Chameleon SS - chain tension question-
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: smf805's Avatar
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    Dec 2008

    Chameleon SS - chain tension question

    This is my first single speed build. I had been wanting to try single speeding for quite some time. Mostly because I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment after a grueling ride. What better way to earn that reward than riding SS? Anyway, my question has to do with chain tension... I've adjusted the drop outs according to Santa Cruz's instructional video, but they never mentioned what proper chain tension should be. Is there anyway I can tell if my chain is too tight? I test rode it up and down my driveway tonight and the first real ride will be tomorrow. The chain is taut, but I'm asking you if I need to worry about it being too tight.Chameleon SS - chain tension question-img_20160928_155708.jpg

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  2. #2
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    Reputation: DualRollers's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    You will know if it's too tight. If you can't free-spin your cranks then it's too tight imo. You should be able to move your chain up and down maybe 1/2" in the middle... in all my years of single speeding, I have found that chain tension is very specific to the person setting it. I have friends who set their chain tension tight enough that you can feel the "tight spot" every pedal rotation. Personally that bothers me, so I run my chain pretty slack.

    A lot of people will tell you a lot of different things, but at the end of the day the only harm you are doing is if you have your tension set so tight that it will start wearing out your hub or bottom bracket.

  3. #3
    Downcountry AF
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
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    Oct 2013
    most likely there will be a tight spot and a loose spot in the rotation of the crank. I set my chain tension based on the tight spot. I stretch chains pretty fast, this reduces how frequently i have to adjust it. after it loosens it's still fine, i have a NW chainring so the likelihood of a dropped chain is pretty low anyway.

    too much tension will just wear your components faster. chain, cogs, bearings, etc.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

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

  4. #4
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    Dec 2008
    First ride was a success. I'll be honest, I was intimidated at first and worried that I'd have to walk my usual trail climb. However, I pushed through the pain and made it to the top. Didn't PR, but I know that will come with time. I love the challenge and am pretty happy with my choice to go single speed. Thanks for the chain tension advise. I have about a 1/2" play in the middle of the chain so I think I'm good. I did buy stainless steel hubs. Will this help with their lifetime? I would assume stainless steel would hold up to the stress a lot better than aluminum?

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