How much chain tension is correct?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    dmo
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    How much chain tension is correct?

    How much tension do you want in your chain when you've adjusted your sliding dropouts? Mine seems tight but I can grab the chain above and below the stays and squeeze a bit still. Is this too tight? Should I bring the wheel in just a bit to loosen it up?

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  2. #2
    I am Walt
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    If it flops a bit with one finger, then good. If it is firm to one finger, it's too tight, and it will be too draggy. If it sags too much, it's too loose.

    That's my scientific way of managing it...

    EDIT: Your seems too tight
    Ride more; post less...

  3. #3
    dmo
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    If it flops a bit with one finger, then good. If it is firm to one finger, it's too tight, and it will be too draggy. If it sags too much, it's too loose.

    That's my scientific way of managing it...

    EDIT: Your seems too tight
    I'm using a 32T oval ring and some times the chain is tight other times it flops with one finger. Is there a trick to setting it up?

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  4. #4
    Ahhh the pain....
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    I'm sure there's some great way to quantify it (like they do for belts and timing chains on engines) but I basically spin the cranks by hand to feel if it binds up or tightens at all. If you feel any tight spot, then it's probably too tight. If you run an oval chainring, be sure you tension it when the crank arm is at about 4 o'clock.

  5. #5
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Not as tight as you think it should be.

    I use to think keeping the chain tighter kept it from jumping under frame flex. Turns out to be certain cogs were the reason for jumping - teeth were too short - cogs like King's were not good (at least years back). Surly makes nice rings with tall teeth that really prevent a chain from jumping.


    I've always found tight/loose spots through the cycle, even on non-oval rings.

  6. #6
    eri
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Not as tight as you think it should be.

    I use to think keeping the chain tighter kept it from jumping under frame flex. Turns out to be certain cogs were the reason for jumping - teeth were too short - cogs like King's were not good (at least years back). Surly makes nice rings with tall teeth that really prevent a chain from jumping.


    I've always found tight/loose spots through the cycle, even on non-oval rings.
    Agreed, I was having trouble with my cogs and chain loading up with debris. I was coaxed by people on here to run a looser chain. I do now, it visibly droops top and bottom and nothing bad has happened yet and the debris is less of a problem.

    I use an old racerace narrow/wide 34 on the front and an endless 23 on the back. Could be the big cog makes it more tolerant of a loose chain? I dunno.
    the truth is always a gift because it offers the recipient of that information the chance to change the outcome - Grace Choi

  7. #7
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    I donít have my SS built, itís getting close but I have experienced this one my fixed road bikes. I always set chain tension while spinning the cranks. If the ďhighĒ spot of the rotation/chainring slows the momentum, itís too tight. From that point I would loosen the tension until the high spot didnít slow the momentum.

    It sucks all the nice, pretty and expensive parts we buy for SS canít be perfectly round.


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    My bikes are faster than me.

  8. #8
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    All good information here. Just spin the crancks slowly and you will feel if it is too tight. As it is in your picture, it definatly is not too loose.


    But... i want to see (know) more about your bike!
    Post more pictures please.

  9. #9
    dmo
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    Quote Originally Posted by annoying crack View Post
    All good information here. Just spin the crancks slowly and you will feel if it is too tight.


    But... i want to see (know) more about your bike!
    Post more pictures please.
    I don't have alot of good pics but this it so far. I have 2 different wheelsets that I'll use. The nox wheels still need a new driver to set up singlespeed.

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  10. #10
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    I use a chain monkey for my motorcycles...wonder how it would work on the mtb. I'll give it a try and post back.

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  11. #11
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    I run mine surprisingly loose -- I can easily derail it with a finger. As long as you have a good chainline, you're in good shape.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmo View Post
    I'm using a 32T oval ring and some times the chain is tight other times it flops with one finger. Is there a trick to setting it up?
    The ABS Oval on my MUSS is tensioned when the the drive side crank is at the 4 o'clock position. This is where the oval is greatest/longest and the tension should be set with the crank and ring in that position. There are vids on YouTube and I'm pretty sure there is an explanation in the thread linked below.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/singlespeed/o...ed-932469.html

    I know its a long thread, but it has lots of info for you.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  13. #13
    Stateline Falls, Watauga
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    I run mine surprisingly loose -- I can easily derail it with a finger. As long as you have a good chainline, you're in good shape.
    This.

    I allow a ridiculous amount of slack / droop in my chain before I bother to tighten it. I think a good chainline is key. When the droop gets so loose it risks scratching my chain stay I'll finally tighten it a bit, but even then I'll leave it pretty loose.
    It never gets easier, you just go faster. -Greg LeMond
    I'm not as fast as I think I am. -JeffL

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