How to Use a Chain Breaker MTB: Expert Tips & Easy Guide

Welcome to our expert guide on how to use a chain breaker MTB. As avid mountain bikers ourselves, we understand the importance of proper bike maintenance to ensure optimal performance and a smooth ride. One essential skill every MTB rider should possess is the ability to use a chain breaker tool to fix their bike’s chain. A broken chain can mean the end of a ride and even permanent damage to your bike. Therefore, knowing how to use a chain breaker correctly can save you both time and money.

Key Takeaways:

  • Using a chain breaker tool is an essential skill for MTB riders.
  • Knowing how to use a chain breaker correctly can save you both time and money.

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Understanding the Chain Breaker Tool

Before we dive into how to use a chain breaker tool for your MTB, let’s take a moment to understand what it is and how it works.

A chain breaker tool, also known as a chain tool or chain splitter, is a device used for breaking and re-joining a bike chain. It consists of a metal body, a handle for grip, and a pin that pushes the chain pin out of its link.

When a chain link breaks or needs to be removed for maintenance, a chain breaker tool is the ideal solution. By properly using a chain breaker tool, you can safely remove and replace the damaged link without having to replace the entire chain.

Identifying the Parts of a Chain Breaker Tool

Before using a chain breaker tool, it’s important to familiarize yourself with its parts. The table below shows the different components of a typical chain breaker tool:

Part Description
Body The main metal body of the tool.
Handle The grip used to hold the tool in place.
Pin The metal pin that pushes the chain pin out of its link.
Anvil The metal surface that the chain rests against while being broken.

Now that you understand what a chain breaker tool is and its parts, we can move on to preparing your MTB for chain breakage.

Preparing Your MTB for Chain Breakage

Before using a chain breaker on your MTB, it is essential to prepare the bike for the process. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth and safe chain breakage:

Clean and lubricate the chain

First, carefully clean the chain by wiping it down with a rag or brush, removing any dirt or debris. Next, apply lubricant along the length of the chain, ensuring each link is covered for smooth movement. This will help to prevent any damage to the chain during the chain-breaking process.

Position the bike for safety and accessibility

Once the chain is clean and lubricated, position your MTB securely, ensuring it is stable and won’t move during the process. We recommend using a bike stand if possible to keep the bike steady and accessible. Additionally, ensure the chain is in a comfortable and accessible position for the chain breaker tool to work effectively.

Ensure all safety precautions are taken

Safety should always come first when working with any bike maintenance tools. Wear protective gloves and eyewear if necessary, and ensure the chain breaker tool is in good working order, with no damage to the tool itself. Additionally, double-check the bike’s position before starting the chain-breaking process.

Once the bike is adequately prepared, we can move on to using the chain breaker tool to break the chain.

Breaking the Chain Using a Chain Breaker

Now that we’ve familiarized ourselves with the chain breaker tool and prepared our MTB for chain breakage, it’s time to break the chain using the chain breaker.

Step 1: Locate the chain pin that needs to be removed. This is typically a pin that’s already partially sticking out of the link.

Step 2: Position the chain breaker tool’s pin over the chain pin and align the tool with the chain. Ensure that the chain is securely held in the tool’s cradle.

Step 3: Tighten the chain breaker tool’s screw to apply pressure on the chain pin. Make sure to apply even pressure to avoid damaging the chain or the tool. Continue tightening the screw until the chain pin pops out of the link, leaving the chain open.

Step 4: Repeat the process to remove any additional chain links necessary for your repair.

If you encounter any difficulties during this process, try repositioning the chain in the tool’s cradle or adjusting the pressure applied by the tool’s screw. Be careful not to apply excessive pressure, as this can bend or damage the chain.

Remember to take your time and work carefully to ensure a successful chain breakage without causing any damage.

Removing the Broken Link

Now that the chain has been successfully broken, it’s time to remove the broken link from the chain. Using a chain tool, insert the header of the chain pin into the chain and push it through the link. Carefully remove the link from the chain.

Reconnecting the Chain

Now that we have successfully broken the chain, it’s time to reconnect it. Follow these steps to ensure a proper reconnection:

  1. Align the chain: First, you need to align the chain ends properly. Ensure that the chain is straight and the rollers are properly seated in the sprockets.
  2. Insert the chain pin: Next, insert the chain pin in the inner link. You need to make sure that the pin is aligned with the holes of the outer plate. To avoid pushing the pin too far, slow down when the pin is almost flush with the plate.
  3. Secure the link: Now that the pin is in place, you need to secure the link. Use the chain tool to push the pin in completely. Keep pushing until the pin is flush with the outer plate. Use the chain tool to snap off the excess part of the pin.

Once the link is reconnected, check the chain tension. A loose chain will cause chain slap, which can damage your frame and other components. On the other hand, an overly tight chain can cause excess wear and strain, leading to poor shifting.

Ensure that the chain tension is proper and recheck all the bolts and components that you loosened during the process. This will ensure that everything is properly tightened and safe to ride.

Post-Chain Breakage Maintenance

Now that we’ve successfully used a chain breaker to fix our MTB chain, it’s important to take some post-maintenance measures to ensure our ride stays smooth and trouble-free.

Cleaning: It’s crucial to clean the chain after using a chain breaker. Use a degreaser to remove any dirt or grime that may have accumulated during the process. Wipe the chain with a clean cloth and let it dry completely before lubricating.

Lubricating: Once the chain is clean and dry, it’s time to lubricate it. Use a high-quality lubricant and apply it evenly to the chain while rotating the pedals. Avoid over-lubricating, as this can attract dirt and debris.

Inspecting: Before hitting the road again, inspect the chain and other components for any signs of damage or wear. Check that the chain is properly aligned and the tension is correct. If you notice any issues, address them before riding to prevent further damage.

By following these simple post-maintenance steps, we can ensure our MTB chain stays in optimal condition and provides us with a smooth and enjoyable ride for miles to come.


Congratulations! You’re now an expert on how to use a chain breaker for your MTB. Knowing how to break and repair your chain is an essential skill for any serious mountain biker, and now you have the knowledge to keep your bike in top condition.

Remember, proper maintenance is key to a long-lasting and smooth-functioning bike. Follow the steps outlined in this article to ensure your MTB’s chain is well-maintained and ready for your next adventure in the great outdoors.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional bike mechanic. They are always happy to offer advice and guidance.

Happy cycling!


Q: How important is it to know how to use a chain breaker for MTBs?

A: Knowing how to use a chain breaker for MTBs is essential for proper maintenance and repair. It allows you to easily break and reconnect your chain, ensuring smooth riding and preventing potential damage.

Q: What is a chain breaker tool and how does it work?

A: A chain breaker tool is a specialized tool used to break and reconnect bike chains. It works by applying pressure to the chain pins, allowing you to remove or add links as needed.

Q: How do I prepare my MTB for chain breakage?

A: Before using a chain breaker, it’s important to clean and lubricate your chain for smooth operation. Additionally, ensure proper bike positioning and take safety precautions to prevent accidents.

Q: Can you provide a step-by-step guide on using a chain breaker for MTBs?

A: Certainly! We have a detailed guide on how to use a chain breaker correctly. It covers aligning the chain breaker tool, applying pressure, and troubleshooting any difficulties that may arise during the process.

Q: How do I remove the broken link from the chain?

A: After successfully breaking the chain, you can use a chain tool to push out the chain pin and carefully remove the broken link from the chain. Take caution to avoid damaging the surrounding links.

Q: What is the process for reconnecting the chain?

A: To reconnect the chain, align the chain correctly, insert the chain pin, and use a chain tool to secure the link. Ensure the chain tension is appropriate and test the functionality before riding.

Q: Do I need to perform any maintenance after using a chain breaker?

A: Yes, it’s important to clean, lubricate, and inspect the chain after using a chain breaker. Ongoing chain maintenance is also recommended to prolong its lifespan and optimize performance.

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