Putting on a new chain. First counted the links on the old chain - which I never had reason to think was the wrong length. But since I felt like being thorough I also measured using the largest cog to largest chainring method.

Largest cog to largest chainring comes up with a measurement 7 links shorter than my old chain. Advice on which to use? Is it possible my old chain was too long and I just never noticed? Don't want to end up with too short a chain.

1 Answer 1


If you are counting links it’s easy to mess up, but it is possible your chain was too long if your rear derailleur had extra capacity to deal with the slack (but not 7 links I think).

Determine chain length using the method in the video below, mark the rivet where you would cut. If you do this properly, making triple sure the chain is on the biggest ring and sprocket, you will not end up with a chain that is too short.

Lay the chains next to each other to compare lengths instead of counting links or rivets.

  • Thanks - actually did use this video to measure the chain. But I messed up my question above. It is 7 rivets shorter, not 7 full links. Is this still a big discrepancy?
    – tickytack
    May 19, 2019 at 15:57
  • Number of rivets = number of links if you count inert and outer links separately May 19, 2019 at 17:41

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