Chain coming off

Ok class, thinking caps on please. Last two trips, and I have rolled back the Trike both times, after removing it from rear rack, I find the chain has come off the rear sprocket to the inside. Can/will the chain get dusty enough to prevent it from pivoting around sprocket? Going to remove it today to clean it guud. Going to clean tubes also. We go down a dirt road to a lot next to the local trail. I have an empty bird seed bag covering the front pedals to keep that cleaner.


  • i8, or x8? If x8 I'd suggest adjusting the derailleur high and low settings. i8, all I can think is perhaps the chain tubes are bent or mounted out of alignment, or perhaps one or two links too many in your straight chain setup.
  • Shimano Nexus. I just lifted the rear rack and spun tire backwards. Chain stayed put. Thought that was the answer, a misaligned tube. Nope.
  • common problem with horizontal dropouts when the axle slips a tad due to chainside torque reaction. a pair of chain tugs will prevent skewing of front and rear sprocket alignment.

    same result if you run your wheel all the way forward in the dropout and tauten the chain by slipping the boom.
  • edited May 24
    Chain Tension Adjusters should fix that issue. Been tempted to get a pair myself. Will ahve to go out an measure the axle width to get proper tensioner. Am guessing Rovers are 5/8 inch axles. (Lost that info)

    Your wheel is not aligned properly and the chain slides off the sprocket teeth. When unloading or loading your trikes, is there any weight applied to the end of the when when standing the trikes up for loading, unlocking, storing?

    ¬ ITL
  • Here’s my set up as it is a minute ago. Things might have changed since. :p
    Yesterday am I had frame raised and spun the cranks backwards, fast. So signs that it wanted to jump off.
  • When I load trike onto carrier, the only time there is no weight on rear is lifting back of Rover putting it on rack or taking it off. The bird seed bag that I cover crank area with is held there by a bungee cord. Once we found the chain
    had come off up there. The chain is real tight now. Need a medieval rack to pull sections apart when it’s time to tighten again.
  • That wheel is awfully far forward in the track. Have you checked for any slack in the chain? Also, rolling it backwards with no tension on the chain really isn't going to show you much. You need to see how it reacts when there's tension on the chain. I'd recommend loosening the wheel and moving it farther back in the groove . . . thus increasing chain tension a bit. Just make sure the tire is properly aligned before re-tightening.
  • And another member here said to slide axle far fwd in dropout slot so then one only has to tighten the two hex’s under seat to put tension on the chain. Shouldn’t be any slippage in back and one would only have to czech forward. But what do I know...
  • Yup, rear axle forward and adjust with boom and seat for correct rider position.
  • Many years ago Cathy was mashing her DF and bent the chain which would then pop off at random times. The bend was so slight we couldn't tell it. The LBS fixed it for us.
    Just a thought.
  • Cleaned chain and tubes. Relubed chain. Chain is real tight now. Little drop when I stop pedaling. I watched chain closely when I unloaded it twice the other day. It stayed put. Tubes were not bad inside. Cleaner than I thought they would be. Thanks for that idea, MO. I’ll look at it closer next time surgery is performed.
  • What did you use to clean the tubes? Would a rag tied to a thin rope work?
  • I used a small piece of paper towel soaked with Dawn soap and wadded it up to fit in tube. I pushed it thru with a Fiberglas rod I had. Pushed it thru twice. Had the tubes off the Trike. Last year I wedged paper towel into chain gap and turned crank to get towel thru the tube. Lazy way. :|
  • Took trike out tonight and after unloading it found chain had jumped off both front and back. It had really tight. Tubes must not be lined up good. Here is a picture of Rover with rear on ground. They I lift front end and set it down. Trike backs up some so pedals clear rack on truck.
  • I did mount a side package to hold my lil cooler today. U-bolts on frame under seat. Didn’t look like they deflected tubes at all.
  • I'm still thinking a bent chain. Maybe several bends. Much less likely, bent sprocket teeth.

    When the bend in the chain hits the sprocket teeth, the sideways bend misalignment makes the chain jump off just like the sideways pressure of a derailleur.

    The back and forth movement during travel in the trike carrier is moving the chain enough to pop off.

    Love the side platform. You need to do a DIY article on that.
  • I had the chain off a couple weeks back for a cleaning. I had it hanging outside to dry. Didn’t notice a bend in it. First time I reinstalled it, it was twisted. When I undid the quicklink, I could feel the trwist of the chain in my hand. I may take it off again to inspect it. I watched it as I took Trike off rack and as I backed it up. I won’t carry it far. My back won’t do that. This jumping just seems to happen as I back it up a short ways.
  • Haha. In that foto you can see the chain hanging in the rear.
  • Is this normal?? The slight bend of the top tube??
  • problem with reinstalling chain on an igh is having unequal number of links between top and botton sections where driveside is taut and bottom side droops.

    so: when running the chain backwards, lower chain becomes driveside and hops the rear sprocket due slack. same prevails going forward - slack topside, taut bottom, chain hops off the chainring.

    i replaced bottom single chaintube with 2 shorter ones so the gap between allowed me to push the chain upward to judge if too slack.

    you dont have this problem (almost) with a derailleur since that acts as a spring-loaded chain tensioner when pushing the trike backwards. good idea that setup not to have the feet on the pedals when rolling backwards, something that wont bother an igh if rigged correctly.

    chaintubes - wearable items. if you float em they last longer without the chain sawing rigid tube ends. has the fancy goodies for doing so - zip ties under a tube clamp hung from a frame part a whole lot cheaper.
  • Out riding now. Chain stayed put today.
  • Saw their flared tubes. Almost bought. I’ll try deforming mine first before ordering. Might try the zip tie trick, thanks.
  • t-cycles seem to be a better, lighter material, more slippery in comparison to oem.

    cut the oems in half, trimmed a few inches off each and tried to flare with a soldering iron. ugly to the bone, that were. suspect what is needed is a metal cone that could be heated uniformly with a torch.

    settled for t-cycle flares.
  • I was wondering what I could form the flare ends with too. Going out to remove tube hangers momentarily. See how far the tube moves. This chair is comfy however. Nice riding day, mid 70’s. Eyes are heavy. May not see the end of hockey game...
  • JamesR, how about a curling iron? Once you put it in the tube, wind it around to open the end. But, I'm not sure they sell one a small as you need. I haven't used one in years.
  • Flaring to me is widening of the end. T-
    cycle’s looks like the plastic is rolled back on itself. A video shown on YouTube shows a man heating a thick pvc pipe and pushing it against a metal bowl’bottom to acquire that rolled back look. Now the hunt begins to find the proper device.
  • Too much heat and TT tubes deform and can will catch fire. Didn’t have marshmallow standing by. Tried other end on lower heat pushing down at same time but the wall strength weakens. Maybe the items you are pushing against has to be the hotter of the two.
  • diy results got me ordering from t-cycle. gooped up soldering iron, plan b was a curling iron (dollar general sells em) which gooped almost as good as the iron. got a hair dryer after that. even tried 3/4 pvc pipe.

    decided i didnt want to pick up irrigation tube, fill with hot water (suspect boiling needed), hang to straighten, then work on the bell.

    search on: diy recumbent chain tube

    this one is interesting -

    yeah, t-cycle product has a bell like a trumpet, reduces chain noise and keeps the chain from sawing the input end of the tube compared to no-flare.
  • My tube was sure rough on inside. Second attempt I used a flame on low with tube close to the side of flame, not touching it. Didn’t curl back as much as I thought it would. I have a lot of pvc pipe. Never thought of trying that.
  • I do have a few pieces of grey pvc tube that is flared on one end. Going to try that before ordering anything. It is heavy. If I can get the height right where the chain enters the flared end it could be quiet. And the grey matches the Rover.
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