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What Does Chain Binding Mean? (All Explained)

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

what does chain binding mean

Have you ever experienced your bicycle chains getting stuck up around your sprockets? Then, you could be facing a drivetrain issue called chain binding.

But what does chain binding mean? For your information, it happens when the chain links become too tight, affecting their rotation which could wreck your bike in the long run.

Riding with this problem could lead to potential danger. Check out this article to learn more about it.

Bike Chain Binding


Bike chains are roller chains that convert cycling power to move the bicycle forward. Held together by a side link, this essential drivetrain component is one of the most worked parts of a bike.

It is no wonder why several problems often occur in this specific bike part. One of these is binding chains, which happen when bike chains keep tightening around the cassette sprockets.

It causes pressure that makes chain rotation quite tricky, leading to steering difficulties and locking the bike wheels up.

Chain Binder Types

In the same case, chain-binding for bicycles means there is a compromise between the links of the bike chains. Although common in bicycles, binding chains are an all-encompassing term that may refer to types of equipment to tighten or secure transport chains.

Binders for chains are categorized into two main types, lever and ratchet binders. The following types of chain binders vary based on the binding mechanism it utilizes.



For most part, the significance of chain binders comes with their purpose – for safe and efficient cargo loading upon transport.

    • Lever Binders – Lever binders are also known as “snap binders,” a simple machine, consisting of a lever and a tension hook on both ends. With the lever as its main component, leverage is utilized to exert more force on a tie-down.
    • Ratchet Binders – Ratchet binders have a slower, more steady force for loading and unloading cargo. A ratchet mechanism consists of two simple machines with two tension hooks on its end and handle.

Chain binders have several functions, fitting based on the utility vehicle to use along with it.

    • Chains and binders for flatbed

    A lever binder is ideal when securing cargo on a flatbed, considering how flatbed load cargo uses straps or chains on loading and attaching to the truck bed upon transport.

    The lever pulls the hook closer through its two tension hooks, fastening the transport binder chain around the load.

    • Chains and binders for trailers

    It is ideal to use a ratchet chain binder on heavy-duty trucks. Users have greater control with ratchet chain binders, making them the safest choice.

    The ratcheting mechanism allows easier tension adjustments as necessary. It also releases the binder when unloading cargo, an advantageous feature when dealing with sizable loads.

How to Use Chain Binders?


Although identical, both types of chain binders work differently. When dealing with lever binders, here is the process to work on.

  • Pull the chain using both hands. With enough force, press it against the cargo.
  • Unlock the lever binder and secure the binder hooks to the chain links.
  • After ensuring that the chains are tight enough, seal the binder.

To use a ratchet chain binder, here are the steps you should follow.

  • Using both hands, pull the chain and tighten it against the cargo.
  • Unscrew both sides of the ratchet. As a precautionary measure, take note to avoid fully loosening it.
  • After locking the ratchet in a tensioning direction using the switch in the binder’s center, fasten the binder hooks to the chain links.


Chain binding is a notable term in the transport industry.

Binding chains may be related to bicycle chains. A phenomenon that could affect the chain rotation, leading to potential dangers. Meanwhile, chain binding could also be about cargo equipment that helps secure transport chains – the lever and ratchet binders.

We hope this article helped you find the answer to “what does chain binding mean?” Thank you for reading!

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