How tight do you put your chain?

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by bikermandan, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. bikermandan

    bikermandan Guest

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    I was wondering how tight does everyone put their chain? I usually put mine as tight as I possibly can (pulling on the back wheel while bolting it on), am I doing it wrong?
     
  2. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    Tight enough to take out all of the slack, but not so tight that there is any binding.

    For singlespeeds with track ends and no chain tensioners, the way that I tension the chain is to pull the wheel back as far as it will go so that the tire is touching the non drive side chainstay and the chain is fairly taught. Then tighten the driveside track nut or bolt most of the way. The wheel will straighten some between the stays, but still be leaning a bit toward the non drive side. Then center the wheel between the stays which will bring the chain to full tension and tighten the non drive side nut or bolt. Alternate back and forth between tightening the drive and non drive sides until you have reached the maximum torque.

    This procedure is kinda like tying a neck tie. It may take a few attempts to get the chain just right. You will eventually get a feel for it and hit the right tension almost every time.
     

  3. darkangel

    darkangel Guest

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    What do you mean by bind? If you want it to be full torque tight wont that cause the tension to do that?
     
  4. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    Chainrings are not perfectly round so it's possible to over tighten the chain to the point of binding. It can be felt by spinning the crank a full revolution by hand. The crank should spin freely 360 degrees without any tight spots.
     
  5. cbman

    cbman gnar! gnar! gnar!

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    I leave about a 1/2 inch of slack in the chain.
     
  6. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Younger than Hack Tavern Member

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    Good point about the chainrings b=not being perfectly round. As Hop mentioned you should rotate the crank and se if the chain tightens up at a certain spot. Then adjust it accordingly so the slack side is not to slack but the tight side is not binding and pulling the wheel forward at that spot or stretching the chain. That way when you stand up and crank on the pedals if they are in the tight section they are not putting to much pressure on the sprocket.
     
  7. Gman2

    Gman2 New Member

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    Make sure you are not making it too tight. I have heard of people ruining their rear hubs and needing new bearings because of too much torque all the time. i leave just a hair of slack, but not enough to feel when i am riding.
     
  8. Hardtail

    Hardtail Ridin Dirty

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    Well I will get a lesson on this when I switch over to my new XT 9 spd set up!