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Idle Hands

November 29th, 2010

The plans require two idlers to route the tight side of the chain through an elongated ‘Z’ (over the chainstay and under the seat) on its way to the chainrings. Since I don’t have any chainstays I intend to keep a cleaner line and just use one of these mighty sprockets. It was initially too wide to fit my multispeed chain but was easy to modify. A couple of further adaptations are plausible, namely:

  • making a keeper from an old front derailleur
  • allowing the sprocket to float laterally on its shaft so it can slide as the chain shifts gears

but I don’t think either will be critical. Although the chain will run on the underside of the sprocket it should be pulled tight enough by the chainrings to maintain contact. The distance from the idler to the rear cluster will likely be more than the span on a regular bike, and there should be enough flex in the chain to allow smooth shifting at that distance. We’ll see.

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