Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Introduction

If the chain looks and sounds right then it's usually following the correct path on the rear derailleur. If you're uncertain about this, look carefully at the old chain's route before you take it off, take pictures or make a sketch.

Step 1

Off The Ground - Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Off The Ground

Hang the bike up or put it in a stand so the back wheel can turn.

Step 2

Set The Gear on the front and rear derailleur - Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Set The Gear on the front and rear derailleur

If the rear derailleur has a cable connected select the highest gear. If the front derailleur has a cable connected select the lowest gear.

Step 3

Use The Small End - Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Use The Small End

If one end of the chain has a pin sticking out, thread the other end through the system.

Step 4

Insert The ‘C’ Hook - Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Insert The ‘C’ Hook

Hang the ‘C’ hook near the end of the chain so it can’t pass through the rear derailleur.

Pro Tip

Don’t let the chain drag on the floor. It will pick up dirt.

Step 5

Start At The Back - Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Start At The Back

Run the chain up behind the bottom jockey wheel of the rear derailleur.

Step 6

Dodge The Tab - Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Dodge The Tab

There may be a metal tab between the plates of the cage that holds the two jockey wheels, make sure the chain passes this without rubbing on it.

Step 7

Top Jockey Wheel - Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Top Jockey Wheel

Pass the chain up around the front of the top jockey wheel on the rear derailleur.

Step 8

Back Wheel - Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Back Wheel

Pass the chain up around the back of the smallest cog on the back wheel.

Step 9

Pull Through - Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Pull Through

Engage the chain on the smallest cog on the back wheel and pull it through.

Step 10

Front Derailleur - Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Front Derailleur

Pass the chain through the front derailleur cage and engage it on the small cog at the front.

Step 11

Crank - Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Crank

Turn the crank gently to pull the chain round the small cog at the front.

Step 12

Hook Up - Thread A Chain On To A Bike’s Rear Derailleur

Hook Up

Connect the chain coming down the front of the small cog at the front to the ‘C’ hook in the other end of the chain. The chain is now ready to be connected.