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I just got my Mercier Kilo TT Track Bike ($347 shipped). I am impressed with the bike so far, but today I noticed the rear wheel wasn't quite aligned. I centered the wheel, and followed Sheldon Brown's instructions for "walking" the rear wheel to get the chain tight, but I'm not sure it's tight enough. The chain isn't sagging, and I can't slip it over the cog or chainring, but I can't tell if it's tight enough. Any suggestions beside Sheldon's other tip of loosening the stack bolts? Thanks in advance.
 

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The Sheldon Brown technique seems like a lot of trouble, and my attempts at banging the chain until the tight spot was eliminated was fruitless - probably just my impatience. By and large, the general idea is to get the chain tight, but not binding; it's kind of a 'feel' thing. Spin the back wheel and see if it's stopping at the tight spot; if it is, you may have it a little too tight. I have found that a Surly Tuggnut (or similar device) really helps you dial in the perfect tension. It's $25 well spent, IMHO. Several of us just discussed this subject a few days ago: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=49455&highlight=chain+tension

For other ideas, do a search here for "chain tension" and see what comes up. :)
 

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If it isn't sagging,

AppleCyclingComputer said:
The chain isn't sagging, and I can't slip it over the cog or chainring, but I can't tell if it's tight enough.
it's tight enough. It may be too tight. If it doesn't seem to be binding, it's probably not too tight. Spin it with the wheel off the ground (be careful when doing this, or you could lose a finger), and if it spins freely it's probably fine. Most people seem to think a slight sag (1/4 inch or so on the untensioned length of chain) is acceptable.

If the tension doesn't vary as you spin it, then your chainring isn't out of round, and you don't need to mess with the stackbolt thing at all.
 
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