This article is for:

  • most bikes for everyday use. They probably have Shimano or Campagnolo components, or compatible;
  • single, double or triple - the fixings are similar
  • people who don't mind a possibly long and dirty job.



PRECONDITIONS: You may need some strength and confidence to remove well bedded in components, and you may want to remove the chain before you start, to make access easier.

TIME: This fix may take 1 - 2 hours the first time you attempt it.

WARNING: If your old chain has also worn down your cassette, you will need to replace all three components - a much longer job.

DIFFICULTY: A dirty job, and chainring bolts can be stiff.


1. Remove right crank arm

2. Remove chainrings, smallest first

3. Fit new chainrings


1. Remove right crank arm

Not always necessary, depending on which chainring you want to replace, but all rings are easier to access once they are off the bike.

(see Remove cranks and bottom bracket article).

2. Remove chainrings, smallest first

hold nut still with chainring tool
A chainring tool fits the slots in the nut perfectly

If you have 3 rings at the front, you may need to remove the smallest ring first to get access to the larger two.

  • Use a chainring tool to hold the inner frame-side of the chainring nut still.
  • Unscrew the chainring bolt from the outward-side using an allen key.
  • Check the orientation4 of the ring with respect to the crank arm. Some chainrings have ridges or markers to align with the crank arm.

A chainring tool fits the slots in the nut perfectly,a large flat-bladed screwdriver sometimes work, but you may also give yourself or your bike a good scrape.

chainring tool close-up
A chainring tool is easier to use than a large flat-bladed screw driver for this task.

3. Fit new chainrings

Reverse the process, by fitting the larger rings, then the smallest. Then put the crank arm back on the bike. Grease the thread of each bolt and use the chainring tool and allen key to get them tight.

grease chainring bolt
Check the chaining bolts intermittently afterwards - they can work their way loose.


Chainring fixed

Feel more connected to the bike with a new chainring.