How to Fix a Skipping Bike Chain

Any cyclist can tell you: there is nothing worse than a bike chain slipping. Even though E-Bike is such a healthy exercise and more and more people became or return to be a bikers because of e-bike. Skipping bike chain can be a nagging problem to everyone, one that appears at the most inconvenient moments but also one that requires immediate attention. The bike chain is the lifeblood of a bicycle. It’s the equivalent of a car’s drivetrain. If your bike chain keeps slipping, you should take steps to both understand why the problem is occurring and then diagnose what you need to do to fix your bike chain skipping.

Bike chains can be very simple, or, for higher performance bikes, can be quite complex. Himwiay E-Bikes are high-quality, high-performance electric bikes, it is important to understand the complete anatomy of your bike and its chain so that you can fix it if your bike chain slipping becomes a problem. A bike chain is made of a series of interconnected links. These links fit precisely over the small teeth on a chain ring, which is connected to the pedal. When you pedal a bike, the chain ring spins, thus putting the chain in motion and spinning the wheels. e-bikes with multiple gears also have front and rear derailleurs, which is a gearing system that the bike chain is fed through.

Now that we have covered the anatomy of a bike chain, let’s walk through the reasons why your bike chain keeps slipping and the steps you can take to fix skipping bike chains.

Reasons That Your Bike Chain Keeps Slipping

Diagnosing why your bike chain keeps slipping is not always easy. However, understanding the common causes for bike chain skipping will help you narrow the scope of your investigation and hopefully quickly address the problem. Here are the most common reasons why bike chains may be skipping.

Improper Gear Shifting

Improper gear shifting has less to do with the quality of the bike itself and more to do with the way you are riding your bike. Gears are made specifically to help you shift up and down, ultimately making your ride easier for different types of terrain and slopes. However, using the gear shifters incorrectly can actually cause your bike chain to slip. Depending on the model of bike that you are riding, be sure to understand the proper protocol for shifting between gears so that you are taking care of your bike chain.

Damaged Parts

If a bike chain, chain ring, or derailleur becomes damaged, it can very easily cause a bike chain to slip. Make sure you are inspecting all of these parts—anything that comes into contact with the chain—so that you can identify the problem (or rule it out).

Chain Length

Bike chains are made to very precise specifications for each bike model. If your bike has a chain that is too long or too tight, it would cause the chain to more easily slip from the chain ring.

Chain Age

Bike chains are just like any other sporting good equipment—they lose their effectiveness over time, and eventually they will need to be replaced. With age, bike chains can rust or the metal can wear down, making them more prone to slipping.

Steps for Fixing Skipping Chains

To some people, fixing a skipping bike chain may seem like a daunting task. Perhaps it even seems like a task that should be reserved for a professional. However, if your bike chain keeps slipping then there is actually a step-by-step method for identifying the problem and fixing it. If done effectively, the bike chain skipping will never occur again. Here are six easy steps for fixing skipping bike chains.

Step 1: While in a stationary position, simply manually pedal your bike while shifting gears carefully. You want to get your chain on the smallest ring in the ear and one of the largest rings in the front. This will make it easier to inspect and replace, if necessary. From this position, you should try shifting again. If your chain fails to shift, you likely need to increase the tension on the bike chain.

Step 2: Now look at the back of your derailleur. You will find a small part that has the cable passing through it to get to the derailleur. That is your barrel adjuster. Twist that all the way away from you.

Step 3: Next, go back to the shifter. Keeping the bike in a stationary position, try to shift again. You should be able to shift to the smallest ring in the cassette. If you are unable to do so, then you still require more tension. Go back to the barrel adjuster and twist it even more.

Step 4: If the first three steps failed to correct the bike chain skipping or slipping problem, then you need to inspect the chain very carefully. Look for imperfections. Does the chain look rusty? Is it old and worn? Is it too loose? Too tight? These are all things that could impact its ability to perform. If there are defects with the chain or the cassette, they will need to be replace

Step 5: Most likely, you will need to tighten or loosen the cable. Look at the derailleur again and find the end of the cable. The cable should be held in place with a small part that looks like a bolt. Adjust this bolt to either tighten or loosen the cable. Now try to shift gears again to see if the chain is still skipping.

Step 6: If all else fails to stop the skipping, find the limiting screw, which should be located on top of the derailleur. Sometimes it is labeled with the letter H. Your chain skipping problem may be due to this screw being too tight, keeping the chain from shifting to the smallest ring. Try loosening this limiting screw and then shift again. You should be able to shift properly now without your bike chain slipping.


While a bike chain skipping can be a frustrating problem, but it can be remedied so that you can get back on your bike and ride. First work to identify the cause of the problem, analyzing gear shifting tendencies, damaged parts, the age of the chain, and even the length of the chain. Once the problem is diagnosed, follow the series of steps above to get back to riding in no time.

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