So I finally got a bike (99 Schwinn Le Tour). Its a great bike and I got it for a great price. Lastnight I was heading out for a nice evening ride and the masterlink on the chain fell off. I looked for a few minutes, but it was like finding a needle in a hay stack. So I removed the chain and walked the bike home. When I got here i tried rethreading the chain and when I did, the chain seemed to be something like 4" too long. So I was wondering if anyonr can talk me through or point me in the direction of a nice little tutorial on how to thread the chain through the derailleur and all. Like I said, i tried for a good hour, many different ways, but it still seemed rediculously long.
The derailler mechanism has two idler wheel to carry the chain. They are mounted on a sprung carriage to take up the excess chain length as the chain is moved to smaller sprockets. The chain goes from the rear wheel sprocket cluster around the front of the top (or front) idler wheel, and around the back of the bottom (or back)idler wheel then forward to the bottom of the chainwheel.