important: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.

How to Replace Your Chainrings

Basic removal and installation instructions for 5-bolt chainrings on 3-sprocket systems.

This tutorial will demonstrate how to remove and install chainrings. Since there are so many different crank and chainring sizing combinations, I’ll stick to the basics and give a general overview of the process based on a 5-bolt, 3-chainring system.

For this job, you’ll typically need a 5mm allen key, a chainring nut wrench, and some waterproof grease. On some bikes, you may find it easier to remove the right crank arm before you begin.

Chainring Removal

Before removing the largest two chainrings you’ll often have to remove the smallest one, which is often threaded directly into your crank arm. Use your allen key to loosen all of the bolts that hold the chainring in place, and then use a marker to make a note of the chainring’s position in relation to the crank before removing it completely. Some chainrings have a bump sticking out that should be lined up with your crank arm.

The largest two rings are usually bolted to each other with a nut and bolt. Here you’ll need to hold the nut in place with the special chainring wrench while you loosen the bolt with your allen key. Once again it’s a good idea to mark the chainring’s position in relation to your crank arm. The two largest outer rings often have a few spacers or washers in between, so be sure to note exactly how they came apart so they can be reinstalled correctly.

While it’s ok to install a new chainring that has a different number of teeth, you’ll want to make sure that your new chainrings have the same side profile as the old ones.

Chainring Installation

Before you reinstall the bolts, apply a thin layer of grease to the threads to keep out moisture. Now you can reassemble all of your chainrings the same way they came apart.

Make sure all of the bolts are finger tight and then begin tightening them evenly in a star pattern. Start by tightening the first bolt, and then every second bolt until you’ve gone all the way around. Repeat this process until all of the bolts are tight. Be careful not to over-tighten. Park Tools recommends 44-88 inch pounds of torque for aluminum bolts, and 70-95 inch pounds for steel bolts.

Related Links

Recommended Tools

Categories

Discuss this topic in the Bicycle Repairs and Mechanics Forum

Hi all, I'm new to the forums here, so sorry for any etiquette mistakes. I recently bought a new belt drive bike and after getting it built, I noticed that the frame split was quite rusty. I was told it was just surface rust and to just sand it and paint it with the provided touch up paint. I decided to get inside there and take a look and found the entire surface to be quite rusty. I sent pho...

Read more

Breaking in Brooks B17 Imperial

Lastest post 18 hours ago

I have bought Brooks B17 Imperial for my Fuji touring bike and would like to break in before taking it on a trip. Have read recommendations to reach 1000 km to make it fully fit. Right now it is winter in Norway, so I do cycle home using my road bike on Tacx trainer. Would it make sense for me to put B17 on my road bike and try to break in inside? Or is it bad idea since touring bike has likely di...

Read more

I am changing a 7 speed Schwinn to a single speed. It has a Falcon freewheel. I have the freewheel off of the bike and have removed the core by turning the Falcon ring clockwise. I want to also remove the cogs. There is a locking ring on the outside of the freewheel that needs to be removed. But I don't know if the locking ring turns counterclockwise or clockwise and what tools I need to rem...

Read more

Hey guys, I just wanted to point out the variance in the Stone Oval chainrings. They have two versions and they are particular to certain cranks. The BCD 96X is particular to Shimano M6000, M7000, M8000, M9000 M9020. The original BCD 96 is XTC820, M782, M612, M622, M672, M4000, M4050. Additionally, I have an FSA SL-K MODULAR 2X 392EVO MTB CRANKSET. The BCD 96X is not compatible with the spid...

Read more

What the !!! MAVIC CARBON RIMS

Lastest post 2 weeks ago

My friend in Romania sent me some pictures of MAVIC Cosmic carbon rims/wheelset he is selling; only $160!!!   s-l1600 (20).jpg (Size: 99.78 KB / Downloads: 119) Best deal I've ever seen! Let's take a closer look:   s-l1600 (21).jpg (Size: 63.54 KB / Downloads: 115)   s-l1600 (22).jpg (Size: 67.72 KB / Downloads: 115) I might be a hack, but I'm not...

Read more

tire sizes

Lastest post 2 weeks ago

I need to replace the tires on my Specialized commuter bike- currently using 700x32; am I locked into tires of only this size? If not, what is the range of sizes I can choose from and still have them fit my rims?...

Read more

Schwinn meridian fork replacement

Lastest post 2 weeks ago

Hi I want to replace the fork on my dads schwinn meridian. I’m looking for one with suspension. What size is the fork I should buy? I been looking on internet for the fork size but couldn’t find anything. Thanks in advance...

Read more

I know someone who has a Schwinn Meridian adult tricycle. He said he has been unable to find much in the way of repair manuals or guidance for this model or trikes in general. I know some things are exactly the same as bicycles, but other things are different. He said all he could find was some assembly instructions. Just looking around on the forum I saw some info an pressing in new bearings and...

Read more

Zipp 182 hub bearing replacement

Lastest post 2 months ago

I'm going to replace the bearings in my Zipp 182 hub (rear wheel). Both the SRAM website and this article (https://www.slowtwitch.com/Tech/Hub_How-To_-_Zipp_182_3300.html) recommend against replacing the freehub body bearings, and that instead the whole freehub should just be replaced. I can only find one supplier and a replacement freehub costs more than I paid for the wheelset. The freehub bear...

Read more

Weird clicking sound. I dont think it affects performance but its really anoying. It doesnt only happen in the beginning of the stroke but also once it settles into sag and i compress it further i can still hear it. My question is what could be the cause of this and also, will it be an expensive repair ? Thanks Here is a video of the clicking sound: https://imgur.com/a/GWxkq04...

Read more

Hey guys, Recently bought a carbon bike that's quite old, noticed when I got it home this corrosion at the front deralliuer hanger. The frame itself is otherwise in great condition, including carbon forks which I have inspected. Is this a serious structural concern and should I be keeping this bike only on the indoor trainer? Thoughts?   IMG20211114131221.jpg (Size: 62.01 KB / Dow...

Read more

Brifter reccomendations

Lastest post 2 months ago

I'm looking for brifters that will be compatable with shimano grx 600 rear derailleur running shimano rd-rx812 11-42t 11 speed cassette that can operate mechanical disc brakes. I think the standard grx 600 brifters can only do hydraulic and I'm not keen to change the brakes. Perhaps 105 ST-5800 would do the job?...

Read more

Specialized hardtail shock for fork?

Lastest post 2 months ago

I have an old aluminum frame specialized hardrock with disk brakes and 26" wheels. The shocks are rusty and crap now. Anybody know a replacement fork that can fit, keeping the geometry same? *I mean to trash the shocks and use a normal fork instead. Thanks...

Read more

Broken derailleur

Lastest post 2 months ago

I bought a broken-up mtb as a little rebuild project. Its a Vitus Nucleus VRS. The derailleur on it is broken and I am looking for a replacement. the bike has a 1x10 with an 11-46T cassette. According to the bike manufacturer website, it comes with a Shimano RD-M6000-GS. but on Shimanos website it says that only goes to 42T. so just confirming that it should be fine since the bike manufacturer ...

Read more

Im looking to replace my headset on my 2021 trek fuel ex 8 but I’m struggling to find which ones I need to buy has anyone done this before and what bearings did you try? More info: The bearing itself did have a code but I’m not sure what it really means: (THMR040 1-1/836 DEGREES X 45 DEGREES BO and THMR019 1.5 36 DEGREES X 45 DEGREES C 0) trek also has a few bearings on their website but it w...

Read more