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Thursday, June 1, 2023

How to Diagnose and Fix a Squeaky Chain

A squeaky chain is a common problem for bike owners, but fortunately, it's usually an easy fix. Here's how to diagnose and fix a squeaky chain:


  1. Check for dirt and debris: Dirt, grime, and debris can accumulate on the chain and cause it to squeak. Use a degreaser and a brush to clean the chain and see if the squeaking stops.

  2. Check for worn or damaged chain: Over time, chains can stretch and wear down, causing them to squeak. Check the chain for signs of wear, such as rust, corrosion, or elongation. If the chain is worn, it will need to be replaced.

  3. Check for misaligned chain or gears: A misaligned chain or gears can cause the chain to rub against the derailleur or other components, resulting in a squeaking sound. Check the chain and gears to make sure they are properly aligned.

  4. Check for loose bolts: Loose bolts on the chainring, derailleur, or other components can cause the chain to rattle or vibrate, resulting in a squeaking sound. Check all the bolts on your bike and tighten them as needed.


  1. Clean and lubricate the chain: If the chain is dirty or dry, clean it with a degreaser and lubricate it with a chain lubricant. Apply the lubricant to each link of the chain and wipe off any excess.

  2. Replace the chain: If the chain is worn or damaged, it will need to be replaced. Chains are relatively inexpensive and can be easily replaced by a professional bicycle mechanic.

  3. Adjust chain and gears: If the chain or gears are misaligned, they will need to be adjusted. This can be done by a professional bicycle mechanic or by following a step-by-step guide or video tutorial.

  4. Tighten bolts: If loose bolts are causing the squeaking sound, tighten them with a wrench or allen key. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can damage the threads or components.

In summary, a squeaky chain can be caused by several factors, including dirt and debris, worn or damaged chain, misaligned chain or gears, or loose bolts. By diagnosing the cause of the squeaking and addressing it with proper maintenance or repairs, you can keep your bike running smoothly and quietly.

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Charles Moffat is equal parts bicycle mechanic, cyclist, painter, sculptor, fantasy writer, poet, website designer and pun maker. For more details see



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