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how tight do you run your chains on your fixed?

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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

how tight do you run your chains on your fixed?

Old 05-02-08, 02:18 PM
  #1  
danimal4lovin
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how tight do you run your chains on your fixed?

How tight are you people out there running your chains? I like the lack of give when doing track stands shifting my weight back and forth, but too tight gives that horrible grinding sound, what do you think?
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Old 05-02-08, 02:21 PM
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I run my chain like a track racer - nice and loose.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:22 PM
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I usually run it pretty snug with about .5inch slack up/down movement with my finger. I don't like it being too loose because I can feel where the chain goes slack from a forward motion to backwards. You get that pedal...nothin...bam..chains' tight again feeling.

Too tight causes bearing wear.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:23 PM
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tight like man's anoos.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Yoshi View Post
I run my chain like a track racer - nice and loose.


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Old 05-02-08, 02:32 PM
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I always run my chain tight enough, but never run it too tight.
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Old 05-02-08, 03:23 PM
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I really like to find the spot between my rear cog and my front ring that is the tightest and then lock my axle down. Rotate it a couple of times and since my stupid rings aren't truly round (are anyones???) the chain is tight at one spot and loose at one spot and inbetween throughout.

Works good E 2 shoes.
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Old 05-02-08, 03:27 PM
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i run it like lemmy does... FAST AND LOOSE!
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Old 05-02-08, 03:29 PM
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loosey goosey. loose enough that i can feel just a bit of play when shifting my weight back and forth in a trackstand.

edit: that thumb ring is pretty sick.
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Old 05-02-08, 03:47 PM
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i have about an inch of play (total) at the tightest point. pretty loose but definitely not loose enough to come off the ring.
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Old 05-02-08, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by EivlEvo View Post
I really like to find the spot between my rear cog and my front ring that is the tightest and then lock my axle down. Rotate it a couple of times and since my stupid rings aren't truly round (are anyones???) the chain is tight at one spot and loose at one spot and inbetween throughout.

Works good E 2 shoes.
A little bit of derailment but I am just a little relieved to hear it's not only me. A conversion I did has been doing the tight-loose-tight-loose thing when spinning the cranks. I even did some artful grinding on the inside of the chainring to give it a little more wiggle room. I finally came to the conclusion that, **** it I'll ride it whatever!
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Old 05-02-08, 05:48 PM
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Yeah... I would doubt very much if anyone had perfectly round rings. I was stating that more or less to see if anyone had something that was stated to be manufactured "perfectly round".

This is why when you're tensioning your chain, you should tension it with the cranks in AT LEAST 4 positions. If I were actually track racing, I would probably try to set it up by doing the math so that the cog's non roundedness and the rings non roundedness would line up in most cases. But that would require a graphing calculator and some paper... oh yeah, and time.

Good thing Im not track racing.
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Old 05-02-08, 06:07 PM
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Snug, but not overly tight.
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Old 05-02-08, 06:20 PM
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toight like tiger
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Old 05-02-08, 06:34 PM
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pretty damn tight. Not maximumly tight.
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Old 05-02-08, 08:44 PM
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fajzah fajzah fajzah fajzah
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Old 05-02-08, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by EivlEvo View Post
Yeah... I would doubt very much if anyone had perfectly round rings. I was stating that more or less to see if anyone had something that was stated to be manufactured "perfectly round".

This is why when you're tensioning your chain, you should tension it with the cranks in AT LEAST 4 positions. If I were actually track racing, I would probably try to set it up by doing the math so that the cog's non roundedness and the rings non roundedness would line up in most cases. But that would require a graphing calculator and some paper... oh yeah, and time.

Good thing Im not track racing.
I guess it doesn't work too well with new stuff and tight tolerances, but i've had reasonable success centering chainrings on used roaddoubles using the sheldon method.
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Old 05-02-08, 09:14 PM
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half inch of play is what's recommended.
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Old 05-02-08, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by EivlEvo View Post
Yeah... I would doubt very much if anyone had perfectly round rings. I was stating that more or less to see if anyone had something that was stated to be manufactured "perfectly round".

This is why when you're tensioning your chain, you should tension it with the cranks in AT LEAST 4 positions. If I were actually track racing, I would probably try to set it up by doing the math so that the cog's non roundedness and the rings non roundedness would line up in most cases. But that would require a graphing calculator and some paper... oh yeah, and time.

Good thing Im not track racing.
It wouldn't be too difficult to make the ring perfectly round. More likely, it's the hole in the center that causes the problems. I've put a chainring spacer in backwards on my BMX bike, and had it shift ever so slightly mid-race. Broke the chain, but managed to not contact the top tube.
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Old 05-03-08, 08:40 AM
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Half an inch or so of play up and down when it's at the tightest spot works for me. I find I can tell when the chain's getting too loose because I can hear it when I resist to stop.
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Old 05-03-08, 08:54 AM
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I can never get it tight enough. What is a good technique for pulling it back to a tight spot?

I like mine to be moderately tight, I hate track standing and having my cranks shake around the teeth.
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Old 05-03-08, 08:56 AM
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question: if you ride with slack, doesn't the violent, abrupt change in direction of the chainring when skidding at higher speeds cause faster wear/stretching of the chain? i feel like a loose chain could accelerate damage to the chain by causing it to (violently) snap taught everytime you skip or skid.

seems to me that regardless of what ss or "track racers" do, riding fixed on the street essentially requires a no-play (or very minimal play) chain...

Last edited by sp00ki; 05-03-08 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 05-03-08, 09:52 AM
  #23  
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I've never really experimented with this. I always keep about 1/2 inch or 1 inch slack in the chain, something like that. Maybe it would be better to run the chain tight. Not excessively tight, but just no slack tight. Don't know. What harm would that do?

Oh, duh, I don't even have a fixed (any more), I have a ss.
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Old 05-03-08, 10:01 AM
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does a "loose" chain make skidding easier?
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Old 05-03-08, 10:19 AM
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I run just enough slack so that the chain will not bind at any point and tight enough that I don't drop my chain... a looser chain does run out faster but is not as practical for urban riding as besides braking, big hits can cause the chain to jump off.

A lot of it comes down to personal preference.
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