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Newbie SS owner question

Old 01-02-19, 11:34 PM
  #1  
linberl
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Newbie SS owner question

I just bought a Dahon Mu Uno, folding ss bike. I've noticed some SS have those tuggnut type bolts and some don't. My bike does not. It was not sold with them, either, I checked since I bought it used. I'm wondering if they are necessary (I'm 69 and not going to be pounding this bike, avg. speed 14-15mph). Do they serve any other purpose besides holding the chain snug? And if you don't use them, then how to do you set the chain after you remove and replace the wheel? Is that just by "feel"? I wrench my own Bike Friday and have rebuilt a couple Trek but they all had cassettes so I"m out of my depth here. I figure for flats I would just hope that I can patch by pulling the tube out of the tire and not taking off the wheel, but sometimes they can be really hard to find, so that's when the wheel removal would come into play. TIA
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Old 01-03-19, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I just bought a Dahon Mu Uno, folding ss bike. I've noticed some SS have those tuggnut type bolts and some don't. My bike does not. It was not sold with them, either, I checked since I bought it used. I'm wondering if they are necessary (I'm 69 and not going to be pounding this bike, avg. speed 14-15mph). Do they serve any other purpose besides holding the chain snug? And if you don't use them, then how to do you set the chain after you remove and replace the wheel? Is that just by "feel"? I wrench my own Bike Friday and have rebuilt a couple Trek but they all had cassettes so I"m out of my depth here. I figure for flats I would just hope that I can patch by pulling the tube out of the tire and not taking off the wheel, but sometimes they can be really hard to find, so that's when the wheel removal would come into play. TIA
the main use for chaintugs by most people is for easy setting (micro adjustment) of chain tension when a wheel needs to be removed and then replaced. You don’t and shouldn’t need a chaintug to hold the axle in place. The axle nuts should do that. If they don’t, then they need to be replaced. If you want to use chaintugs, realistically you only need one. Most people would place it on the drive side (side with the chainring)

setting chain tension and getting the wheel centred can be a fiddly thing, especially if you don’t have any experience. But it’s completely possible to do without any chaintugs. My advice would actually be to practice at home, at setting tension and centering the wheel. You should be able to develop your own way of doing it easily enough. If you need help, there are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube, and I think a video demonstration would be more helpful than me trying to spell it out in a block of text. Someone else might be able to chime in with an easy to read checklist of procedure though.

yes, the tension is set by “feel”. But the general rule is that it should have no more (or less, realistically) than half an inch of slack (up/down) movement. A little slack is much better than having it too tight.

Fixing a flat with the wheel still attached? Nonsense. Practice removing, replacing, setting tension and centering the wheel. Once you’re well versed, pulling the wheel off to fix a flat should be a quick, simple procedure.

Last edited by seamuis; 01-03-19 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 01-03-19, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by seamuis View Post


the main use for chaintugs by most people is for easy setting (micro adjustment) of chain tension when a wheel needs to be removed and then replaced. You don’t and shouldn’t need a chaintug to hold the axle in place. The axle nuts should do that. If they don’t, then they need to be replaced. If you want to use chaintugs, realistically you only need one. Most people would place it on the drive side (side with the chainring)

setting chain tension and getting the wheel centred can be a fiddly thing, especially if you don’t have any experience. But it’s completely possible to do without any chaintugs. My advice would actually be to practice at home, at setting tension and centering the wheel. You should be able to develop your own way of doing it easily enough. If you need help, there are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube, and I think a video demonstration would be more helpful than me trying to spell it out in a block of text. Someone else might be able to chime in with an easy to read checklist of procedure though.

yes, the tension is set by “feel”. But the general rule is that it should have no more (or less, realistically) than half an inch of slack (up/down) movement. A little slack is much better than having it too tight.

Fixing a flat with the wheel still attached? Nonsense. Practice removing, replacing, setting tension and centering the wheel. Once you’re well versed, pulling the wheel off to fix a flat should be a quick, simple procedure.
Thanks, sounds like I don't need to add any other kind of nuts. I will find some videos and see how to set the tension. As for fixing flats with the wheel still attached, I do it all the time --- deflate, pull the section of tube out that has the offending object and patch and put it back and inflate. I even do that with QR wheels on my Bike Friday...but you have to be able to see from the tire what caused the flat. Takes a 5 minute job and makes it a 2 minute job =). But sometimes you can't see from the tire where the tube is punctured, thus the need to learn how to remove my SS wheel.
I also saw somehting about "track nuts" and wonder if they are worth it. Being a "little old lady" I'm a bit concerned about being able to snug the axle nuts back down tight enough once I replace a wheel. I don't have a lot of hand or arm strength compared to a typical fixie/ss rider. If it's tight as I can get it but doesn't hold, that would not be a good thing.
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Old 01-03-19, 11:36 AM
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[You need a cheater bar to enhance the torque.]

When I recieved my Dahon Boardwalk S1...I had a hard time keeping the axle from moving as I tighten it down.
It came with a rudimentary tugnut thingy that didn't work at all.
So, I threw the tugnut thingy away and, then I added a serrated washer between the axle nut and the drop out...and that thing worked great!

So I was able to micro adjust the chain tension now easy.

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Old 01-03-19, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Thanks, sounds like I don't need to add any other kind of nuts. I will find some videos and see how to set the tension. As for fixing flats with the wheel still attached, I do it all the time --- deflate, pull the section of tube out that has the offending object and patch and put it back and inflate. I even do that with QR wheels on my Bike Friday...but you have to be able to see from the tire what caused the flat. Takes a 5 minute job and makes it a 2 minute job =). But sometimes you can't see from the tire where the tube is punctured, thus the need to learn how to remove my SS wheel.
I also saw somehting about "track nuts" and wonder if they are worth it. Being a "little old lady" I'm a bit concerned about being able to snug the axle nuts back down tight enough once I replace a wheel. I don't have a lot of hand or arm strength compared to a typical fixie/ss rider. If it's tight as I can get it but doesn't hold, that would not be a good thing.
obviously having to replace a tube would require complete removal of the wheel. This is why I said you should practice. Patching a puncture with the wheel still mounted, if that’s your thing, I’m not going to argue that. Do your thing mate. As far as axle nuts are concerned, there are two types, yes. I don’t know what type of nuts your bike came with, but a ‘track nut’ is basically a nut with a captive (floating/spinning) washer. It’s a captive nut. That’s it. And you should absolutely use captive nuts. If yours aren’t, then absolutely replace them. If you want to purchase a set of ‘track’ nuts, there are some more expensive and less expensive. I use shimano’s Dura-Ace nuts because they came with my hubs. Most people (and I would agree) would say they are some of the best. Retrogression (https://www.retro-gression.com/colle...rack-axle-nuts) has a decent set of track nuts for 5 bucks a pair. So 10 bucks for front and rear. You could probably buy a set of captive nuts at a hardware store, but you neee to make sure it’s the right size and thread pitch, and usually your rear axle is larger diameter than your front. (10mm rear and 9mm front)

you shouldn’t need to torque them down super hard. That’s where the captive washer matters. It bites down and holds. With captive ‘track’ nuts, you should be able to tighten down your nuts sufficiently without worry. And you won’t be putting down anywhere near enough torque, especially with a ss, to cause them to slip.

if you’re curious though, you could purchase a chaintug to practice with and without to see what you prefer. But you should have quality captive nuts, full stop. Everything else is just practice to get it down.

i have a very easy method of setting chain tension, but it won’t be helpful to you because my ss is a road bike conversion with older horizontal forward facing dropouts, so it’s not applicable for a frame with rear facing fork ends like yours.
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Old 01-03-19, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by seamuis View Post


obviously having to replace a tube would require complete removal of the wheel. This is why I said you should practice. Patching a puncture with the wheel still mounted, if that’s your thing, I’m not going to argue that. Do your thing mate. As far as axle nuts are concerned, there are two types, yes. I don’t know what type of nuts your bike came with, but a ‘track nut’ is basically a nut with a captive (floating/spinning) washer. It’s a captive nut. That’s it. And you should absolutely use captive nuts. If yours aren’t, then absolutely replace them. If you want to purchase a set of ‘track’ nuts, there are some more expensive and less expensive. I use shimano’s Dura-Ace nuts because they came with my hubs. Most people (and I would agree) would say they are some of the best. Retrogression (https://www.retro-gression.com/colle...rack-axle-nuts) has a decent set of track nuts for 5 bucks a pair. So 10 bucks for front and rear. You could probably buy a set of captive nuts at a hardware store, but you neee to make sure it’s the right size and thread pitch, and usually your rear axle is larger diameter than your front. (10mm rear and 9mm front)

you shouldn’t need to torque them down super hard. That’s where the captive washer matters. It bites down and holds. With captive ‘track’ nuts, you should be able to tighten down your nuts sufficiently without worry. And you won’t be putting down anywhere near enough torque, especially with a ss, to cause them to slip.

if you’re curious though, you could purchase a chaintug to practice with and without to see what you prefer. But you should have quality captive nuts, full stop. Everything else is just practice to get it down.

i have a very easy method of setting chain tension, but it won’t be helpful to you because my ss is a road bike conversion with older horizontal forward facing dropouts, so it’s not applicable for a frame with rear facing fork ends like yours.
My Nuts are not track nuts, I just checked. Off to get some....thank you again!
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Old 01-03-19, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
My Nuts are not track nuts, I just checked. Off to get some....thank you again!
nuts for Track hub axles are not the same thread size as your Coaster hub's, I believe. Becareful!

I believe, Track axle is typically 10mm...while Coaster is probably some sort of 3/8".

I belive most Track nut is for 10mm axle...so you will need to look for special 3/8" Track nuts. Also need to check the TPI thread pitch size. If you use the wrong size...you might ruin the axle.

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Old 01-03-19, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
nuts for Track hub axles are not the same thread size as your Coaster hub's, I believe. Becareful!

I believe, Track axle is typically 10mm...while Coaster is probably some sort of 3/8".

I belive most Track nut is for 10mm axle...so you will need to look for special 3/8" Track nuts. Also need to check the TPI thread pitch size. If you use the wrong size...you might ruin the axle.
Ahh...I'll just go to my lbs and they can put them on. That way I can be sure they are correct. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 01-03-19, 03:43 PM
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I'm assuming your Dahon has a coaster hub.

According to Park Tool, coaster hub axle need nuts that says 3/8 x 24-tpi...

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...hread-concepts
3/8 inch x 24 tpi Some solid axle bike, including coaster brake

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Old 01-03-19, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I'm assuming your Dahon has a coaster hub.

According to Park Tool, coaster hub axle need nuts that says 3/8 x 24-tpi...

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...hread-concepts
That's useful, thanks!
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Old 01-03-19, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
nuts for Track hub axles are not the same thread size as your Coaster hub's, I believe. Becareful!

I believe, Track axle is typically 10mm...while Coaster is probably some sort of 3/8".

I belive most Track nut is for 10mm axle...so you will need to look for special 3/8" Track nuts. Also need to check the TPI thread pitch size. If you use the wrong size...you might ruin the axle.
Excellent post!

You can find the captive washer "track" nuts in 3/8 pretty easily and your local shop should have them and hopefully also have the Wheels Manufacturing thread pitch guide (or someone else's I just have used the WM doohickey in the past)

One should always double check thread pitch on anything and if you ever feel something binding up do not continue to tighten remove and check everything and re-grease and try again if everything is correct. The only time you should strip anything is while cleaning your unloaded fire arm ; )
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Old 01-03-19, 09:24 PM
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As already said above, you can find captive ‘track’ nuts in the standard coaster and IGH 3/8” size. I wasn’t aware that you had a ss coaster hub, as I’m not familiar with this bike beyond the fact that it’s a folding bike. That’s my mistake for assuming it was a hub with a thread on ss freewheel. Nonetheless, all of my advice still stands. Most important of which, is that you should be using captive nuts. Cheers.
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Old 01-04-19, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by seamuis View Post
As already said above, you can find captive ‘track’ nuts in the standard coaster and IGH 3/8” size. I wasn’t aware that you had a ss coaster hub, as I’m not familiar with this bike beyond the fact that it’s a folding bike. That’s my mistake for assuming it was a hub with a thread on ss freewheel. Nonetheless, all of my advice still stands. Most important of which, is that you should be using captive nuts. Cheers.
I called my local shop and they've got 'em and it's going in to just have them check the BB and hub (not sure if they were ever serviced and it's 10 years old) since I don't have the tools for that. They'll put on the track nuts at the same time - and show me how to center and tension the wheel!!! Good folks =)
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Old 01-04-19, 11:01 AM
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Your axle might not be long enough to accept track nuts. Tracks nut are wider.

Dahon Mu Uno

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Old 01-04-19, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Your axle might not be long enough to accept track nuts. Tracks nut are wider.

Dahon Mu Uno
Well...crap. If it's not, do I just leave it or is there another option? I liked the idea of something that would maybe be easier to snug down to ensure I get enough torque on the bolts, being the wimp that I am.
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Old 01-04-19, 12:24 PM
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I'm pretty sure one can replace the axle with a longer one pretty easily...but I duobt the LBS would have axle in stock.

I was not surprised that my Boardwalk has this problem because it's a cheap low end Dahon.

But I am curious how Dahon could have made such an error on the high end bike like the Mu.

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Old 01-04-19, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Well...crap. If it's not, do I just leave it or is there another option? I liked the idea of something that would maybe be easier to snug down to ensure I get enough torque on the bolts, being the wimp that I am.
the nut doesn’t have to thread so far down on the axle, that you have axle sticking out past the top of the nut, when you’re dealing with captive nuts. Outside width of the nut is irrelevant. What’s relevant is the height of the captive washer and nut together. The mechanic at the shop will be able to determine if your axle has enough threading to safely engage the nuts they have. This would be a completely different scenario with non-captive nuts. Typically non-captive are taller (require more threading) than captive or ‘track’ nuts. Precisely because the captive washer means less threading is required to properly secure the nuts. So if your bike currently has non-captive nuts, that have enough threading, you should have plenty of axle threading for track nuts.

while you’re at the shop, ask the mecahic to let you tighten down a nut with a standard size wrench, to your strength ability and see if that’s secure enough. I’m willing to bet, you’ll be able to do it fine.

Last edited by seamuis; 01-04-19 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 01-04-19, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I'm pretty sure one can replace the axle with a longer one pretty easily...but I duobt the LBS would have axle in stock.

I was not surprised that my Boardwalk has this problem because it's a cheap low end Dahon.

But I am curious how Dahon could have made such an error on the high end bike like the Mu.
because its not “high end”...
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Old 01-04-19, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by seamuis View Post


the nut doesn’t have to thread so far down on the axle, that you have axle sticking out past the top of the nut, when you’re dealing with captive nuts. Outside width of the nut is irrelevant. What’s relevant is the height of the captive washer and nut together. The mechanic at the shop will be able to determine if your axle has enough threading to safely engage the nuts they have. This would be a completely different scenario with non-captive nuts. Typically non-captive are taller (require more threading) than captive or ‘track’ nuts. Precisely because the captive washer means less threading is required to properly secure the nuts. So if your bike currently has non-captive nuts, that have enough threading, you should have plenty of axle threading for track nuts.

while you’re at the shop, ask the mecahic to let you tighten down a nut with a standard size wrench, to your strength ability and see if that’s secure enough. I’m willing to bet, you’ll be able to do it fine.
Well, if I had any thoughts of just ordering some nuts online, this discussion has made it clear that a visit to the lbs is well advised. And, yes, I intend to have them actually work WITH me to install the rear wheel with the new nuts. Once I've done it, I'll feel confident about doing it on the road if necessary. Thanks!
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Old 01-04-19, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Well, if I had any thoughts of just ordering some nuts online, this discussion has made it clear that a visit to the lbs is well advised. And, yes, I intend to have them actually work WITH me to install the rear wheel with the new nuts. Once I've done it, I'll feel confident about doing it on the road if necessary. Thanks!
its always surprising the things you assume should be simple, aren’t always such. In truth, you are just dealing with a bike that doesn’t exactly follow the typical standards, in terms of the type of bikes most members of the forum are used to dealing with. A ss coaster hub, folding bike is, for lack of a better term, ‘different’. Anytime you’re dealing with different, there’s a much greater chance of a lot of difficulties when changing or upgrading parts. So some demonstration and advice from a proper mechanic is a perfectly good thing.
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