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I recently acquired a cheap used single speed bike with track-style horizontal rear forkends.

My question is, how far back in the forkend can I safely position the wheel, before it is too far back?

I recently replaced the chain and made it a few links longer, but I'm wondering if I made it too long and need to remove a link in order to move the wheel farther forward.

Side view of single-speed freewheel, chain, and axle, installed on bike frame

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Where it is now is perfectly safe.

You can even go as far back to the blue line (where no part of the nut crosses the line).

Just want you to check whether there is a screw/bolt in the red arrow? I'm pretty sure there should be, but from the picture, it looks like it might be missing.

enter image description here

In general, you want the axle to be central to the dropout, if you have it too far forward, you might find it hard to install or remove the chain to take the wheel out.

There is also some element of changing how the bike rides by changing position of the axle. Further back is more stable in a stright line, further forward is better at cornering/changing direction. Although how it affects the rider is pretty minimal, if at all noticable.

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    Thanks! Now that you mention it, there is indeed a screw missing from that hole. I don't believe it ever had that screw while it was in my possession. I have plenty of spare screws, but I will contact the frame manufacturer (6KU) to see if there is a specific size I should use to replace it. – shadowtalker Jun 13 at 14:12
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    You could always remove one of the others and measure them to see which you need. Or remove the plate, take it somewhere with screws and find one that fits. – abdnChap Jun 13 at 14:19
  • Looks like the trackend equivalent of a derailleur hanger - a replaceable surface to protect the frame from damage. So the axle will be holding the "horseshoe" in place, until a wheel change, when the three (two) little bolts will do the same job. – Criggie Jun 13 at 14:25
  • @abdnChap : It looks more like some rivet rather than a screw. – Carel Jun 13 at 15:42
  • @Carel it's a machine screw that screws in from the wheel-facing side – shadowtalker Jun 13 at 17:40

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