There's another angel in heaven ......

Tail end Charlie
Tail end Charlie Posts: 352
edited June 2007 in Road general
I have just built up my first fixed bike and ridden it today. It is an old Dawes Horizon frame and I've had a rear wheel with track hub built up and used other parts from another bike I had. The experience of riding down my first big hill was a little frightening but the rest of the ride was good and I'll be coming back for more tomorrow.
One question - what is the best way get keep the chain tension right. I pulled it back as far as I could and then sort of edged it back side to side but would I be better with a chain tug (I'm not really sure what one of these is) and if so, which one and where to get one from?


  • tabs
    tabs Posts: 145
    Chain tugs shouldn't be needed, and you'll have a job finding some to fit your ends. To adjust chain tension, find the slackest point of the chain, pull the wheel back with your left hand, and have the rim touching the chain stay on the chain side. Tighten the wheel nut on that same side, slightly more than a 'nip'. Then centralise the wheel and tighten the other nut. Tighten up both again and recheck the tension by spinning the wheel slowly. Sounds complicated, but it is easy when you get the hang of it. You will find tight and slack points. With experience it is all to easy to have it too tight! You can easily tell by lifting the rear end and giving the pedal a real push with your foot and see how long it rotates for. Too tight and it soon stops on its own. Just right, and it slows down very gradually.
  • Black Keith
    Black Keith Posts: 224
    remember, your chain is not penal..

    a little droop won't be a problem

  • hazeii
    hazeii Posts: 233
    And keep your fingers clear! Without a derailleur, if you snag a finger twixt cog and digit be very aware the machinery will win.
  • tabs
    tabs Posts: 145
    I always use a ring spanner to tighten the nuts, and then tap the chain with it as the wheel is rotating. Saves finger getting oily.
  • Great! Thanks for the replies, sounds something like I was doing and I'm glad any droop isn't a problem. Big test tomorrow as I have built this bike up for commuting and expect to be caught out a few times in traffic.
  • droop is only a problem if it has enough movement to come off as it can wrap the chain round the hub and lock the back wheel
  • monty_dogcp
    monty_dogcp Posts: 382
    If you can prise the chain clear of one of the chainring or sprocket teeth, then it's a disaster waiting to happen - about 1cm slack in the middle is ideal as too tight is noisy. Good chainline helps to keep it all together though
  • What's this got to do with angels & heaven, eyyyyyyyy?
  • Because every time a fixed bike is built up, another angel rises to heaven. A bit like telling a child that every time a lie is told a fairy dies !! Well I like the concept anyway.