3. Bike Chain Slipping   

As pointed out earlier, the longer your bike chain needs to be, the more likely it is to jump between gears. It is therefore essential to ensure that you choose a bike chain that is the perfect length for your bike and cycling needs. The best way to compare the size of the new string is with the size of the old string.

However, because bicycle chains tend to stretch after extended use, a more accurate method for determining your bike chain length is called the “big-big method.” This method involves sizing your chainring by placing it around the largest sprocket in the front and the largest cog in the rear without placing it on the rear derailleur. You will then leave about an inch or a link for the derailleur and tension the chain until it fits snugly. Once you’ve found the right bike chain, you should make sure you have it set up properly to avoid any damage.


When replacing your skipping mountain bike chain the new one may be longer than required and will have to be adjusted to fit onto the drivetrain of your mountain bike.

Symptom 4. Bike Chain Slipping in Higher Gears

If you notice your mountain bike chain slipping or slipping at higher speeds, it’s most likely due to a worn or faulty gear set. In this case, you may need to adjust the length of the bike chain and lubricate the chain. After adjusting, make sure the bike chain is evenly tensioned along the chainring. And finally, make sure it’s properly positioned by using a chain guide to ensure it doesn’t rub against the bike’s wheels or frame.

Tools Needed To Fix a Skipping Bike Chain 

Now that you know what causes a bike chain to jump and why it happens, it’s time to see how to fix the problem.

The tools needed to repair a jumping mountain bike chain are a screwdriver, brush or cloth, degreaser, chain lubricant, chain gauge, gloves, and possibly a chain breaker.

As discussed in this article, the first way to repair your bike chain is to find out what caused the condition in the first place. Whether it’s an improper length, worn internal parts, or an affected chain area, knowing the specific reason your bike chain is slipping will save you stress and guesswork when troubleshoot.

To fix your mountain bike chain that is skipping make sure you have all the correct tools.

Make sure that you have the following tools handy to make repairing your mountain bike chain easier:

Tool 1. Screwdriver

Now that you know what causes a bike chain to jump and why it happens, it’s time to see how to fix the problem.
If your mountain bike chain breaks due to a derailleur, a set of screwdrivers will come in handy when adjusting the area. We recommend that you consider a screwdriver with a fine tip so that you can tighten or loosen the derailleur screws as necessary.

Tool 2. Brush or Cloth

Since mountain bike chains involve a lot of kinetic movement, your chain will likely accumulate dirt and dust. Dirt and dirt can obscure the visibility of the chain length and confuse you when diagnosing a skipping problem. Prepare a fine bristle brush or microfiber cloth to wipe away dirt.

Tool 3. Degreaser

As mentioned above, bicycle chains are susceptible to dirt accumulation when used for long periods of time. The buildup can be several layers thick and difficult to clean with just a cloth. Degreaser is a chemical that helps dissolve the above build-up, making cleaning a bicycle chain much less complicated.

Tool 4. Gloves

Bike chain Bicycle chain maintenance can be a complicated job. If you don’t particularly like getting your hands dirty, it’s best to put on a pair of rubber gloves before starting the process. can be a bit of a messy job. If you’re one who doesn’t particularly like getting your hands dirty, it is in your best interest to put on a pair of rubber gloves prior to starting the procedure.

Tool 5. Chain Lubricant

One of the common reasons why your bike chain may slip could be due to increased friction in the bike chain components or between the bike chain and the chain. Chain lubricant will help lubricate the necessary parts and restore necessary functionality.

Tool 6. Chain Measuring Tool

A chain measuring tool such as a ruler or a pair of calipers will help you accurately measure the length of your bike chain. Measuring your chain regularly will be a great way to keep track of the measurements that are most compatible with your chain, and allow you to act quickly when your chain starts to show signs of wear.

Tool 7. Chain Breaker

If your bike chain is no longer usable or you’re having trouble adjusting stiff areas or replacing worn bike parts, a chain tool will help you get there. a much-needed break – no pun intended.