Consequences of a too tight chain- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Consequences of a too tight chain

    Just curious as to whether or not a too tight chain can damage a hub. I run vertical dropouts with no tensioner. When I put on a new chain, it is very tight, but once the chain has stretched a little, I think the tension level is acceptable. Am I putting undo stress on the bearings on the hub when I do this? The reason it is fairly important to know is that I am about to get a new set of Crossmax SL discs for my SS and it would be fairly expensive to destroy this hub.

    I have a Singulator that I can use, but I really like the clean look of no tensioner.
    "Son, The world needs ditchdiggers, too"-Ted Knight, Caddyshack

  2. #2
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    alright mymman, here's what to do (since you know I run verts with no tensioner too). Ride the new chain for a ride aor maybe two with the singleator and let the chain settle in. you should then be able to remove a few links and ditch the singleator and get the tension you're used to. With your setup, you could also run a slightly different gear for a short ride (sans singletor) and let the chain settle in, the size it for the ratio you want. With those discos on the back and the guard up front like you have, I doubt you'll throw the chain while you settle it in.

    I wouldn't run it too tigh though since it is tougher on everything especially the freehub body since you won't be using a freewheel. Too tight may find the rear cog cutting into freehub body and you'll be looking at another $45 to replace it.

    Hope this helps bud. You interested in checking the the calendar for a ride this spring?
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  3. #3
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    I've never tried this, but it makes sense to me Maybe you can stretch out the chain on the old wheel, then swap the cog onto the good wheel when you feel comfortable that it's loose enough.

    However, I wonder if body weight and countless jumps do more damage than a tight chain anyways?

    I'm no help. Blahhhh!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fett
    Just curious as to whether or not a too tight chain can damage a hub. I run vertical dropouts with no tensioner. When I put on a new chain, it is very tight, but once the chain has stretched a little, I think the tension level is acceptable. Am I putting undo stress on the bearings on the hub when I do this? The reason it is fairly important to know is that I am about to get a new set of Crossmax SL discs for my SS and it would be fairly expensive to destroy this hub.

    I have a Singulator that I can use, but I really like the clean look of no tensioner.

  4. #4
    KgB
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    chains do not"stretch"

    I would do the singulator
    file the dropouts
    file the axle.
    overly tight chain,not a good idea
    I've been inside too long.

  5. #5
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Yeah, I know it's actually deformation of the cog, chainring, and inner bushings & workings of the chain, but "stretch" is easier to say.

    Quote Originally Posted by KgB
    I would do the singulator
    file the dropouts
    file the axle.
    overly tight chain,not a good idea

  6. #6
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    I'm set up the same way and also start out with a new chain being quite tight. I personally don't think it's a problem as long as your cranks turn freely. I doubt the level of stress is anywhere near that of hammering down on the pedals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fett
    Just curious as to whether or not a too tight chain can damage a hub. I run vertical dropouts with no tensioner. When I put on a new chain, it is very tight, but once the chain has stretched a little, I think the tension level is acceptable. Am I putting undo stress on the bearings on the hub when I do this? The reason it is fairly important to know is that I am about to get a new set of Crossmax SL discs for my SS and it would be fairly expensive to destroy this hub.

    I have a Singulator that I can use, but I really like the clean look of no tensioner.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by namaSSte
    alright mymman, here's what to do (since you know I run verts with no tensioner too). Ride the new chain for a ride aor maybe two with the singleator and let the chain settle in. you should then be able to remove a few links and ditch the singleator and get the tension you're used to. With your setup, you could also run a slightly different gear for a short ride (sans singletor) and let the chain settle in, the size it for the ratio you want. With those discos on the back and the guard up front like you have, I doubt you'll throw the chain while you settle it in.

    I wouldn't run it too tigh though since it is tougher on everything especially the freehub body since you won't be using a freewheel. Too tight may find the rear cog cutting into freehub body and you'll be looking at another $45 to replace it.

    Hope this helps bud. You interested in checking the the calendar for a ride this spring?
    I may throw the singulator on for a little while and let the chain wear in (for lack of a better term) for a little while. My riding may free up a little bit here in the near future as my 7 yr old's travel hockey season has 1 more tournament left (40 game season and counting) and my 10 yr old just announced that he does not feel like playing travel soccer this spring, so I may actually get to ride on a Saturday morning instead of travelling all over the Midwest. Let's try to get together sometime soon to ride.
    "Son, The world needs ditchdiggers, too"-Ted Knight, Caddyshack

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fett
    Let's try to get together sometime soon to ride.
    deal! btw, Lawrence wound up in the ER on Saturday after missing the tranny off a ramp we built. As crashes go, it was pretty good, I'll try to keep him on two wheels when we hook up!
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  9. #9
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    Easy test

    I don't know how much damage you can cause to the hub of a chain that is too tight, but it may be a lot of wasted energy (yours) just turning the cranks due to the excess friction.

    I have a similar setup to your. I put mine up on the tool stand and test the resistance to turning the crank by hand. If it is too much, I'll keep the extra link in the chain an use the singulator. If it's ok and spins smoothly, the singulator (or soulcraft) never makes onto the bike.

  10. #10
    One gear to rule them all
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    I have to agree...

    I was taught that a tight chain was nothing but trouble. Even a little too tight is added resistance and hard on equiptment.
    If my chain has "stretched" enough that I notice, it usually get tossed. Why ruin a chain so that it fits?
    I would look for another solution, KgB is on the right track, maybe an eccentric hub?
    My $.02

    Quote Originally Posted by KgB
    I would do the singulator
    file the dropouts
    file the axle.
    overly tight chain,not a good idea

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