Singlespeed chain tension

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by mike, May 18, 2020.



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  1. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    Yo guys, my chain feels pretty tight by hand, elliptical 30t NW ring. Doesn’t “feel tight” pedaling.

    Will this setup loosen up a bit? Sliders are max forward. Should I just ride it? Two links longer and I’m near the max rear in the sliders – not ideal, as I found.

    It’s a 11-sp chain, worked well last ride but was a little too long. So I shortened it. I have a new SS chain on deck but don’t see it offering a cure for this situation seeing my old chain is not stretched. I believe the way to get the dropouts nearer the center of the slider would involve changing the ring or cog tooth count.

    TIA for nuggets of wisdom!
     
  2. jwag

    jwag Member

    Location:
    San Clemente
    Name:
    Jeff Wagner
    Current Bike:
    Hightower LT, Milk Money SS
    If it doesn't really bind when hand hand turning hte crank... you are probably OK. It just puts a bit more stress on BB. I generally prefer to keep the sliders closer to the max just in case I break a chain and have to remove a link to get home...its happened....
     
    Danmtchl, Cyclotourist, mike and 2 others like this.
  3. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    PV3 & FEX
    Would it be possible to file or machine into the slider (remove some material) provide a wider range of adjustment?

    Have you reached out to the manufacturer?

    I was checking out @Faust29's SS the other day and the chain seemed borderline loose to me but he said that is the way it should be.
     
    Danmtchl and mike like this.
  4. jimbowho

    jimbowho Member

    Location:
    acton
    Name:
    james jim jimmy
    Current Bike:
    GT sensor 29r
    I can be there in 20-minutes with my Rat-Tail file:eek: Did that to my Klunker to perfection.
     
  5. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    As mentioned above, I go with the "as long as it's not binding" test for initial tightness. One or two rides and it's flopping all over the place... However tight it is now is not going to last long.

    I have found that I keep the chain a little looser with the oval, and I test it in both areas of the chainring- looking for a happy medium. @SnakeCharmer even mentioned on the ride yesterday that it looked a little sloppy. But there really isn't a reason to have it over tight. It's not going anywhere...
     
  6. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    Hehe. I’m more inclined to get a new cog one tooth smaller than remove any material from the frame, which I can’t imagine wouldn’t void the warranty. Anyway, there isn’t tire clearance for that option.

    Thanks for the thoughts. :geek:
     
    Danmtchl and Faust29 like this.
  7. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    The ring and the cog are not completely round....you are gonna end up with a tight spot and a loose spot.

    I generally go to the tight spot. As long as it isn’t binding, I’m good to go.

    it will loosen up a bit, usually once you put some torque on it, it seems to bed in a little more.

    you’ll also get a little frame flex....this will allow the chain to sag just a little bit.

    I don’t like to run mine loose....in rough conditions you can get the chain to climb up the teeth on the cog or ring.
     
    Danmtchl, mike, Grego and 1 other person like this.
  8. rossage

    rossage iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    I got some hardened Ti dropouts on my old Merlin that would laugh at a rat-file attempt.
     
  9. Grego

    Grego iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Fullerton
    Name:
    joe
    Current Bike:
    WFO9
    After a few rides the chain will loosen up a bit and settle. I had the same problem running it too tight all the forward in the dropout. Ended up riding it towards the back for about 10 rides. I like to have the chain slightly loose to allow for frame flex. Don’t want the chain to take frame load. That’s probably how I broke the free hub bearings 3rd ride.
     
  10. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    This is all super helpful. Thanks for the real-time advice, guys!

    I dished the wheel back a few mm (eliminate the 3mm NDS dish it had from it's life on GG bikes). I'm not known for my wheel prowess, though it seemed to work, is straighter than it was, spokes sound similarly tensioned. This allowed me to get the wheel forward enough to get the chain slack. So I think I've got it now. It's an Aggressor 2.35 on Arch Mk3 back there. If I want something bigger I'll have to tweak the gearing, which I planned to anyway.

    The slider system and the whole SS thing is super bitchin. Thanks again. :thumbsup:
     
    jwag, Grego, Danmtchl and 5 others like this.
  11. pperrelle

    pperrelle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carlsbad
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo, Ripley V4 & Timberjack
    They also make half-links if you need to tune in your chain length a little more.

    4288D797-C8B8-4838-A5BA-6D6309FFE9F9.jpeg
     
    mtnbikej, Faust29, mike and 2 others like this.
  12. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    Try one of these. It's like 12 single speeds all at the same time, and they take up the slack on the chain! :thumbsup:

    You're welcome!
    SRAM GX Eagle Der.png
     
  13. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    Thanks, Paul. I had to chop one off my KMC SS chain cuz of the N/W ring. I can see that chain retention needs to be re-thought on a SS. Or maybe forgotten? Do real SS riders use non-N/W rings?


    @herzalot: My right thumb says it's digging the vacation.
     
  14. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    1/2 links don't work with N/W rings.

    Used to be they didn't....but it really hard these days to find a modern ring/crankset that doesn't use traditional rings.
     
    mike likes this.
  15. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    You know what you're going to hear about next time you have a derailleur issue... :p
     
    UPSed, mike, herzalot and 1 other person like this.
  16. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    Back on the Highball, there was a gear/tire combo that I could only get to work with a 1/2 link, which meant a non N/W ring... It was a nightmare. I broke two of them (KMC) in a short amount of time. Dean finally found a different brand that worked. Kudos to Dean for figuring it out, but it was not an elegant solution.

    On the Chameleon, I usually keep the dropouts as far forward as possible (415mm rear end), but there are still times/ gear combos that cause the rear end to be a little longer than I'd prefer. It is what it is... I take what I can get with the gearing I choose at the time.

    And tomorrow that chosen gearing is going for a Strawberry loop. :D
     
    Cyclotourist, UPSed and mike like this.
  17. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    PV3 & FEX
    A333strawberryLOOP.jpg
     
    Cyclotourist, mike and herzalot like this.
  18. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    I've been riding for 30 years, I've had derailleur issues on the trail exactly once (SRAM XO broke). Well, to be fair, I've had two broken derailleur cables, and a broken derailleur hanger - I guess those count. So four times in 30 years. Sounds like you singlespeed boys have problems with your drivetrains constantly!
     
  19. Grego

    Grego iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Fullerton
    Name:
    joe
    Current Bike:
    WFO9
    I did some customizing on the WWTiHTSS29'r to move dropouts more forward. Now with the dropouts all the way forward it will "magic gear" with a new chain. No need for adjusting screws. When the chain gets too loose, it's time for a new chain. Automatic chain checker.
     
  20. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    You forgot the clutch you just replaced. :p
     
    mtnbikej and mike like this.
  21. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    Neither is better; only different. But if debating it aids convalescence, debate with fury! :geek:
     
    herzalot likes this.
  22. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    The clutch didn't cause any disruption to my riding. I simply took it apart and re-installed it when I noticed it was functioning as designed.

    Absolutely true! I like picking on Singlespeeders because they endlessly tout they are drawn to the simplicity, but then obsess or even agonize over gear selection, chain selection, chain tension and dropouts. It makes me feel better about myself to make fun of others who are clearly better and more physically fit riders!!! :oops:
     
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