Drive chain too tight?

Discussion in 'Frame Mounted Engines' started by VCoM, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. VCoM

    VCoM New Member

    Hello, I recently had my drive chain come off while riding and was lucky enough to have a wrench handy to temorarily fix the situation and made it home. The tesion of the drive chain was originally prtetty taught I thought and everything that needs be is in perfect allignment. (This all happened within the first 10 miles I put on the bike so I'm guessing as the chain "set" over the first few miles and it became a little slack) I reffered to my factory manual on how tight to make the chain and it basically says as tight as possible. I got my chain pretty tight now and it's running smoothly, my question is is there a too tight for my drive chain? If I apply preasure on the chain and measure it I get 1/2" of leeway, I'm not putting all my wieght on it but am pushing downward with a bit of force. Is my chain too tight?

  2. samuari86

    samuari86 Member

    good look with that! every time i go to ride my bike i take about five minutes and look everything over. And when it comes to my bike, just take a look at it and the chain is allways loose with the airbag Suspension but, it works.

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  3. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    Overtightening the chain can wear out the bearing behind your drive cog. Leave a 1/4 inch of slack in the chain.
  4. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member


    Right wheelbender, AND, if yer runnin with the rag mount then you'll have to leave it a little looser still. I've NEVER seen one PERFECTLY mounted, and there's always a little back-forth motion. If ya adjust(1/4 inch) yer chain at the tight point then yer loose point is a little too loose. If adjusted(1/4inch) at the loose point then it's TOO tight at the tight point. I use my truing station to get it as close as possible, Then adjust it from the tightest point of the chain. It's GOTTA be better to run a chain a little loose, (I did say a LITTLE) than have it so tight it puts too much pressure on bearings and spokes.
    Whenever possible I'll be using sprocket hub mounts on my personal builds from now on. No more rag joints for me. But some folks just can't afford an extra $60. part for a bike build. I had to save up for mine so I know. SO, theres still gonna be a lot of rag mounts around. Just adjust it accordingly. TOO tight on yer chain wears stuff out REAL QUICK, including yer chain.
    Big Red.
  5. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    Big Red is right. I am currently running a rear sprocket that bolts to my rear disk hub, so it has no wobble and that enables me to run the chain as tight as 1/4 inch of play.
    The bearing behind the front sprocket is not that difficult to change, but it is messy and time consuming.
  6. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member

    more slack is better.

    a chain can run amazingly loose and not get thrown off.

    as red says. set tension at the tightest point.

    even 1/4 inch sounds too tight for my liking...

    im yet to find a chain without tight spots.

    even brand new $450 a pop 540 chain for a superbike has tight spots...
  7. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member


    And then theres the $MONEY$ involved buying bearings, sprockets, chains and spokes.
    And yer right HeadSmess, A chain can be ran pretty loose before it starts giving you trouble. If the sprocket/chain alighnment is dead on then it will be fine running it a little loose. WELL, to a point anyway. If it's WAY, WAY too loose then it could jam (bunch up) in the case or just fall off.
    Big Red.