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Tightened the chain and what a difference it made.

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by OscarA, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. I got my first road bike (Zeal) about 1 month ago and was having trouble making smooth gear changes. Everytime I changed gears the bike felt jerky but I put it down to being a newbie and needing to get used to the bike.
    Well that was ok for the first week or 2 but after a month I thought no there has to be more to it so I started searching this site for possible causes. The 2 most likely culprits were loose chain and throttle needing adjusting.
    Well I looked at the chain and assumed (never assume when you know nothing about bikes) it was ok as it didn't feel loose so I looked at the throttle. Well the throttle does have a fair bit of play so I'm thinking that'll be it but how do I adjust it :shock: . I checked the service manual and all it says is take it to a bike mechanic, it was back to this site for some more searching. Then I came along a thread that mentioned chains needed to be measured for total slack up and down not just down, oops.
    My bike has a tolerance of 20-30mms so I measured mine and it was about 30mm just by pushing it down so total was around 60-70mm of slack in the chain, what a goose I am.
    So straight away I adjust it and go for a quick ride and it feels like a new bike. The gears changes are smooth and once I work out how to adjust the slackness in the throttle it'll only make it better.
    The throttle seems to have around 7-12mm on play which is to much as my bike manual recommends 3-7mm only.
    If anyone knows where the adjustments are made I'ld appreciate it as I can't locate it.
    I might have to remove some fairing to spot it.

  2. Well I finally found the throttle adjustment but it's made no difference, looks like the jerky gear changes were just a result of the loose chain.
    But this now leaves me with another question but I'll post that in the newbie section.
  3. yes loose chain does make it jerky...
  4. Check your clutch as well. May be slipping when changing.
    Have a look at your manual for that mate.
    Good luck.

    Jerky gearchanges are a pain, but also try different techniques when changing and have a feel for the bike.
    Bit hard to explain. Hope you know what I mean.

  5. On some bikes, such as mine, the amount of slack is definitely measured in one direction only, but it is measured from the swingarm to the centre of the chain, when it is pulled down. Since a tight chain will wear out the chain and sprockets really fast, I think you should try to find a reliable source of information about tightening the chain for your specific bike.

    My bike has very long travel suspension, so the chain needs to be much looser to prevent tight spots during full extension or compression of the rear suspension.

    Sure, the gear changes will feel much nicer, and be easier, since there is less backlash to deal with (if any) but do you want that at the cost of regularly replacing the chain and sprockets? They can cost a packet.
  6. Have a quick inspect of your cush drive as well, as that has probably contributed to the problem.
  7. go to pet the pom, i bet he'll have a look for ya for free, and if it needs adjustment he'll prolly do it for cheap...$50buks?
  8. As suggested by Zeker I checked the cush drives (had to google what a cush drive was :LOL: ) and there is a little play in it.
    I put the bike on the rear stand and moved the back wheel forward and backwards and you can see a little play from the rear sprocket and wheel. Now by little I mean about 1mm if that so it's very minor.
    Should there be any play at all?

    Thanks for the tip.
  9. Having no idea, I'm going to blow it out my ass a bit, and say yes it should have A LITTLE bit of play in it, else it wouldnt be a "cushioning" device right?
  10. Makes sense, a little play could be normal but excessive play obviously not.
    The reality is I haven't got a clue and didn't even know what a cush drives was :oops:
  11. what seems to be worse , going up or down gears ,try blipping the throttle more on down shifts
  12. The bikes jerkiness was really noticeable when going up in gears but after tightening the chain it made a big improvement.
    There is a little jerkiness still there but it's probably more to do with me than the bike.
    As I get more confident and comfortable with the bike I'm sure it'll go.
    Well I'm hopping it will anyway.