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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 04-26-07, 09:58 PM   #1
DeafLamb
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Chain gets slack after a few days of riding...

I seem to have the problem of my chain always getting slack after a few days of riding. Not super slack like its going to fall off, just annoying play that I feel when I'm track standing.

Does this happen to anyone else. I can't be stretching ( I know it's not actual stretching) the chain that quickly. I really don't think my axle is slipping because I really tighten it pretty good. Then again I don't know what else it could be. 15 sec with a 15mm wrench solves the problem, but I'm just wondering why it happens?

If it makes a difference I'm running a surly Steamroller with Miche hubs and Crank. I am running a pretty crappy chain right now?

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Old 04-26-07, 10:09 PM   #2
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Is everything completely concentric?
It could be that the chainring is not perfectly centered and its getting looser and tighter in some areas. You can tighten it in the loose portion of the rotation then when you go pedal, the tighter portion, instead of binding, pulls the axle forward.
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Old 04-26-07, 10:12 PM   #3
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try a chain tensioner?
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Old 04-26-07, 10:16 PM   #4
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do you skid a lot? might be pulling the wheel forward with excessive skidding.
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Old 04-26-07, 10:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosplat
try a chain tensioner?
exactly, its slipping.
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Old 04-27-07, 08:27 AM   #6
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It happens all the time when riding conversions...with track dropouts you shouldn't have that problem.
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Old 04-27-07, 08:50 AM   #7
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If your wheel stays aligned in the frame, then its probably not slipping. If you have your nuts cranked down properly, it takes some serious strength for them to slip. I'm a pretty strong guy (I could leg press more than anyone in my high shool except for one really fat guy who carried around his tremendous weight everyday), and I've never ever had an axle slip, no matter how hard torquing the cranks...not even on my low geared singlespeed mtb, mashing as hard as I possibly can up steep hills. WIth a higher gear typical of a street fixie, you can't exert nearly as much tension on the chain as with a MTB.

Your chain could be stretching...if you are lubing a dirty chain then you are washing grit into the inner workings of the chain and dramatically accelerating chain wear. I've noticed that if I get lazy and lube the chain without thouroughly degreasing it first, the chain will slacken noticably after 20-30 miles or so because of all the grit that I've washed into the chain. If I degrease my chain first, I can get more than a hundred miles without the chain getting too slack.
Also riding in wet or otherwise dirty/gritty conditions accelerates stretch no matter what you do. I get way way more miles out of the chains on my dry weather bikes than the chain on my rain beater.

Last edited by mihlbach; 04-27-07 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 04-27-07, 11:15 AM   #8
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The chain could be wearing that fast. I had the same problem with one brand and switched to another and it went away.

Al
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Old 04-27-07, 11:30 AM   #9
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last month i switched from a kmc to an izumi chain, and i've noticed that it loosens up like a bastard. i run a chain tensioner and run very little slack, but at the end of every week i get that little shifty spot in my cranks when i'm in a trackstand. i get the feeling that me 'n izumi chains are like me 'n vittoria rubino tires; they work beautifully, but burn out really quickly.
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Old 04-27-07, 11:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenskeletons
last month i switched from a kmc to an izumi chain, and i've noticed that it loosens up like a bastard. i run a chain tensioner and run very little slack, but at the end of every week i get that little shifty spot in my cranks when i'm in a trackstand. i get the feeling that me 'n izumi chains are like me 'n vittoria rubino tires; they work beautifully, but burn out really quickly.
It was an Izumi ECO that required re-tensioning after every ride. I switched to a Connex/Wipperman and nwo the only time I need to tension is when I flip the wheel.

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Old 04-27-07, 11:40 AM   #11
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ha! i was gonna try a wipperman next.
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Old 04-27-07, 11:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mihlbach
If your wheel stays aligned in the frame, then its probably not slipping. If you have your nuts cranked down properly, it takes some serious strength for them to slip. I'm a pretty strong guy (I could leg press more than anyone in my high shool except for one really fat guy who carried around his tremendous weight everyday), and I've never ever had an axle slip, no matter how hard torquing the cranks...not even on my low geared singlespeed mtb, mashing as hard as I possibly can up steep hills. WIth a higher gear typical of a street fixie, you can't exert nearly as much tension on the chain as with a MTB.

Your chain could be stretching...if you are lubing a dirty chain then you are washing grit into the inner workings of the chain and dramatically accelerating chain wear. I've noticed that if I get lazy and lube the chain without thouroughly degreasing it first, the chain will slacken noticably after 20-30 miles or so because of all the grit that I've washed into the chain. If I degrease my chain first, I can get more than a hundred miles without the chain getting too slack.
Also riding in wet or otherwise dirty/gritty conditions accelerates stretch no matter what you do. I get way way more miles out of the chains on my dry weather bikes than the chain on my rain beater.
the side plates stretch, that isnt a wear issue from grit in the rollers
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Old 04-27-07, 12:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedex
the side plates stretch, that isnt a wear issue from grit in the rollers
Pretty sure that is incorrect. It IS the wear of the rollers that causes chain strech.
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Old 04-27-07, 12:41 PM   #14
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So better chain. I'll give that a whirl...

Thanks

-ray
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Old 04-27-07, 12:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Pretty sure that is incorrect. It IS the wear of the rollers that causes chain strech.
you are correct
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Old 04-27-07, 12:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedex
the side plates stretch, that isnt a wear issue from grit in the rollers
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html#stretch
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Old 04-27-07, 12:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedex
the side plates stretch, that isnt a wear issue from grit in the rollers
is this a joke, or are you that misinformed?
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Old 04-27-07, 12:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by DeafLamb
So better chain. I'll give that a whirl...

Thanks

-ray
If you have a 1/8" drive train, I've had the best luck with KMC 510H and 510HX chains. To minimize wear (stretch), lube them infrequently and degrease and clean them thoroughly before each relubing.
If you have a 3/32" drive train get whatever equivlant quality KMC chain for that size.
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Old 04-27-07, 02:59 PM   #19
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this wouldnt happen if bought a good $50. chain
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Old 04-27-07, 03:04 PM   #20
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this wouldnt happen if bought a good $50. chain
Or a good $20 one.
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Old 04-27-07, 04:16 PM   #21
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like i said a $50. nuff said
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Old 04-27-07, 04:19 PM   #22
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kerin racers dont use $10. chains, so would you trust it on a street bike w/out brakes?
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Old 04-27-07, 04:36 PM   #23
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I am having a similar problem. The chain seems to get slack and I can move the crank arms up and downever so much without activating the drive train if that makes any sense. Which is prior to the other, the chain slack or the crank "play?"
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Old 04-27-07, 04:50 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by na975
kerin racers dont use $10. chains, so would you trust it on a street bike w/out brakes?
If your chain is stretching too fast, buying a uber expensive NJS chain is not going to solve your problem. Its mostly a combination of riding in dirty conditions and/or not cleaning and lubing your chain properly. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what cleaning/lubing strategy works for you, given the conditions you ride in.

I think the perception that a $50 chain is stronger, better, more stretch-proof than a $20 or $10 chain is a false one. I've used super expensive izumi chains and did not find them to be any better. My NJS chain was actually rougher, louder and did not last as long as any cheap KMC chain that I have ever used. You are mostly paying for the NJS stamp on keirin chains. Perhaps keirin chains are smoother if you have your chainline dialed in to the tenth of a mm (which most of you do not), but I doubt it anyway. And they certainly aren't made of magic metal that is more resistant to wear than the hardened steel in any other decent chain. And regarding chain breakage...please people, most of you aren't nearly as strong as a pro track racer or pro bmx racer and your puny thighs are not going to pull apart a chain while skidding, unless the chain itself is defective, corroded, or not installed properly. Having an NJS stamp on your chain is not insurance for riding brakeless. Besides, on a road or mountain bike with a small granny gear you can easily apply far more tension to the chain than you can on a fixed gear bike with a much higher gear, and deraileur chains are far punier than any 1/8" track or BMX chain.

Last edited by mihlbach; 04-27-07 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 04-27-07, 06:03 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by mihlbach
If your chain is stretching too fast, buying a uber expensive NJS chain is not going to solve your problem. Its mostly a combination of riding in dirty conditions and/or not cleaning and lubing your chain properly. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what cleaning/lubing strategy works for you, given the conditions you ride in.

I think the perception that a $50 chain is stronger, better, more stretch-proof than a $20 or $10 chain is a false one. I've used super expensive izumi chains and did not find them to be any better. My NJS chain was actually rougher, louder and did not last as long as any cheap KMC chain that I have ever used. You are mostly paying for the NJS stamp on keirin chains. Perhaps keirin chains are smoother if you have your chainline dialed in to the tenth of a mm (which most of you do not), but I doubt it anyway. And they certainly aren't make of magic metal that is more resistant to wear than the hardened steel in any other decent chain. And regarding chain breakage...please people, most of you aren't nearly as strong as a pro track racer or ro bmx racer and your puny thighs are not going to pull apart a chain while skidding, unless the chain itself is defective, corroded, or not installed properly. Having an NJS stamp on your chain is not insurance for riding brakeless. Besides, on a road or mountain bike with a small granny gear you can easily apply far more tension to the chain than you can on a fixed gear bike with a much higher gear, and deraileur chains are far punier than any 1/8" track or BMX chain.
people here are always having problems with cheapy chains,ring gears,cogs. then they buy the same thing all over again and again, does it make sense?
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