Why Does My Bike Chain Keep Popping and How Do I Fix It?

You’re on a bike ride, and your chain keeps popping. What is going on? Learn why your bike chain keeps popping and how to fix it. If you have an old bike that is starting to slip make sure you’re replacing the chain with a new one.

Why does Your Bike Chain keep falling off?

Your bike chain might be falling off because of any of these reasons: You pedal so hard – If you pedal with a lot of force, you may force the chain off the chainring. If that’s the case, reattach the chain and pedal much gentler.

You might have been back-pedalling – If you’ve been back-pedalling, there’s always the chance that your bike chain will slip off the chainring.

The derailleur hanger might be bent – If the derailleur hanger is bent, the chain will fall off. So, use a wrench to straighten it.

Do it gently not to break the hanger. It might be due to a stiff link in the bike chain – A rigid link will make it hard for the chain to stay in position. In most cases, oiling the chain will fix the issue. But if it doesn’t work, then fold and bend the links.

Use a chain catcher to prevent your bike chain from slipping off of the chainring.


8 Reasons Why Your Bike Chain Might Be Popping/Slipping

1. Shifting Problems

If your bike chain is popping or slipping, it could be because of a shifting problem. If the chain slips when you shift gears, then this may be an issue with the derailleur. There may be a bent derailleur hanger, which can cause the chain to drag on it. This puts extra stress on the drivetrain and will pop or slip when you shift gears.

A bad shifter can cause chain popping and slipping, so it’s important to make sure you have a good one.

Derailleur hangers can be damaged by hitting something, which can lead to poor shifting and chain jumping. The rear derailleur often loses its alignment, which can cause the chain to slip. The shifting cable may lose its tension over time, causing the chain to slip.

2. Worn Out Cog Teeth

Worn-out cog teeth can cause the chain to slip. Chain slipping is a common issue for cyclists, and it often happens because of worn-out cog teeth. Worn cog teeth can’t engage properly with a new chain, leading to the chain coming off.

3. Excessive Bicycle Chain Lube

Bicycle chain lube is essential for bike operation, but too much can make it difficult to move the chain over the sprocket teeth. Lube can reduce the contact between the chain and sprocket teeth, which can cause popping noises.

Too much lube can also trap dust and small particles, speeding up the wear of the chain’s teeth. A faulty shock can cause popping noises as well as other issues such as poor performance and excessive wear on both tires and fenders.

If there’s no visible damage but you’re still hearing strange sounds from your bike when going over bumps, your shocks need to be replaced by an expert mechanic.

4. You’re Using Non-recommended Parts

Some cyclists believe that a bike chain can be made to last longer by not using recommended parts. However, this may not be the best strategy. Not using recommended parts can lead to more problems than rectifying the previous challenge.

For example, if your bike chain is slipping and popping, it is likely because you are not using the recommended type of chain. This type of chain has been designed to provide adequate tension and grip.

When you use a different type of chain, such as a big link chain, the chain can become too loose and will pop. Furthermore, this type of chain is often used in advertisements for office jobs in “amazing” offices.

These chains are not recommended for cycling because they are too heavy and provide inadequate tension and grip.

5. Your Bike Chain is Worn Out

If you notice that your bike chain is popping or slipping, it might be time to replace it. Your bike chain might be worn out if it has a damaged freehub shell, damaged cassette, damaged sprocket, or damaged cog.

To prevent this from happening in the future, make sure to check these items regularly and replace anything that is worn out.

6. Chain Might Be Long

If your bike chain is too long, it can cause wear and tear on the gears. If your bike chain is stretched, it will not stay in place and may cause problems with the bike. If you are not sure if your chain is the right size, take it to a local bike repair shop.

Chain stretch is often regarded as chain wear but can also be caused by negligence or improper use of the bike. To fix a chain that has been stretched, replace it as soon as possible.

7. The Drivetrain Might Be Dirty

If the Drivetrain is Dirty, the Chain will Slip. Chain maintenance is important to keep your bicycle running smoothly, and there are a few things you can do to clean it and prevent it from slipping.

For a more comfortable cleaning experience, use the Park Tool CG 2.4 Bicycle Chain & Drivetrain Cleaning Kit (Amazon link). Even if you replace the chain and the rest of the drivetrain is worn out, it’ll all be in vain.

You don’t have to think about how to fix a bicycle chain if it’s a case of a worn-out drivetrain. So, replace the drivetrain components that are worn out. Check for signs of wear before doing it but if you are not sure, take the bike to a repair expert.

8. Derailleur Might Be Misaligned

One common issue with bike chains is that they can slip and pop off the wheel due to an incorrect derailleur alignment. If left unchecked, this can cause serious damage to the chain, derailleurs, and even the bike itself.

Another common issue is that the chain might be popping off because of an incorrectly aligned derailleur. Over time, this can wear down the chain and cause it to become noisy.

In some cases, the chain can even become damaged. If this happens, it’s usually best to replace the entire chain.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s important to have your bike checked out by a professional. It might also be a good idea to replace the chain altogether if it’s badly damaged or bent.

How to Fix a Popping Bike Chain

How to Fix a Popping Bike Chain

If you’re experiencing issues with your bike chain which keeps falling off while pedaling and are looking for a way to fix it, there are several things that you can do.

1. Check the Front Derailleur

If the front derailleur is misaligned, it can cause the chain to pop off the cassette. To fix this issue, first, check to see if the derailleur is in the correct position.

Next, make sure that the cage and chainring are both parallel to each other and not bent or twisted.

Finally, make sure that the derailleur hanger is not bent and that both limit screws are adjusted so that the chain does not fall off either end of the cassette.

2. Clean and Lubricate your Chain

If your bike chain starts to make a “popping” noise, it’s probably time to clean and lubricate it. Use oil designed specifically for bicycle chains, and apply it in small amounts to avoid creating a mess.

Make sure the oil covers every part of the chain.

3. Re-install your Chain Correctly

Check if your bicycle chain was incorrectly installed and install it properly.

Bicycles come with a lifetime warranty, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make repairs yourself. Here are three tips on how to fix a popping bike chain:

One long side is flat; the other is shaped into peaks and valleys that mesh with your cassette sprockets and chainrings.

A new chain should be installed with the quick link at either the top or bottom of the drivetrain for derailleur and single-speed bikes.

After installing both ends of the master link, pull back on the rear derailleur to take up any extra slack in your chain. If you still experience a popping sound, it might be time to replace your chain.

So don’t hesitate to take your bike to a professional mechanic to get it fixed.

4. Check and Fix Worn Out Teeth at the Rear Cassette and Front Chainrings

If you’re experiencing poor shifting or your bike is popping out of gear, it’s likely that your chain is worn and in need of a replacement. There are a few things you can do to check and fix the chain before it becomes a problem:

1. Check and fix worn teeth at the rear cassette and front chainrings. Worn teeth can cause the chain to slip, which can lead to problems with gear shifting.

Replace teeth that are missing, loose, or chipped as necessary.

2. Check for teeth that are missing, loose, or chipped and replace them as necessary. It’s also common for teeth to wear down over time and become missing or loose.

This can cause the chain to slip on the cassette or fall off the front chainrings.

3. After a long time riding under high-intensity pedaling, the chain will get damaged and stretched.

The rollers will lose their normal shape (rounded) and the plates elongate. This can lead to the chain slipping on the cassette or falling off the front chainrings.

4. When a new chain gets installed, the rollers can’t engage and sit properly within the teeth causing bad contact between the chain and the cog teeth and therefore the chain will slip.

Make sure to install a new chain with proper rollers and teeth in order to avoid these issues.

5. Ensure Drivetrain Parts are compatible

If you are experiencing popping noises while riding your bike, it is important to first make sure that the drivetrain parts are compatible. To do this, make sure that the drivetrain parts, such as the chain, cog, and motor, are all of the same size and type.

If one part is not compatible, it will cause other parts to malfunction. Once you have ensured that the drivetrain parts are compatible, the next step is to remove any dirt and grime.

This can be done using a brush or a degreaser. If there is excessive grease on the drivetrain, you can use soapy hot water or a degreaser to clean it off.

Finally, use the Park Tool CG 2.4 Bicycle Chain & Drivetrain Cleaning Kit(Amazon link) to assemble the parts correctly and check for signs of wear. If you are not sure whether or not the ride will be safe, take the bike to a repair expert.

6. Change your Freehub Shell

To fix a popping bike chain, first, make sure your chain is compatible with your drivetrain. Next, use the correct amount of lube. Finally, check your cog teeth for wear and tear, your shifting system for problems, and your Freehub Shell for damage.

7. Ensure Derailleur are aligned

Bicycle chains can pop for a number of reasons, and there are many ways to fix them. One common cause is the derailleur becoming misaligned or bent.

A popped chain can also be caused by the chain being too tight or not lubricated. To fix a popping bike chain, first, ensure that the derailleur is aligned and in proper working order.

If the chain is popping when you shift gears, it may be because the derailleur hanger is bent. If this is the case, take your bike to a professional for repair or replace the derailleur.

If the chain is popping when you pedal, it may be too tight or need lubrication. If this is the case, check to make sure that your chain isn’t too tight and that it is lubricated.

If the chain continues to pop, replace your derailleur with a new one or take your bike to a professional for repair.

8. Replace Worn out chains

If you notice that your bike’s chain is constantly jumping or popping, it may be time to replace the chain. Chains can wear out quickly, causing them to break and cause damage to the bearings.

To check for worn parts, use a chain tool or Multi-tools. If you find that the chain is regularly getting too tight, or if there are any signs of wear, it might be time to replace the chain.

However, keep in mind that chains can also last a long time if they’re properly lubricated and maintained. Also, be sure to routinely inspect the sprockets for wear, especially if you ride in muddy conditions.

If you ever notice that your bike’s chain is damaged, don’t hesitate to take it in for service.

How to Maintain Your Bike Chain That Keeps Slipping to Prevent Future Occurrence

If your bike chain keeps slipping, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem.

Chain catchers and chain guides can help keep your bike chain in place while cycling. Adding a chain tensioner can also help prevent future occurrences of your bike chain slipping off the chainring.

By following these simple steps, you should be able to maintain your bike chain and avoid future occurrences of it slipping off the chainring.

How to Replace a Popping Bike Chain

If your bike chain is popping, you may need to replace it. Chain wear can cause the chain to pop, and this can eventually lead to the chain breaking.

If you notice that your chain is popping often, replace it as soon as possible. You can also check for signs of wear before replacing the chain. This will help you determine whether or not the chain needs to be replaced.

If your bike chain just can’t seem to stay on your bike, replace it. It’s always better to get a new one rather than trying to fix an old one that’s been damaged.

Get the right size this time around so that the chain will fit properly and not pop off again.

Here’s a video guide on how to replace your bike chain


Chain popping is a common problem, and you should not worry so much about it. Chain popping can be caused by worn-out teeth or chains, while fixing requires proper maintenance.

If you notice your bike chain popping often, try adjusting the tensioner or cable. If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace your chain. Always consult a professional when working on your bike.

FAQs About Bike Chains Popping

What to Do If Your Bike Chain Keeps Popping

If your bike chain keeps popping, it’s likely due to one of the following reasons:

  1. The chain is too loose or worn
  2. The bike isn’t set up correctly for cycling
  3. There’s something caught on the chainring that’s preventing the chain from staying in place.

Chain tensioners can help keep your bike chain in place while cycling To fix the problem, you’ll need to take the following steps:

Check the tightness of the chain by pulling on it gently and making sure it doesn’t move.

Double-check that your bike is properly set up for cycling – make sure the gears are in the right position, that there’s enough clearance between you and traffic, and that your brakes work properly.

Remove anything that could be caught on the chainring (e.g. leaves, twigs, cars)

Why Does My Chain Slip When I Pedal Hard?

One reason why a bike chain may slip is due to the force you are using when you pedal. The chain may also be slipping because of the back-pedaling you are doing.

The derailleur hanger might be bent, which can cause the chain to fall off. It might also be due to a stiff link in the bike chain.

Oiling the chain will often fix the issue. But if it doesn’t, then you may need to fold and bend the links.

Anna Stones