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Old 08-10-10, 09:47 AM   #1
indybiker01
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Does My chain appear to be too small

Symptom

New Chain installed and is a new bike for me. While Riding I am noticing that the high gears require quite a bit more effort to keep my cadence up then my prior bikes. In the gear pictured below i could spin pretty easy (On the large Cog up front)....This seems to be a bit easy then it tends to tighten up. Almost like I am going up a hill.....Maybe it is just the feel of the new bike.

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Old 08-10-10, 09:57 AM   #2
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Chain length looks OK. You are cross chaining a bit in this combo so there will be more drag from the components.
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Old 08-10-10, 09:58 AM   #3
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Chain looks OK length. You shouldnt be riding too much in the big ring at front with the big cogs at the back, because parts will wear faster with the bad chain alignment. The drag is more likely caused by over tightened wheel bearings. They should be a bit loose when the wheel is off the bike because the Quick Release compresses the axle. Have your bike shop check the wheel bearings with the QR clamping the axle ends.
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Old 08-10-10, 10:07 AM   #4
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I am up on the cross chaining....this is the position I read to put the chain in to see if it is too short/long
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Old 08-10-10, 10:11 AM   #5
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they installed a cassette on my old wheels. Is the overtightened bearings likely in this case?
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Old 08-10-10, 10:38 AM   #6
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This has come up a surprising number of times recently. Pure coincidence I know but it's like the old story about how bad things always come in threes..

If you suspect that your drive train is dragging the first thing you want to do is isolate all the parts and check them separately.

So first you pull both wheels. Check the wheel bearings. As noted this has to be done with the QR skewer tightened. Get some washers from the hardware store that fit over the axle and stack up to simulate the dropouts and tighten the skewer the amount you normall use. Test the bearings for smoothness. Ideally they should have just a very light drag compared to no skewer tension but not so much that you feel like they are cogging or indexing. You want to have just a hair of preload drag.

Next check that the freewheel/freehub spins easily and smoothly and is fairly wobble free. It's normal for them to have a slight jiggle to them but it should only be a little.

Check the derrailleur jockey pulleys for easy spinning. If draggy pull the cage apart and clean the pulley bearings.

Unloop the chain from the rings and check the BB for easy spinning. A new BB is often a little draggy due to the tight seals and well packed grease. But with some riding the seals ease off and the excess grease is pushed out of the way and soon it should be so free that if you give the pedal a bit of a kick the cranks will spin 8 to 10 times quite easily.

When you re-assemble the bike ensure that the brakes are not rubbing on the rims or tires.

If everything is good then I'd have to say that it is likely the amount of cross chaining you're using. Especially if you hear that it's rubbing on the FD cage. Or since this is a new bike for you it may well just be all the little things that need to wear in, such as the BB seals, that are ganging up on you. It sure doesn't take a lot of drag for the "engine" to feel like it's trying to pedal uphill both ways when you're dealing with such a modest power output.
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Old 08-10-10, 12:43 PM   #7
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Chain length is OK. Cross chaining is way over rated.
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Old 08-10-10, 02:52 PM   #8
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It sure doesn't take a lot of drag for the "engine" to feel like it's trying to pedal uphill both ways when you're dealing with such a modest power output.
Is this a dig at my riding ability?
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Old 08-10-10, 04:38 PM   #9
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Why guess remove the chain place it in large / large rings + 1 link
If you can't get it on lg/lg combo with out it on the RD then yes its to short if you can its ok!
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Old 08-10-10, 05:43 PM   #10
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So remove the chain...place it on the large-large

Does +1 mean add a link?

What do you mean if i cant get it on the rd?
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Old 08-10-10, 05:54 PM   #11
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Update: todays groupride doing 28 mph downhill...felt like a parachute dropped behind me...it wasnt like it almost kerked me off the bike but it was noticeable...after that We went uphill and technically I was cross chaining...large to large..was spinning at 85-90 on the flat after that and I was in 3rd cog on the rear..was realing struggling to keep that speed 20 mph...got dropped and i was done. Prior to thst i was 20-23 mph no problems....seems like after 8 miles it becomes an issue...going to lbs tomorrow
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Old 08-10-10, 07:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by indybiker01 View Post
Is this a dig at my riding ability?
I do not think BCRider was 'taking a shot' at you--we (riders) only generate about 1/3hp, so any limiting drag (wind, terain, or excess friction) can have a significant effect on our speed. Having once been 200lbs, and getting dropped like a hot rock on climbs, I can relate to drag. Now around 170, I still occasionally get dropped, but mostly for lack of 'horsepower'!
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Old 08-10-10, 07:08 PM   #13
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I can take it like a man

I just want the damn thing fixed...first 8 miles everything is somewhat smooth...then it is like a switch is thrown and the bike is pedaled through mud.

If they cant figure it out at the lbs I am taking my backup bike to the dairyland dare.
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Old 08-10-10, 07:19 PM   #14
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I can take it like a man

I just want the damn thing fixed...first 8 miles everything is somewhat smooth...then it is like a switch is thrown and the bike is pedaled through mud.

If they cant figure it out at the lbs I am taking my backup bike to the dairyland dare.
You said the bike is 'new to me'. Is it a new bike, or a used one you just got? It almost sounds like something is heating up, expanding, and causing excess drag. Just a thought.
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Old 08-10-10, 07:52 PM   #15
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Here simple video so you can see it.

http://bicycletutor.com/calculate-chain-length/

And by the way you shouldn't be cross chaining if you can help it.
Get off the lg chain ring and shift to a rear cog that works for you.
I might also add that I dont think the chain is the issue with your speed trouble....
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Old 08-10-10, 08:00 PM   #16
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You said the bike is 'new to me'. Is it a new bike, or a used one you just got? It almost sounds like something is heating up, expanding, and causing excess drag. Just a thought.
The frame was never ridden but is technically a used frame (guy built it up and then needed cash so he stripped it and sold me the frame.

All of the components are new but the pedals, rims, and saddle. Definetely sounds like what you are describing. I notice it initially but can pedal through it. After some climbs or extended mashing on the flats I have to work harder to keep my cadence up on the same gear. My quads actually start to get tired and then it just is too much. I feel like i am going at it 120% to maintain 80%. prior to that feeling the bike is butter. Quick to respond to acceleration. Everything feels stiff, smooth, and fast until i feel what I am describing..i feel like I am batty or something...like I need to take a large dose of man up but it isnt me guys.

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Old 08-10-10, 08:19 PM   #17
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Do the wheels spin freely if you lift them up? Does the crank spin freely if you take the chain off the chainring? Is there drag evident in the drive train when the bike is on the stand? What type of hub?
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Old 08-10-10, 08:29 PM   #18
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An 'out-of-the-box' idea: put the bike on a trainer, and pedal it until it becomes sluggish. Have a helper check (carefully) for heating of rollong areas? If you have access to an infared thermometer, you could get an accurate measure of temparature of hubs, BB, pedals, etc. Beyond this, I would not know what to try.
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Old 08-10-10, 08:44 PM   #19
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they installed a cassette on my old wheels. Is the overtightened bearings likely in this case?
Installing a cassette should have no effect on the tightness of the bearings.
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Old 08-10-10, 10:03 PM   #20
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I can take it like a man

I just want the damn thing fixed...first 8 miles everything is somewhat smooth...then it is like a switch is thrown and the bike is pedaled through mud.
Some of the checks suggested by BCRider are good, but do them right when you feel the bike getting sluggish - i.e. turn the bike over and see if both wheels spin freely. If one of both don't then investigate further to determine where the excess friction is. If the wheels spin ok then check how freely the chain rotates backwards, and also take the chain off the chainrings and spin just the crank to see how the BB bearings are. That should help isolate the problem to a particular component. BTW, one possibility is a loose cassette lockring that rubs on the inside of the frame. I've had that cause extra friction but it usually gets much worse rather quickly and locks up completely.
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