Should a BMX Chain Be Tight? (How Tight Should It Be?)

BMX bike riders are known to ride faster than the average bike rider. The bike can be used for extreme and cool stunts and its swift movement makes it so desirable to the people who like to go fast. This is why the chains of such a bike should be properly adjusted.

A jiggling and wobbly bike is the least desirable in this case. Which happens to be the case of a loose chain in the bike. Keep the tension of the chain tight to a moderate level, but not too much as it might make it hard to make turns.

Should a BMX chain be tight?

The chains of a BMX should be tight enough but not too tight or too loose. It should not sag too much to touch the chainstay. It should be tight enough to allow movement of about one inch up and down. It should not be too tight, or the cranks will get harder to turn.

The purpose of a BMX chain is to propel your bike forward and depict the rate of power transfer. The quality of power transfer depends on the chain tension. This is why the chain should be tight enough with minimal vertical deflection.

Should a BMX chain be tight or lose?

A BMX chain should be adjusted at the right amount of tightness. Too lose and too tight are both to be avoided. The tension of the chain should be moderate.

A chain too loose will come off and start bouncing off the chain ring. The risk of injuries increase with a loose chain. What if it goes off in the middle of a stunt?

If your chain is tighter than it needs to be, it will be more difficult to take turn with the crank. This may also create abrasion with the other parts near the bike chain.

This is why you should keep the tension of a BMX up to a moderate level. Adjust the chain when necessary.    

How tight should a BMX race bike chain be?

The chain tension of a BMX should be at a moderate level to avoid any difficulties and injuries. It should not be loose. And the tightness should not be excessive.

Try to keep about 1/2″ vertical deflection in the chain. The chain should allow up and down movement of about one inch. Use a derailleur to keep the tension of the chain adjust.

A chain too tight will make it hard to take turns. Make sure you adjust the tension of the chain properly to avoid any difficulties while riding the bike and doing stunts.

How to tighten BMX chain? 

After a long time of using your bike the chain may seem a bit loose. If you notice your bike chain come loose you should attend to it immediately. Tightening the chain of a BMX is not difficult at all. Your just need your wrench and follow the steps given-

  1. Loosen the tire and the bolts and hold the rear tire;
  2. Keep moving the tire back until the chains start to tighten up;
  3. When you have reached the appropriate amount of tension of the chain, tighten the bolts and adjust the wheel in place.

Ask someone to help when you adjust the wheel to hold it in place. Attach a derailleur to keep the chain tension tight enough.

These simple steps will give your BMX the boost it needs. However, if the chain does not get tighter after the adjustment consider getting a new set of chains.

How to loosen BMX chain?

Sometimes the chain of the BMX can get too tight and make it difficult to take turns. The cranks get hard and it creates a problem while taking simple turns. This is when you know you need to loosen up your chains a bit-

  1. Use  wrenches to loosen the bolts of the tire and hold the tire;
  2. Push the tire forward by the inch of a hair.
  3. Once you’ve had the perfect amount of tension in the bike, adjust the bolts and wheel with the help of a friend.

It is very rare to loosen the chains of a wheel. Try to adjust the chain properly so it does not need much re adjustment afterwards. 

How do I know if my bike chain is too tight? 

Ideally, the chains of your BMX bike should be tight, because a loose chain is prone to accidents while doing stunts. But sometimes, if you are not careful, the adjustment of the chain can get too tight.

If you feel the wheels of your bike move slower after a few turns, then your chain might be adjusted too tightly. You can use the movement of the derailleur as well. If the derailleur does not move more than one inch or does not move at all, then the chain is in fact too tightly set.

An easy way to know the current tension of the bike is-

  • Flip the bike upside down;
  • Use your finger to spin the tire slowly;
  • If you feel the tire moving slower than usual, the chains are too tight.

Re adjust the chains as soon as you detect the problem. A tight chain can make it harder for you to take turns and may harm the other parts attached with the chain and wheel.

How to keep BMX chain tight?

Readjusting the chain can be a bit of an hassle. Sadly, there is no permanent way to keep the chains of your BMX bike tight constantly. But using a derailleur will keep the tight position of the chain for awhile.

Derailleur gears help keep the chains of the bike in the previously adjusted position for a while. The gear is a changing mechanism and it is attached to the back of the bike. A bike without a derailleur is called a fixie or a single speed bike.

You would need to adjust your derailleur gear after a certain time. This is more convenient than adjust the chain tension from time to time.

Attach a derailleur gear to your bike to avoid any unwanted accident. The gear keeps the chain tension tight and adjusted for a long time.

What happens if your BMX chain is too tight/ too loose? 

The tension of your BMX bike chain should be at a moderate level. This is for the comfort and safety issues of the rider. The chains of your bike could be too loose or too tight. Both of which is dangerous for the rider.

If your chain adjustment is too tight, the cranks get harder to turn. This means you will face more difficulty to make turns while riding the bike. It is very uncomfortable for the rider.

A chain that is too tight will cause abrasion between the other parts of the bike which are attached to the wheel and chain. This is very risky for the rider. It may lead to a lot of damage to the bike itself.

If your chain is too loose, the chain will sag and bounce off from the sprocket. The chains might fall off during the stunts.

The power transfer rate of the bike drops if the chain is too lose. You will not be able to do the cool and gnarly stuff that are the main attraction of a BMX bike.

IT is very uncomfortable, and equally risky, if you have a too loose or too tight chain for your BMX bike. This is why you need to properly adjust the chain tension of your bike.

Why does my BMX chain have a tight spot?

A tight spot is the part of the chain where it is tight while the rest of the chain is loose. It is a specific point of the chain which is more tight and rigid than the whole chain. A tight spot is noticeable in a new bike more often than other time.

Check the sprocket if you feel a sudden rigidness in your chain. A tight spot occurs when the bolts behind the sprocket gets loose. The problem of the tight spot can be fixed by tightening the loose bolts.

If the tight spot does not loosen up after tightening the bolts, it is best to change the chain to avoid any accident.   

The chains of a BMX should be at a moderate level. To ensure maximum power transfer, it is best to adjust the chain tension to an appropriate level. Re adjust as soon as you notice the chain getting too tight or too loose.

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