Is my bike chain too loose and gearing questions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is my bike chain too loose and gearing questions

    Brand new to this. Bought a cheap Canadian tire bike ( super cycle 1800 lol) to follow my 5 year old son and get into riding myself . Zero clue about biking but have ATVs and sleds

    so how do I know if chain is too loose? Do I put bike on lowest gear setting and haul up on chain? When I do I get almost 2 inches. Seems very sloppy. When I change out of 2nd gear it makes a lot of noise even. But maybe Iím hauling up on chain too far to get the 2 inch measurement as if I keep hauling more it will just rotate the sprocket etc.

    also can somebody explain the gears. On right hand side it goes 1 to 6. On left hand side it goes L to H with no numbers in between just dashes. I assume 1 is lowest setting so easiest to paddle and 6 hardest. Should I be switching back and forth so much? I only drove bike 4 times and chain already came off once so I assume itís too loose

  2. #2
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    I would take video of myself hauling up on chain but not sure how to upload videos yet

  3. #3
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    Maybe this will help

    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    Yeah, what Train Wreck said. Trails are ruined because e-bikes are there.

  4. #4
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    You are most likely trying ride in the "wrong" gear . If you are in the small gear in the front then you want to be in the bigger gears in the back. In general if you are in the middle gear you can be in any gear. If in the big gear you want be in the smaller gears. there is some overlap, but you don't want to big big or small small ,that's called cross chaining ,if you do that ,it can wear the chain faster ,if in small /small the chain can fall off easier, if in the big/big the chain can go into spokes .Noise comes from something not lined up right, you can fix it up moving the shifter/ derailleur a little. You are correct in that one is easiest ,L equals easy or one ,h equals hard or three. How often you shift depends on a lot of things, if it's hilly you might shift to easy gear and leave it there until it flattens out. If in rolling you might be be going back and forth often. If the bike is new ,it most likely came with the correct length chain. You check by following the video. If it's little longer .it's not a big deal. Another reason for chains coming off is ,if you are in the small gear in front and you pick up speed like going down hill the chain can bounce off ,you should be at least in the middle. Another reason is if the derailleur isn't adjusted right ,but it should be okay as long as it hasn't been moved somehow. You can find video's on how to check on the Park Tool site or Sheldon Brown.

  5. #5
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    Could you explain the small gear in front and big gear in back with respect to the numbers on the left and right side of handlebars as I donít know what the numbers represent

  6. #6
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    I smallest front and biggest back it is easiest on both., progresses from there. 2 is middle on the front or would be if numbered.3 is the outside front or big.

    Sent from my LM-X220 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Is my bike chain too loose and gearing questions-c44b15d1-1257-4407-a8fa-063310acd5a7.jpgIs my bike chain too loose and gearing questions-dc5ad9b3-582a-476b-8153-4aebd7181a55.jpg

    Ok rite now itís on smallest on the front out of the 3. But on the rear itís on third largest out of the 6

    I tried to upload video of chain tightness but not sure if it can work

  8. #8
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    With a derailleur the chain should have slack , the derailleur has a spring that keeps the chain tight enough, If didn't have the slack it couldn't move .

    Sent from my LM-X220 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Ok so 2 inches is normal?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie1012 View Post
    Ok so 2 inches is normal?
    Its normal for a lower end bike. Its not adjustable either, so theres nothing you can do about it. The rear shift mechanism (the derailleur) has a spring inside, and that determines how tight your chain will be. Higher end bikes have stiffer springs and a internal clutch to keep the chain from moving. A non clutch derailleur has a LOT more chain movement.

    The best thing to do with the gears is to ignore the numbers. Many shifters have no numbers at all, they're worthless or even detrimental to learning to shift. Look at the shifters as easier and harder, not numbers. If you want pedaling to be easier, shift. And vise versa.

    Just to get started, put the chain in the middle chainring up front. Almost all your riding should be in the front middle ring. If its too hard to pedal, twist the right shifter towards you until its not. If its too easy to pedal (legs flailing too fast) twist it away from you until its not.

    If there is a hill coming up, twist the right shifter towards you until it stops. If this is still not easy enough, now click the left shifter into the small ring up front. This is your easiest gear possible, small front large rear. Now climb the hill and at the top, shift back to the front middle chainring.

    Left = big changes. Right = small adjustments. Max out the right before shifting to the small ring up front.

    It'll become second nature. Many bikes have ditched using two shifters in favor of one, but its still perfectly fine to use two. Just takes some practice, and dont look at the numbers!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Its normal for a lower end bike. Its not adjustable either, so theres nothing you can do about it. The rear shift mechanism (the derailleur) has a spring inside, and that determines how tight your chain will be. Higher end bikes have stiffer springs and a internal clutch to keep the chain from moving. A non clutch derailleur has a LOT more chain movement.


    The best thing to do with the gears is to ignore the numbers. Many shifters have no numbers at all, they're worthless or even detrimental to learning to shift. Look at the shifters as easier and harder, not numbers. If you want pedaling to be easier, shift. And vise versa.

    Just to get started, put the chain in the middle chainring up front. Almost all your riding should be in the front middle ring. If its too hard to pedal, twist the right shifter towards you until its not. If its too easy to pedal (legs flailing too fast) twist it away from you until its not.

    If there is a hill coming up, twist the right shifter towards you until it stops. If this is still not easy enough, now click the left shifter into the small ring up front. This is your easiest gear possible, small front large rear. Now climb the hill and at the top, shift back to the front middle chainring.

    Left = big changes. Right = small adjustments. Max out the right before shifting to the small ring up front.

    It'll become second nature. Many bikes have ditched using two shifters in favor of one, but its still perfectly fine to use two. Just takes some practice, and dont look at the numbers!


    Ok thanks for detailed response. I can put front in middle. So where should rear go? Keep it in middle or largest or smallest?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie1012 View Post
    Ok thanks for detailed response. I can put front in middle. So where should rear go? Keep it in middle or largest or smallest?
    There's a reason why there is more than one gear. Change it while riding to suit the terrain. Going up a hill? Shift into an easier gear. Riding flat and want to go faster? Shift into a higher gear. It's just like driving a car. Shift as needed.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    There's a reason why there is more than one gear. Change it while riding to suit the terrain. Going up a hill? Shift into an easier gear. Riding flat and want to go faster? Shift into a higher gear. It's just like driving a car. Shift as needed.

    Ok so the rear must control the left hand side of handlebar numbers which is numbers 1 to 6 correct?

    I just donít want chain fall off abd go over handlebars lol

  14. #14
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    It might be helpful for you to find a way to have the bike in the air . Then
    "pedal' the bike using your hand , use your other hand to move the shifter ,while watching what the derailleur does to move the chain . you don't need to be "pedaling" fast but you do need to be moving the pedals . Go both ways front and rear.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie1012 View Post
    Ok so the rear must control the left hand side of handlebar numbers which is numbers 1 to 6 correct?

    I just donít want chain fall off abd go over handlebars lol
    What?

    Left shifter = front gears on cranks. There appear to be three on your bike. On some bikes there are two. Most modern bikes only have one gear in the front and therefore don't have a left shifter at all.

    Right = rear gears on the wheel. Your bike has 6 gears.

    If shifting gears causes the chain to fall off or you to go over the handlebar, there's some else that is very wrong.

    Honestly, I have worked on dozens of inexpensive bikes similar to yours. The flimsy components that come on those bikes is going to make it nearly impossible to make it work well.

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