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  1. #1
    Junior Member swingerfunky's Avatar
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    Slight play in chain (long post)

    I did a search and didn't come up with anything so here I go.

    I have a '07 Felt Z80 with a Shimano 105 10 SPD RD, Tiagra FD, FSA VERO 50/39/30T crankset, and a X9 9-Speed chain (all stock).

    The problem is I have slight play in the tension of the chain causing it to feel almost like a click when I go from the highest point in the crank arm (12 o'clock position), down through the rotation. It happens on both sides but more so on the driveside.

    At first I thought it was the rear hub so I repacked that, didn't fix it. Next I checked the BB and theirs no movement at all from there. Next was my cleats, I tightened those down. After looking at it on the stand it appears to be a slight play in the chain which at higher RPM's gives me the most annoying feeling while commuting. My RD is adjusted and I have great shifting the only problem is the click like play while pedaling. I searched the internet and here for adjusting the chain tension on a RD bike and nothing came up.

    My question is. Is there a way to take the small amount of play out of the chain or is it chain wear thats causing this? I have put about 1500 miles on it, oiling it every week or so.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
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    Chain tension can't be adjusted on a derailleur bike and there is no need to do so. It sounds like something else is out of round or out of line or your bottom bracket has a problem. Is the problem specific to one gear combination? Is your rear wheel mounted straight and centered in the frame?

  3. #3
    Junior Member swingerfunky's Avatar
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    There is no play what so ever in any position on the crank arm. The wheel is on straight and centered everything feels good when pedaling. It happens through out the gears. At first I also thought it was a gear problem but it doesn't seem like it.

  4. #4
    Junior Member swingerfunky's Avatar
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    The BB is tight in all positions and the wheel is on straight and centered. I too thought it might have been a gear problem but it happens in all gears.

  5. #5
    Junior Member swingerfunky's Avatar
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    Sorry about the double post. Firefox froze on me.

  6. #6
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    Check the chain for a tight or distorted link. Turn the crank backwards slowly and watch the chain as it exits the lower pulley of the rear derailleur. If there is a bad spot in the chain you should see it as it comes out of the RD.

  7. #7
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    I don't quite understand the problem that you're describing. Does it happen periodically, or does it only happen when you pedal hard? When you say that it clicks, does it feel like the chain physically slips, or is it just a noise? I also don't understand which bearing surface the "play" is on: the cogs, in between each link, the front chainrings?

    If you really wanted to adjust chain tension, which you probably don't, the way to adjust it is by adding or removing links or playing with the adjuster screw, if any, on the derailler.

    One way to find and fix these sorts of problems is just to swap components until it goes away. Eg, try a new chain, a different cassette, etc.

  8. #8
    Junior Member swingerfunky's Avatar
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    Ok I went over the chain and it looks good. But I found a VERY slight play in one of the pedals (shimano A520's). I don't see a way to take apart the pedal itself or tight the loose part, it's not the thread going into the crank arm. Does anybody know if this is possible?

  9. #9
    Junior Member swingerfunky's Avatar
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    I more possibility down the drain. I replaced the pedals with some platforms just to see if that was it and it's still happening. I'll try again tomorrow after work. Thanks for the replies!!

  10. #10
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    Maybe it's time for a trip to the LBS?

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