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  1. #1
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    Horizontal Dropout adjustment

    I want to flip the wheel over.. I have some idea but wanted to confirm a few things.

    there is eyebolt which pull the axle towards to back, is this just help prevent slipping or do you use it for alignment?

    How do you make sure the axle/wheel is lined up properly / chain slack?


    Also posted a picture of the front non-QR axle. I didn't have a 15mm wrench around so I used a cone wrench to get it snug. I was wondering if I installed it correctly, where to tab just sits in the drop out opening. Not sure what it's really for.

    These 15mm nuts what do you tighten them to?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Horizontal Dropout adjustment-frontdropout.jpg   Horizontal Dropout adjustment-reardropout.jpg  

  2. #2
    Cumudgitude
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    The chain tugs (eyebolts as you call them) are used primarily to ensure the wheel doesn't slip. They have the added benefit of helping with wheel alignment if that is something you struggle with. I've been riding fixed for several years and have never bothered with them. Some people swear they are necessary. I don't know what I am doing differently, but I have yet to make my wheel slip.

    The tabs on your front wheel are designed for a particular style of drop out. The tab would normally nestle into a detent above the axle. Since your drop outs lack this feature (as most modern bikes do) the tab, indeed the washer itself, serves no real purpose. I'd take them off if it were my bike. But it isn't my bike, so the choice lies with you.

    As a final word of caution, be careful with those chain tugs. Remember that you want a little slack in your chain when riding fixed or freewheeling single speed. 1/4" up and 1/4" down is a reasonable amount of ease in the chain. A truly tight chain will wear out prematurely and can cause excessive wear on the cog and chainring. The chaintugs are to prevent slipping and aid in positioning, NOT to provide greater chain tension than you can achieve by hand.
    Last edited by UrbanPrimitive; 05-03-2013 at 10:35 PM. Reason: typo
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  3. #3
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorCyclist View Post
    I was wondering if I installed it correctly, where to tab just sits in the drop out opening. Not sure what it's really for.
    The tabbed washer is an early version of the "lawyer lip" on most current fork dropouts. The tab is supposed to go into a hole drilled just above the dropout slot. This would keep the wheel from falling out of the dropouts should the 15 mm nuts come loose. Since there is no hole above your dropout slots, these tabbed washers serve no purpose on your bike, as said above.

    As to torque on those 15 mm axle nuts: gruntingly tight. Unless you use a wrench with a 2-foot or longer handle, you can't really overtighten them. But keep in mind that if you have a flat, you need to be able to loosen them with whatever tool you have with you on the road.
    Last edited by wim; 05-04-2013 at 03:14 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    ... Unless you use a wrench with a 2-foot or longer handle, you can't really overtighten them. ...
    Arguably true for a pro cyclist, but I'd wager not for a guy with average upper body strength.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  5. #5
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by looigi View Post
    I'd wager not for a guy with average upper body strength.
    OK, then let me rephrase that: Unless you use a wrench with a 2-foot or longer handle, you can't really overtighten them if you use common sense and have a bit of mechanical aptitude.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanPrimitive View Post
    As a final word of caution, be careful with those chain tugs. Remember that you want a little slack in your chain when riding fixed or freewheeling single speed. 1/4" up and 1/4" down is a reasonable amount of ease in the chain. A truly tight chain will wear out prematurely and can cause excessive wear on the cog and chainring. The chaintugs are to prevent slipping and aid in positioning, NOT to provide greater chain tension than you can achieve by hand.
    Thanks for your help, I finished the work flipping the wheel, mounted the tire in the other direction..

    I was wondering if I set the tension/slack correctly. I took a ruler and make sure wiggle the chain above the chainstay up and down to make sure it had +/- 1/4". About 1/2" total travel.

    it looks taut, at least tigher than how it came from the factory which had a visible drooped look but that may have been too loose..


    To summerize if I take the chain and shake it up and down without moving the wheel or crank it is getting about 1/2" span. I am thinking things will loosen up once the chain and spocket wears a bit. Fairly slient except when trying to slow down with legs.

  7. #7
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    What you want is a chain that's as tight as it can be WITHOUT binding (restricting rotation). That usually translates to the little bit of droop you are seeing.

    Here's a way to test: Put the bike on a workstand, or hold it up by the saddle so the rear wheel is off the ground. Give the cranks a good forward spin and let it go (KEEP YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM THE CHAIN AND RING WHILE IT IS SPINNING! PEOPLE HAVE LOST FINGERS!). If it spins freely, with the flywheel effect of the rotating wheel keeping it turning, you have no binding, and it's not too tight.

    To see whether it's too loose, another test. Again on the workstand, with the wheel stopped, rotate the crank forward slowly, while pushing the top run of chain toward the side, just behind where it feeds onto the ring. Push it hard, trying to flex it enough so it falls off the ring. Try it both directions. If you can't make it derail either way, it's not too loose. Again, turn SLOWLY, and do not get your finger between the ring and the chain.
    Eppur si muove.

  8. #8
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    Another issue you should check for is the "out of round" chainwheel. Sometimes the chainwheel/spider bolt holes have a bit of play, so randomly tightening the bolts (i.e. what happens at the factory) results in the chainwheel running slightly out of round. This is inconsequential running a cogset and rear derailleur, but can cause binding and/or dropping the chain on a fixed gear setup. So I'd add to JCavilia's advice, that while the bike is in a workstand, spin the cranks and just watch the chain along the top. You'll see if it's "pumping" up and down. A little is OK unless you're anal about these things; but chain binding from tightness every revolution of the chainwheel is something you don't want. Cure is on sheldonbrown.com website, section on FG. Basically slightly loosen chainring bolts, then tap the high side with a rubber hammer, retight and recheck, repeat as needed.

  9. #9
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    You are correct, there is indeed a tighter spot on my chainring when the pedal is at a certain position, but I still get that slack at the point, just a bit tighter.

    I am not sure if I want to play with the chainring, not because I don't know how, I think I will just end up spending hours chasing the ssame problem around?

    I have wheel off the ground and get can it to spin a bit, doesn't slow down too much at the end due to the slightly tighter spot.

  10. #10
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    It's a matter of degree--sounds like yours is reasonable to me. Just make sure there's no straining at the tightest point. You're right, it can be maddening to try and center it perfectly, and it's possible to make it worse.

  11. #11
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorCyclist View Post
    I am not sure if I want to play with the chainring, not because I don't know how, I think I will just end up spending hours chasing the same problem around?.
    I wouldn't bother. Keep in mind that the chainring mounting isn't the only possible cause for tight spots. The chainring itself could be a bit out-of-round, the crank spider could not be centered on the spindle, the bottom bracket could not be concentric to the bottom bracket shell, the rear cog could not be round, and the hub could not be centered on the axle. All these non-concentricities would be tiny by themselves and well within manufacturing tolerances. (But the more money you throw at track drive train parts, the rounder they get). As Ken2 said, just find the tightest spot and adjust tension so the chain doesn't bind in that spot.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorCyclist View Post
    I am not sure if I want to play with the chainring, not because I don't know how, I think I will just end up spending hours chasing the ssame problem around?
    If you do decide to address the off-center issue, Sheldon's method is pretty straightforward and pretty well eliminates the possibility of getting stuck for hours. It's trial-and-error, but with very small adjustments and very quick feedback, so you zero in fast.
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  13. #13
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    Here is something else, I did some research found some numbers which I am not sure is 100% correct.. 15mm nuts are to be tightened 180 inch lbs (front) and 300 inch lbs (rear), or 15 and 25 ft lbs respectively.
    Seems high to me.

    I know torque wrench is not a big favorite for some but I checked it out, factory nut was quite loose at 9 ft lbs.

    I tightened it fairly tight by hand without stepping on the craftsman professional stubby wrench. It is about 12 ft lbs. I have a digital torque wrench and sometimes I do have time to mess around. That's how tight I have installed my wheels so I can still repair a flat on the road with my stubby wrench. I forgot to add grease to axle threads so these numbers could be off. Before I had a clunking noise when standing on the pedals hard and it is almost gone after tightening.

  14. #14
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorCyclist View Post
    Before I had a clunking noise when standing on the pedals hard and it is almost gone after tightening.
    The classic test for rear axle tightness is for the wheel to not pull into the frame (tire rubs against chain stay) when applying as much force as can reasonably be expected to be put on the pedal. If the wheel stays straight in the first seconds of a full-power standing start or on a steep hill climb during which you almost come to an involuntary halt, the axle nuts are tight enough. No need for torque numbers, really.

    Make sure you have real track nuts. With those, the integrated, but spinning washer is free to stay in place as you turn the nut. If the washer is part of the nut (as your photos seem to show) or tightly attached to it , replace those crap nuts with the real things.
    Last edited by wim; 05-10-2013 at 11:47 AM.

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