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Thread: Chain Tension?

  1. #1
    Just Joshin' ya!
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    Chain Tension?

    This might seem like a stupid question, but how much tension should I have in my chain? I have horizontal dropouts, so no chain tensioner is needed, but is it possible to over tension the chain by pulling too hard on the rear wheel (or tightening the screws that push the axle back too much)? Am I supposed to keep it pretty tight or should there be any slack? Sorry, I am a total newb to this singlespeed thing. I am totally into it though.

    Just for context, I have a Voodoo Nakisi Monstercross bike.
    Getting a dropper post is like getting a bidet. I didn't know I needed one until I get one and boy, does my ass thank me.

  2. #2
    Bro
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    Too much tension means too much friction. Some people say it kills the bearings, I just say it's really, really hard to pedal that way. And probably not good for the bearings too.

    Tension the chain tight enough so that it doesn't drop while you're riding, and loose enough so that there's no binding through the cranks' rotation.
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  3. #3
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    1/2" (1" total) deflection for a 'typical' 26" wheel'd frame is a good rule IMO A bit less for BMX. -a bit more for 29r.

    Really, it should feel kinda loose-ish, but not so loose that bumps would jar the chain off a ring...A good chain-line really helps.

    -If you can come close to 'derailing' the chain by hand; it's too loose.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  4. #4
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    1/2 inch deflection in the middle of the chain is about right, and make sure you're pedaling it and checking to ensure it's loose enough at the tightest spot in the chain.
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  5. #5
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    The best way to see if you are doing it wrong is if the chain falls off. If you have a SS chain and cog, you can get away with having a fairly loose chain, and then you don't have to **** with dialing the tension. Save that **** for when you want a perfect fixed gear set up. Cause then it matters.

  6. #6
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by rearviewmirror View Post
    it's loose enough at the tightest spot in the chain.
    great point!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  7. #7
    Fat & Single
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    Ive had easily 3 inch deflection and havent fixed it, as long as your chainline is spot on, you should be sweet.

    Its no rocket science, keep err straight and it will be fine.

    BTW ive noticed if you are a bit tight on some hubs it skips pawls after freewheeling.
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  8. #8
    Just Joshin' ya!
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    Cool. Thanks all.
    Getting a dropper post is like getting a bidet. I didn't know I needed one until I get one and boy, does my ass thank me.

  9. #9
    Dive Bomber
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    As tight as smooth you backspin.

  10. #10
    playin hooky
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackspade View Post
    As tight as smooth you backspin.
    Lyrics, definitely!

  11. #11
    Just Joshin' ya!
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    Well, I have about 1/2 inch deflection, everything seems smooth. I took it out for a trail ride and there was no skipping and I did not lose the chain. It seems great.
    Getting a dropper post is like getting a bidet. I didn't know I needed one until I get one and boy, does my ass thank me.

  12. #12
    M_S
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    Just barely enough so the chain doesn't drop. As much slack as possible is best for the drivetrain and for pedaling efficiency.
    - Simon

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S View Post
    Just barely enough so the chain doesn't drop. As much slack as possible is best for the drivetrain and for pedaling efficiency.
    Hmm, I don't think I have that much. My chainline seems spot on, maybe I will give it a bit more slack.
    Getting a dropper post is like getting a bidet. I didn't know I needed one until I get one and boy, does my ass thank me.

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