Chain Tensioner are stock chain tensioners even safe?

Discussion in 'Transmission / Drivetrain' started by determined, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. determined

    determined Member

    I very new to tis hobby and was wondering if I could just get by with a stock chain tensioner safetly so long as I keep checking it so many miles . im also concerned about the chain coming apart from the master link clip it just doesn't seem to secure so unfortunately I ride slow

  2. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    Many people never have any problem with the stock tensioner. Some, like myself, have had it had it suddenly come out of alignment and get caught in the spokes at 30 miles per hour. As far as I can tell, it's the specific shape of your chainstay that determines whether or not it's safe.

    There are tensioners that mount to the output sprocket cover available for around $40. I have one from turbobuick1 on Ebay and have had zero problems with it. A cheaper option would be to use a chainstay protector under the tensioner or do away with the tensioner and use a half link, but in my opinion a spring-loaded engine-mount tensioner is a better option since chain stretch will never be an issue that way.

    This is the chain tensioner I use:
  3. determined

    determined Member

    Hey thanx for the info .thats a nice set up ill try and get one in the future.
  4. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Tensioners that are anchored to the seat stay and the chain stay seem to be the safest.
  5. determined

    determined Member

    Do you mean anchored to the bicycle seat? How does that work?
  6. velzie

    velzie Member

  7. thedirekter

    thedirekter New Member

    Safe? Sure, they take some adjustment, but I've only have my setup for a smidge over a week and just realized the chain stay that it's attached to is nicely bent from starting it, as well as from a couple derails from misalignment. Not too stoked but it works.

  8. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    I always use them, but on a small frame tube I'll saw off a piece of old handlebar, split it into 2 "C" sections and use it to pack the clamp for the adjuster.
  9. determined

    determined Member

    Thats good to know thanx for the tip
  10. Timbone

    Timbone Active Member

    I am determined to make a better chain tensioner on the cheap. Since my first great tensioner idea was a failure, I'm wondering in anyone has tried something like this:

    I have some jockey / idler pulleys from road bike derailleurs and they appear as though they would mesh nicely with the 415 chain. I found some screw on studs that fit perfectly with the jockey pulley from the bicycle derailleur.

    My idea is to use two stainless steel fender washers to sandwich the pulley with appropriate spacers so that the chain would sit down into the pulley much like the stock cheapo tensioner except that it would have a nice little cog to ride on.

    From there, it's just a matter of making a bracket and affixing it to the chain stay, squarely if at all possible.

    Anybody tried anything like that?

  11. thedirekter

    thedirekter New Member

    The biggest problem on my last frame was that the stock tensioner would always get thrown out of place after dumping the clutch to start. This eventually led to the chain stay bending terribly and it couldn't keep a chain on so I had to retire it (as seen in my previous post). In light of that, I had actually been thinking about a similar tensioner for this Schwinn I'm working on. The chain stay was too close to the rim to run the drive chain straight back to the gear, so I cut a chunk out of the chain stay and welded on a new section of steel that held the stay together, but cleared the chain.

    I now don't have to run a tensioner since I cut the chain shorter, but I was going to fab a small arm coming off of the stay with one of the same jockey/idler pulley gears to be a guide to help the chain go straight back onto the axle gear.
  12. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    An alternative chain tensioner which could look rather good if it were to be converted to left hand side operation.

  13. astro83ve

    astro83ve New Member

    tensioners on Pedal Chain

    Hello Fabian,

    I really like the tensioners you put on the pedal chain, can please maybe post a better picture of them, and if at all possible the pieces you used to make them? I am having big problems with my pedal chain, it always jumps out of the front cog. More than likely I have problems with alignment as well as how for forward or backward the axle/wheel is on the chainstays (not sure I am using that term correctly. Well in any case, I would greatly appreciate any information on those tensioners/guides as I really need something similar.

    Greetings from Colombia!
  14. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    You can purchase both the left hand side chain tensioner and the right hand side chain tensioner from SickBikeParts;

    If you have a look at the posts on this page, it will show more detail on the right hand side chain tensioner:

    this video details the flanged options for the right hand side chain tensioner:

    It's a common problem that is completed fixed when installing a SickBikeParts chain tensioner, and then improving on the reliability of the device by fitting it with flanged idler wheels.

    To give the shift kit good stability in the bicycle frame (to eliminate torque induced chain alignment issues) you "will" need to make this modification to the shift kit:
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015