Author Topic: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs  (Read 2969 times)

Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« on: May 25, 2020, 04:24:43 pm »
Hi folks,

 Been riding fixed for about a month now and am loving it. Am thinking of getting a fixed chain tensioner (like  Surly snuggnut) or chain tugs. Any thoughts, suggestions etc

Cheers, Doo
🤪
I dunno why anybody's doing this!

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2020, 06:36:26 pm »
Just wonder why.  Have you had a problem?  Several decades of fixed riding here and I've never used such devices, nor do I know anybody who has.

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2020, 06:46:06 pm »
^ Just  interested in folks thoughts etc really - if I do a long ride or a powerful time trial like sprint - my chain appears slacker (sometimes) at the end of a ride compared to the beginning. My old Genesis Day One had them pre-fitted. I'm still 'new' to the fixed world and like knowing others experiences etc

Cheers, Doo
I dunno why anybody's doing this!

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2020, 07:15:29 pm »
Some combinations of wheel nut, axle washers and track end surfaces can make it hard to completely avoid wheel movement no matter how tight you have the nuts done up or how well you have cleaned the surfaces, hence the variety of chain tugs available. Some people never need them, some people need them on one bike but not others.

Choice of chain tug is a bit a trial and error affair depending on the shape and thickness of the track ends. The Snuggnut is for 12mm through axles and is designed to work well with a particular Surly dropout. It might be fine with other set-ups of course. Or you could look at something like the SKS ones which come in different thicknesses according to track end thickness.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/chains/5-mm-mks-canjs-chain-tug/

I don’t have one on the bike at the moment but I have tried the SKS one in the past with good effect. They make wheel changes a bit more hassle.

rob

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2020, 09:52:21 pm »
I have the surly tugnut on 3 bikes.  2 of these are Dolan FXEs.

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2020, 09:55:43 pm »
I have the Surly nut. It does add a little time when mending a puncture, but it makes getting correct chain tension a doddle, so worth it in my view.
In Boris we trust.

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2020, 10:10:00 pm »
I've recently started using the Surly Tuggnut, and have found it helps me to get a better chain tension. A single Tuggnut on the drive side seems to be working just fine.

Eddington: 130 miles

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2020, 08:07:24 am »
Thanks for all the comments. My bike is a Dolan FXE so a tug nut seems like a good idea.

Cheers, Doo  :smug:
I dunno why anybody's doing this!

Chris N

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2020, 08:48:54 am »
A bit of slack in the chain is no big deal (in fact too tight can be a problem).  Tensioners just seem to get in the way for me.

fd3

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2020, 11:32:23 pm »
I don't use tensioners.  My first fixie had a severe issue with maintaining chain tension, but this as due to bad chainline and the random combination of components thrown together.  My Pompino holds its tension for longer than it should (I should take the chain off and clean it before it goes slack).
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2020, 06:51:12 am »
Is "Tugnut" a reference to tagnut?  I didn't think British toilet slang had made it to America.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2020, 09:37:21 pm »
I've been disappointed with the PlanetX/On-One design:


They don't really seem to hold tension. I've got some Surly Tuggnuts to fit when I get around to it. (Yes, I know you only really need one.)

I prefer tensioners on track ends. Always seems a faff to get tension right. Not so bothered on standard drop-outs. But you can over-tension if you're not careful.


fd3

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2020, 11:18:23 pm »
I have a pair of the PX ones which I don't use (and haven't for ... 8? years)
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2020, 11:35:00 pm »
For those Planet X tugs, I found the bolts just seize up, then snap when you try turning it.
Still maybe useful as a bit of sacrificial metal, to avoid chewing up the dropouts.

Think I have a Surly Tugnut on the drive side, and Planet X on the other.

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2020, 11:53:53 pm »
I used to use those PlanetX jobbies but also found that the bolts seized. I now don't bother with tugs and haven't had any problems. I don't have Chris Hoy thighs thobut.

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2020, 04:15:03 pm »
I never did get tugs in the end and all has been fine without
I dunno why anybody's doing this!

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2020, 07:15:40 pm »
I use a single tug on the drive side.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2020, 08:53:38 pm »
never felt the need for one over tens of thousands km

track cyclists capable of 2kw+ bursts don't use them either

Hot Flatus

  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2020, 09:43:56 pm »
Depends on frame material. Ti frame=essential, as the metal is too hard for track nuts to get enough bite. Equally, soft aluminum dropouts can also be a pain.

Chaintugs do not exist for no reason.

dat

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2020, 06:53:23 am »
Depends on frame material. Ti frame=essential, as the metal is too hard for track nuts to get enough bite. Equally, soft aluminum dropouts can also be a pain.

Chaintugs do not exist for no reason.

My ti bike is fine without tugs.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2020, 04:53:19 pm »
track cyclists capable of 2kw+ bursts don't use them either
Track cyclists aren't bouncing over potholes.

Hot Flatus

  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2020, 05:42:47 pm »
Depends on frame material. Ti frame=essential, as the metal is too hard for track nuts to get enough bite. Equally, soft aluminum dropouts can also be a pain.

Chaintugs do not exist for no reason.

My ti bike is fine without tugs.

You are fortunate. Mine is hopeless without them. End up having to retension every 200 miles or so

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2020, 11:53:15 am »
I’ve always had a bit of trouble with the Bob Jackson, even with a bolted Paul hub. I’d love a fixed frame with something like these:

https://www.pearson1860.com/collections/single-speed-bikes/products/now-you-see-me-steel-single-speed-bike?variant=32084788084835




rob

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2020, 11:58:08 am »
I’ve always had a bit of trouble with the Bob Jackson, even with a bolted Paul hub. I’d love a fixed frame with something like these:

https://www.pearson1860.com/collections/single-speed-bikes/products/now-you-see-me-steel-single-speed-bike?variant=32084788084835



I had those on an old genesis/ridgeback.   It made tensioning pretty straightforward but they're pretty exposed to weather so you do need to keep them pretty clean and greased.

Re: Fixed chain tensioner / chain tugs
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2020, 07:02:09 pm »
I’m sorry, but I just don’t see it. I rode a track tandem in sprint National races, and no one ever needed chain tugs. We never pulled a wheel over, nor did I ever see a team do so. We did use decent kit of course, Campag or Airlight hubs that gripped well.
I suspect a few people use a too tight chain. I was shown to have a chain that was just tight enough not to come off when you spun the pedals with the bike held horizontally, and shaken a bit.