Re: I'm a newbie. Learing about broken spokes and chains.
What is breaking? It can't be stressed enough the importance of sprocket/chain alignment. The rear sprocket installation is exteremly important. It must run true and have no wobbles either side to side or up/down. If everything in the drive is aligned and runs without misalignment then the troubles with the chain are eliminated. The tensioner wheel must run parallel to the chain and not trying to pull it to either side. Most of the kit supplied tensioner wheel brackets require a slight twist to get the wheel to run true to the chain. Chain tension is also important. Shoot for a maximum of 1" and a minimum of 1/2" slack measured at the loosest area of the chain. The tensioner bracket should be secured to the frame so it can not loosen and rotate into the spokes. Some use a self tapping screw and others drill completely through the bracket and bike frame and install a screw and nut. Which ever you choose securing the bracket is an all important step and an item not covered in any installatiion manual I've seen. The bolts WILL NOT keep it in place. Some will tell you to run without a chain tensioner but I strongly advise againt it. The tensioner wheel helps guide the chain onto the rear sprocket and helps with any misalignment you might have. Use it but secure it so it can not move. As for the chain loosening; the kit supplied chains are notorious for premature wear (stretching) and require several adjustments during the early stages. Eventually it will settle in and should give you good service. Many of us replace the kit chain with #41 industrial chain available at Ace Hardware, Tractor Supply and other industrial supply outlets. Good luck, keep us posted.
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