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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 01-24-09, 09:38 PM   #1
xMadTurkx
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Chain Tension?

How tight should it be?
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Old 01-24-09, 09:46 PM   #2
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If it is too tight, it will bind and cause your drivetrain to wear at an incredible rate.

If it is too loose, you are a little more likely to drop a chain.

Have to find a happy medium.


http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html#tension
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Old 01-25-09, 01:41 AM   #3
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I like it TIGHT!!!!
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Old 01-25-09, 01:57 AM   #4
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thread #1203481945719 about chain tension
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Old 01-25-09, 02:06 AM   #5
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You don't need to have it perfectly tight. About 1 cm of vertical movement at the midpoint between the chainring and the cog should be fine.
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Old 01-25-09, 06:37 AM   #6
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Ahem, just pull back on the wheel, tilt the front, of the back wheel, towards the chainring side of your bike, and tighten your drivetrain side nut, then the other nut, until both are tightened as perceptibly even as you can, perceive. I doubt you'll make so tight so that'll bind, I make mine super tight and it still doesn't bind.

**** damn my insomnia just read sheldon's site.
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Old 01-25-09, 07:01 PM   #7
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I like it TIGHT!!!!
But your chain, cog, chainring and bottom bracket don't!
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Old 01-25-09, 07:16 PM   #8
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I like mine with just a bit of play in the pedals when you rock them back and forth with the bike stationary.
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Old 01-25-09, 07:32 PM   #9
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I hate being able to rock my pedals back and forth. it just annoys me. I try to keep it as tight as I can, without making anything bind.
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Old 01-25-09, 08:30 PM   #10
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Ahem, just pull back on the wheel, tilt the front, of the back wheel, towards the chainring side of your bike, and tighten your drivetrain side nut, then the other nut, until both are tightened as perceptibly even as you can, perceive. I doubt you'll make so tight so that'll bind, I make mine super tight and it still doesn't bind.

**** damn my insomnia just read sheldon's site.
I call your chain too tight! I don't care how tight your chain is, if it could ever be described as "super tight", then it IS binding. Just so you know.
twelsch

As long as you can't get your chain to jump off, then it's not too loose.
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Old 01-25-09, 09:13 PM   #11
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how old track racers did it:

(according to old European track racer at bike shop)

1. put rear wheel on w/ chain and tighten
2. pick up bike and kick cranks so wheel spins
3. turn bike sideways
4. if chain doesn't fall off tension is good.



Personally, I just pull the wheel back so it's tight, but still has about 1-2 cm of play in it...
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Old 01-25-09, 09:22 PM   #12
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As tight as Brittany Spears at the club.
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Old 01-25-09, 11:00 PM   #13
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As tight as Brittany Spears at the club.
So... loose, sloppy, and dirty?

I like running mine so there's no play in the pedals, but still a little in the chain. Pretty tight, but not taut. Is this too tight, or about right?
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Old 01-25-09, 11:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by tall&lanky View Post
how old track racers did it:

(according to old European track racer at bike shop)

1. put rear wheel on w/ chain and tighten
2. pick up bike and kick cranks so wheel spins
3. turn bike sideways
4. if chain doesn't fall off tension is good.
5. if chain does fall off paint job is now bad.



Personally, I just pull the wheel back so it's tight, but still has about 1-2 cm of play in it...
ftfy
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Old 01-26-09, 12:40 AM   #15
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I call your chain too tight! I don't care how tight your chain is, if it could ever be described as "super tight", then it IS binding. Just so you know.
twelsch

As long as you can't get your chain to jump off, then it's not too loose.
No binding. I think there is a paranoia over this binding issue just make it tight.
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Old 01-26-09, 01:11 AM   #16
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i put a water bottle between the tire and the downtube nice and tight
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Old 01-26-09, 01:29 AM   #17
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i put a water bottle between the tire and the downtube nice and tight
I do the same thing but with my hand. I figure without any mechanical advantage and the feedback of "ow, that's hurting me" I get a good chain tension. It's a bit awkward though.

People on here have also mentioned using tennis balls and an old, balled-up t-shirt.
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Old 01-26-09, 01:46 AM   #18
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You could just buy a single/pair of chain tensioners and get the same effect.
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Old 01-26-09, 02:38 AM   #19
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True, but I don't think they're aesthetically pleasing to many. Plus you shouldn't have to buy something that does something you could do yourself...
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