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Fixe: Chain help

Old 03-15-11, 11:27 PM
  #1  
FallingJenga
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Fixe: Chain help

So the problem is when I start riding too hard, my chain starts to pop and eventually just come off. It wasn't a big deal until my chain snapped and I noticed a few chains half broken.

I'm on my 3rd chain and I don't know what's going on. It's not too tight or not too loose but when I back pedal, its kinda loose like half an inch before I start really back pedaling.

HELP PLEASE!!! btw it only happens if I pedal too hard.
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Old 03-15-11, 11:33 PM
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What bike is it. What gearing does it have?
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Old 03-15-11, 11:42 PM
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its a fixie, single gear, the frame's a khs flight 100

I'm not sure what gearing it has. i think 24? that's a total guess though. should be standard for any fixie or single gear though
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Old 03-15-11, 11:42 PM
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Thanks
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Old 03-15-11, 11:44 PM
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Is your chainline straight?
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Old 03-16-11, 12:35 AM
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i'm not sure. it looks straight though
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Old 03-16-11, 12:40 AM
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the way to check chain line is throw it on the stand and see where the teeth are engaging in the chain, if you notice they are engaging on the inner or outer of either chain ring then you need to readjust the chainline. the chain should have the teeth float in the center of the chain or you are going to run into problems


also how many miles are on the driveline? are the teeth on your chain rings square of shark toothed?

(old in front, new in back)

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Old 03-16-11, 12:43 AM
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What kind of chain are you using and how are you joining the chain?

And what the hell does "24" mean?
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Old 03-16-11, 05:14 AM
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Is the chain not just skipping off because of wear? Not sure why that would snap the chain unless it's getting wrapped up when it comes off though...

All good suggestions / comments above too.
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Old 03-16-11, 11:58 AM
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Have you been installing the chains yourself?
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Old 03-16-11, 11:59 AM
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Two things on fixie chain setting.

First, you can more accurately check the chain line by placing a long straightedge against the side of the front ring so the straight edge extends back to the rear sprocket. The rear should line up pretty close to the straight edge. 3 to 4 mm either way is "close enough". But it's nice if it's within 1 to 2mm and even nicer if it's bang on to less than a single millimeter.

Second, the correct tension for the chain is actually just barely no tension at all. If you have been making the chain tight then when it finds the tighter spots in the run it puts the chain under extreme load to where it can easily bust the chain and flex the front ring enough to quite possibly make the chain jump off. You want the chain to have as little slack as possible but it has to stay slack at all times. But this takes a bit of setting. Due to various tolerances adding up it's rare to find cranksets and rings and rear freewheels that are very accurately made. So there's typically some wobble in these. When the wobbles add up the wrong way the chain can become tight. And when the chain gets tight bad things happen. Particulary if you are riding hard in a sprint or trying to grunt uphill at the time. So when you set your chain you want to set the bike on a stand or upside down and run the cranks around about 3 to 4 times with numerous stops to check the chain for just the right amount of slack where it hits a "tight" spot. With that tight spot found you still want to be able to have about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of easy up and down movement in the chain mid way between the two sprockets. This last bit is what I mean when I say the correct tension is just barely no tension at all. At some points the chain will be a touch droopy depending on how out of spec the sprockets are.

I haven't done this to my own single speed yet but I often thought that a good idea would be to find where the rear and front sprockets make the chain the tightest and then put a drop of paint on the sprockets either at the top or at the front center of both so I could more easily install the wheel with the sprockets in those two positions and set the tension correctly.

Sheldon's single speed and fixie pages has a trick or two for minimizing the amount of tension variation. It's worth doing but don't expect to get things perfect unless you're using very nice and expensive track components. But with Sheldon's tricks you can get pretty good settings out of regular components if you're willing to put the time into indexing the front ring on the arm to find the position with the least runout.
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Old 03-16-11, 12:21 PM
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Using 1/8" chain and single speed cogs and 1/8" thick chainring too?

1/8"stuff is common to Track and BMX, the latter likely cheaper.
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Old 03-16-11, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by FallingJenga View Post
its a fixie, single gear, the frame's a khs flight 100

I'm not sure what gearing it has. i think 24? that's a total guess though. should be standard for any fixie or single gear though
Nothing is (or has to be) standard with gear ratios for fixed gears. It can be almost anything you want (within reason). Is this a conversion using geared chainrings with ramps and pins?

Tom
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