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  1. #1
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    Chain Slack Question

    Hi there! Please bare with me if the question has been asked or makes no sense at all. I just need to get this out of my paranoid self.

    Some observations when I run my chain without a tensioner:
    1.) The chain is barely sagging.
    2.) I can move my chain more then 1/2" upwards.
    3.) I can get it to derail by pushing it to either side.
    4.) It has not derailed on me while on a ride, ever.

    Now, I did get the bike used. I have no idea how "used" (stretched, worn, etc...) the chain was but I managed to break it on a climb while running it without the tensioner. Ofcourse, I didn't have a master link with me either on that ride...

    So the question is: Do I run the risk of wearing a chain down faster when I don't run a tensioner? Taking into consideration that the cog and chainring are in perfect condition and the chain line is pretty much dead on.

    Thanks for helping me clear this up! I really do appreciate it!

  2. #2
    meatier showers
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    No, you won't wear your chain out any faster if you don't run a tensioner. The only potential downside of running a loose chain is that it can more easily unship.

    If the "problem" you describe were mine, I'd measure the chain to make sure it was not stretched beyond tolerance. Check that, since I'd already broken it, I'd replace it with a new chain. Personally I prefer 8-spd chains with a "quick link" (I use Sram). But I use 3/32" chain. If you need 1/8" chain, you'll have to make your own way.

    Good luck,
    Sparty
    Last edited by Sparticus; 03-17-2009 at 12:16 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Thank you! I didn't think a slight lack on tension in the chain could wear it down faster but it's the paranoia!!!! It just so happened that on the first ride without the tensioner the chain broke.

    This actually happened a few months ago and I have since been running on a KMC Z-Chain with the tensioner.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by whayong
    Thank you! I didn't think a slight lack on tension in the chain could wear it down faster but it's the paranoia!!!! It just so happened that on the first ride without the tensioner the chain broke.

    This actually happened a few months ago and I have since been running on a KMC Z-Chain with the tensioner.
    Did you have to unlink the chain to remove the tensioner? Did you shorten the chain?

    After the possibility of a bad assembly job the chain could have started to derail, ridden up on a tooth and then failed because the chain couldn't be stretched.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    Did you have to unlink the chain to remove the tensioner? Did you shorten the chain?

    After the possibility of a bad assembly job the chain could have started to derail, ridden up on a tooth and then failed because the chain couldn't be stretched.
    No. I didn't have to unlink the chain to remove the tensioner. The chain was on the bike when I bought it (used) so it could have been a pretty worn chain. I didn't check/measure it when I got the bike.

  6. #6
    NardoSS
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    At the loosest part of the chain let it go up and down a total of one inch. A chain will be tighter and looser in some places so check by pushing up and down after tightening it. If it can be pushed off of a cog then it's too loose and can come off after coasting on a rocky section.

    I only buy SRAM chains so by the second chain I have a spare master link. I hate having to buy those when I don't need to.

    Chain maintenance according to Sheldon Brown.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html

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