I built a fixed gear bike up, and I'm constantly asking my roommate to help me tighten up the chain. what is the right chain tension? how can you tell? is there a way to do it by yourself?

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3 Responses to What is the proper chain tension for a fixed gear bike?

  1. Tom says:

    On an fixed gear you would have either track ends or horizontal dropouts on which the rear axle sits. All you need to do to get rid of that slack chain is to undo the nuts slightly and move the rear wheel back.

    You don't want the chain super taught though, as this increases friction on the drivechain, thus making it less efficient and causing it to wear at an increased rate.

    There is no "right chain tension". Too tight and you'll get the above, too loose and the chain might try and jump off the chainring if the chainline isn't perfect.

    re: wesinator500 - You cannot use a chain tensioner on a fixed geared bike.

  2. wesinator500 says:

    just get a chain tensioner thats the easiest way

  3. fixedinseattle says:

    you don't want it completely tight, as chains are rarely the same tension all around.

    make it loose enough that you can move it up/down a bit at all rotations of the pedals, but not so loose that it will fall off if you lift the bike sideways w/ the pedals spinning.

    that's how we checked it at the velodrome anyway.

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