Filing drop outs- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Filing drop outs

    To anybody that has ever filed a vertical drop out, have you ever had an issue with the slop between the axle and the drop out? If I was to take 1/16 of an inch out just to ease a little chain tension, and locked down good with my quick release would it move around inside the dropout if i was to hit a pothole on the road? This bike won't see any mountain biking use mainly just flat trail and gravel riding. Some of these gravel roads get pretty choppy.

  2. #2
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    What is your goal here, to get a magic gear working?

    I think you might be better off filing the axle itself, maybe just on one side so you have options. like so



    (image from Fixed Gear Conversions)
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  3. #3
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    I already got a magic gear working. The wheel pretty much fit down in the drop out with a brand new chain but it was really tight I had to seat it about 50 miles later I already got a magic gear working. The wheel pretty much fit down in the drop out with a brand new chain but it was a little tight. After about 50 miles it stretched a little bit and relieved some of the tension. The wheel will actually sit in the drop out now but the chain still feels a little tight. I can move it up and down a good 3 quarters of an inch but it has no droop at all. I just thought if I "shaved" a tiny bit out it would relieve some of the chain tension. I got about 200 miles on this chain and I thought it would have stretched a little more than it has by now.

  4. #4
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    You know I've thought of filing the axle but the question still remains you're going to have some slop between the axle and the dropout if you do that. My question was if you have some sleep like that will the wheel stay put from hard jolts over bumps and things like that or is it going to slide back and forth even though it's tight

  5. #5
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    I think if you use a decent QR (shimano) you should be fine but I've never tried it. Don't know what hubs you have but its probably better to test it out on the axle than the frame
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  6. #6
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    Unless I'm missing something, you could try replacing the traditional chain with a half-link chain. There's been some discussion on it:

    forums.mtbr.com/.../half-link-chain-vs-normal-singlespeed-439632.html

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernvil View Post
    Unless I'm missing something, you could try replacing the traditional chain with a half-link chain. There's been some discussion on it:

    forums.mtbr.com/.../half-link-chain-vs-normal-singlespeed-439632.html
    No I tried a half link and it will not fit on my Race Face chain ring. Here's the deal now that I am at home in front of my laptop lol.....I found a magic gear that, with a brand spanking new chain, allowed the rear wheel to sit "almost" all the way down into the drop out. It was just hovering above the bottom of the drop out and I simply seated it by hand and locked it down. This was done knowing that since it was a brand new chain it should stretch some and be perfect. And it did. Within the first 25 mile ride I could tell there was less tension and the pedals back spun a little easier. Plus after that ride I removed my rear wheel with the bike on its top and I noticed that the rear wheel would sit down all the way in the drop out without having to be forced. So now I probably have somewhere between 150 and 200 miles on this bike with this chain set up and still it feels tight. I can grab the chain and move it up and down maybe 3/4" but otherwise it is not drooping any at all under its own weight. It is still stretched tight by appearance. I am having no issues at all. No noticeable bearing issues. I did a 53 mile ride sunday and all is well. I love this bike. But I just thought it wouldn't hurt to get just a tiny tiny bit of chain droop or play just for peace of mind knowing then that there is no excessive tension on my BB bearing or rear hub bearing. A friend of mine who manages a Trek dealer and wrenches there, told me I put way more pressure on my bearing when I am standing and mashing than that tight chain was putting on them and that in time it would stretch and not to worry about it. He said it was something I would deal with everytime I put a new chain on until it did it's initial stretch.

    So now that I have explained myself,

    1....I am not sure I even need to worry about anything

    and 2....If it wouldn't hurt to relieve some chain tension then maybe filing my axle a bit is the best thing to do.

    I have standard Shimano hubs that came out on a 600 Jamis bike so not going to be super high end. I am contempleting building a new set of wheels this winter with a higher POE hub like Hopes. And if it will fit I may build a set of 700cc to squeeze into my 650B frame. That's my story fellas. Sorry it's so long.

  8. #8
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    Filing your dropouts a bit works just fine when using a good Q/R, like a Shimano XT. This was my go to solution about a decade ago.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  9. #9
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    I think you should just leave it....you said it your self that it has no issues right now and you know it's only going better until the chain finally breaks

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singletrackd View Post
    I think you should just leave it....you said it your self that it has no issues right now and you know it's only going better until the chain finally breaks
    I am leaning towards agreeing. I inverted my bike tonight and released my rear wheel and dropped it back in. I sat in the drop out perfectly with no force. Maybe I am worried about nothing.

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