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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 10-17-12, 01:03 AM   #1
dynikus
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disadvantage to super tight chain?

Are there any disadvantages to having a really tight chain? I have a flip flop hub with both sides at 16t. My half link chain is the perfect size for the fixed gear side, but really really tight if I put it on the freewheel side. It still works, there's just literally no slack. I'm assuming that this can lead to a higher chance of snapping my chain? I'm riding a bike with vertical dropouts, so unless I do file down my axle a little, I can't really change the tension.
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Old 10-17-12, 01:23 AM   #2
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You won't snap your chain but your drivetrain will wear a lot quicker than if you had a little bit of chain slack.
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Old 10-17-12, 01:24 AM   #3
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with the wheel off the ground, do the pedals spin freely, or does it bind in a certain position?
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Old 10-17-12, 02:05 AM   #4
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It can be noisy, but if your chain doesn't bind up in any part of the revolutions then you should be ok until your chain stretches and can no longer accomodate the vertical dropouts.

Basically, get a new frame suitable for FG/SS.
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Old 10-17-12, 04:07 AM   #5
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well the chain's tight enough to stop the pedals from moving when I spin them. I know I should get a new frame, but I just did a custom paint job on this before I realized the vertical dropouts would be a problem.
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Old 10-17-12, 05:39 AM   #6
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if you actually intend to ride the bike a lot, the magic chain length really isnt a good long term solution. if you dont put many miles on the bike, and just ride it occasionally, then you're probably OK. as mentioned, too much chain tension will wear everythng quicker, and stretch the chain more quickly, which will lead to a problem since you have no tension adjustment anyway.

two solutions, which are readily available are an eccentric bottom bracket or rear hub, either of which are designed to allow for chain tension adjustment for vertical dropout frames.
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Old 10-17-12, 07:22 AM   #7
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well the chain's tight enough to stop the pedals from moving when I spin them. I know I should get a new frame, but I just did a custom paint job on this before I realized the vertical dropouts would be a problem.
It's always much better to do something, then research.

/LessonLearned
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Old 10-17-12, 07:42 AM   #8
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There's still hope for the frame by filing the dropouts. All you need is 1/4".
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Old 10-17-12, 10:40 AM   #9
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/LessonLearned
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Old 10-17-12, 11:23 AM   #10
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There's still hope for the frame by filing the dropouts. All you need is 1/4".
Bad idea.

How about a half-link in the chain?
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Old 10-17-12, 11:28 AM   #11
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You could run a longer chain with a tensioner.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:28 AM   #12
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Bad idea.
+1

Just think about what you're suggesting. It should be clear why it's not advisable.

You could use an eccentric bottom bracket or rear hub, but I doubt your frame is worth the expense.

A chain tensioner would work, but they're pretty lame.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:37 AM   #13
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+1

Just think about what you're suggesting. It should be clear why it's not advisable.
It really depends on the dropout. I've seen plenty of old frames that have more than enough meat of the dropouts for 1/4" of filing.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:41 AM   #14
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It really depends on the dropout. I've seen plenty of old frames that have more than enough meat of the dropouts for 1/4" of filing.
There is likely enough material that you can remove 1/4". However, I wouldn't have confidence in most shade tree mechanics to remove material from both dropouts so as to retain proper wheel alignment. At least not one who had a custom paint job done on a bike with vertical dropouts for use with a SS drivetrain.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:44 AM   #15
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I do see your point.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:50 AM   #16
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a white industries eno hub is the answer here. it's a bit expensive, but if you get a good rear wheel it can be around for a very long time.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:51 AM   #17
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I have a flip flop hub with both sides at 16t. My half link chain is the perfect size for the fixed gear side, but really really tight if I put it on the freewheel side.
This makes no sense though.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:53 AM   #18
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This makes no sense though.
yeah that is a bit confusing, since they have the same number of teeth. Is it just the alignment that makes it tighter?
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Old 10-17-12, 12:06 PM   #19
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It makes sense. I have two 46t chainrings and one makes my chain tighter. I thought it was weird too, but you can't expect every company to make things exactly the same i suppose.
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Old 10-17-12, 12:17 PM   #20
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Uh huh.
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Old 10-17-12, 06:11 PM   #21
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the 16t freewheel is ever so slightly larger than the 16t cog, so it makes it tighter. Seeing as how this bike is just a commuter that I'll use for rides of no more than like 5 miles, I'm not gonna be buying an expensive rear hub. I did the paint job myself on the bike. I'll probably just do what sheldon brown recommended, file down the axle a little.
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Old 10-17-12, 06:16 PM   #22
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One of my feet is slightly larger than the other.
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Old 10-18-12, 08:20 AM   #23
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One of my feet is slightly larger than the other.
Meet too actually.
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Old 10-18-12, 09:06 AM   #24
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Everyone, actually.
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No offense but you're an idiot.
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Old 10-18-12, 09:21 AM   #25
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My dreads are all different lengths.
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