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  1. #1
    Just Do It ! VeganRider's Avatar
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    Im new at this and have a Pista. I noticed when I picked it up from the LBS the chain was what I would call "super tight", in other words moving it up or down at all took force, as if trying to stretch it to lift it up any more than 1/4 inch. How loose should it be? I noticed when the wheel is off the ground and I rotate the wheel the chain gets a bit tighter then looser as I rotate it, so I didnt think it should be real tight like it might be tough on the BB. Now I have it adjusted so if I lift up on the center section of the chain there is about 1/2 - 3/4 inch where its like Im just lifting the chain's own weight and not pulling against it. What's right here anyhow?
    Last edited by VeganRider; 02-09-05 at 09:42 PM.

  2. #2
    shoot up or shut up. isotopesope's Avatar
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    once you go slack you never go back. hiyah!

  3. #3
    loser
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    Quote Originally Posted by isotopesope
    once you go slack you never go back. hiyah!
    sweet!

  4. #4
    consistent inconsistency habitus's Avatar
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    boo-tay!
    every scar has a story

  5. #5
    Postmodern Beauty King
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    not too slack, it is really disconcerting when you start to break and the keeps spining a while before it eats up the slack and starts to build tension.

    sheldon has good info on the subject, 1/2 inch of travel the way you described is what I go for, works for me.

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    i think the general rule of thumb is about 1/4"-1/2" of play in the chain. if you have loose and tight spots in your chain, you might want to center your chainring.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TrevorInSoCal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieIG
    not too slack, it is really disconcerting when you start to break and the keeps spining a while before it eats up the slack and starts to build tension.

    sheldon has good info on the subject, 1/2 inch of travel the way you described is what I go for, works for me.
    Not really sure what's *right* but I usually tighten up my chain when I start to feel excessive back-and-forth "play", while track-standing. If it feels like a solid-connection and there is no noticeable slack while applying forward or backward pressure on the pedals, I figure it's probably about right.

    Though if it's too tight I get excessive drivetrain noise, and that's even more annoying...

    -Trevor

  8. #8
    I Voted for the Green M&M South Fulcrum's Avatar
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    Once I dropped my chain. After that I 1) kept it too tight and 2) had nightmares about my chain dropping. My solution was to get one of those Surly Tuggnuts. I spent a bit of time getting it just right and then no more bad dreams.



    P.S.
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    Well at least I'm housebroken.

  9. #9
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    What works for me is tightening it up just enough so that I cannot get the chain off the chain ring teeth with my fingers. I guess you would need a straight edge to do the 1/2 inch measurement thing to any degree of accuracy. If your chainring is out of round than tighten it up where the ring gives the greater pull or comprimise a little even better.

  10. #10
    aka co-op commando infestedguy1's Avatar
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    P.S.
    all the beer I dink is either from a twis off or a can.[/QUOTE]

    seems like you've been dipping into your kegerator.
    turning the 0mph fallover into an artform

  11. #11
    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    i just went thru the same thing with my recent pista purchase. my chainring was off center and it would go from tight to slack. also look for the chain to appear to go up and down (looking from the side).
    i spent about 15 minutes following sheldon brown's instructions for centering your chainring and it made a big difference in helping get proper tension.

  12. #12
    I Voted for the Green M&M South Fulcrum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by infestedguy1
    seems like you've been dipping into your kegerator.
    Well of course there is the kegerator, but I didn't want to get into all that. Why? I don't know. However, sometimes when I'm on the floor and can't get up, I'll hit the tap with my rear wheel. Does that count?
    Well at least I'm housebroken.

  13. #13
    Grease Monkey polytoxic's Avatar
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    Also the chain doesn't stretch uniformly either. So if you notice that the chain has tight spots and loose spots in differant locations it doesn't necessarely mean that the chainring isn't centered. This problem is encountered alot on motorcycles because of their high torque motors (I had to explain this alot to people when I was a motorcycle mechanic, your new chain is junk because you are pulling too many wheelies ). You will notice that if you skid alot that you will stretch the chain in certain areas leading the chain to have tight and loose spots.
    ~Mike "own too many toys" G.

  14. #14
    wheels of fire!
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    Quote Originally Posted by South Fulcrum
    Well of course there is the kegerator, but I didn't want to get into all that. Why? I don't know. However, sometimes when I'm on the floor and can't get up, I'll hit the tap with my rear wheel. Does that count?

    my ears perked up at kegerator. literally. like i could hear you or something.

    i still havent made proper use of it. ill have to at the next meeting

    *edit* and i just put a tensioner on yesterday. wind aside, the ride felt nice.


    <3victoria

  15. #15
    I need more bikes!!! Mr. Shadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeganRider
    Im new at this and have a Pista. I noticed when I picked it up from the LBS the chain was what I would call "super tight", in other words moving it up or down at all took force, as if trying to stretch it to lift it up any more than 1/4 inch. How loose should it be? I noticed when the wheel is off the ground and I rotate the wheel the chain gets a bit tighter then looser as I rotate it, so I didnt think it should be real tight like it might be tough on the BB. Now I have it adjusted so if I lift up on the center section of the chain there is about 1/2 - 3/4 inch where its like Im just lifting the chain's own weight and not pulling against it. What's right here anyhow?
    Tight is good, as long as it doesn't bind at any point.
    "We are few now, but one day we will rule." That's what one of my fixies whispered as I walked by. I nodded in agreement, and thanked it for not waking the others.

  16. #16
    Just Do It ! VeganRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surferbruce
    i just went thru the same thing with my recent pista purchase. my chainring was off center and it would go from tight to slack. also look for the chain to appear to go up and down (looking from the side).
    i spent about 15 minutes following sheldon brown's instructions for centering your chainring and it made a big difference in helping get proper tension.
    Oh yeah? well, I went there but did not see what Sheldon had to say about that. Just how is that done, centering the chainring anyhow? maybe just loosen all the bolts, rotate slowly and hold something against the edge? thanks......

  17. #17
    Retired Member ultra-g's Avatar
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    Where'd you get your Pista??

    One of the guys at Gotham bikes rides a Van Dessel with so much chain slack that you can stick 2 fingers between the chainring and the chain. It bounces around like crazy when he rides, but he doesn't have any problems.


    Quote Originally Posted by VeganRider
    Im new at this and have a Pista. I noticed when I picked it up from the LBS the chain was what I would call "super tight", in other words moving it up or down at all took force, as if trying to stretch it to lift it up any more than 1/4 inch. How loose should it be? I noticed when the wheel is off the ground and I rotate the wheel the chain gets a bit tighter then looser as I rotate it, so I didnt think it should be real tight like it might be tough on the BB. Now I have it adjusted so if I lift up on the center section of the chain there is about 1/2 - 3/4 inch where its like Im just lifting the chain's own weight and not pulling against it. What's right here anyhow?
    I Changed My User Name!

  18. #18
    Just Do It ! VeganRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultra-g
    Where'd you get your Pista??

    One of the guys at Gotham bikes rides a Van Dessel with so much chain slack that you can stick 2 fingers between the chainring and the chain. It bounces around like crazy when he rides, but he doesn't have any problems.
    I bought it new, an '05 about a month ago from the LBS. What's "Gotham bikes"?Two fingers and no problems? hmm,,, how does he stop anyhow? brakes?

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Mechanically speaking you want the chain to be as slack-free as it can be at the tightest point of the rotation (you'll find out quickly once you begin this neurotic path that your chainring/cog may not be perfectly round).

    A properly tensioned chain should be near silent provided it's lubricated properly (most often overlooked answer to the "why is my chain making noise" question). And you should have almost no play in the crank while holding the wheel still.

    One of my favorite things is riding a bike which is completly silent really fast in the middle of the night and only hearing the sound of the tires on pavement.

  20. #20
    I Voted for the Green M&M South Fulcrum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mawkzie
    my ears perked up at kegerator. literally. like i could hear you or something.

    i still havent made proper use of it. ill have to at the next meeting

    *edit* and i just put a tensioner on yesterday. wind aside, the ride felt nice.


    <3victoria
    No need to wait for the next meeting. Just come on over. That goes for everyone.
    Well at least I'm housebroken.

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