Adjusting chain tension on bicycles without gears
For bicycles to function flawlessly without speeds, their chain must not be too tight. It is necessary to ensure its free sagging for a length of up to 5 mm. And in order to pull in this way, you need to perform a certain set of actions in the correct sequence:
- Turn the vehicle over with the wheels up.
- Loosen the rear wheel. unscrew the nuts or fastening eccentrics.
- Adjust the chain slack to the required amount. To do this, you need to carefully move the wheel along the inclined grooves (dropouts).
- At the end of the adjustment, the wheel should be fixed to its original position again. In this case, the wheel axle must be parallel to the carriage shaft.
If the chain is too tight, it will become difficult to pedal. And the elements of the chain drive will very soon become unusable. It is also bad if the bike chain is too slack. She will simply jump off the stars at a certain moment and it will be impossible to go further.
When the wheel literally rested on the dropouts and there is absolutely nowhere to move it further, but at the same time the bicycle chain is dangling, you will have to remove a couple of links from it. In all likelihood, it was stretched or was not at all the size for a particular model.
Types of bicycle chains
For single speed bicycles
Such chains are installed on city, children’s and teenage bicycles, as well as on vehicles with a sleeve. This type is characterized by the presence of one sprocket on the rear wheel and a gearshift in the rear hub.
Proper use and care of the components allows them to last a long time without wear. This is due to the fact that the mechanism looks like a straight line, so it is not subjected to unnecessary stress. These types are made from hardened, hard and thick plates that are pre-heat treated.
How to Change Bike Chain ( Single Speed )
The single-speed links hold the mechanism tighter, which distributes the load more evenly. This property allows the links not to stretch.
For multi-speed bikes
Such a mechanism is relevant in transport with gear shifting. The main difference is the presence of a gap between the component parts of the link. This factor allows the chain to move sideways. The design is characterized by a smaller width.
Bicycle Chain: All About 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Speed. BikemanforU. DIY Bike Repair
Misalignment is often diagnosed in such chains, this affects the convenience of bike control, and also leads to frequent wear of transmission parts.
Design includes internal and external links.
The structure includes hollow pins and plate perforation. They differ from conventional mechanisms in lighter weight, higher cost along with low strength.
Suitable for racing bikes where model weight is important.
With one repeating link
It is commonly called. Halflink. The difference from other models is that the links have the same structure and size, there is no division into internal and external. The advantage of the Halflink is that it is easy to dismantle, you can adjust the length and remove unnecessary links. This model is more prone to damage and stretching.
How to properly tension the chain on a bike?
Every bicycle owner must be able not only to move around on it, but also to take proper care of it, providing repair actions if necessary. Chain problems can arise at any time, regardless of the price and type of bike.
In order to diagnose the problem in time, you should know the basic rules and nuances of replacing circuits. These rules are necessary for all drivers, because a person’s life depends on the condition of the vehicle.
When chain adjustments no longer help?
Chain stretching cannot always be eliminated by the trivial removal of unnecessary links. The thing is that under the constant influence of high loads, the links simply begin to deform and stretch.
So, the normal link length is considered to be 11.9-12 mm. If this figure reaches 12.1-12.6 mm, then the chain begins to “lick” the cassettes, and with a length of 12.9 mm, the chain will have to be changed along with the stars. You can measure the length of the link using the lips to measure the internal dimensions of the caliper.
Slipping like a chain drive defect
Every cyclist is familiar with the problem of chain slippage. The chain will stretch over time and the tension will loosen. In addition, chain stretching leads to quick wear of the bike sprockets. It would seem that what is easier. you just need to remove 2 links. But the “trick” is that you can do this only once, and then you need to change the chain.
And further. A new chain on an old ratchet is not ice at all. Slipping will probably remain on small sprockets. So you need to change the ratchet too.
How to tension bike chains at speeds?
Very often, the wrong choice of chain leads to malfunctions of the switch, the element cannot provide the specified tension.
The slack in the chain will cause the structure to hit the frame and also make the gears more difficult to operate. A short mechanism is also not suitable, as excessive tension provokes wear on high-speed mechanisms.
Not all chains are fitted to speed bikes right away. Sometimes the element should be shortened by removing unnecessary links.
The shortening is done in this way:
- The chain is pulled over the front and rear sprockets.
- After pulling the chain, slide the switch forward. You need to do this to the maximum.
- Add a few links and eventually get the required length.
- Move the front chain to the main sprocket. Do the same with the back piece, but place it on the smallest.
- Pull up the element so that the rear transducer points down. At this point, the rollers should be on the same line.
Features of chain tension on a bicycle without gears
When working with a regular bicycle, remember that it is forbidden to tighten the structure too tight. Normally, the value is allowed no more than 5 mm.
Chain tensioning sequence:
- The bike should be turned over and a soft cloth should be placed under the seat to avoid damage.
- The rear wheel is attached with two nuts. They should be loosened for comfortable mounting of the chain.
- The wheel is moved along inclined grooves to adjust the required level of sagging.
- After adjustment, the rear wheel is secured back onto the nuts, tightening firmly. You do not need to make great efforts so as not to damage the elements.
- The mechanism must provide free rotation of the pedals. That is why, after installation, you should check the bike in operation. Also, after the completion of the work, it is necessary to ensure that the axle of the wheel is parallel to the carriage.
Adjusting the chain tension in bicycles at speeds
The tension of the chain on a bike with a parallelogram derailleur (rear) is determined solely by the spring stiffness of the derailleur itself. But the chain, which turned out to be too long, will begin to beat against the frame, since the tensioner will no longer be able to compensate for its slack.
It should be borne in mind that insufficient chain length leads to wear of the main transmission parts, since it significantly complicates their switching. Owners of two-suspension bicycles should especially pay attention to this.
When installing a new bike chain on high-speed models, the chain should be shortened. Several links. But to determine how many specific links need to be removed, there are two possible methods:
On two-suspension bicycles, adjust the chain (or rather, adjust its length) more correctly by pressing the pendulum down to the position at which the front star cassette will be as far away from the ratchet as possible. The resulting chain length is measured-noted, and all unnecessary is removed.
Tools for the job
How to install a chain. video
The transmission elements of bicycles of most manufacturers, with rare exceptions, are compatible with each other. All you need to do is match the same number of transmission and chain speeds. For example, for a transmission with nine gears, you need a chain designed for the same number of speeds.
It is believed that the chain stretches due to improper driving. In fact, the chain lengthening effect is due to wear on the rollers and pins. As the chain wears down, it will damage the sprocket teeth, causing the chain to slip. There are special tools for determining chain wear.
An easier way to determine chain wear is to measure 12 links. If the number turns out to be 308 mm or more, then the chain together with the cassette must be replaced. The new chain has 12 links exactly 304.8 mm long.
How to change the chain on a bicycle?
Replacing a bike chain is an essential skill for every home mechanic. The chain is a consumable material for the transmission of a bicycle. Over time, it tends to stretch and wear out. So sooner or later the time will come for a replacement.
The video below shows the process of installing a new chain on a bicycle. This manual is suitable for both mountain bikes and road bikes.
Make sure the chain behaves properly when shifting into any gear without damaging other parts of the bike. For testing, the chain must be installed on the two largest sprockets, front and rear. Even if you never ride in such a gear.
Align the two ends of the chain and identify the extra links to be removed. Use a piece of the bicycle spoke to lock the chain in this position.
When using Shimano chains, there should be a link with the inner plates on one end and the outer plates on the other. Chain from SRAM and KMC must have links with inner plates at both ends.
After the required chain length has been determined, remove unnecessary links. Throw the chain back onto the smallest sprockets.
Attention! On fully suspended mountain bikes, make sure the chain is long enough when compressing the suspension.
Shimano chains require a roller to connect both ends. After installation, the excess part of the roller is broken off with pliers.
At SRAM and KMC, a special locking link is inserted between the ends of the chain, then the plates are snapped into place. For a complete connection, special pliers are used, but you can use the following method.
Rotate the pedals so that the locking link is in the middle of the upper aisle. Then hold the rear wheel to prevent it from spinning. Step on the pedals and the locking link will finally sit in place. Make sure the chain is installed correctly. Pedal your bike using all gears.