Make a Bike Chain Key Ring

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Make a Bike Chain Key Ring

Bike Chain Key Ring
Bike Chain Key Ring. (c) David Fiedler

Here's a cool way to show your love for cycling that's both subtle and inexpensive. You take an old bike chain and snip off a length and then attach it to your key ring. It's always there for you to see and others to notice. If you're like me, just thinking about riding my bike makes me happy, so this is a fun reminder that's constantly there.

First thing you do is get a length of old bike chain. Your local bike shop ought to have plenty of these pieces around that they'd be happy to give you.

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Make the Chain the Right Length

Chain tool in action
Chain tool in action. (c) Dieter Laskowski

Using a chain tool (or have the shop do this - it'll take them about two seconds), separate the chain by popping out the pin that joins the links to give you the desired length. 10-12 links or about eight to inches of chain will give you a good size.

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Clean the Chain

A dirty bike chain - you don't want this in your pocket or purse.
A dirty bike chain - you don't want this in your pocket or purse. (c) Steve Ryan

Next, you'll want to clean the short section of chain to remove any grease. This makes it shiny and keeps grease off of your hands and out of your pockets or purse. The shinier it is, the cooler it'll look.

Easiest way to do this is to dunk the chain in a solvent and then clean with a toothbrush and wipe with a rag. A good degreaser (like SimpleGreen) will work fine too, it'll just take a bit longer and require a bit more scrubbing. Using dish soap and hot water will work as well, but that's a distant third choice behind the others.

By the way, here's a quick and easy way to clean your bike chain while it's on your bike, a task separate from this little project, of course.

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Put the Bike Chain on your Key Ring

Bike Chain Key Ring
Bike Chain Key Ring. (c) David Fiedler

Finally, put the bike chain on your key ring. You do this by threading the key ring through the holes on one of the end links, if you want it to dangle down. For a bike chain loop as shown in the picture, fit open sides of the end chain links together, then thread the key ring through both at the same time. If you have several key rings, you can attach your keys to your bike chain at different places for a cool look.