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  1. #1
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    Variable tension in my chain

    So i recently moved cross country country and took my bikes with me. When i was rebuilding my track bike i noticed that when spinning the wheel the tension in the chain changed. the chain and rear cog were worn so i changed them and the problem still exists. Basically i am asking if anyone has ever heard of this and could give some insight as to what is causing this and how to fix it. thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    It's pretty common, and is usually due to chainrings being not quite round. If you can adjust the tension so it's not too tight at the tightest spot and still won't come off at the loosest spot then you shouldn't have any problems.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  3. #3
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    Quote from Sheldon Brown:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html
    Chain Tension

    The chain tension on a fixed gear is quite critical, and is regulated by moving the rear axle back and forth in the fork ends. If the chain is too tight, the drive train will bind, perhaps only at one angle of the pedals (chainwheels are not usually perfectly concentric). It should be tight as it can be without binding. If the chain is too loose, it can fall off, which is quite dangerous on a fixed gear.

    Set the rear axle so that the chain pulls taut at the tightest part of the cranks' rotation. One at a time, loosen up each of the stack bolts, and tighten it back just finger tight. Spin the crank slowly and watch for the chain to get to its tightest point. Strike the taut chain lightly with a convenient tool to make the chain ring move a bit on its spider. Then rotate the crank some more, finding the new tightest spot, and repeat as necessary.

    This takes a little bit of your hands learning how hard to hit the chain, and how loose to set the stack bolts, but it is really quite easy to learn.

    Tighten up the stack bolts a bit and re-check. Tighten the stack bolts in a regular pattern, like the lug nuts on a car wheel. My standard pattern is to start by tightening the bolt opposite the crank, then move clockwise 2 bolts (144 degrees), tighten that one, clockwise 2 more, and so on. Never tighten two neighboring bolts in a row. You may prefer to go counterclockwise, but try to get in the habit of always starting at the same place and always going the same way. This reduces the chances of accidentally missing a bolt.

    Once you have the chainrings centered and secured, adjust the position of the rear axle to make the chain as nearly tight as possible without binding. 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.

  4. #4
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    it called runout. peter white goes into detail as to why it happens: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fixed.asp

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