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Chain Replacement -- Much Shorter than Original

I am replacing my chain for the first time on this (or any for that matter) bike. I followed the tutorial provided here (running it around both large sprockets), however, when I compare the new chain length to the original one that was on the bike, I find that the new one is quite a bit shorter.

5 or 6 (can't quite remember) complete links short. I didn't necessarily expect them to be the same length, but that seems quite a big difference.

Is this common? The original chain is the one that the bike came with. I double checked my measurement and everything is correct. The chain doesn't look to short (I can run it through the deraillers and sprockets no problem).

How could the bike operate with such a big difference in chain length? A link here or there difference I can understand, but a 5" difference is a lot.

wow; that is a lot. If it will shift smoothly on to the largest sprockets front and rear at the same time, then it is the correct length.

Has the freewheel or cranks been changed on the bike?

Sometimes there are quality issues at manufacturers.
Hi Nigel,

I replaced the "freewheel" at the same time as I replaced the chain, but I replaced it with the same "Shimano" freewheel as the original one.

But I can shift to and from the large / large combo without a problem.

One thing I did notice, was that the derailler pulley thing (not sure of the correct name), is much closer to the "freewheel" than before. It's not touching it, but it is *very* close.

Would that be due to a shorter chain?

Hi Hugh;

Derailleur closeness to the freewheel is also affected the "B" screw adjustment - assuming Shimano or similar derailleur.

I believe that everything is fine, given you followed the instructions, and the system is operating smoothly.
Thanks Nigel. I have adjusted the "B" screw, but I can't get anywhere close to the range that I had before. I rode into work today for the first time and everything seems fine, but I was just surprised at how close the distance is between the two.

Hi Hugh;

The closer the derailleur is to the cogs, the quicker it will shift. Perfect is getting it as close a possible without touching. Sounds like your bike should be operating better than before.

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