Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Help with tensioner on Cyclone, Chain keeps jumping off

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Help with tensioner on Cyclone, Chain keeps jumping off

    Hey guys,

    So here's my story, I bought two feet of the special single speed chain at luna cycle:
    https://lunacycle.com/kmc-bike-chain-with-master-links/

    I made the newb mistake of just getting two feet, sure enough it wasn't enough! So I went back an ordered an extra foot.

    Now I have two master links in my chain. The odd thing is, the chain is always either too short or too long. I even took the chain and made it smaller link by link, to be very cautious, and it was too long like in the first picture, so I removed one more, and it was too short so that I couldn't put it on! I did force it on eventually and it was basically stuck and couldn't move.

    So I tried keeping the extra link on and moving the tensioner in a different spot, but the tensioner wasn't strong enough to stop the chain from jumping off.nee

    What can I do?

    Is it because I have two master links? Do I need to buy 3 feet and then narrow it down so that I only have one masterlink?

    Should I try adding a third master link?

    Can I adjust the tensioner to make this work?

    I'd rather not spend more money on chains if possible!

    Thanks guys!

    Too much Chain! The Regular setup is not going to work! :( Tried new set up!  Still have issues!

    #2
    Not sure I see what's wrong with how you have it set up in your second picture?

    You can probably use KMC half links if necessary. It's like a master link but half as long. Just make sure you get it for single speed size.

    Comment


      #3
      Just to follow up with this previous question, I made a beginners cyclone guide on our cyclone documentation which hopefully clarifies things. Your picture 2 is correct, with the exception of the spring. The spring needs to be pulling that upwards, which it is not doing in any of these pics.

      https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...2884#post62884

      Comment


        #4
        That spring should be pulling as paxtana says.

        In picture 2 that would be indeed be "upward". The spring should try to pull that chain-tension wheel upward (and slightly toward the back of the bike); in between the motor and crankset sprockets. That spring needs to be tight enough too, without being overstretched and losing it's elasticity. It may sound a little too cheap and cheerful for some, but I used a zip-tie to anchor the loose end of my chain-tensioner spring, so I could just keep pulling more tension in, a few clicks at a time, until I had it right.

        Be sure though, that your chain tensioner's idler wheel isn't actually so far in between those other two sprockets, that it is interfering with, (or in contact with) either the motor or crankset's sprockets. You chain tensioner definitely needs to pull in that direction, but it will cause problems if it's too far in. I'm not certain, from looking at the pictures, but between that and your posting, I think you may indeed still need that so-called "1/2 link" to make that chain shorter; to give you the alignment you're after, without any interference.

        On my bike, It takes two hands--one to hold the tensioner out of the chain path, and one for the chain itself--but I can remove and install that chain from the crankset sprocket without removing any links. Just barely. Any more length in that chain, and my chain-tensioner idler gear will be interfering with the other sprockets, and less length and it won't go on or off.

        I get the feeling you are almost there, philtahu. And just in case you encounter any more issues, try not to become discouraged by setbacks. Every one that stops you, but through which you prevail, improves your own knowledge and skills. In that sense, setbacks can, and probably will make you a better e-bike builder!

        Take care, and good luck!

        tklop
        Last edited by tklop; 04-26-2018, 11:46 PM. Reason: for clarity

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by paxtana View Post
          Not sure I see what's wrong with how you have it set up in your second picture?

          You can probably use KMC half links if necessary. It's like a master link but half as long. Just make sure you get it for single speed size.
          Thank you Paxtana! I didn't know half links existed!
          I order this one for 1/8" from amazon and it worked great with my luna cycle single speed chain!

          https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

          Thanks a ton!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by tklop View Post
            That spring should be pulling as paxtana says.


            I get the feeling you are almost there, philtahu. And just in case you encounter any more issues, try not to become discouraged by setbacks. Every one that stops you, but through which you prevail, improves your own knowledge and skills. In that sense, setbacks can, and probably will make you a better e-bike builder!

            Take care, and good luck!

            tklop
            Thank you for the encouragement tklop, I honestly felt like giving up just earlier today, the chain is working great with the half link, but alas, it keeps jumping off!! I'm writing a new thread for this problem, but thank you so much because it was feeling like I will never get this thing working and dependable. I will keep trying!

            Comment


              #7
              I had another couple of thoughts here, which might or might not help too.

              One, (which I think might be covered in that beginner's guide) was to try to make sure your chain-line is as straight as possible.

              But the other, was to check for and to try to correct any "stiff" chain-links.

              Whenever I've worked with bike chains, it seems inevitable that once in a while, one of the links I've opened and closed with my chain tool wind up "stiff". If your chain-links don't flex easily, they're able to make your chain jump off too!

              If you find some "stiff" or "sticky" links, you can loosen them up some by applying some force in the chain's non-bending direction (so like--if you had a nice straight chain-line, you were trying to bend it left or right). By working your chain side-to-side, concentrating and focusing on the stiff link (or links--repeat for each if there are multiples), you should be able to get it to loosen up.

              I do not know for sure this is your problem at all, but I kind of hope it is, so you can get up, get out, get happy and get rolling soon!

              No matter what it is, don't give up! You will prevail!

              Take care,

              tklop
              Last edited by tklop; 04-29-2018, 01:40 AM. Reason: to fix a misspelling or two

              Comment


                #8
                Completely agree on the stiff link point, would be a good addition to the guide as well. I was helping my brother with a build little while ago and this exact issue came up. Turns out it was due to the type of masterlink used, some weird chunky 3-part link that didn't bend much. Possibly combined with his lack of familiarity on how to properly connect a masterlink.

                As I don't live nearby I could only walk him through so much on the phone, but once he saw that it was messing up when going over that link he took it to a local bike shop that sorted it out and even sized it better than he was able to manage. It runs very smooth now.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Sorry to be such a bother, but I had yet one more thought:

                  Is your motor's freewheel spinning freely? One reason I ask, had to do with your chain-tensioner position in picture 1.

                  When everything is switched off, and your back wheel is propped up, there should be no more resistance at the pedals than there ever was in the pre-kit configuration.

                  If it feels like your motor is being "pushed around and around" by your cranks, then that's why it skips, and you'll need a new motor freewheel!

                  Now: Why do I suspect this? Well, it happened to me. Matter of fact, I still haven't bothered to fix it. The motor is doing the pulling close to 100% of the time, so it doesn't skip often at all. Still, while I sat pondering endless shipping delays, I considered solving the problem by adding a second chain-tensioner. One that could pick up the slop on the "new" slack-side of the drive-chain.

                  Pushing the motor around with your pedals, piles the chain up on the pre-motor side. For things like the cadence-sensor to work, you'll find yourself facing that skipping issue, until the motor kicks in and starts pulling (harder than you are).

                  I'm plenty strong enough to pedal the heavy-ass bakfiets, and the gear-reduced motor around. I don't care. However it's impossibly annoying. The motor's drive chain goes CHUNK CHUNK CHUNK as it piles up ahead of the motor's drive sprocket, skipping harmlessly, but so annoyingly as to make one lose one's mind.

                  Ugh. Been there. Started out with just that, on my way back home from my bakfiets' dunking (see other post). Right away, I wished I had gone for that second (largely superfluous) chain-tensioner. Needless to say, it was an unpleasant and unpowered ride home, but I didn't put up with the CHUNK CHUNK CHUNK for too long, I just took my already filthy hands, and pulled the damn motor chain off, so it'd just effin' quit that, and I finished the soggy, gravel-in-my-shoes, non-powered hell-ride back home in relative silence.

                  Anyway, to correct the skipping caused by such a frozen motor freewheel, one would need to place a chain-tensioner pulley absolutely exactly where you had placed it in picture 1; just pulling the other way (as described earlier) in the between-the-two-sprockets direction..

                  Thus--my question: Is this the case for you?

                  In any case: Persist! Persevere! You will eventually Conquer!
                  Take care,

                  tklop

                  Last edited by tklop; 04-29-2018, 10:07 AM. Reason: for clarity

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by paxtana View Post
                    Completely agree on the stiff link point, would be a good addition to the guide as well. I was helping my brother with a build little while ago and this exact issue came up. Turns out it was due to the type of masterlink used, some weird chunky 3-part link that didn't bend much. Possibly combined with his lack of familiarity on how to properly connect a masterlink.

                    As I don't live nearby I could only walk him through so much on the phone, but once he saw that it was messing up when going over that link he took it to a local bike shop that sorted it out and even sized it better than he was able to manage. It runs very smooth now.
                    If I get a-hold of a chain with any "fancy-shmancy" links in it, I usually just leave those alone. More times than not, those so-called "master-link" pieces (every brand has their own fancy name), are good for only a few opening-and-closing cycles before they're shot.

                    Honestly, I see no reason to concentrate all the opening-and-closing wear on one link, when there are so many others to choose from! Plus, I've experienced collectively far more frustration from fiddly "master-links" than I ever have with standard middle-of-the-chain-someplace links.

                    That's why, unless there's something wrong with them, I just completely ignore the "specialty links" and use a chain-tool to open and close plain-old regular links.

                    Know what else? Those regular-old bike chain-links are pretty darn good! They're actually a lot more durable than any of the "specialty quick-disconnect" links I've ever come across. The same standard links can be opened and closed many more times typically than those "special" links can. It's no exaggeration to say you could successfully open and close the same standard chain-link easily a dozen of times, and have it strong as ever--provided you are properly using a decent quality chain-tool at any rate. No exaggeration. But besides--who cares how many times? What are the odds of you picking the same one as last time out of what--a hundred or more links?

                    Now, everybody's got their preferences, I suppose. And I don't want to talk anybody out of theirs, per-se.

                    But that's mine!

                    Maybe it's not the same as the "teach a man to fish" thing... But hey:

                    Show someone how the master link works, and they'll be able to fix their chain a couple times. Teach someone how to use a chain-breaker tool, and all their chains-to-come, will be able to outlast their weakest links!

                    Take care,

                    tklop
                    Last edited by tklop; 05-07-2018, 11:30 AM. Reason: for clarity

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by tklop View Post
                      I had another couple of thoughts here, which might or might not help too.

                      One, (which I think might be covered in that beginner's guide) was to try to make sure your chain-line is as straight as possible.

                      But the other, was to check for and to try to correct any "stiff" chain-links.

                      Whenever I've worked with bike chains, it seems inevitable that once in a while, one of the links I've opened and closed with my chain tool wind up "stiff". If your chain-links don't flex easily, they're able to make your chain jump off too!

                      If you find some "stiff" or "sticky" links, you can loosen them up some by applying some force in the chain's non-bending direction (so like--if you had a nice straight chain-line, you were trying to bend it left or right). By working your chain side-to-side, concentrating and focusing on the stiff link (or links--repeat for each if there are multiples), you should be able to get it to loosen up.

                      I do not know for sure this is your problem at all, but I kind of hope it is, so you can get up, get out, get happy and get rolling soon!

                      No matter what it is, don't give up! You will prevail!

                      Take care,

                      tklop
                      Hey Tklop,

                      Sorry for the slow response, I'm getting ready for a trip for a wedding but I got to work on it some tonight.

                      So the stiff chain theory was correct! My new half link, which came in last week evidently is kind of bent and is stiff. Maybe I ordered the wrong size?

                      How do I know whether I need 1/8 or 3/16 or 3/32? I just guess at 1/3

                      Or maybe I should just buy a 3ft lunacycle chain and trim it down so I only need one master link(hopefully)?

                      Right now I have 2 master links and that one broken half link.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by tklop View Post
                        Sorry to be such a bother, but I had yet one more thought:

                        Is your motor's freewheel spinning freely? One reason I ask, had to do with your chain-tensioner position in picture 1.

                        When everything is switched off, and your back wheel is propped up, there should be no more resistance at the pedals than there ever was in the pre-kit configuration.

                        If it feels like your motor is being "pushed around and around" by your cranks, then that's why it skips, and you'll need a new motor freewheel!

                        Now: Why do I suspect this? Well, it happened to me. Matter of fact, I still haven't bothered to fix it. The motor is doing the pulling close to 100% of the time, so it doesn't skip often at all. Still, while I sat pondering endless shipping delays, I considered solving the problem by adding a second chain-tensioner. One that could pick up the slop on the "new" slack-side of the drive-chain.

                        Pushing the motor around with your pedals, piles the chain up on the pre-motor side. For things like the cadence-sensor to work, you'll find yourself facing that skipping issue, until the motor kicks in and starts pulling (harder than you are).

                        I'm plenty strong enough to pedal the heavy-ass bakfiets, and the gear-reduced motor around. I don't care. However it's impossibly annoying. The motor's drive chain goes CHUNK CHUNK CHUNK as it piles up ahead of the motor's drive sprocket, skipping harmlessly, but so annoyingly as to make one lose one's mind.

                        Ugh. Been there. Started out with just that, on my way back home from my bakfiets' dunking (see other post). Right away, I wished I had gone for that second (largely superfluous) chain-tensioner. Needless to say, it was an unpleasant and unpowered ride home, but I didn't put up with the CHUNK CHUNK CHUNK for too long, I just took my already filthy hands, and pulled the damn motor chain off, so it'd just effin' quit that, and I finished the soggy, gravel-in-my-shoes, non-powered hell-ride back home in relative silence.

                        Anyway, to correct the skipping caused by such a frozen motor freewheel, one would need to place a chain-tensioner pulley absolutely exactly where you had placed it in picture 1; just pulling the other way (as described earlier) in the between-the-two-sprockets direction..

                        Thus--my question: Is this the case for you?

                        In any case: Persist! Persevere! You will eventually Conquer!
                        Take care,

                        tklop
                        I think the freewheel is spinning pretty freely, I don't feel much resistance, I can post a video in the future to confirm, but the chain stiff is definitely a problem.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Okay--that's good to hear the freewheel isn't the issue!

                          Personally, I wouldn't order another chain from Luna or Cyclone. Not that there's anything wrong with them, it's just that you can get the chain (and a new half-link) locally, at pretty much any bike shop--and that's probably a lot faster (unless you live in the neighborhood of Luna).

                          The chain you'll need for the motor's drive, is going to be labeled "Single Speed" and "1/2 x 1/8". The ones in the bike shop will be made for BMX bikes, so they'll be a lot longer than the one you got with the kit. This is a good thing--means you'll have more spare chain on-hand!

                          Anyways, philtahu, I am certain you are going to be up and rolling soon--I can just feel it!

                          Take care,

                          tklop
                          Last edited by tklop; 05-02-2018, 02:03 PM. Reason: to make more sense in context with his following reply

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by philtahu View Post

                            ... My new half link, which came in last week evidently is kind of bent and is stiff. Maybe I ordered the wrong size? ...
                            From your picture, that half-link doesn't look too messed up. I believe it is correct, and that you should even still be able to use it.

                            Sometimes it seems a bit challenging to try to talk through tool use in text-form, but I'll give it a shot.

                            You know that solid pin-piece, that holds the links together--the one you gotta shove in and out with the chain tool? Ideally, it needs to be protruding about the same amount from either side of the chain after you've pressed two links together.

                            In your half-link, it looks like you've got just a little more sticking out on the top than the bottom (for the fastened-together end of your half-link). I think you will likely be able to loosen the stiffness. Then, connect the other end, and I think you'll be able to make it still work.

                            But first, here's what I suggest:

                            Get a length of chain--something nice and new and clean--and sit down in a comfortable chair at a well-lit table, and just practice with your chain-tool.

                            Don't worry if you mangle some links, don't worry if you push the pins too far, and they fall out, and you can't get them back in. Pile up the unsuccessful metal bits for recycling later on, and just keep at it!

                            Consider it homework, or training, or just an odd form of knitting--I dunno--but just get some practice, so you can give yourself a fighting chance!

                            I swear, before you go mad, it'll get a hell of a lot easier. It won't really take you too long at all.

                            As you practice, you will notice, if you pay close attention, that you can learn to "feel" it in your fingers, while you're working the chain-tool; "feeling" that exact point when that pin is passing through the links--or "feeling" when you've got it misaligned; that too--and you'll be able to know whether to stop twisting before things get bent out of shape, or if things are lining up well, and to keep turning the tool.

                            It all gets better with some practice! So, just put links together, take them apart again... Keep at it for a while, even if it's a terrible bore (which it will be).

                            Once you've gotten it pretty well down--the process I mean--and those pin-ends are protruding pretty evenly, you're really golden!

                            Sometimes, directly after assembly, you can just flip over the chain, and put it back in your chain-tool, then, you can apply a little back-pressure on the pin you just inserted--back in the other direction; and doing that may sometimes loosen up the stiffness right away.

                            But if the chain-links are still stiff (and no matter how good at chain-building you are, sometimes they will be sticky and stiff), just try that thing I described before, where you're trying to bend the chain in the direction it won't naturally want to--centering on the sticky pin at the pivot-point of that stiff link--first applying pressure one "wrong" way, then the other. You don't want to actually force the chain to bend, just flex a bit. It's about applying firm pressure, a little at a time, rather than brute force. So, work it a little, then see if it has gotten a little more loose. Work it a little more if it needs it, and check it again. Sometimes it can help to first bend the stiff link--again, right at it's stiff-point pin--to form a "V" or a "corner" in the chain, and then repeat your "wrong-way-bending-pressure" thing. Then bend your "V" the other way, and work the chain some more. Changing the pivot-angle of my sticky link in this way, while working the chain back and forth in its non-bending direction, often helps me quickly get the results I want.

                            From what you have already posted, I'm absolutely certain you already have plenty of chain on-hand. What you've got isn't "ruined" or anything, there's lots of perfectly fine links there, that'd love to fulfill their destiny--and help propel you around!

                            Once you've practiced, and gotten a good "feel" for it--you'll have become confident in your chain-tool skills. So just go ahead, and put your motor chain back together.

                            I know for now it might sound nutty--but if you've got enough chain, and another half-link, you might even want to set up a spare motor drive chain--one ready to just swap right in--and plop it in your tool bag with the patch-kit! After all, you've gotten pretty good at building chains by now, so why not make an "insurance chain" ?

                            Gosh. Is that a clear enough description? Maybe I need to make my own YouTube video to describe this!

                            Anyways...

                            Good luck, and take care,

                            tklop
                            Last edited by tklop; 05-03-2018, 07:52 AM. Reason: for further clarity

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by tklop View Post
                              Okay--that's good to hear the freewheel isn't the issue!

                              Personally, I wouldn't order another chain from Luna or Cyclone. Not that there's anything wrong with them, it's just that you can get the chain (and a new half-link) locally, at pretty much any bike shop--and that's probably a lot faster (unless you live in the neighborhood of Luna).

                              The chain you'll need for the motor's drive, is going to be labeled "Single Speed" and "1/2 x 1/8". The ones in the bike shop will be made for BMX bikes, so they'll be a lot longer than the one you got with the kit. This is a good thing--means you'll have more spare chain on-hand!

                              Anyways, philtahu, I am certain you are going to be up and rolling soon--I can just feel it!

                              Take care,

                              tklop
                              Hey Tklop!

                              Thank you so much for your response, I sincerely apologize for the long delay, please know I really do appreciate your detailed responses, I had a crazy week and just tonight I finally got to sit down and start resuming the bike project. I'll try to keep all my responses timely from here on.

                              So here's the latest!

                              I went ahead and picked up another chain with the specs you mentioned above along with another half link. My plan was to use the new chain and half link as my primary setup, and then go back and rework the other chain, and once I got it working, I could use it as a backup chain.

                              Turns out however, that once the new half-link is installed, it was super stiff! I haven't tried doing the methods you suggested yet, because I also noticed something else that could be wrong.

                              Observe the plates that mount the cyclone on to the bike. One of them is mounted to the first hole, and on the other side its mounted to the second hole.

                              Do they both need to be in the same slot? I think this was take away the need for the half link if the motor was in the second slot and hence remove the stiffness problem.




                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X