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Single speed chain tension

father_jackfather_jack Posts: 3,509
edited July 2015 in The workshop
How do you determine correct chain tension on a single speed bike? Is it just from feel of the chain or is there a way through science?

I was thinking what if you placed the bike in a stand, with the front wheel pointing upwards, with the rear wheel bolts tightened, and then a certain amount of weight (including the wheel) is placed dangling from the wheel? You then finger tigthen the wheel nuts, then move the tension screws on the frame till they touch the axles, then fully tighten the wheel nuts.
Say... That's a nice bike..
Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)

Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    About 1/2" of movement in the centre of one chain run.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • father_jackfather_jack Posts: 3,509
    I notice there are slack and tight spots, it's not even all round. So do you try and get a middle ground? In the tightest spot, you loosen it, then check how slack it is in the loose, back and forth?
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    I notice there are slack and tight spots, it's not even all round. So do you try and get a middle ground? In the tightest spot, you loosen it, then check how slack it is in the loose, back and forth?

    Yes unfortunately you have to choose a middle ground. Having a tight spot is not a good thing for pedalling or longevity of chains etc.

    I don't know about single speed, but riding non round stuff on fixed is horrible - trouble is getting round stuff is often many £££.

    Have your BB facing/threading checked as that is quick and simple, but decent cranks like Sugino matched with good chainrings (I'm using Sugino Zen nowadays) etc. makes a huge difference along with the cog at the back (again, my experiences are with fixed, so can not really comment on what options are there for single speed, but I use EAI cogs).

    Edit - I see you have another thread about your BB where the suggestion is made that your BB thread/face isn't square, supporting my first suggestion. Get that sorted before anything else.
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