Best chain tensioner.

Leighton

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Nov 9, 2019
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Hi all,

I was hoping you can all help me decide upon a new chain tensioner.

I have the stock tensioner with 4 screws holding to the frame. My chain must have been a bit loose and it semi jumped off so the centre of the chain was sitting on the edge (that's meant to gold the chain in the middle of the roller) and has worn the outside of the tensioner I to a sprocket shape. It was ok for a day or so (approx 14 miles) and now it keeps jumping into that lip piece.
I bought a new roller bit it's too wide and fouls the spokes.
Am now thinking of the spring type that goes over clutch plate, and was wondering what you all thought was the best one to go for?
Thanks in advance.
 

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FurryOnTheInside

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Sep 23, 2013
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It depends on your metal working capabilities and what you need the tensioner to do. If the chain is lifted by a point close to the engine, does it clear your chainstay? Does the current position perform the second, or really the first, function of lifting the chain up over the chainstay so it doesn't chew through your frame?
If the chain must be lifted close to the wheel hub then you need a tensioner attached to the rear stays. Preferably both the stays, not just the chainstay.

You may even want to use two rollers.. I have not used a spring tensioner but it has potential for just lightly damping out the last little bit of jitter, after the fixed tensioner does the hard work. Imho.
 

Leighton

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Nov 9, 2019
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The tensioner is closer to the back wheel than the engine, I had to experiment so the chain was aligned. When it's loose and I let off the gas it can hit the pole that goes to the back of the seat from the back wheel (is that the rear stays)? I have used a bit of rubber to stop it rubbing. If it's fairly tight it doesn't run though.
 

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Leighton

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Have you seen or tried the type that connects to the chain stay and the rear stays. Could you attach 2 rollers to the same tensioner with that type?
 

FurryOnTheInside

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It looks like you might only be able to run smaller rear sprocket with your frame, due to having narrow (and V shaped when viewed from above) rear stays.
American cruisers are the very low hassle option. They have a U shape when viewed from above, meaning the stays are parallel close to the hub and, taper is done by a bend close to the rim.

There are trumpet shaped, V shaped, U shaped stay arrangements when viewed from above, and all kinds of snakey curvy stays. I think this hobby will be worth getting a good frame that is practical for the purpose and doesnt set extra challenges. Or try a smaller rear sprocket.

The upper stays are the seat stays, the lower stays are the chain stays.


Here is where it fouls frame
This is exactly the reason why I cant run my chain on the outer sprocket of my 4 sprocket stack (until I rebuild the whole thing with a smaller sprocket).
Move the sprocket closer to the spokes or change for a smaller one.

Have you seen or tried the type that connects to the chain stay and the rear stays. Could you attach 2 rollers to the same tensioner with that type?
I made my own instead. I used a wider T6 alloy plate, and a mountain bike roller as they are much narrower and better made.
94336

You can widen the track of a mountain bike roller for your massive chain, using a rotary tool. I had to widen the track to allow my narrow chain more sideways freedom because of the multiple sprockets. Maximum sprocket size is limited by the seat stay, making my smallest sprocket unusable at the moment because it is too far left or too large.

You cannot add two rollers to one of those arch kits. You should not try to add any tensioner to the upper run of chain where it is in tension from the engine power. This is not the solution for the chain fouling the seat stay.

You may want to use a spring tensioner as a secondary tensioner to do the last bit of steadying only after a fixed position tensioner does the main part of the job.
94337

That was the two tensioners I meant. Both on the lower run of chain.
94335
 
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Leighton

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Joined
Nov 9, 2019
Messages
45
It looks like you might only be able to run smaller rear sprocket with your frame, due to having narrow (and V shaped when viewed from above) rear stays.
American cruisers are the very low hassle option. They have a U shape when viewed from above, meaning the stays are parallel close to the hub and, taper is done by a bend close to the rim.

There are trumpet shaped, V shaped, U shaped stay arrangements when viewed from above, and all kinds of snakey curvy stays. I think this hobby will be worth getting a good frame that is practical for the purpose and doesnt set extra challenges. Or try a smaller rear sprocket.

The upper stays are the seat stays, the lower stays are the chain stays.
I currently have a 36 tooth sprocket. When it's been adjusted semi well it doesn't seem to run the seat stay, but always comes a bit loose after a week or two.
 

Leighton

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Nov 9, 2019
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Yeah that's def an issue with the frame the seat stays. As it's a road bike (skinny racing tyres) there isn't much room to adjust it perfectly. In addition the pedal chain is a bit tight and the engine chain is a tad loose, if I take another linkmout the engine chain I think it wouldn't fit. So the back wheel is slightly unaligned to the frame.
 

Leighton

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Nov 9, 2019
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Sorry for double posting.


This is exactly the reason why I cant run my chain on the outer sprocket of my 4 sprocket stack (until I rebuild the whole thing with a smaller sprocket).
Move the sprocket closer to the spokes or change for a smaller one.



I made my own instead. I used a wider T6 alloy plate, and a mountain bike roller as they are much narrower and better made.
You can widen the track of a mountain bike roller for your massive chain, using a rotary tool. I had to widen the track to allow my narrow chain more sideways freedom because of the multiple sprockets. Maximum sprocket size is limited by the seat stay, making my smallest sprocket unusable at the moment because it is too far left or too large.

You cannot add two rollers to one of those arch kits. You should not try to add any tensioner to the upper run of chain where it is in tension from the engine power. This is not the solution for the chain fouling the seat stay.
You may want to use a spring tensioner to do the last bit after a fixed position tensioner does the main part of the job, that is the two tensioners I meant. Both on the lower run of chain.

View media item 61357Your spring tensioner can't take up this much slack. This was just an experiment with a one-way clutch mechanism!
That's what I thought about the seat stays, but I thought cos they looked too skinny. I think I need to refit the engine at a slightly lower seat tube position and the front slightly higher so the angle of the chain coming out the clutch area works better on the seat stay.

That rear derailer thing looks the business! My chain is well too short though.
I think I might just buy another roller for the standard tensioner and get a spring one to keep it tight. I think that should fix the issue.
I've not actually had any problems with the 4 bolt standard tensioner apart, I think it's more the chain is slightly too large but another link will make it too small.

Thanks for all the pointers though, much appreciated.
 
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