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Any Tips on Keeping Chain Tight?(12 posts)

Any Tips on Keeping Chain Tight?8cht
Jan 2, 2003 2:10 PM
Any tips on keeping a chain tight on a horizontal dropout fixed gear? I've been riding my Surly Steamroller for about one year (commuter) and constantly fight keeping the chain tight (but no binding). (BTW, I've tried a Redline chain tensioner but would like to keep things simpler that that.) Thanks.
this is why track bikes use bolt-on axleslonefrontranger
Jan 2, 2003 3:35 PM
Mine slips a tad sometimes, too. I just check it prior to going out, and retighten when necessary. I keep my q/r REALLY tight in back. Sometimes it helps to "knurl" the dropouts a bit with a file.

I'm too lazy to carry a wrench in case of rear flats on the fixie, so the tradeoff is dealing with the q/r slipping a bit. And I'm pretty certain I'd spin my cog off (no lock ring) before I pulled the wheel out. I'm not that studly.
Are you using solid axel or quick release?Tig
Jan 2, 2003 7:03 PM
If you are using a quick release axle, is it the newer cam type or the older Campy style? The newer QR's don't seem to have the same holding power as the old style. Ti rear QR skewers are even worse for holding a wheel in place.

The torquing sequence of the drive and non-drive nuts for a solid axle is a big part of keeping the rear wheel in place. When it stays where you need it, so will your chain tension.

Also, the type of nuts makes a big difference. The standard ones (pictured right) don't always hold as well as the higher quality one's (pictured left). I always had problems with my old track bike with the old nuts before I upgraded, and use the newer ones on my road fixed gear as well.
Are you using solid axel or quick release?8cht
Jan 2, 2003 7:20 PM
Sorry, forgot to mention, I'm using a Suzie hub (the cheap $25 one). Where can I purchase the newer nuts? Thanks.
Harris CycleryTig
Jan 2, 2003 8:09 PM
$7.95 a pair, and worth it!
Thanks (nm)8cht
Jan 2, 2003 8:52 PM
re: Any Tips on Keeping Chain Tight?fixedgearhead
Jan 3, 2003 5:45 AM
First off, let me say that I use only track nuts or Phil allen bolts. That said, I remember when I tried to use QR I found that if you have chromed drop outs they don't hold as well as just plain painted face drop outs. I think the chroming is a little to slipery unless you really torque the QR down to almost the breaking point. You can score the face of the dropout with a triangular edged file, but that will defeat the concept of Chroming of the dropout. There is a lot of force being generated by the constant forward and rearward forces of fixed gear riding. Especially the mashing up the hills and slowing on decents . I think that the overwhelming use of track nuts in track racing testifies to the wisdom of there use.

Are these available at hardware stores? (nm)toonces
Jan 3, 2003 12:35 PM
Are these available at hardware stores? (nm)fixedgearhead
Jan 3, 2003 6:08 PM
No, they are specific to track/fixed riding. Your easiest source is Harris Cyclery in West Newton, Mass. Or Buisness Cycles in Miami FLa. You could probably have your LBS order them from the QBP Catalog without any trouble. I doubt that you will find them at a local bike shop unless they have a large Fixed/Track following.

Had to order mine8cht
Jan 4, 2003 6:30 AM
I called every bike shop in the Washington, DC metro area and no one had any. One bike shop had one in the wrong size and wanted $12 for it. I ended up simply ordering from Sheldon Brown since my local LBS waits until they have a large order before ordering from QBP (which sometimes takes over one week). Shipping was $8 for the $7.95 nuts but I was too frustrated with the local shops to deal with them. I'll try to remember to post something when I put them on the Steamroller and see how they work.
Local shop shoots self in footfixedgearhead
Jan 4, 2003 7:26 AM
This is another example of why the local bike shop is making itself an endangered species. They only seem to want to sell what they have in stock and won't go the extra step to provide for the special order customer. I don't buy anything from the 2 local shops that are much the same that you describe. Let them fold is what I say. If you want to buy a new bike that they have, then they will deal with you. Come in with a special request. Forget it. I do almost all of my shoping for bike stuff online and have received exelent service. If you happen to live near a shop that is willing to work for you, great. Support them with your business. If not, Let your fingers do the buying. I never quibble about the price with a local shop if they provide the service.


Just out of curiousity . . .speedisgood
Jan 5, 2003 10:23 AM
have you tried Tri-Tech Multisport? The specialize in tri- and duathlete stuff but have a bunch of high end road goodies. FWIW, I'm racing for them next year and the owners (Chris and Leanne) seem pretty conscientious of the needs of the roadie, at least. Of course, you may have tried them already, but if you haven't, tell them that Don Lu sent you and maybe they'll be able to help you out.