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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 11-01-09, 04:06 PM   #1
kidder121
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Tightening chain?

Hi there - I am borrowing a SS bike from a friend, have never ridden without gears before.

One thing he told me before he went away was that the chain needed tightening. I have tried to do this tonight, simply loosening the wheel and pulling it back in the 'dropouts' (actually horizontal track ends)

But the wheel seems to be 'sticking' (binding?), and will not spin true. At first I thought I had overtightened it, but I have been back and loosened the chain and the problem persists.

Any advice would be much appreciated - I have had a look at Sheldon Brown but can't seem to understand his advice.
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Old 11-01-09, 04:28 PM   #2
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Are you making sure the back wheel is aligned correctly after you make the adjustments? Also, if a wheel isn't spinning true, it's most likely an issue of the spokes or rim, not chain tension.
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Old 11-01-09, 06:28 PM   #3
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Well Binding and the wheel not spinning true are two different issues.
Chain tension won't affect the truness of the wheel but it can cause it to bind, if the wheel will spin just a bit then bind your chain may be too tight (chainrings are not perfectly concentric and will take up more chain in certain positions than others) if the wheel is out of true (waves side to side as it turns) thats an issue of the spokes/rim which I wouldn't suggest trying to fix unless you already have the know-how. try taking the chain of the sprokets and spin the wheel (and make sure its not rubbing against the chain stays) if it still binds then most likely the cones are too tight but if it was ridable before and no one touched them thats unlikely.
http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html#tension cheack this out if you have not (I would forgo the part about loosening the stackbolts though)
Also the part about your chain falling off being dangerous doesn't apply if you have a freewheel

Last edited by cnnrmccloskey; 11-01-09 at 06:29 PM. Reason: afterthought
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Old 11-01-09, 06:34 PM   #4
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Any advice would be much appreciated - I have had a look at Sheldon Brown but can't seem to understand his advice.
Read again.

His advice is quite clear.
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Old 11-01-09, 06:59 PM   #5
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if you can't understand sheldon maybe just take it to a shop, if it is actualy just chain tension thats a problem they should help you for free/under 5 bucks.
This is a very simple operation and barring complete stupdity on your part what your describing could be a more serious problem that you may not be able to fix by yourself

Last edited by cnnrmccloskey; 11-01-09 at 07:12 PM. Reason: afterthough
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Old 11-01-09, 07:36 PM   #6
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if you can't understand sheldon maybe just take it to a shop, if it is actualy just chain tension thats a problem they should help you for free/under 5 bucks.
This is a very simple operation and barring complete stupdity on your part what your describing could be a more serious problem that you may not be able to fix by yourself
This is sound advice.
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Old 11-01-09, 07:58 PM   #7
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Read again.

His advice is quite clear.
What an unhelpful person. Nice job.
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Old 11-01-09, 08:08 PM   #8
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Why forgo Sheldon's stackbolt loosening method? Is it not effective?
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Old 11-01-09, 09:55 PM   #9
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Why forgo Sheldon's stackbolt loosening method? Is it not effective?
No no not at all just A not somthing I would do on another persons bike and B. this person doesn't sound like they have the greatest wealth of bike know how and the stackbolt loosening is just an unnecessary complication to the process which is already presenting problems.

also the problem includes the wheel binding so you couldn't even until this has been resolved
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Old 11-01-09, 10:01 PM   #10
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As, I see. Was just wondering since I've never actually tried it myself. I was actually thinking about giving it a shot to relieve some tight spots in my chain. Anyway, back to OP.
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Old 11-02-09, 02:29 AM   #11
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Cheers for all the advice - yes sorry, I shouldn't have said that the wheel isn't true, it is definitely noting to do with the wheel itself. Think I will probably take it to a bike shop, since it is clearly this binding issue. Frustrated though, since it wasn't happening before, and now, even if I don't pull the chain tight it is doing the same thing. Wanted to try and sort it myself, but maybe not...

Yes, Sheldon confused my with the stack bolt stuff, thought that was perhaps a little beyond my pay grade...
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