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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Ways to adjus SS dropouts

    Hello everybody.

    So I recently converted my SC Highball to a single speed using their sliding dropouts. I got everything set up and working well but every time I ride it seems like the chain gets looser and looser and I have to stop and tighten everything down.
    I don't feel like its supposed to be that much maintenance while on the trail. So here is how I am going about it. First I loosen the four bolts that hold the actual dropouts to the frame (two on each side, an upper and a lower).
    I don't loosen them much, just enough to let them slide forwards and backwards. Then I adjust the tensioning bolts to achieve the chain tension I want. Then I tighten the four bolts back down.
    To me this seems like the most logical way to do it but maybe I am missing something. Im not sure if using loctite would be the best idea because I have to loosen and tighten them so often. So if anyone has any ideas please let me know, or maybe I am doing it ALL wrong and need a lesson on how to get my chain tension right.
    Thanks in advance for any help. My camera on my phone is not working right now so I can't post any pictures but anyone who has this set-up should know what Im talking about, if not let me know.
    Have a nice day.

  2. #2
    Stateline Falls, Watauga
    Reputation: JeffL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    It sounds like your sliders are moving because the four bolts aren't tight enough. If you are adjusting this on the trail, then perhaps you are using a small multi-tool for the job, and so perhaps you are not getting the bolts as tight as they should be. Find out what the recommended torque is for these bolts, and use a torque wrench before you hit the trail.
    It never gets easier, you just go faster. -Greg LeMond
    I'm not as fast as I think I am. -JeffL

  3. #3
    Snail. A fast one.
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    What you do seems just right.
    I don't have Highball, but I have exactly the same dropouts on my Salsa Mukluk. I've never had any loosening issues (mine tightened with 15cm leverage hex key), and Highball seems to have even more secure tensioning bolts with lock-nuts (no such thing on Salsa). If you have tightened both bolts and lock-nuts securely, plus 4 dropout bolts - there's NO way they can slip. The system is super-secure.

    Another question - what chain are you using? Some cheap chains can visibly strech every 10km or so. I've experienced it several times myself. I'm 70% sure your chain causes the loosening.

    There is also an indicator of sliding dropouts getting loose - your rear disc brake starts rubbing. It is not likely that both dropouts can get loose evenly, primarily the driveside does.
    I think you can also suspect dropouts if you realize the bolts you had previously tightened good enough have become loose when re-adjusting the chain tension. In that case good chain and some loctite - and you'll forget your problem.
    Don't forget to degrease all touching parts as well, if there is some oil/grease on them.

    Good luck!
    Watchout for snails!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    It should not be loosening at all. Just curious, you have your cylinder nut (silver part that slides fore/aft in the dropouts with tension bolts) firmly lodged in the recessed hole on the chainstay? I ask this, because if this cylinder nut is not lodged inside this hole, this "brace" will not stay in place. Or if the big footnut is not securely fastened, it can wiggle...

    Far right picture here:

    Or remote case, chain is stretching (doubt it...)?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    I had horrible luck the first time I set mine up... It lost tension on the trail...

    Next round, I used loctite on the 4 bolts after setting the tension... Then torqued to 180 inch-lbs per SC... Lastly, I cranked the tension bolt slightly so that it was hand tight, to somewhat lock it in place.... The slider should not move... No more lost tension on the ride...

    But thinking about it now, it could have a stretched chain... I can't see how it can lose tension...

    Later, swapped back to geared for a few months, then back to SS at some point... Somehow, I lost tension on the trail again... Sure enough, the swinger arms swung somehow and lost tension... So sad... Need to try again...

  6. #6
    Warrior's Society
    Reputation: mtnbikej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    I generally attribute it to the chain stretching....or fitting tighter into the ring and cog once you begin to ride.

    Mine loses tension over a short time....but I put a ton of miles on mine in a short period, so for me it is usually chain tension.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

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