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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-10-05, 06:14 PM   #1
ephemeralskin
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chainline, chains, obsessions

my drivetrain is not silent. i want it to be. please help.

it was quieter BEFORE i upgraded components and slackened my chain! im going a little crazy, but i will try to be methodical:

first off, ill admit that the chainline is not spot-on perfect. but its off by less than 1mm. if my measurements are precise, it is off by exactly 0.6075mm. and otherwise my setup is pretty ideal: 1/8" campy ring, suntour pro cog and cranks, shimano bb. there are no stiff links or tight spots. i have the chain at the slackest it should ever be. before i got the wipperman i was running a junk $4 bmx chain, and it was quieter then!

i thought maybe i just needed to break in the new setup. ive ridden it for a good 100-150 miles or so. still clattering like i just got married. BUT-- my old chain noise (which i attributed to the not-perfect chainline) was a fairly constant one, and the (louder) noise i hear now is only while actively pedaling. when i just let the cranks spin the noise goes away........

i thought wipperman was a great chain. never has my bike been so loud! i just dont get it.
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Old 08-10-05, 06:22 PM   #2
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Is your cog 0.6075mm inboard or outboard of your chainring?

Someone once told me that a lot of the good chains are louder than the crappy ones. I don't know how true that is though.
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Old 08-10-05, 06:27 PM   #3
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If the noise is a problem only when pedaling I'd be re-checking the crank bolts, chain ring bolts and pedals. Make sure those bolts are greased and torqued. Pedals need some TLC as well, and can sound like a loose crank arm when they're not happy.

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Old 08-10-05, 06:39 PM   #4
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it is 'inboard'. i have the chainring on the outside of the spider and it is better there (if thats what you were thinking of changing). according to sheldons chart, i could try a different cog. the eai one would improve things by like 0.3mm. would that really make a difference?

it definitely sounds like 'chain clatter' to me, but maybe there is a flex issue thats causing it. i was away from my tools for 6 weeks and i only checked the chainring bolts, but they are good. i will go check the crank bolts right now and report back...

ok i pulled out the torque wrench and got the bolts to turn some. road around the block and it DID seem a little better. i dunno. maybe just placebo. maybe i should tighten them more? dont wanna crack the crank arms. i torqued to abou 360-400 range. isnt that usually good?

Last edited by ephemeralskin; 08-10-05 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 08-10-05, 07:27 PM   #5
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I believe my FSA cranks specify 35-40 lbs. I like to stay on the light side, but sometimes go that 'smidgen' over.

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Old 08-10-05, 07:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemeralskin
it is 'inboard'. i have the chainring on the outside of the spider and it is better there (if thats what you were thinking of changing). according to sheldons chart, i could try a different cog. the eai one would improve things by like 0.3mm. would that really make a difference?

it definitely sounds like 'chain clatter' to me, but maybe there is a flex issue thats causing it. i was away from my tools for 6 weeks and i only checked the chainring bolts, but they are good. i will go check the crank bolts right now and report back...

ok i pulled out the torque wrench and got the bolts to turn some. road around the block and it DID seem a little better. i dunno. maybe just placebo. maybe i should tighten them more? dont wanna crack the crank arms. i torqued to abou 360-400 range. isnt that usually good?
I was going to say, if the cog was out slightly too far, you could meticulously face the inner part of the cog so it threads on a tiny bit farther.
360-400 sounds good, I wouldn't go any farther, but that might just be me.
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Old 08-10-05, 08:41 PM   #7
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You sir, have OCD problems. This is scaring me. Seriously. Ride your bicycle, then ride it some more.

.6075 mm. Is this a joke?
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Old 08-10-05, 08:47 PM   #8
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unless im measuring wrong, then.... no. but its loooud. i swear! it sounds like a uncared for mtb caught between gears. i swear.
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Old 08-10-05, 08:48 PM   #9
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what's your current lube situation like?
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Old 08-10-05, 09:03 PM   #10
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it's funny i went to bill ron's shop a while back asking questions about my first conversion build. he basically said anything within 5 mm is totally fine and acceptable for chainline. i love a quiet train but i thought it very interesting that one of the best fixed gear(or geared for that matter) wrenchs i can think of brushed off the chasing of the perfect chainline.
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Old 08-10-05, 09:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surferbruce
it's funny i went to bill ron's shop a while back asking questions about my first conversion build. he basically said anything within 5 mm is totally fine and acceptable for chainline. i love a quiet train but i thought it very interesting that one of the best fixed gear(or geared for that matter) wrenchs i can think of brushed off the chasing of the perfect chainline.
I'm with bill. My first conversion was a suzue hub jammed into the chainstays of an old nishiki, and I used the axle nuts to pull the stays in to the right spacing. Chainline wasn't what you'd call ideal, but that bike rode just fine.

I can appreciate perfection, but I'm usually perfectly happy with 'good enough'.
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Old 08-10-05, 10:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baxtefer
what's your current lube situation like?
Actually, this is a very good point. If you just run it with that gunk they ship it in, you might as well put peanut butter and gravel on your chain. Lube with the good stuff, at least some tri-flow.

Side note: I know a guy (old BMXer) who once packed his hubs with peanut butter because he didn't have any grease and wanted to go out riding. He said it wasn't half bad.
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Old 08-10-05, 10:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan_c
Actually, this is a very good point. If you just run it with that gunk they ship it in, you might as well put peanut butter and gravel on your chain. Lube with the good stuff, at least some tri-flow.

Side note: I know a guy (old BMXer) who once packed his hubs with peanut butter because he didn't have any grease and wanted to go out riding. He said it wasn't half bad.
crunchy or smooth?
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Old 08-10-05, 10:23 PM   #14
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5mm off is a bit rough. I'd deal with 2-3, maybe. What kind of pedals? Try overhauling your pedal bearings. When I start to hear a noise in the drivetrain, I overhaul everything, BB, pedals, crankbolts, rear hub, chain, etc. I have OCD too probably.
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Old 08-10-05, 10:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan_c
Side note: I know a guy (old BMXer) who once packed his hubs with peanut butter because he didn't have any grease and wanted to go out riding. He said it wasn't half bad.
Creamy or crunchy? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 08-10-05, 11:08 PM   #16
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If I had to guess, I would say creamy.

Crunchy would probably work well if you didn't have bearings either.
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Old 08-11-05, 01:04 AM   #17
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What do the inner plates of the chain look like? I just changed a cheapo KMC BMX chain (noisy as hell) and now use a Sram PC-1 (hardly any sound, and no sound at all if I'm not actively pedaling). I also thought the noise was due to imperfect chainline (1mm), but it turns out that the angled inner side of the inner plates can take in the cog teeth smoothly as the chain enters the cog... which the perfectly flat KMC inner plates rattled on. Try and spin the crank on a repair stand. If the chian jumps up and down in the air as it runs along, it's prolly a chain issue.

That's the kind of inner plate the Sram has: http://images.dpchallenge.com/images...274/118609.jpg
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Old 08-11-05, 04:00 AM   #18
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i love reeding about paranoid cyklists.....a loud chain!! buhuhuhuh
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Old 08-11-05, 06:09 AM   #19
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How much wear do your cog and CR have?

If you put a new chain on a worn cog and CR it will make noise. Once the chain "stretches" it will not make noise.

Give it some time, I bet the sound decreases in a few weeks.

This just happened to me. I replaced my chain and CR but not the cog. The cog was fairly new so I kept it.
The first few weeks it was a little annoying. Now, it is dead quite.
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Old 08-11-05, 08:03 AM   #20
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did you say you are using a Suntour Superbe Pro Crank Set with a Shimano BB? That might be part of the chainline issue...Superbe uses a ISO taper (like campy) not a JIS (like Shimano)...there is a difference. Try miche Track BB cheap and quite adjustable (no cup flange). I went thought the exact same problem...coupled with my OCD I went efin' nuts trying to figure this out...but it worked.
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Old 08-11-05, 08:45 AM   #21
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Yeah you people spend too much time worrying about this stuff.
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Old 08-11-05, 10:00 PM   #22
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the cranks are road. i thought they took jis. seemed to go on just fine. am i wrong? i think the 107mm bb would be too narrow (itd make my chainline worse). could you explain how this taper issue could be causing the problem?
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Old 08-11-05, 11:10 PM   #23
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I'm not entirely sure from your original post: is your cog also 1/8"?

Also, you don't mention what gear you're running--if it's a small cog check to make sure that the chain isn't hitting the lockring.

I feel your pain entirely... a quiet drivetrain is the new sex.
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Old 08-12-05, 02:09 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemeralskin
could you explain how this taper issue could be causing the problem?
Because of the two different tapers, the crank will either go on a little closer, or sit a little further out than what the stated width is. I'm not really sure which way is which... I'm using a campy taper on a shimano BB and it actually helped my chainline, but now sometimes under tourque it seems like it's a little gritty, almost shifting a little. I need to look at it this weekend and see if anything is getting worn...

Anyways, I had pretty much the same problem you're having, and found it was the lube I was using. Someone else posted that you want at least tri-flow, and I'd agree. I originally ended up just picking up some 3-in-one and trying that because I was out of lube, and my chain IMMEDIATLY got quieter. The next day it was silent. Nothing was different at all. OK, so it was a lot dirtier, but it was silent and dirty. After some advice here and from the BlackLabels, I switched over to the tri-flow when I last changed my chain, and that's just about as quiet...

Hope that helps some.
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Old 08-12-05, 07:47 AM   #25
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Superbe Pro cranks take a 112mm ISO (Campy) taper BB, if they're the road doubles... JIS taper will work, but it'll deform the crankarm and most likely be noisy as well.

-s
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