Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Happiness is a New Chain

I was failing to love my summer commuter in a proper fashion and had not replaced the chain in too long. I got around to that and new brake pads and front tire on the weekend. I measured the old chain and thankfully I had done the work in time, such that the cogs probably haven't suffered much, if at all.
Nothing is quite like a smooth running fixed gear with a new, perfectly tensioned chain:
When I see other people on fixed gears, I sometimes notice some sagging in the chain; I feel sorry for those bikes. They need a little more love.
For the detail people: Those thingies at the back of the horizontal dropouts are chain tensioners or "tugs". They aren't really necessary, but the wheels I bought on ebay came with them and I like using them because they make it easier for me to dial in the chain tension just so. Front chainring is a Blackspire Mono Veloce 130/44. Rear cog has 17 teeth, works out to 69.3 gear inches and has served me very well around town.
Yer Pal,


Steve A said...

A "skosh" of sag is not a bad thing.

John said...

My chains seem to have a tight spot not sure why though... maybe stretch or out of round sprockets. Derailleurs cure many ills.

RANTWICK said...

Steve - Normally I would agree, but at least on my fixed gear it introduces a tiny but annoying sensation of lag in what is otherwise a super funky direct-drive system between your body and the rear wheel with zero play and what feels like no loss of energy.

John - According to the mighty Sheldon Brown (RIP), this is because chain rings are often not perfectly round, or the chain ring bolts not perfectly centered in every position. The tight spot becomes quite pronounced when aiming for a "just tight enough" chain to avoid it on a fixed gear; that is why what I consider "perfectly tensioned" is such a beautiful (and sometimes difficult to achieve) thing!

Derailleurs and freewheels do indeed cure most of these little problems.

RoadQueen said...


That's all I got. :)

Happy riding Rantwick!

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