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  1. #1
    i worship Mr T
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    optimal position for axle in horiz drops?

    hi all.

    after seeing the pix i posted the other day of my pink lady a number of people commented about the fact that the rear wheel/axle is sitting pretty far out toward the end of the dropout. i had a friend help me with the chain line and set up and that was where he put it. seeing as i don't know any better it didn't occur to me to question it at the time.

    is there an optimal position for the axle? and, is there any reason not to just seat the axle all the way into the drop? it seems doing this would make it easier to know if you have the wheel on straight.

    i'm just curious and i have to take the rear wheel off before i ride it anyway to switch out the tire so resetting the wheel/shortening the chain is not a big issue.

    thanks!

    rt
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  2. #2
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    I don't like it when it is all the way in the back because it's sometimes harder to set your V-brakes properly. The pads are close to the bottom of the arms and the increased leverage makes it too squishy feeling. This is assuming you can even get your pads that low.

    If it's slammed all the way up front, your tire width is limited (although this shouldn't be a problem with the FFF stays of the Surly). Also, it's harder to remove the wheel since you have no play room with your chain.
    Last edited by Drevil; 12-16-2004 at 07:46 AM. Reason: forgot some details.
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  3. #3
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    put it where it needs to be

    unless you have really long horizontals, you'll probably find that lengthing or shortening the chain by a pair of links will result in running out of horizontal adjustment, either the chain won't be tensioned all the way back, or there won't be enough dropout to tighten the wheel if all the way forward.
    but if you DO have a choice, I would say put the wheel forward/vs back, as this results in shorter chainstay, never a bad thing. the exception would be if you're running an usually large back tire, in which case you might need the wheel far back for additional tire-to-stay clearance.
    if by chance you got perfect chain tension with the wheel all the way back in the dropouts, what you would likely discover is that the tolerances for chainstay length and dropout attachment at most factories is less than perfect, and that the wheel would be slightly crooked because of this. easily corrected by centering the wheel on the stays, even if the axle is not even in the dropouts.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    hi all.

    after seeing the pix i posted the other day of my pink lady a number of people commented about the fact that the rear wheel/axle is sitting pretty far out toward the end of the dropout. i had a friend help me with the chain line and set up and that was where he put it. seeing as i don't know any better it didn't occur to me to question it at the time.

    is there an optimal position for the axle? and, is there any reason not to just seat the axle all the way into the drop? it seems doing this would make it easier to know if you have the wheel on straight.

    i'm just curious and i have to take the rear wheel off before i ride it anyway to switch out the tire so resetting the wheel/shortening the chain is not a big issue.

    thanks!

    rt
    The axle position is determined by the chain tension. You can move the axle forward or back 1/2" by removing or adding one chain link. (I can't tell from the picture how much forward space is available)

  5. #5
    Am I getting too bulky?
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    Yeah, you definitely have the wheel set about as far back as it could go. If you move the wheel up a half inch you can remove a full link from the chain, and two links if you can move it up an inch. Moving the wheel up, shortening up the wheelbase, will quicken up the handling a bit and make it easier to get the front wheel up in the air for clearing obstacles and such. For those reasons, I like to place the wheel as far forward as the ratio I'm running, and the tire I'm running, will allow. It's amazing how much even a half inch of extra wheelbase will effect being able to get the front end up. The tire you're running will limit how far you can slide the wheel forward before it contacts the chainstays. Also, if your running a tall tire, the tire may rub on the brake noodle or even the cable itself when all the way forward. The final consideration is making sure the brake pads can be adjusted properly and squarely wherever you place the wheel.

    So yes, move the wheel forward as much as possible given the limitaions of you tire, gear ratio, and brakes. Your bike handling will benefit.

    You might want to consider getting some chain tugs too. Nothing like having to stop mid-ride to recenter your wheel.
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  6. #6
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    I thought..

    it looked funny, but I couldn't tell if you could lose a link or not. Looking at it at close as possible I would think you could. It does look like you will run out of room to accomadate chain stretch(I know it doesn't stretch, but whatever you want to call it). Also, if you chose to go up to a 17 you will have to shorten it up. On the other hand, if you go 19 it would be great. I must admit I would want to get my chainstay shorter by 1/2 inch if possible.
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  7. #7
    i worship Mr T
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    I don't like it when it is all the way in the back because it's sometimes harder to set your V-brakes properly. The pads are close to the bottom of the arms and the increased leverage makes it too squishy feeling. This is assuming you can even get your pads that low.

    If it's slammed all the way up front, your tire width is limited (although this shouldn't be a problem with the FFF stays of the Surly).
    The brakes set up wasn't a problem with the position the wheel is currently in so i guess the wheel isn't so far back that brake set up was a problem. i don't think the pads are all the way down at the bottom of the arm either, but i'd have to look again.

    tire width shouldn't be a problem since i'm not planning on running anything wider than a 2.1 for the type of terraine that i'll be riding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    Also, it's harder to remove the wheel since you have no play room with your chain.
    ah, i hadn't thought of that! good point!

    rt
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  8. #8
    i worship Mr T
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    here's a better pic of the current set up

    it's definitely pretty far back and it sounds like i should see if i can't take at least 1/2 a link out if not a full link. having a shorter wheelbase will be a huge advantage for me and in a world where mm's make a difference a 1/2 inch can be like a universe!



    rt
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    it's definitely pretty far back and it sounds like i should see if i can't take at least 1/2 a link out if not a full link. having a shorter wheelbase will be a huge advantage for me and in a world where mm's make a difference a 1/2 inch can be like a universe!

    rt
    Looks like you should be able to take out a full link with little to no trouble.

    (ff)

  10. #10
    KgB
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    If you plan on chainging to a larger freewheel for harder trails I would leave it and you won't have to lenghten your chain.Most people experiment a little with gearing until they settle on one.
    Personally I like the quicker handling of a shorter wheelbase.
    I've been inside too long.

  11. #11
    Shreddin the Cul de Sac
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    It's fine

    Never mind what people say. If the chain is tensioned properly, and the wheel isn't slipping, you're in the happy place.

    I've had the wheel in the way back position on my Surly for a long time (cause I'm too lazy to drop a link), works great.

    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    hi all.

    after seeing the pix i posted the other day of my pink lady a number of people commented about the fact that the rear wheel/axle is sitting pretty far out toward the end of the dropout. i had a friend help me with the chain line and set up and that was where he put it. seeing as i don't know any better it didn't occur to me to question it at the time.

    is there an optimal position for the axle? and, is there any reason not to just seat the axle all the way into the drop? it seems doing this would make it easier to know if you have the wheel on straight.

    i'm just curious and i have to take the rear wheel off before i ride it anyway to switch out the tire so resetting the wheel/shortening the chain is not a big issue.

    thanks!

    rt
    keep moving

  12. #12
    Am I getting too bulky?
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by KgB
    If you plan on chainging to a larger freewheel for harder trails I would leave it and you won't have to lenghten your chain.Most people experiment a little with gearing until they settle on one.
    Personally I like the quicker handling of a shorter wheelbase.
    If that's a consideration/concern, then you can either have a seperate chain of the proper length for each ratio, or put some extra quick links into the chain and easily shorten the chain a link or two at a time on the fly. The quick link solution is great if you've got a flip-flop hub and want a higher ratio for that 10 mile ride to the trailhead.
    I gotta roll, can't stand still, got a flame in my heart, can't get my fill.

  13. #13
    "Mr. Britannica"
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    "a number of people" huh?

  14. #14
    Kill your... television
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    As long as you have enough room to adjust for a little of the possible chain stretch it will work fine. Of course, I like mine slid far forward for the wheelie ability.

  15. #15
    try driving your car less
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    Your chain will stretch within a few rides. This happens on my bike with a new chain, and I tend to have to take up the slack by moving the wheel back about the diameter of the hub bolts. So yours might just drop off the back! Then you will have to remove a link anyway.
    I would remove a link for the shorter chainstay as well. I switched gearing and shortened the chainstay length in the process and it made a difference.
    I also suggest some chain tensioners like this one fromsurly. there are other generic BMX ones that are less bulky looking. I like the looks of the spot ones, but they cost money:


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  16. #16
    Whatever! Just crash it!
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    Chainstay Length.

    It depends a little on your riding style and how you like the feel of your bike, but by moving the axle back, you are essentially lengthening the chain stays. If you like long chainstays, then run the axle all the way back.

    I tend to like short chainstays. It tucks the wheel under you more and improves traction on steep climbs. My bike has quite short chain stays and I always feel weird when I hop on someone else's bike. When I first got this bike, I didn't think it made that much of a difference. I swapped bikes with a friend a while back to try out his frame and the 1/2" longer chainstays felt pretty weird. To me, it wasn't a good weird.

    The longer stays definitely give you a good feeling of stability when you're blasting through technical sections and on downhills.

    Just sumpin to think about.

    Peter
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  17. #17
    i worship Mr T
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    hehe....

    Quote Originally Posted by roadiegonebad
    "a number of people" huh?
    what? you think you're special? actually, about 3 others asked as well. not that i didn't like your email answer i just thought i'd throw it out to the group to see what shook out. as usual there are nearly as many different answers as there are people who respond. go figure!

    rt
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    edit spot tug
    Man them things just look heavy! Is that supposed to be a bottle opener on the free end?
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  19. #19
    i worship Mr T
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    thanks everyone!

    as always there seem to be as many opinions as there are responses, but i think the general consensus would be for me to shorten up the chain a bit and bring the axle in. i'll keep the links and if i decide to go with a bigger cog and need more chain i can just add it back in with a power link. i'll play with it tonight when i change out the tire.

    rt
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  20. #20
    I CAME I SAW I CONQUERED
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    Go shorter for sure......

    I say move the axle as far forward as you can and still have room to get the chain off
    if/when you get a flat or whatever.
    I have a chain to fit the gear ratio I'm running. Chains are cheap.

    On my road fixies I like the rear wheel as close to the seat tube as possible of course.

    On my MTBs it will be easier to get the front up when you need to.

    But that's just me.

    Good luck - V V V .


    Some pics
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by V V V ; 12-16-2004 at 02:32 PM.
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  21. #21
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    unless you have really long horizontals, you'll probably find that lengthing or shortening the chain by a pair of links will result in running out of horizontal adjustment, either the chain won't be tensioned all the way back, or there won't be enough dropout to tighten the wheel if all the way forward...
    We are talking about track ends/SS horizontals here so all the way forward bottoms out the wheel in the drops. With the chain too long both of your concerns come into play.
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  22. #22
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    Nice and off topic...

    That Thompson post has no better home than on that K-Monkey.
    The bends in the frame and post are pure visual harmony.
    Beauty in yet another new combo. I have seen tons of Thomson laybacks,
    and tons of Monkey's just not together. Tell me it was a design consideration.

  23. #23
    I CAME I SAW I CONQUERED
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    Well yes ..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Clown Wrench
    That Thompson post has no better home than on that K-Monkey.
    The bends in the frame and post are pure visual harmony.
    Beauty in yet another new combo. I have seen tons of Thomson laybacks,
    and tons of Monkey's just not together. Tell me it was a design consideration.
    I run setback on all my MTBs but never on any of my roadbikes.
    They just fit that way.

    Except I just bought a new Litespeed to ride the parkway with and
    it came w/a carbon setback seatpost but also has a 115mm stem,
    I use a 130 on the others, and I'm riding it today that way. If my LBS
    has the cables I need I'll make the changes I want to make after the
    ride w/the stem and seatpost.
    "As a rule, men worry more about what they can't see than about what they can."
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  24. #24
    those are Rollercams...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clown Wrench
    That Thompson post has no better home than on that K-Monkey.
    The bends in the frame and post are pure visual harmony.
    Beauty in yet another new combo. I have seen tons of Thomson laybacks,
    and tons of Monkey's just not together. Tell me it was a design consideration.
    Yeah,my bike starts to look like that too after a 6 pack or so.

  25. #25
    Kill your... television
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    So... we are all on pins and needles... how was the ride?

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