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Old 02-11-2016, 09:32 AM
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Allen_Wrench Allen_Wrench is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 2,757
Default Re: Listen to your elders

I, unfortunately, have found no other mounting method that allows me to discard the tensioner/guide, and still avoid having the drive chain saw its way through the chain stay. And believe me, I have tried, because early on I was desperate to ditch the thing also. But even with the smaller 38 tooth (yes, 38, not 36) sprocket, it just wasn't meant to be.

So I would add this advice: if you MUST use a guide wheel on your drive chain, and can find no other way to do without, get the most robust one that you can and mount it as solidly as possible. The ones with four mounting bolts are great. I do not know enough about the sprung ones to honestly recommend them.
Then, you'll likely need to bend the guide wheel bracket so that the track of the wheel is exactly aligned to be parallel with your drive chain. The wheel's axis bolt should be exactly perpendicular. The chain stay it will be mounted on *is not* usually parallel to the tire or the drive chain; it angles inward as it gets closer to the bottom bracket. So, if the guide wheel is in alignment with the chain stay, the chain will run along it slightly diagonally, and there's a chance it will put a side-load on the guide wheel's flanges. If you mounted it rock-solid, then the chain will tear up your guide wheel. If it's only mounted "well enough" then the side load from the chain is liable to drive your guide wheel right into your spokes.

You also want to make sure that the guide wheel's track is exactly underneath the chain, not off slightly to one side, and you want to be sure that the guide wheel's axis bolt is exactly level with the drive chain. It's a lot to check on and think about, but if you do it now it will save you a great many problems later and maybe even disasters.

And finally, you really do want to check the thing before every ride. I doubt you'd ever regret doing so. (It's on my checklist of things I check before riding.) Cruising along at 25 mph or more is not the time to find out that the chain tensioner/guide wheel was loose.

"There is nothing wrong with wanting a motorbike that is an extension of your personal taste and fashion sense; if you must ride somewhere, I say do it with style!"
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