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Am I destined to have my chain drag on my front derailleur (xtracycle)?

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Am I destined to have my chain drag on my front derailleur (xtracycle)?

Old 02-18-08, 10:29 PM
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bizzz111
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Am I destined to have my chain drag on my front derailleur (xtracycle)?

I just finished my build out of my first xtracycle. Actually it's my first build out ever, so it has taken a while. The main problem is the front derailleur.

If I tweak my front derailleur so that it doesn't drag when it's in the smallest chain ring, it's down too low to shift up to the biggest ring (triple derailleur).

I have everything else tuned in pretty well, but I can imagine this chain drag will eventually drive me nuts.

Will shortening the chain length help? Is there some sort of tensioner that works on the top of the chain stay? It looks like I'm off by just a hair.
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Old 02-19-08, 01:05 AM
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Abneycat
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Well, you want to have your chain just long enough so that it will just loop around your largest front and rear rings, with the rear dérailleur stretched out near maximum. If you can shift onto these rings and your dérailleur isn't fully (or very near fully) extended, you have room to take out chain. That might help to a small degree.

If it came down to really needing a tensioner up top, i've considered the possibility of installing a chain tensioner on the *inside* of your bicycle's unused dérailleur hanger. That way, it would be on the inside of the chain line and pointing upwards. You could remove any section which might interfere with your wheel, and that would do it to a point: I personally tested this to make sure that it would install (which it does, properly! thats the important first step ), but I did not test it to see if the deflection caused by having a tensioner installed like such would severely interfere with shifting or chain performance.

I would quite like to see Xtracycle come up with a similar device, but one in which the tensioning gear was able to move along its mounting bar somewhat in order to follow dérailleur movement. Such a thing may already exist somewhere, but i've not seen one.
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Old 02-19-08, 02:49 PM
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The Human Car
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FWIW my chain drags on my front derailleur in the small ring when I have it on the smaller gears in the back but 1-4 are usable with no noise. Not ideal but works.
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Old 02-20-08, 01:56 AM
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BikeManDan
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Sounds like you should probably shorten the chain a little

If you look at some older tandems you'll find some interesting chain tension techniques
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Old 02-21-08, 08:44 AM
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well it may not be as big of a deal as I had thought. After oiling everything up and taking it for its initial commute, I noticed a few things.

1) I've forgotten how generous the gearing on a mountain bike is. Running my road bike up the hill I bike up each day, I used every bit of the granny gears available (and sometimes wished for more). Taking the xtracycle up the hill, I didn't even have to move off the middle chain ring all all. Furthermore, I didn't even need to hit the 34T granny gear on my cassette. So for my every day commute it doesn't look like chain rub will be an issue. I'll reevaluate after a nice long break-in.

2) Damn this thing is fun to ride. Coming from a roadbike with 120psi tires, my xtracycle with big apples is like driving a cadillac. I'm also surprised how well it is behaving since this was my first buildout ever (i.e. replacing most of the components). It's not that much slower than my roadbike either. Perhaps it will be just as fast once I get used to the mtb gearing again.

3) My only regret? That my roadbike, which I just bought about eight months ago (after the mtb that I just turned into an xtracycle died) will probably be gathering a lot of dust in the garage. Also, I need to figure out a good way to attach this thing to my hitch rack. I'll probably have to take off the tires.

Anyways, I'm glad I didn't wait for the big dummy. I'm sorry I waited this long to build one up. If you are thinking of getting an xtracycle, DO IT! (shameless promotion mode off).
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