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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I'm new to the fixed gear world and today - so new I haven't ridden fixed yet, but mostly because 3.5 meters of snow and 23mm tires DON'T get together well.

Back on topic. I've fiddled with my fixie today, installing new tires and stuff. Putting the rear wheel back in place was more trouble than I expected. I found that it isn't really easy to make sure the wheel is properly aligned - and god knows that you really want the wheel to be perfectly in line with the frame! Anyone has tricks for this?

Besides, how much chain tension do I really need? I tried to bolt down my wheel as far back as I could, and my cranks didn't spin freely at all. I then moved the wheel forward just a little (perhaps 1mm) and everything spins great, but I wonder if the chain is tensed enough. There's no perceptible chain sag, but when I spin the cranks and then "jerk" them backwards, I can see the chain move up and down. The max. amplitude of the chain's movement is about 1/2". Would you fixed-vets find this acceptable?
 

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Svooterz said:
The max. amplitude of the chain's movement is about 1/2". Would you fixed-vets find this acceptable?
Yes...
 

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roadfix said:
In fact, it may still be a little tighter than necessary, though if it doesn't bind anywhere you're probably okay.

There's no perceptible chain sag
I generally have some perceptible sag, maybe 5-10mm
 

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That's cause you're almost my age. I measure in cm's these days.

My favorite trick for holding the wheel in place while tightening the nuts is to stuff a balled up rag between the wheel and the seat tube.
 

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JCavilia said:
In fact, it may still be a little tighter than necessary, though if it doesn't bind anywhere you're probably okay.



I generally have some perceptible sag, maybe 5-10mm
I think the OP was talking about 1/2" being total top to bottom amplitude or deflection which would yield 1/4" or about 6mm chain sag.
 

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As far as re-installing the wheel, it is much easier done with the bike right side up instead of up side down. It is a lot easier to walk the wheel back to align and set tension as you tighten the axle nuts with the weight of the frame firmly planted on the wheel.
 

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Spinfinity said:
My favorite trick for holding the wheel in place while tightening the nuts is to stuff a balled up rag between the wheel and the seat tube.

Funny you mentioned that...all these years of riding fixed and I just started doing the same. It can be a rag, intertube, block of wood...I "roll" it on the tire until it's wedged between the tire and seat tube. It works like a charm
 

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A trick our mechanics showed me (and they fix a lot of flats on single-speed beach cruisers and BMX bikes) is to pull the wheel back into the dropouts with the wheel skewed towards the left chainstay. Snug the left axle nut and then snug the right while pushing the wheel to the right into alignment at the chainstay/bb junction.. This tensions the chain. When all is well, torque those babies down.

Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get the alignment and tension right, but it works.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinfinity

My favorite trick for holding the wheel in place while tightening the nuts is to stuff a balled up rag between the wheel and the seat tube.

Funny you mentioned that...all these years of riding fixed and I just started doing the same. It can be a rag, intertube, block of wood...I "roll" it on the tire until it's wedged between the tire and seat tube. It works like a charm
This works for me as well. And very easy and convenient to do.
 

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The rag trick sounds good but I've always used my hands and fingers effectively to do the aligning and tensioning. We each have our own little tricks that work best for each little task. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, thanks to everyone! I didn't expect to have this many replies in such a short time! The rag trick, in particular, seems like a real good idea to me...

Besides, I'll be much less worried about chain sag next time :)

JCavilia : You said my chain may be "tighter than necessary"... but considering it does not bind at any point of the crank's revolution, can it still be too tight?

Spinfinity : like most people in Canada, I mesure in cm's too ;) Besides, at my age (24), if it weren't for the fact that my father's a carpenter, I probably wouldn't know much about imperial units. I wrote my post using inches as a reference, because I believed most users on the boards were American and, therefore, more familiar with imperial units...

Anyway, thanks again to all of you. It's really easing my "first fixie" worries :)
 

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Svooterz said:
Spinfinity : like most people in Canada, I mesure in cm's too ;) Besides, at my age (24), if it weren't for the fact that my father's a carpenter, I probably wouldn't know much about imperial units. I wrote my post using inches as a reference, because I believed most users on the boards were American and, therefore, more familiar with imperial units...

:)
JC and I are contemporaries and occasional riding buddies. The reference to cm's was about the amount of my sagging flesh and his remarkably lean body not about anybody's "imperial unit".
 
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