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Mountain Bike help needed (ATTN Bike Mechanics)

Mar 29, 2015
Orange County, CA
So I have a mountain bike, 21 SPD (7 SPD cassette). I just put a new chain on it and I'm noticing the chain slipping when I try to go up hills. It feels like it only slips one tooth when it happens. Should I take this as an indicator that the chain is too loose? Should I take out another link or is there an adjustment that can be made? It's quite possible that I intentionally left it longer thinking it's easier to take links out than re-link.

Also noticing a ton of slack in the rear derailleur cable. I'm sure I'm due for new cables, but will taking out the slack help my situation for now?
Mar 12, 2014
It's been a while since I've done much with bicycles but that does sound like a chain tension issue. Was the new chain longer than the one your removed? Also, is the replacement chain the same width and pitch as the old chain?


Deep Thinker
May 7, 2004
RLG, Fly heading 053, intercept 315 DVV
I used to pull my mountain bike apart and put it all back together as part of my yearly maintenance. I couldn't do everything though because you need special tools now a days.

Taking a chain apart is a PITA. But I learned quick not to let the pin come completely out of the link. Leave it in the link just enough that the link comes apart. That way it's easier to put the link back together. When I used to ride I kept all kinds of spare parts on my bike including a piece of chain in case the chain broke.

I also keep one of these on hand. https://www.amazon.com/Crankbrother...rds=bike+tool&qid=1555131255&s=gateway&sr=8-3

Mine has levers to help remove the inner tube though.
Feb 3, 2015
The Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair from Park Tool is what I have been using for the past 12 years.

It's a great resource for a do-it-yourselfer like me.

New chain slippage would indicate a short chain, not enough chain in contact with the cassette sprocket or a worn-out cassette sprocket.

Cheers !


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