So I recently bought a used bike from a person and I wanted to remove the front derailleur without taking off the chain, since I don't have a chain tool. I also do not have any equipment that could cut through the cage of the front derailleur.

  • 3
    Could you provide more detail on the big picture of what you're trying to accomplish? Switch to 1x ? Swap in a new FD? Maybe the existing chain has a reusable master link. Also, chains are normally cheap and are often replaced on a new-to-you used bike as part of a tuneup process.
    – Armand
    Aug 24 at 18:02
  • 2
    A picture of your front derailleur would help. Often the front derailleur cage can be disassembled so that it can be removed without needing a chain tool.
    – David D
    Aug 24 at 19:04

If the rear most part of the derailleur is riveted the answer would be no. If the rearmost part is held together with a screw, then removing the screw and the derailleur mount clamp (typically a 5mm allen or a nine mm hex head bolt) will allow removal. You can purchase a chain tool for about $15 and a masterlink for about $5. This purchase will allow you to perform chain maintenance and replacement for many years to the future.


Often yes. Many front derailleurs have a small screw-bolt holding the cage closed.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

If your front mech cage is rivetted or formed of one piece of metal, then you're stuck and will have to cut the chain or the front mech.

Your other option is to simply do nothing - the front mech is not a significant source of drag as long as it is well-adjusted. Simply use the limit screws to lock it in one place, using it as a chain guide.

  • Nevermind i figured it out and used a pair of scissors as a chain tool and then got the chain off!
    – Keyin Liu
    Aug 24 at 22:26
  • @KeyinLiu If you're going to do any bike maintenance, a chain tool is a good investment. And scissors are absolutely the wrong tool for this job.
    – Criggie
    Aug 24 at 22:54
  • 1
    @Keyin Liu Could you elaborate on how you got the chain off? Surely you aren’t able to press a pin out with a pair of scissors…
    – MaplePanda
    Aug 25 at 0:27
  • 2
    @KeyinLiu Ah. Terminology discrepancy then: chain tool refers to a press-type tool that presses out one of the chain pins. What you emulated are master link pliers, used to remove master links obviously. Completely different tools. Using scissors sounds like an excellent way to catch an acute case of oligodactyly.
    – MaplePanda
    Aug 25 at 5:59
  • 1
    Yea sorry, I didn't know the difference.
    – Keyin Liu
    Aug 25 at 16:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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