Good news for every cyclist out there who is in need of a new chain but fears he or she is too clumsy to change it themselves. The good news is I managed to do it and believe me, that says enough!
Changing your chain regularly is advised in order to prolong the life span of your cassette and chainset. It will save you a lot of money and will also prevent your chain from malfunctioning. How often you change the chain depends mainly on local conditions, e.g. surface / soil you ride, weather type etc. There are tools that will let you know when it is time to change your chain.
Changing the chain is a simple three step process.* You begin by removing the old chain [photo 1]. It helps if the chain is connected by a so called 'missing link' or 'power link' (the chain link with a hole in it). Simply unhook the missing link and the chain will come off. TOP TIP: do not throw the missing link away. Keep it in your saddle bag as it may come in handy when you are unfortunate enough to break your chain in a remote place [photo 2]! Now that your chain is off you can take advantage of the free space to properly clean your chainset and derailleurs [photo 3].
Having cleaned the chainset and cassette, it's time to prepare you new chain. Always buy a new chain based on your cassette (i.e. 10 speed, 11 speed etc.). Your new chain should have the same number of links as the old one. Shorten the new chain using a special tool. You can buy this pretty cheap in your bike store [photo 4 & 5].
Slide your new chain over the chainset and cassette. To connect both ends it would be easy to have an extra pair of hands or, failing those, use a strong paperclip or any other kind of wire to tie both ends temporarily together. Now insert both parts of the missing link in the ends of the chain and connect them. Push firmly on the pedals and after you hear a 'click' your new chain is good to go!
*Special thanks to Juanjo of Cicles Xaló.