Tightening rear wheel - how tight?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tightening rear wheel - how tight?

    I have a karate monkey with horizontal dropouts and my rear wheel slipped today. Should I tighten it with all my strength using a 15mm wrench or even a pedal wrench? Will it cause any damage if I over tighten?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5
    I have a karate monkey with horizontal dropouts and my rear wheel slipped today. Should I tighten it with all my strength using a 15mm wrench or even a pedal wrench? Will it cause any damage if I over tighten?
    It's possible to damage a frame by using all your strength, especially with repeated overtightenings. But you probably won't do this. Give 'er some more and see if she holds.

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  3. #3
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    Depends on the hub, G. The Surly hubs on my current fixie commuter absolutely need a tensioner. The Miche hubs on my old fixie did not. The White Ind. ENO on my SS does not need a tensioner, but an old Shimano QR wheelset did. Trial and error. When in doubt, throw on a drive side tensioner and move on. Simple. Anytime you are considering "blahblahblah with all my strength" as an answer, step back, puff a J, and come up with a solution that highlights your brains over your muscles. You will be glad that you did.
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  4. #4
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    Get some of these:

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    Get some of these:
    If the flanged part doubles as a washer, those nuts can break. Especially if you routinely muscle them.
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  6. #6
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    I have a set of those (^) on a Surly hub and I regularly muscle on them. No issues after about a full season's abuse.

    Just make sure you tighten the nuts with whatever you carry in the woods... if you tighten them all out with a 24" breaker bar in the garage, good luck getting the wheel off in the woods when you get a flat!

    I carry a campy 'peanut butter' wrench in my pack and also set chain tension with it. Haven't had any slippage issues as yet. I used to carry my 15mm Craftsman wrench, but I missed having it in my tool box when I did automotive work.
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  7. #7
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    chromoly dropouts, a chromoly axle, steel axle nuts? tighten those as hard as you please. if you use a normal wrench (not something with cheater bar-like length), grease the threads, and don't use some sort of Herculean strength, you should be fine. coming from bmx, we always cranked down our axle nuts hard with a long ratchet and the worse that can happen is your axle nut can strip.

  8. #8
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    I have horizontal drop outs on my Inbred and do not use a tensioner. The Paul hub has HUGE bolts with even larger washers. I do crank them down pretty good but once it's tight nothing is going anywhere even on the steepest of hills. It's all done with a simple allen wrench nothing longer.
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  9. #9
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    Cmon guys... Ever heard of a torque wrench?

    To the OP... I assume your wheel is slipping on the non drive side. If not, do you have a chain tug? If not get one. Problem solved.

    If it's slipping on the non drive side, do you have disc brakes? If so, disc brakes exert a force that tends to lever the wheel backwards out of horizontal drops, so a chain tug on that side will not help. You have to get your axle nuts tighter.

    So, how tight? Thats where the torque wrench comes in. There is a happy medium from where you are today to "using all your might". Incrementally increase the torque until it doesn't slip. The torque wrench let's you find an explicit number that's reproducable. if you don't have a torque wrench, take a wrench on the trail and tighten the nuts in 1/8 turn increments until it doesn't slip anymore.

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