6 Ways To Stop Bicycle Chain Coming Off

The possibility of a chain falling while riding your bicycle is annoying or even dangerous! It can also be very difficult for newbies to figure out what is causing the chain to fall off.

The most common reasons and most easy to fix, range from the chain wearing out, or one of the derailleurs isn’t as precise as you’d like.

Take note that when you have recently purchased the bike from a big box retailer and are experiencing problems, you’ll want to take your bike to a shop for a quick tune up! Check out this article to understand the reasons for that.

If you decide that taking your bike to a repair shop isn’t an option due to some reason, these different things are where I’d begin on my hunt for the culprit of your chain falling off.

Table of Contents

  • What’s the function of a chain?
  • Before you start,
  • 1. There is nothing safe.
  • 2. Lower derailleur is not accurate
  • 3. Front derailleur is not accurate
  • 4. Too much chain
  • 5. Wear out of chain or other components
  • 6. The shifter is too far to be turned.
  • Conclusion

What is the mechanism behind a chain?

When you work on something, like a bicycle, it is important to understand how things work in order to be able to tell when something is functioning.

This article isn’t going to cover everything So I’ll only give you a quick explanation of how a chain works on bikes.

A chain is affixed to the crankset’s teeth on the front (which has your pedals attached to it) as well as the rear chainring (where you typically have more gears).

The rear derailleur as well as the front derailleur are used to guide the chain. When you shift gears, these derailleurs move the chain and direct them towards the appropriate gear you’ve selected.

Although it sounds easy, if something within the drivetrain isn’t working properly there could be issues, such as a chain falling off.

Before you begin

Before you start your diagnostics, be sure that your bike is in the right position for you to complete your task!

Then, flip your bike over on the seat and handlebars, and ensure you are able to spin the pedals to move the wheels. This will allow you to try out the various parts we’ll be examining.

1. Something is off

One thing I learned from my dad a long time ago, is to start with the cheapest issue and work your way to the highest priced component. While this is a strategy for automobiles, it can be used in this situation as well.

Before you decide to replace anything, move through all of your drivetrain components and determine if anything is loose. Do not pull too hard on parts that cause them to bend or break, but just wiggle them a little bit to see the if they shake or move.

You can tighten the loose part (but not too tight) to see if your gears operate smoothly, without your chain slipping off. This multi-tool that is specially designed to work with bicycles could be perfect in these situations.

2. Lower derailleur is not accurate

There are numerous other reasons that could cause your bike’s chain to break but I’ve had my own experience, and the most recent reason for my bike’s chain breaking.

If you have the bike upside down turn the pedals, then look at your rear derailleur while you shift between the various gears.

It could be the reason the derailleur is not in the right place.

In my case, my bike actually had one whole gear off. This meant that every when I put it into the 7th gear at the back, the chain would fall off. Also, it meant I was unable to put my bike into the first gear, leaving only five gears in the rear.

Make sure your derailleur is exactly in the center of the gear you’d like to use.

3. Front derailleur is not accurate

Although not as common as the rear derailleur issue, it is possible for your front derailleur to be out of alignment.

It is easy to determine what is the problem by following the same steps on the front.

4. Chain is getting too long

It’s possible that your chain may be long if you have recently replaced it.

When you replace your chain, ensure that you align it exactly to the old chain, and then remove or add links as needed. It is necessary to purchase yourself a chain splitter to do this right! This tool is indispensable when keeping your bike in good condition.

If you have already discarded the old chain and it’s slightly more challenging to adjust it until you do not have as many slacks, if this is the issue.

5. The chain can wear out, as do other components

The components can wear out as with other items that are often used. Even if they haven’t been smashed or bent or smashed, it is possible that it is time to replace them.

Teeth on your crankset, or chainring might be beginning to wear out, allowing the chain to slide off without meaning to. Oder derailleurs don’t function as they should. It could be caused by broken or worn pulley springs.

Like cars, bikes require regular maintenance. It is recommended to check these components frequently to determine if it’s time to replace the components.

6. The shifter is too far to be turned.

This is something I believe the majority of people will come across. Your bike is in good shape, and probably has been experienced by all of us at least once.

Your bike only has seven gears in the rear, but there’s a reason why you’re not paying attention, and you’re trying to get it into the non-existent 8th gear.

This will cause the derrailleur to extend itself a little too far and cause the chain to drop off.

The simplest solution is to not do it.


There are many reasons a chain could appear dirty or damaged, such as a worn drivetrain or bent parts. These are the top places to start!

It is essential to ensure your bike is in good condition. I hope you have more fun riding your bike every day.

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