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Do BMX Chains Stretch?

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Chains are a very important part of any bike, including BMX bikes.

If the chain on your bike does not fit appropriately, it would be almost impossible for you to enjoy your rides.

The tightness of a bike chain can vary as you use it, and this will affect your experience with the bike.

Red BMX and its chain

Do BMX chains stretch?

Bike chains do not technically stretch, but they consist of a series of plates, pins, bushings, and rollers that wear down over time. The rollers are sandwiched between the plates, and the pins hold them together by passing through the bushings. When the bushings and pins wear off, the chain becomes longer and appears stretched.

How Tight Should Your Bike Chain Be?

Determining whether a BMX chain is tight enough is not difficult. You can seek the assistance of a bicycle expert, but you can also assess this yourself.

To check how tight your chain is, put your hands on either side of the chain and pinch together.

A BMX bike chain with the right tightness will move slightly or not at all when pinched together.

If you can move the chain easily or feel the metal frame, the bike chain is not tight enough.

Tight chains will not make any sound while you ride the bike.

Also, if your chain is tight enough, it will not hit the rear frame when you pedal.

You should be cautious while installing your chain and make sure you do not tighten it too much.

An extremely tight chain is very likely to snap.

When the chain is too tight, there will be no space to take up when pedaling, and this can cause serious problems for the bike.

Getting Rid of Bike Chain Tight Spots

BMX rider ready to go

A BMX bike chain should not have tight spots, but these can occur naturally from time to time.

Tight spots typically happen because of dirt that gets on the chain when the bike is used on trails.

It is important to get rid of tight spots in bike chains. Removing them reduces the rate at which the chain and the parts around it wear out.

Removing the tight spots will also improve your riding experience.

Getting rid of the tight chain spots on a BMX is quite easy. All you have to do is lubricate the chains as often as possible.

Putting a little grease on the bolts of the chains makes loosening or tightening them easy.

Lubrication also reduces the amount of wear on the chain due to friction, and it keeps the chain running smoothly for longer.

Greasing the chains also prevents rust and puts an end to unnecessary noises.

Tips for Fixing Slipped BMX Bike Chains

Fixing BMX bike chain

BMX bike chains can slip.

This often happens because of inaccuracies that occur when making adjustments to the chain.

Your bike chain might also slip if you crash while riding.

With the steps below, you will be able to fix your slipped chain and ride your bike again in no time.

  1. Examine the chain drive to ensure there are no broken pieces on the chain. This check should be done immediately after a crash to ensure minimal damage to the chain and its surrounding parts.
  2. Place the bike on a bike stand. If you do not have a bike stand, you may place the bike upside down instead.
  3. Note the gear the bike is in by looking at the derailleurs on the front and back gears.
  4. Line the chain back up on its gear. 
  5. Reduce the tension in the chain by pushing the rear derailleur forward.
  6. With one hand creating the slack needed, slip the chain back onto its gear with your other hand. You can pick one part of the chain up and place it on the appropriate gear, and then put the other part of the chain on the other gear.
  7. Once the teeth of the chain have been successfully placed, slowly release the derailleur.
  8. Place your hand on the pedals and pedal backward slowly to test the repair. Confirm that the teeth are guiding the rest of the chain back into place. After pedaling to reattach the chain, pedal again to ensure that the chain is secured properly.  

Conclusion

BMX chains can loosen and appear to stretch over time, usually because certain parts of the chain are worn out.

One way to ensure that your bike’s chain does not wear out quickly is to clean and lubricate it regularly.

If your chains do become damaged and you are unable to fix it, you should call in the services of an expert.

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