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  1. #1
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    chain tension?

    i'm new to ss and i'm trying to determine how much play the chain should have. i noticed that the chain's sagging slightly when resting and when i start to pedal, there's about a half inch or inch of "dead zone" before it engages. is that normal? i'm running horizontal dropouts.

  2. #2
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    Horizontal dropouts or track ends? Two differenent things.

    Anyway, I've read some here say 1/4" play at the middle, but that's too tight for me. I usually go about 1/2" - 3/4" or so (at the middle of chain between BB and rear axle.). But you shouldn't see a sag--that's too loose.

  3. #3
    local trails rider
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    This is Sheldon Browns take on chain tension on a fixie:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html#tension

    A little slack on a singlespeed usually is not all that bad. Tight enough to cause binding is a no-no.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    Horizontal dropouts or track ends? Two differenent things.

    ...
    Please describe the difference. Thanks.

    --Sparty

    P.S. Not sure I know but I wonder if the ones I personally refer to as "semi-horizontal dropouts" or something like that are the ones you refer to as horizontals. Forward facing. Came on road bikes back in the 70s. Yeah?
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  5. #5
    local trails rider
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    Uncle Sheldon got the dropout thing too:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed-co....html#vertical

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Please describe the difference. Thanks.

    --Sparty

    P.S. Not sure I know but I wonder if the ones I personally refer to as "semi-horizontal dropouts" or something like that are the ones you refer to as horizontals. Forward facing. Came on road bikes back in the 70s. Yeah?
    Yes, correct. Also on such bikes as the Surly Cross Check. That Sheldon Brown's link above shows the correct terms for the dropouts. Thanks for posting that, perttime.

  7. #7
    Come see me after class
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    horizontal is horizontal, as far as i'm concerned.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexrex20
    horizontal is horizontal, as far as i'm concerned.
    You can call it a snaggle-tooth wombat, for all I care. Just referencing the correct terminology.

  9. #9
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    eh... nvm

  10. #10
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    I like it tight...I thought everyone did!

  11. #11
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    I've seen some really slack chains around, but I've found it makes the chain susceptible to bouncing off in ruff stuff or getting thrown off by sticks and debris. I personally like just tight enough to be on the verge of vibrating or binding, then back off a hair until smooth and quiet. It's also a little more forgiving if the chainring isn't perfectly "centered" on the crank, which inevitably moves no matter how hard you tightened it. Blah blah blah, I think I talk too much sometimes...

  12. #12
    Monkey Junkie
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    Just make sure the chain isn't binding even at the tightest spot, which can be more/less noticable depending on how perfectly straight/round your chainring is. After setting tension, just spin the cranks and make sure they can keep rotating without being stopped by the chain binding. They obviously won't spin forever, but you'll notice it if the chain binds. It's not a perfect science in my opinion because there is some variation in how much tension you can run, but that's the basic rule I go by.

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