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Problems after installing freeradical. Chain rub in easiest to pedal gears.

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  • thomasharper2000k
    Hi i bought and installed an xtracycle freeradical kit a while ago. I have a few problems that i need to sort out but I m unsure what to do. When i put it in
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 28, 2011
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      Hi i bought and installed an xtracycle freeradical kit a while ago. I have a few problems that i need to sort out but I'm unsure what to do.

      When i put it in the easiest to pedal back gears 1 and 2 the chain rubs on the tire. It does this in all three front gears only when I'm on an un-tarred more bumpy track. It does it when I'm in the 1st front gear all the time no matter what surface I'm on. It does it slightly less in back gear 2 but when I'm moving from side to side with a heavy load or its bumpy it touches the tire. In rear gear 1 and front 1 there's only a few milometers between the tire when stationary so when its moving it rubs and bumps the chain about constantly. I also have fenders on which leave the same distance between the chain and tire/fender. I essentially only have the use of gears 3 to 7.

      I thought the xtracycle freeradical could take tires up to 2.35".

      I have a Raleigh max ogre 21inch frame bike. The tires are 26 x 2.10. The back derailleur is a Shimano Deore XT which didn't come with the bike. I had had to get another derailleur as the original one which came with the bike had a hook style attachment which i couldn't fit to the xtracycle. My bike has 21 gears and the old derailleur was 7 speed. The new one is 8 speed. i don't no if this could be a problem or not. The front derailleur is a Suntour FD-XR16 which came with the bike.

      I often have problems with the gear indexing not going into 7 and I've always had the problem of the front gear not wanting to go down to the smallest chain ring 1. I usually have to give it a push with my foot but very occasionally it will do it on its own. Ive also noticed the indexing can be different when i have the bike fully loaded.

      When i set it up i took a link out of the chain but nowadays it kind of feels a little slack unless there's pressure applied to the pedals to keep it taught.

      Ive heard some people use chain guides. There's one I've seen designed for an xtracycle made by terracycle but its quite expensive to buy it just to see if it fixes the problems.

      Someone suggested that changing my front derailleur for a better one might help with the gear indexing problems.

      If anyone has any ideas about fixing these issues then i would really appreciate if you could reply.

      I contacted the people who i bought it from and they said this -


      Hi Thomas,

      I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing some issues with your Xtracycle.

      Being able to rectify these problems remotely is always very difficult - however I'll give it a go!

      The Xtracycle Kit is capable of running wide tyres such as the ones you use. I use 2.20 width on my own but don't experience any rubbing except when on rough terrain. It can be annoying but provided it isn't too bad then it's perhaps something that you could live with?...

      What is most likely to be the cause of the rubbing is the 'chainline'. Imagine a centre line running right through the middle of your bike from front to back - the chainline is the distance from that centre line to where the chain sits on the chainring. So, your Raleigh could well have a short chainline measurement which places the chain nearer to that centre of the bike which means that the chain is going to be nearer to the tyre. This can be remedied by simply fitting a different bottom bracket. If your bottom bracket is the square taper type then this is quite easy. Try to find out what the length of the bottom bracket axle that you are currently using and then buy a new bottom bracket which has a longer axle length. This is not guaranteed to work but if you only need to find a couple of millimetres to stop the chain rubbing then it's worth a go - bottom brackets are not expensive. You should consider that going too long on your bottom bracket axle, if running a double or triple chainset, could make gear shfiting on the front derailleur difficult.

      It might be a possibility for you to consider changing your set up to a single front chainring using the middle one as the main ring?...

      Before you do this I would also recommend that you sign up to the Rootsradicals newsgroup. This is a community of Xtracycle users who are always very willing to help other Xtracyclers solve their technical issues. You can find the group by clicking this link -

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rootsradicals/

      I hope this helps solve your problems!

      Best wishes

      Zaynan
      Practical Cycles
    • David Chase
      re: chain rub When I used derailer gears (3x9) I would get some rub in the very lowest gear, but not as much as you report. I use big (2.35 ) tires. For me,
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 28, 2011
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        re: chain rub

        When I used derailer gears (3x9) I would get some rub in the very lowest gear,
        but not as much as you report. I use big (2.35") tires. For me, since it was lowest
        gear only and a light rub, I just lived with it. If you have a millimeter of clearance
        when you are in 1x1, I don't know that your situation is that different from mine.

        The things to try are:

        1) minimize chain slack. Put the gears in big-by-big (not recommended for actual use)
        and be sure that there is very little slack in the chain. The derailer should be stretched quite far forward.

        Ask local bike shop if it's possible to adjust the tension on the derailer; I think it is on some. You want as much as you can get.

        2) as recommended by shop, a wider bottom bracket. They're not expensive, yours is probably a generic size. If you spend more money you can get a Phil Wood bracket, and those permit some adjustment from side to side.

        I'm wondering if your free radical is tightly mounted; the indexed shifting should not change when loaded (mine didn't). Maybe there is an alignment issue, also, that affects the chain line. You can check this with a piece of string. Come to think of it, more likely, is that your indexing is not adjusted
        properly. Do you know how to do that? Shift till the chain should be on the second smallest cog in the rear (second highest gear), and tighten (or loosen, for a reverse-rise derailer) till it is sort of spitting and jumping at the third smallest cog, and then back off about a half turn on the adjuster (till it stops spitting and jumping).

        The terracycle idler might work, given that standing still there is clearance, because it will cut down on chain wiggle. But I would try reducing chain slack first, and a bottom bracket will be cheaper. Be
        aware of the backwards threading issues when removing and installing your BB; check a repair
        manual or Sheldon Brown to be sure.

        The change in derailer ought not have an effect on your shifting; 7-speed chain and 8-speed chain are the same width, and all the indexing is up at the shifter anyway. For example, I have a bike with 8 9-speed cogs on a 7-speed cassette ("8 of 9 on 7"), and the cheapest Shimano derailer quickly available (Sora), and the indexing works just fine. AAAAH, there are some funky bits with getting the inner cable
        routed around the backside of the free radical, I remember that.

        I don't know that this is enough to do it, but it's a start.

        David
      • David Backeberg
        On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 7:43 AM, thomasharper2000k ... The advice you got about changing your chainline (by bumping the front crankset out a bit farther from
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 28, 2011
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          On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 7:43 AM, thomasharper2000k
          <thomasharper2000k@...> wrote:
          >going to be nearer to the tyre. This can be remedied by simply fitting a different bottom bracket. If your bottom bracket is the square >taper type then this is quite easy. Try to find out what the length of the bottom bracket axle that you are currently using and then >buy a new bottom bracket which has a longer axle length. This is not guaranteed to work but if you only need to find a couple of >millimetres to stop the chain rubbing then it's worth a go - bottom brackets are not expensive. You should consider that going too l>ong on your bottom bracket axle, if running a double or triple chainset, could make gear shfiting on the front derailleur difficult.

          The advice you got about changing your chainline (by bumping the front
          crankset out a bit farther from the bottom bracket shell) is good
          advice. If this is not something that makes intuitive sense, you
          should drop by your local bike shop for advice / expert help. The
          other thing you could MAYBE do is run smaller diameter tires, but
          that's going to be a less satisfying solution in the long run.
        • gear.head@verizon.net
          I am a tinkerer at heart and had the same problem when I built my first long tail. I made a chain guide and played w/shims. In the end I conceded. The best way
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 28, 2011
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            I am a tinkerer at heart and had the same problem when I built my first long tail. I made a chain guide and played w/shims. In the end I conceded. The best way to fix it, is a properly aligned rear triangle, proper length chain and MOst importantly right width bottom bracket spindle. Once I did that I was set.
            Sean

            Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


            From: David Backeberg <dbackeberg@...>
            Sender: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2011 10:06:43 -0400
            To: <rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com>
            ReplyTo: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Problems after installing freeradical. Chain rub in easiest to pedal gears.

             

            On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 7:43 AM, thomasharper2000k
            <thomasharper2000k@...> wrote:

            >going to be nearer to the tyre. This can be remedied by simply fitting a different bottom bracket. If your bottom bracket is the square >taper type then this is quite easy. Try to find out what the length of the bottom bracket axle that you are currently using and then >buy a new bottom bracket which has a longer axle length. This is not guaranteed to work but if you only need to find a couple of >millimetres to stop the chain rubbing then it's worth a go - bottom brackets are not expensive. You should consider that going too l>ong on your bottom bracket axle, if running a double or triple chainset, could make gear shfiting on the front derailleur difficult.

            The advice you got about changing your chainline (by bumping the front
            crankset out a bit farther from the bottom bracket shell) is good
            advice. If this is not something that makes intuitive sense, you
            should drop by your local bike shop for advice / expert help. The
            other thing you could MAYBE do is run smaller diameter tires, but
            that's going to be a less satisfying solution in the long run.

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