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Bike Chain (Nub Question)

Old 06-02-12, 07:50 PM
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IHavenI
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Bike Chain (Nub Question)

Hi there I had a general question regarding bike chains. What is the ideal position for a bike chain meaning having it tight (pulling the rear tire further back) loose (probably not) or somewhere in between and does it have any advantages or disadvantages besides the obvious chain popping off scenario. I ride a Redline 925 and tend to have the chain bit loose because I don't know that would happen if I pulled my tire further back to tighten the chain.
Thanks
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Old 06-02-12, 09:10 PM
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i am surprised no one has answered you yet. Chain should be snug but not tight.
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Old 06-02-12, 09:26 PM
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I assume that you're referring to a single speed or IGH chain, nd not a derailleur chain.

The chain should ALWAYS have a bit of slack.

Note that your sprockets aren't perfectly round so the amount of slack will vary with pedal position. If there's a lot of variation, you should start by trying to better center the chainring so it runs as true as possible. Then find the area of tightest chain, and at that point position the wheel so there's about 1/8-1/4" free vertical movement in the middle of the bottom (slack) loop. Or eyeball the chain as you rock the crank back and forth and make sure that there's slack that you can see move from the bottom to top loop.

Either way of establishing trace slack is fine, but slack is the key. A tight chain ads to the bearing load on the hub, increases chain and sprocket wear, and can even lead to serious damage to the hub or drivetrain.
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Old 06-03-12, 09:37 AM
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To hyjack this thread a bit--- I'm waiting for the whole belt drive thing to have enough data points to address the increased bearing load question what with the high belt tensions required. Andy.
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Old 06-03-12, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
To hyjack this thread a bit--- I'm waiting for the whole belt drive thing to have enough data points to address the increased bearing load question what with the high belt tensions required. Andy.
I don't know exactly how much tensions belts require, but I think it's most likely very small combined with driving tension, which is a function of rider weight and strength, but typically is about 2x-4x pedal pressure (depends on chainring size) and so can range up into many hundreds of pounds.
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