Nothing is so frustrating for a professional BMX rider than a snapping chain. If this has been your encounter now and then, it’s inevitable to ask why does my BMX chain keep snapping, especially after fixing it?
Your BMX chain keeps snapping because it could be slack, too long, excessively clogged, corroded, or just worn out. Also, it could be that the chainring is bent or that you could be pedaling backward or forcefully.
So, there are many reasons for a snapping chain. However, we will discuss the obvious ones and give you a fix that you can execute in each case.
Later, I will also tell you what pro performers do to their BMX chains to stop snapping. But first, let’s look at why your chain keeps snapping even after fixing.
Why Does My BMX Chain Keep Snapping? 8 Reasons
Below are the possible reasons your BMX bike chain keeps snapping and the immediate fix.
1. Your BMX Chain Could Be Longer than it Should Be
I have encountered this. If your bike chain needs replacing, we usually hurry to order a new chain without checking if it’s the correct size and if it will fit your bike perfectly.
So, if you recently replaced your BMX chain, and it keeps snapping, the chances are that the chain is too long and may not be the correct fit for your bike.
What To Do
Before ordering a new bike chain, ensure it’s the correct size and fit for your BMX bike. To make things easier, the chain you order should be the same size as the original chain to make things easier.
If you are confused about what size to order, you can take your bike to the nearest bike repair shop for advice.
2. Your BMX Bike Chain Could Be Too Slack
The first possible reason for a bike chain that keeps snapping is that the chain might be loose. A loose chain cannot stay in the correct position, and every time you pedal, it’s likely to fall off.
So, if this is what you encounter when riding, you need to correct your bike chain tension by tightening it.
How To Tighten Your Bike Chain
If your bike chain is loose, you can tighten it by following the steps below:
- Loosen the bolts holding the rear wheel
- Pull the rear wheel backward and tighten the chain
- Once the chain has the correct tension, retighten the rear wheel bolts
Hopefully, your chain won’t snap. If it does, you may need to replace your BMX bike chain.
3. The BMX Chain Could Be Dirty
Often, your BMX chain can clog with dirt, grime, or grease. When all these accumulate on the chain for too long, it will make your chain snap when you cycle.
For this reason, routine and proper chain cleaning are always advisable. But how do you go about it? Check how to clean your BMX chain below.
How To Clean A Dirty BMX Chain
You should use the best chain oil like Finish Line 1-Step Chain Cleaner (View on Amazon). This chain cleaner gets rid of dirt, grime, and grease, and lubricates your chain.
4. You Could Be Pedalling Forcefully
Another reason for a snapping bike chain is forceful pedaling. If you want to ride fast and the chain is too tight, it may cause snapping. Eventually, hard pedaling may break the chain.
What To Do
Before riding your BMX bike, always ensure that the chain has the correct tension (it shouldn’t be too tight or too loose).
Also, avoid using too much force when pedaling, as doing so may create too much pressure on the chain.
5. The Chain Could Be Corroded
The biggest enemy to all bike chains is rust. Rust usually forms when your chain (metal) is exposed to wetness. The danger is that rust eats and weakens the chain, causing it to snap.
What To Do
The fix for rust is prevention. Once the chain rust, you cannot fix it, and your only option will be to replace it. Let’s talk about prevention:
First, you should ensure to clean/lubricate and correctly store your bike. Second, you can apply an effective rust removal spray like WD 40 Specialist Bike Chain Lube (View on Amazon). This spray will not only prevent rust from forming but will also effectively clean your chain.
6. Chainring Could Be Bent
Have you ever suffered a knock or an accident? If so, this could be the reason why your chain falls off.
When the chainring and its tooth bend after a knock, you should ensure to straighten them. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy your ride as the chain will keep snapping.
How to Straighten A Bent Chainring
Check the area of the bend on the chainring. Then use a chain-link straightener or even a regular wrench to straighten it.
7. The BMX Chain Could Be Worn Out
If you have had your bike for long (at least 3-4 years), then the cause of the chain snapping could be natural wear. No matter what you do trying to fix a worn-out BMX bike chain, it will all be in vain because it will keep snapping.
Bike chains usually last about 2,000 – 3,000 miles. So, once your bike chain exhausts its mileage, it may become outrageously stretchy and, therefore, likely to snap anytime.
But if you are unsure if your bike has gone past 3,000 miles, you can use a chain wear checker like the Park Tool Chain Checker (View On Amazon) to check for wear.
What To Do
You can replace a bike chain on your own. But if it seems like a doubting task, you can call an expert or take your bike to the nearest bike repair shop.
However, remember to replace the cassette and the chainring when changing the chain. That is because the pair and the chain always wear out simultaneously.
If you change the chain but fail to replace the cassette and the chainring, snapping may also occur as the two may be defective.
8. You Could Be Pedaling Backwards
We sometimes find it joyful, pedaling backward a lot. But have you ever thought that this could cause trouble to your bike chain?
Well, when pedaling backward, there is a chance that this can cause the chain to slip off the chainring.
What To Do
While this should not alarm you so much as you can correct chain slippage by reattaching it back, it’s also a good idea to stop backpedaling.
How Do You Fix A Snapping Chain On A BMX Bike?
Now that we have seen the causes of chain snapping and what you can do to avoid it, let’s look at how you can fix a BMX chain that keeps snapping;
a) Employ Chain Catcher
A chain catcher is a barrier that keeps your bike chain in position. It usually prevents snapping. So, if you encounter chain snapping often, you can use the chain catcher.
One highly recommended BMX chain catcher is the K-Edge Pro Braze-On Chain Catcher (Check on Amazon). This chain catcher comes in handy, especially when performing, as you will have a guarantee of your chain not snapping.
b) Reattach The Chain Back
Sometimes a fallen chain is not an alarm. So, when your BMX chain falls, you can reattach it but always do it immediately after it falls.
You can reattach it by following the steps below:
- Turn your BMX bike upside down. You can also use a bike stand if you own one.
- Push the rear derailleur towards the handlebars to give you enough space to loosen your bike chain
- Using your hands, slowly reattach the chain when pedaling backward using your other hand.
c) Use a Chain Guide
Like a chain catcher, a chain guide will help keep your BMX chain in the chainring. One of the best chain guides for your consideration is MRP Amg V2 Alloy Chain Guide.
This chain guide weighs 0.56 pounds, thus lightweight and compatible with many chainrings.
People Also Ask
What Causes Bike Chain To Snap?
Your BMX bike chain keeps snapping because the chain could be too loose, excessively clogged with dirt, grime, or grease, too long, rusty, or worn out.
Still, the problem could be that the chainring is bent. If any of the above is not the reason, you could be the cause of the chain snap. You could be pedaling backward or pedaling so hard.
What Can I Do To Prevent Chain Snapping?
You can prevent your chain from snapping by lubricating it regularly, getting the correct chain size in case of replacement, going easy on pedals, and avoiding pedaling backward.
And if you are a regular cyclist, you can use a chain catcher or chain guide to prevent the chain from falling off.
In Conclusion – Why Does My BMX Chain Keeps Snapping?
Above are some of the primary reasons why your BMX chain keeps snapping. Before jumping to the fix, it’s wise to recognize the cause first.
If you are a professional or don’t want to fix a snapping chain constantly, you can use a chain catcher or a chain guide, and if you do, chain snapping will be a thing of the past.