# Question: How long should a bicycle chain be?

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## How do I know if my chain is too short?

Here’s How:

Do a simple check on your bike by shifting the chain to the big chainring and the biggest cassette cog; then, push on the end of the derailleur cage (pushing forward) to see how much it will move forward. If it moves just a little, then you’re good. If it moves a lot, then you’ve got too much chain.

## How do I know my bike chain size?

The easiest way to determine bike chain length is the largest cog to largest chainring method. Once the old chain has been removed, shift the front derailleur to the largest chainring, and the rear to the smallest.

## How do I know what size bike chain to buy?

Add the multiplied chainstay length, the divided number of teeth for the chainring and rear sprocket, and add 1 (or 2.5 cm). The result is the ideal chain length for your bike. For example, you’d add 32.5, 13, 7 and 1 to get 53.5. The length of the chain should be 53.5 inches or 135.89 cm.

## What happens when bicycle chain is too short?

You should also see two slight bends at each jockey wheel of the rear derailleur. If the chain is too short, this shift is difficult to make and the derailleur cage is stretched out and almost parallel to the chainstay. If the chain is really short, then you might not even be able to shift into the largest cog.

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## How tight should a bike chain be?

The chain should be tight enough that it only allows you to move it up and down about half an inch. If there is no slack in the chain then it is too tight. And if there is too much slack then you need to tighten that chain.

## Is bike chain too short?

Registered. If you can’t shift into the big ring/big cog combo, the chain is too short. If it makes it, then it is ok. I have a couple bikes that just make it into the big/big combo and they don’t make any more drivetrain noise than the others.

## What chain size do I need?

After a measurement is obtained, its a good idea to opt for a necklace size that is at least the second size up from your neck size. For example, if you have an 18 inch neck, you should probably choose a chain length of 20 inches or more. An 18 inch chain would feel too tight.

## What is the standard bike chain size?

All modern bicycle chains are made to the “one-half inch pitch” standard, meaning from rivet to rivet is nominally 0.5 inches. The sprocket teeth are cut for this same one-half inch standard to accept bicycle chains.

## Are bicycle chains universal?

No. Not all makes and models of bike chains fit on all bikes. Most modern bike chains are made to the one-half inch pitch, but this dosn’t mean all chains fit all bikes. In order to be as effective as possible, a chain must be suited to the type of bicycle being ridden.

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## How many links should a bike chain have?

A new bicycle chain usually comes with 116 links. This is long enough for the biggest chainrings and for most distances of rear wheel from front chainrings. So for optimal length a new chain is usually shortened from the 116 links that come in the box.