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  1. #1
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    Chain length too short?

    well i am running a 1X9 system, my chain was needing to be replaced. installed new one and its a bit shorter than the old one, making my rear derailleur bending pretty far forward. rode my bike and everything shifts great, rides smooth..but wanted to know what are the complications of running a chain a bit too short? Any info will be great.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: captain smoke eater's Avatar
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    Take the chain off the derailer, now take the chain wrap around the two largest gear in the cassette and crank then touch the ends of the chain together and add two whole links. This is the way to find the correct chain leath.

  3. #3
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    There are formulas for this -- Park Tool has a good article, but their site seems to be down at the moment.

    If there is some bend angle where the chain wraps around the jockey wheel, you are probably OK. In other words, you should be able to move the RD cage by hand and cause the chain to have a little slack.

    Also, check that the RD cage isn't hitting the cassette when shifting between the biggest and second-biggest cog.

  4. #4
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    If your bike has rear suspension a slightly short chain could ruin your day.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    If your bike has rear suspension a slightly short chain could ruin your day.
    removed all air from shock, compressed all the way and the rear derailleur still had movement. Rode today with zero issues. Thanks guys for the info.

  6. #6
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    Below tip takin from: Trail Tech: Put Your Drivetrain On A Diet - BikeRadar

    I had the same question, when I went with 1x10, and following this method gave me the perfect length. If I had gone with just adding "2" links I would have been short.

    When sizing a chain, the general rule of thumb is “big-big plus two”, which is to say, size your chain by wrapping it around the largest chainring and largest cog on the cassette (without routing the chain through the rear derailleur), then add two links to get your ideal chain length.

    The problem with this approach for single-ring drivetrains is that you will frequently find yourself pedaling in the “big-big” chain ring combination. This is to be avoided when running three chainrings, as it can stretch the derailleur to its maximum capacity. Try the following when sizing a chain for your 1x setup: wrap the chain around the chain ring and around the largest cog on the cassette (without routing the chain through the rear derailleur), but try adding four links, rather than two—you can always remove additional links if needed.

    Chain length too short?-1369701416715-czo834zvqlyl-670-70.jpg

    SRAM recommends sizing their XX1 drivetrain with four links of overlap, consider using this approach with your single-ring setup as well—you can always remove links if needed

    Tip: If sizing a chain for a full suspension bike, consider sizing the chain with the suspension compressed to take into account rear axle movement, i.e., chain growth.

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