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Thread: Chain Tension?

  1. #1
    Member xMadTurkx's Avatar
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    Chain Tension?

    How tight should it be?

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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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    I like it TIGHT!!!!

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    senior tarckass B:H Pusher's Avatar
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    thread #1203481945719 about chain tension
    Quote Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
    in all fairness... one of those threads is actually about kitties.

  5. #5
    BeaverTerror Yan's Avatar
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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.
    Yan

    2013 True North custom touring; 2010 Novara Randonee; 2009 Unicycle.com Club 24"; 1989 Miele Tivoli; 1979 Colnago Sport

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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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    Quote Originally Posted by philos View Post
    I like it TIGHT!!!!
    But your chain, cog, chainring and bottom bracket don't!

  8. #8
    Senior Member aMull's Avatar
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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.

  9. #9
    chickenosaurus j3ffr3y's Avatar
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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.
    2010 Motobecane Team Track
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    Quote Originally Posted by philos View Post
    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.

  11. #11
    ... tall&lanky's Avatar
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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...

  12. #12
    No plan. peabodypride's Avatar
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    As tight as Brittany Spears at the club.

  13. #13
    Fixed-gear roadie JacoKierkegaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peabodypride View Post
    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?
    2008 Masi Speciale Fixed

  14. #14
    FNG Jabba Degrassi's Avatar
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    Quote 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
    velospace: Angus | Exile | Jake The Snake

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    Quote Originally Posted by twelsch42 View Post
    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.

  16. #16
    Member xMadTurkx's Avatar
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    i put a water bottle between the tire and the downtube nice and tight

  17. #17
    Gentlemen. ADSR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xMadTurkx View Post
    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.
    The bums will always lose.

  18. #18
    No plan. peabodypride's Avatar
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    You could just buy a single/pair of chain tensioners and get the same effect.

  19. #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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