i apologize if these questions have been asked before, i am new to track bikes so please be gentle. i just picked up a 2013 felt tk3 off a guy that bought it just to ride around. how tight is the chain suppose to be. right now its so tight that the wheel and cranks dont spin freely. i feel that its way to tight, but again i have no ideal with track bikes. whats a good rule of thumb for tightening the chain?. also right now i have the stock 48-15 setup on it. i have no intentions on upgrading anything with the bike until i'm sure this is something i want to pursue. but i do plan on getting a couple different size rings and cogs to play around with. what are some good quality rings and cogs. ive noticed people like the fsa pro track rings, but which cogs.? just for reference i live about 40 minutes from the major taylor track, and probably will only race there. for now! thanks..
I can't help with the cogs - I've only used Miche so can't offer advice as to which brand is 'best' or good quality.
I've heard many different theories about chain tension (mainly from hill-climbs where some people use track bikes (weight/fixed gear helps a little). I've heard some people say as loose as you can without the chain coming off. I've heard that you want it really tight. Personally, I ride mine so that I can move the chain up and down about an inch.
Anecdote - I'd avoid going overly tight, there's a guy at my local track who rides his chain really tight, then whinges to everyone post race that he has a tight spot in his drivetrain (it also makes a right racket while he's riding it!).
Yeah, if it doesn't spin freely, obviously that's way too tight.
It only needs to be tight enough to not derail. That means a bit of slack. Push on the chain with your finger, near the chainring, up and over the chainring. If you can come close to pushing the chain off of the ring, then it's too lose. If you can't do that, then even if your chain has some slack, then you're good. Agree with about an inch in total vertical movement at the middle of the chain.
track rings: FSA rings are a decent value. There are also usually tons of Dura-Ace and Sugino 75 rings for sale on ebay from Japan. Cost is usually low, shipping usually high. In general I've noticed that rings from the real brands (Shimano, Campy, Sugino, even FSA and Omnium rings) are durable, round, and as much chainring as you need. Cheaper ones can be hit-or-miss in terms of quality.
For cogs: I use Dura-Ace cogs. They're like twenty bucks each. I also use the Miche splined cog system on my race wheels because it's nice having one less step to do when I'm changing gears between races.
I too have noticed that the chain doesn't need to be as tight as possible to perform best; on the contrary in fact. It makes sense if you think about it. All of the bearing surfaces in the chain in hub probably can't move as freely under loads of tension. I feel like there was one forum member who said in regards to chain tension, "loose is fast". I still keep my chain somewhat tight mostly because I don't like picking up the slack if I'm backpedaling to slow myself down.
FSA rings are good quality as others have said, plus they're pretty chunky. Whether or not this makes them any stiffer I can't say, but they are cheaper new than most competitors. As far as I've seen, only All-City makes a cheaper ring, but the largest size they offer is a 48t. Despite this, all of my cogs and lockrings (and a few other components) are from them. Their cogs are cheaper than Dura-Ace, and are pretty handsome to boot. If your LBS uses Quality Bicycle Components, they should be able to order you any of the parts I've mentioned here.