Pro Secrets - Perfect Chain Adjustment - Dirt Rider Magazine

Proper chain tension is vital to drive-component longevity and peak performance. When we noticed Destry Abbott's main wrench, Jonny Weisman, adjusting chain tension after a rear sprocket swap, we had to ask about his secret technique and what parts he uses to make wheel changes quick and easy in the heat of battle.

The first thing I do is turn the axle adjusters to roughly the proper position before I install the rear wheel.
When I get the axle in and everything lined up, I go ahead and snug up the wheel (but don't torque it). Then I take the bike off the stand and compress the suspension by reaching over the seat and grabbing the swingarm. Then I simply pull. I do this to find the spot in the travel where the chain is tightest.
The tightest point is where the centers of the rear axle, the swingarm pivot and the countershaft sprocket are all in a straight line. This is because the rear wheel travels in an arc and is farthest away from the front sprocket when all three of these are aligned.
When I find the tight spot, I check for 1/4 to 1/2 inch of free play in the chain. If it's not there, I'll put the bike back on the stand, loosen the wheel and adjust accordingly. Then I repeat the process over again, taking the bike off the stand and compressing the suspension each time.
When I get within the tolerances of 1/4 to 1/2 inch, I then torque down the wheel and that's it, I'm done!
The whole process is made a lot easier by using these Zip-Ty Racing axle blocks that don't fall out and Zip-Ty axle pullers in the axles. They also allow us to fix the brake carrier to the axle block so, in quick pit stops during races, the brake carrier won't move. We run a locknut instead of the stock castle nut on the axle so we don't have to worry about a cotter pin. Everything is intended to be fast and easy.