Recently i have started to learn no foots on dirt jumps, but i have noticed my cranks can sometimes spin in the air leading to some dodgey situations.

I believe having more tight chain would solve or help solve my issue of ghost peddling. But as i have a QR rear (with horizontal sliding dropouts) i am unable to get it tense enough by hand. Is there a way i could get some sort of (BMX style) chain tensioner?


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    You may re-evaluate your technique and try removing your feet in a manner that doesn't spin the pedals. Chains have a window of "proper" tension. Cranks should spin freely (they should efficiently transfer motion to the chain). Tightening the chain so much that the cranks stop spinning freely may solve this issue, but it isn't how a drivechain is supposed to function and isn't advisable. Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 20:56

2 Answers 2


Wrong approach.

On a single speed bike the chain needs to be tensioned properly. If you tension the chain too much - either by sliding the rear wheel back too far or apply too much force with and external tensioner - you will massively accelerate wear on the chain and sprockets and make it much more likely that you will break the chain.

  • still doesnt answer my question Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 17:25
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    @BenPoulter It absolutely answers the question you asked. I suggest you ask a new question about the underlying problem you have (the pedals spinning when you take your feet off) rather than hanging on to your attempted solution (increasing chain tension). Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 18:40

Instead of trying to add more friction using the chain, add it where it is needed — at the cranks themselves. To achieve that, use two segments of old inner tube (3-4 cm) stretched over the cranks so that they sit close to the bottom bracket, covering the gap between the bottom bracket and each crank.

friction device

This way, each tube segment will create a bit of extra friction between the cranks and the frame/bottom bracket. You still will be able to spin them, but after you remove your feet they will stop spinning almost instantaneously.

I've seen this trick explained on some popular Youtube channel. There are devices for sale that achieve the same effect that slopestyle-pros might be using, but the principle is the same.

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