Adjust Kona Unit chain tension - noob alert- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Adjust Kona Unit chain tension - noob alert

    I searched and didn't find a clear answer, so here goes: I have a 2014 Unit, and I've popped into the LBS I bought it from once so far to adjust the chain tension, after it's initial stretching out phase. It's starting to loosen up a bit again, and this is maintenance that I certainly want to be able to do on my own. It LOOKS simple, but being very non-mechanically-inclined, I fear I don't know the whole picture. Plus, I have very few bike-specific tools, only one of these: http://www.crankbrothers.com/product/view/143 and a pedal wrench. I have other basic tools of course, but that's as far as my bike toolbox goes.
    Is it as simple as: loosening the 4 bolts, pulling the wheel back, adjusting the two little set screws to set everything in place and then re-tightening the 4 bolts? Do I need a torque tool, or can I just go by feel?
    It's gotta be something even I can handle--perhaps I'm over-thinking it! Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    you've got the sequence right but just use the set screws to move the wheel back, doing an equal amount of turns on each side to make sure the wheel stays centered.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmctav23 View Post
    you've got the sequence right but just use the set screws to move the wheel back, doing an equal amount of turns on each side to make sure the wheel stays centered.
    Thank you! I tend to over-think things, and thought there must be some step I'd be missing. Will give it a go.

  4. #4
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
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    yeah, it's as simple as you think it is. maybe just instead of an equal number of turns, just make sure the wheel is centered in the frame.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  5. #5
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    thanks for the tips!

  6. #6
    Clyde on a mission!
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    The drill I use on my unit:

    1) Loosen the two big bolts on both sides and undo the small nuts on the adjuster screws too.
    2) Use the adjuster screw on the chain side to tighten the chain, not too tight, leave a little slack in the chain.
    3) Tighten up the big bolts on the chain side, I prefer using a torque wrench, but going by feel works too.
    4) Use the adjuster screw on the non-drive side, while eyeballing the wheel close to the crankbox. You'll want the wheel to be centered between the left and right stays.
    5) Once the wheel is nice and centered between the stays you tighten up the two big bolts on the non-drive side.
    6) Check that the wheel is centered once more and that the chain hasn't become too tight.
    7) Lock the adjuster screws with the small nuts.

    In general I recommend getting a small torque wrench that'll do 0-15 Nm or so, most motorcycle shops have them at a reasonable price. I've got one of these https://www.louis.de/en/artikel/prof...?list=61099051 and it has served me for years - just remember to set it to it's lowest setting after use so you don't ruin the calibration.

    Using a torque wrench really shines everywhere that more than one bolt shares a workload, for example the two bolts each side holding the sliding dropout in place or the four small bolts holding the handlebar in place and so on. If you do the bolts up by feel one will be tighter than the other, doing the majority of work, while the other tends to work itself lose over time. Torquing them equally makes sure they stay tight. It doesn't really matter if you torque them at 8 or 10 or 11 Nm as long as both get the same torque (and you don't overdo it and strip the threads naturally).

  7. #7
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    Fantastic--thanks for the details. I'm planning on building up my bike-specific toolkit, and a torque wrench is on my list!

  8. #8
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    Well I finally decided to give this a go, and I'll be damned if I can't budge the bolts at all!
    My little multi-tool is apparently not up to the task---they are crazy tight. Makes sense I guess, that they'd NEED to be tight to be safe, etc. but man, I practically bent my multi tool trying to loosen 'em. Back to the LBS for now, until I get a more mondo wrench in my arsenal I guess….

  9. #9
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    Just get a decent set of allen keys and use a tube of some sort to get more leverage

  10. #10
    nothing to see here
    Reputation: Stevob's Avatar
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    Yup. Leverage is your friend.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  11. #11
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
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    agreed, multi-tool is not up to the task!
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  12. #12
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    LBS over tightened them. I'd take it back and make sure they do it right the second time.

    Maybe they used loctite on the threads. Geez, I hope not...

  13. #13
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    Took it to the LBS and he got 'em loose no prob, so no lock-tite!

    I just need some better tools. Seriously, I was starting to bend my multi allen tool trying to loosen those damn things!
    The problem is, this "LBS" where I bought it isn't really local--it's about an hour away(I have others very close by, but I'm still milking my 6mos of free tune-ups, etc. with LBS I purchased the bike at).
    Anyhow, I plan to get tooled up--crazy to drive even just across town to do a tweak this simple.

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