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  • Singlespeed questions from a mechanical simpleton…
  • IvanDobski

    Right, to all those who know one end of an allen key from the other this will probably sound stupid but I don't care…

    If I buy a Cotic Simple with track-end type drop outs how do I:

    A: Take the wheel out? (I assume it's undo the nut, slide wheel forward to untension the chain, lift chain off cog, slide wheel out…)

    B: Know when the chain is tight enough? Do I pull it back as far as possible with every ounce of strength I have and get someone else to do up the bolts or do I pull it back till the chain is taut and then do the nuts up?


    Premier Icon cynic-al

    A yes
    B a teeny bit off tight. 1/2" movement vertically in chain at middle


    A – pretty much – whatever works basically.

    B – no, you ideally want it as loose as you can get without it falling off – in practice that's just slightly looser than when it's fully tight. If it's too tight, you can feel/hear it when spinning the pedals. 1/2" vertical movement in the chain in the middle is one measure but I normally just do it up so there's no obvious slack and leave it at that and it usually ends up with a bit of slack.


    You never owned a BMX as a whipper then, eh?


    I think you'll find I was the proud owner of a chrome effect Raleigh Burner! However any mechanicary must have been done by somebody else as I have no recollection of fixing flat tires, worn pads or anything other than chucking some 3-in-1 oil at it every now and again…

    Cheers for the info guys, much appreciated.


    For part B – I think chain tugs are helpful (one on the drive side at least).
    Just do up the bolts loosely, then pull back the wheel and screw the chain tug until the chain is tight enough. The tug will hold the wheel in place while you tighten up the bolts.

    And what clubber says – there's no need for the chain to be super tight, just tight enough so it won't fall off.

    Premier Icon miketually

    For B chain tugs are very useful. You'll find that chain tension will change a little at various points in the cranks' revolution, as the chainring is unlikely to be perfectly round or centred. Slacker is usually better, unless it starts to come off a lot, when you want to go a bit tighter – if smart arses say the chain's too slack when you stick a photo on here, it's probably about right 😉

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