Chain wear on SS without tensioners- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Chain wear on SS without tensioners

    I am not a Single Speed user still, but I am thinking on it.

    The Single Speed bikes that donít have chain tensioners must be adjusted to a specific distance between rings and sprockets. What happens when the chain wears? Many times the chain is worn out till 1% before replacing it. If I understand it correctly it means that the chain is 1% longer at the replacement moment. I suppose that this increase will affect to Single Speed adjustment, wonít? Dropouts or EBB adjustment must be done as the chain is wearing, mustnít?

    What happens with a ďstandardĒ bike with horizontal dropouts and conventional bottom bracket? I can search a gear combination that just fits the distance between rings and sprockets when the chain is new, so that I neednít to use a chain tensioner. But will it work correctly when the chain is wearing?

  2. #2
    Nat
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    In my experience everything wears out quickly and together. When the chain seems a bit loose, I tighten it up and don't give it another thought.

    If you use stainless steel cogs and rings it should last a little longer.

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    Nat, how do you tighten it up? What happens with normal frames with vertical dropouts, without EBB and without chain tensioners (with a new chain the distance and tension are corrects)? What could I do when the chain starts wearing? When the chain is a bit loose, will it affect riding conditions?

  4. #4
    Nat
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    I think I misunderstood your original question. I've only used bikes with either an EBB, sliding dropouts, or tensioner, but never one using a "magic ratio" like you're asking about. When the chain gets too loose, it'll derail easily. You might have to either replace the chain very often or use a tensioner.

  5. #5
    CB2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zubi
    Nat, how do you tighten it up? What happens with normal frames with vertical dropouts, without EBB and without chain tensioners (with a new chain the distance and tension are corrects)?
    Your chain falls off.
    On two of my bikes with vertical dropouts the chain length was pretty close; I rode one for 3 weeks with a slightly loose chain. Seemed like it was working great, until my first singlespeed race, where it had worn enough to fall off. 5 times on the first lap.
    Anyways, I ground the back of the dropout so I'd have enough space to tension the chain.
    On the other bike with vertical dropouts, I used a half-link and ground the front of the dropout , making it more of a semi-vertical dropout.
    You only need 3/16"-1/4" of adjustment (if your chain wears more than 1/16" over 12", you'll be replacing more than just you chain).

  6. #6
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    So that finding the "magic ratio" is not a good solution, I would have to replace the chain too often

    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    You only need 3/16"-1/4" of adjustment (if your chain wears more than 1/16" over 12", you'll be replacing more than just you chain).
    If I understand you, you recomend to replace the chain when it wears around 0,5% (1/16" over 12" is about 0,5%) to avoid replacing rings and sprockets, instead of 1% (recomendede by chainmaker or Park tool measurement systems).

    Supposing that I have 50 pair of links a 0,5% longer chain will suppose 1/4" longer chain, so i would need around 1/8" of adjustment. Is this correct?

    Do you know which is the maximum miss-adjustment that can have a chain and work correctly?

    If the chain work correctly with a miss-adjustment of 1/16","magic-ratio" can have a point, you only need to change the chain more often. But if you say me that chain doesn't work fine for miss-adjustments of 1/64" the magic-ratio is not good.

  7. #7
    CB2
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    My math was wrong on how much adjustment you need, it should be 3/32" (the chain will be 3/16 -1/4" longer at the end of it's life when replacing it @ 1/16" over 12" with a 45 link chain). If you leave a chain on for 1/8" over 12", you'll be replacing rings and cogs or freewheels. With WI freewheels being $70 a pop, I'll change my chain more often.

    What I'm saying is a magic ratio works for me now that I ground my dropouts a little to give myself some room to tension the chain. YMMV

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zubi
    So that finding the "magic ratio" is not a good solution, I would have to replace the chain too often



    If I understand you, you recomend to replace the chain when it wears around 0,5% (1/16" over 12" is about 0,5%) to avoid replacing rings and sprockets, instead of 1% (recomendede by chainmaker or Park tool measurement systems).

    Supposing that I have 50 pair of links a 0,5% longer chain will suppose 1/4" longer chain, so i would need around 1/8" of adjustment. Is this correct?

    Do you know which is the maximum miss-adjustment that can have a chain and work correctly?

    If the chain work correctly with a miss-adjustment of 1/16","magic-ratio" can have a point, you only need to change the chain more often. But if you say me that chain doesn't work fine for miss-adjustments of 1/64" the magic-ratio is not good.
    I recommend not using a "magic ratio" on a non-singlespeed frame. Not worth the hassles and gearing restraints.

    Use a chain tensioner or get a SS frame. Much easier to deal with.
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