very simple chain problem, i think.

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  #1  
Old 05-29-12, 09:35 AM
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very simple chain problem, i think.

i've got a cheap, single-speed huffy that i ride periodically..took it downtown for a festival saturday night and rode it all over town..probably rode it 15 miles over the evening..no problems at all.

on sunday, i decided to ride it to the grocery store to pick up a few things..the chain came off 4 times in the 1.5 miles to the store..it seemed to jump off the sprocket whenever i pedalled hard or jumped a curb..it seemed a bit loose, and i was able to get the chain on by hand a couple of times w/o having to crank the main sprocket to get it on..i managed to get back to the house with only two stops for putting the chain back on.

what is wrong?.will taking a link out fix it?.why was it not wrong the previous night?

thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-29-12, 09:53 AM
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I would look at your back wheel. It may be a bit loose and allowed for the chain to slack.
Some bikes have a screw chain adjuster setup that will allow you to move the wheel back a bit (at the axle) which will tighten up the chain.

If you want to know if your chain is getting due for replacement, measure out 12" from one pin. The 12" mark should be almost right at a chain pin. If it's off much more then 1/4", in might be time for a new chain and rings.
 
  #3  
Old 05-29-12, 12:50 PM
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thanks, mike..looks like that did the trick.
 
  #4  
Old 05-31-12, 03:39 AM
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Hi Jack,
Mike is correct, adjustment is common, except that I would replace the chain long before the 1/4" stretch mark. That way you can avoid replacing the front and rear sprockets as well. Single speeds are more forgiving and less expensive to repair, but a chain is simple.

Enjoy
Bud
 
  #5  
Old 05-31-12, 05:08 AM
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I know on mtn bikes (all mountain in my case), if you replace the chain, you replace the cassette and sometimes the front rings, at the same time.
With the riding I do, the cassette is a must and generally the middle ring on a three speed crank. The chain and rear cassette generally wear at the same rate and will skip like crazy if you do a chain only.
Single speeds may be different, but I would still consider changing the rings when you change the chain.
 
  #6  
Old 05-31-12, 09:29 AM
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You are on the right track Mike. When I developed the chain stretch approach (35 years ago) for avid riders of multi-speed bikes, I recommended a routine of rotating 5 chains on a time basis. The problem with stretch is that that wear is transferred to the sprockets, especially the smaller and frequently used ones, and essentially modifies them to work only with stretched chains. Thus the requirement of replacing all badly worn parts at once. By rotating 5 chains, say 100 mile intervals, you can postpone the chain ring replacement for the life of 5 chains. I haven't reviewed the economics of that in a long time, but back then the rings were expensive, parts and labor. Where anyone can replace a chain. How much you ride will play into the equation as well, ie mountain bikes will see rough riding where road bikes usually saw lots of miles. Some riders simply put on the next chain for every ride. When they all approached 1/16" of an inch, then everything was replaced.

For the op, a single speed doesn't see the total mileage and sprockets are not that expensive. The problem probably wasn't stretch, but the chain adjustment you suggested.

Thanks,
Bud
 
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