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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 10-10-12, 10:58 AM   #1
SinX7
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Chain tension?

I was wondering how much tension/tight would the chain have to be for Fixed and Single speed?
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Old 10-10-12, 11:12 AM   #2
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Give it around an inch of wiggle
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Old 10-10-12, 11:19 AM   #3
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Here you go, this resource called gogle helps me a lot. Somebody just showed it to me yesterday, im in awe.

Click me
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Old 10-10-12, 11:28 AM   #4
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Never used gogle before.

Google works wonders, though.
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Old 10-10-12, 11:36 AM   #5
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Fixed? You don't want a hell of a lot of play or you risk throwing your chain. This is a big "uh-oh."

Single-speed? You have a little more leeway.

Regardless, c'mon man. Just pull the wheel back in the dropouts til you have very little movement in the chain, without it being too tight.
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Old 10-10-12, 11:40 AM   #6
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Essentially, I do this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Sheldon
Notice how freely the drive train turns when the chain is too loose. That is how freely it should turn when you are done, but with as little chain droop as possible.
The bit on checking chain tension for the full cycle of the cranks is important, too, so that the chain isn't too tight or too loose in spots: http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html#tension
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 10-10-12, 11:41 AM   #7
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Never used gogle before.

Google works wonders, though.
Wow, man I can only handle so much information in one day. How do you pronounce google?
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Old 10-10-12, 11:45 AM   #8
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Every used chain has a tight spot and a loose spot. This is said to be from the imperfection of every chainring. You want to find the tight spot and have that give about 3/4 of an inch of wiggle room.

OR

If you want to roll like me, go inbetween the tight and loose spot and give that middle spot a full inch of wiggle room.
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Old 10-10-12, 12:12 PM   #9
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sometimes i drink to much.
tonight is not the night, as i am only slightly intoxicated.

But yes, slide your wheel back till its tight then adjust, apparently a taught chain is bad. Listen to the folks above me!
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Old 10-10-12, 12:16 PM   #10
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Thanks to those with the helpful info! I'll most likely go with what most of you guys said, to slide it back till its tight then adjust.

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Old 10-10-12, 12:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crandrew View Post
Wow, man I can only handle so much information in one day. How do you pronounce google?
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Old 10-10-12, 12:23 PM   #12
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LOL, who would have thunk it.
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Old 10-10-12, 12:23 PM   #13
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sometimes i drink to much.
tonight is not the night, as i am only slightly intoxicated.

But yes, slide your wheel back till its tight then adjust, apparently a taught chain is bad. Listen to the folks above me!
Its obviously not night in Vegas, you sure you arent drunk?
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Old 10-10-12, 12:29 PM   #14
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Toight like a toiger.

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Old 10-10-12, 02:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
Never used gogle before.

Gogle... it's the new Google.
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Old 10-10-12, 07:19 PM   #16
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To OP: if you have track ends, I'd highly recommend chain tensioners.

As a noob I struggled to find the delicate balance between too tight/not enough, soon after I learned to "walk the wheel" method and got pretty good results right away but then by chance I came upon a Surly tuggnut, sure they a little overpriced but u can find cheaper alternatives.

What these beauties do for you, besides no having to super-torque bolt nuts is that you can tension your chain in a very precise manner, almost effortless and in time record. Set it and forget it.
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Old 10-10-12, 08:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by GENESTARWIND View Post
sometimes i drink to much.
tonight is not the night, as i am only slightly intoxicated.
Bull****
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Old 10-11-12, 09:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinerguy View Post
To OP: if you have track ends, I'd highly recommend chain tensioners.

As a noob I struggled to find the delicate balance between too tight/not enough, soon after I learned to "walk the wheel" method and got pretty good results right away but then by chance I came upon a Surly tuggnut, sure they a little overpriced but u can find cheaper alternatives.

What these beauties do for you, besides no having to super-torque bolt nuts is that you can tension your chain in a very precise manner, almost effortless and in time record. Set it and forget it.
+1 I'm running one on each side - easy as pie.
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Old 10-11-12, 12:53 PM   #19
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What a weird thread.

On chain tension, street riders tend to like their chains very tight both because they think it lets them skid faster and because they think they will drop a chain otherwise. On the track, we mostly ride with as much slack as we can get away with. Again, it's personal preference, with some riders preferring more tension, some less. What less tension gets you is a smoother feeling with less jerking of your legs (important for high cadence high power racing) and less wear on the equipment. Frankly I never found that high tension ever improved one's ability to skid or trackstand.

And as for a chain derailing, you can have about an inch of vertical play in the midpoint of the chain and not have a derailing problem. I always test it, and you can, by taking the edge of your track nut wrench and pushing against the side of the chain where it engages the chainring, as you're rotating the cranks slowly forward. If you can't push the chain off with a prybar, do you think it'll come off on its own? No way. Frankly, most people who have a chain come off either messed up the process entirely or had their rear wheel slide forward in the stay ends so all tension was gone.

As for tensioners, yes, they can work, but you don't need them and can learn to adjust your wheels just fine. They cause the spacing in the back to be ever so slightly greater, so putting your rear wheel on is more of a pain. My track bike is lined up on a rail with fifty others at every training session or race night, and nobody has chain tensioners.
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Old 10-11-12, 02:32 PM   #20
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As for tensioners, yes, they can work, but you don't need them and can learn to adjust your wheels just fine. They cause the spacing in the back to be ever so slightly greater, so putting your rear wheel on is more of a pain. My track bike is lined up on a rail with fifty others at every training session or race night, and nobody has chain tensioners.
+ a Brazilian
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Old 10-11-12, 03:32 PM   #21
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I like to keep a decent amount of play in mine. I heard some drunk motorcycle mechanic say "loose is fast" referring to chains during a party - so I like to pretend it applies to bicycles as well.

In short, cardboard shines like cake shoes.
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Old 10-11-12, 03:44 PM   #22
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+ a Brazilian
Excuse me? A Brazilian? Or a bazillion? I'm trying to figure your comment out if it's the former. Sounds interesting, but obscure.
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Old 10-11-12, 07:32 PM   #23
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how i tension the chain: wedge my hand in between the wheel and the seat tube to push the wheel back. Get your hand as far down as you can bear without hurting yourself. Some frames have less clearance than others, so your hand may have to rest higher on the seat tube, but same idea. When the chain is firm and wheel is centered, lock down the lugs w. your free hand. Easy.
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Old 10-14-12, 08:05 AM   #24
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Old 10-14-12, 08:31 AM   #25
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how i tension the chain: wedge my hand in between the wheel and the seat tube to push the wheel back. Get your hand as far down as you can bear without hurting yourself. Some frames have less clearance than others, so your hand may have to rest higher on the seat tube, but same idea. When the chain is firm and wheel is centered, lock down the lugs w. your free hand. Easy.
+1
I also use this method.
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