I have a fixed gear bike, Rocky Mountain Boroughs Fixie (see picture). The chain is very tight compared to any free wheel bike. So anytime the tire gets punctured (unfortunately very often) and I want to dismount the wheel, I have to remove the chain by using a chain tool. The question is: does anyone know of some trick to replace the tube without doing all of this?

  • 1
    Dumb design, I'd say. I'd be tempted to add a couple more links to the chain, then space the axle farther out in the slots (I guess you can't call them "drop outs"). Wrench it down tight and the axle won't move. Pretty much SOP for cheap single speed bikes in the US. Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 2:29
  • Daniel, thanks for the answer. In retrospective I would have invested more money in my fixie. I still love it :) Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 2:34
  • Wasn't criticizing the bike overall. Most bikes have some feature that is poorly thought out, and in situations like this (where the same frame is probably shared with a half-dozen models) there will always be compromises. But having to break the chain to fix a flat is unreasonable -- you need to work out another scheme. Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 11:21

1 Answer 1


It depends why the chain is tight.

If there's a chain tug then loosening that is the obvious way. Yes, it's slightly annoying to do that then tighten it up afterwards, but it's easier than the alternative. I use QR axles so for me popping the QR means I can slide the tug off without changing the adjustment and it's all easy from there. But even with a solid axle and nut you should be able to loosen or remove the nut and slide the tug off.

If not, just how tight is the chain? I've never been comfortable having the chain so tight that I can't just slip a tyre lever between the chain and chainring where a front derailleur would go and pedal the chain off that way. Often if the chain is too tight it's an attempt to compensate for bad chain line (ie, there's an offset between the cog and chainring) which is a problem in itself.

Edit: to fix this the only way is to add a link to the chain (so you have more slack), and that probably means using a chain tug to hold the wheel in place. You might not need the tug but unless the cost is critical I would add one. It's about $20 for a cheap one.

  • thanks moz. I don't see any chain tug (I posted a picture). I'll try to use the tyre lever trick. I hope it works :) Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 1:37
  • That picture even shows the wheel hard up against the end of the dropout, so perhaps that's just how they designed it. Which is a bit silly IMO. Good luck!
    – Мסž
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 1:52
  • this means that there is no way I am going to derail the chain without opening it, right? Is there a way to fix this problem? like mounting a chaintug, for example? Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 2:00
  • I've edited my answer in response. Yes, add a link to the chain and a tug.
    – Мסž
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 2:25
  • thanks moz, very fast and informative. I voted up and accepted ;-) Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 2:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.