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  1. #1
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    Chain Tensioner Questions

    I'm building up a Surly Instigator frame as a single speed and would like some thoughts about a few chain tensioners that I'm considering. My rear hub is a 135mm Chris King ISO Single Speed Disc with a 18t cog. The cranks are 170 mm Truvativ Holzfeller 1.1's with a 35t chain ring.

    If I go with a rear mounted tensioner, I want a spring style tensioner (due to the ease of removing the rear wheel) and the two that I'm considering are either DMR Tension Seeker 2 or the Paul Melvin Tensioner.

    I have a tensioner that's similar in style to the DMR set up on a 2000 Raleigh M80 that I converted to single speed. It works well, however the Surly I'm building is going to be set up mainly for urban riding (small drops/jumps, riding down stairs, etc), with some light trail riding (fire roads, light single track, etc.) thrown in. I'm concerned that a single armed spring tensioner will allow my chain to slap. The Paul Melvin looks to be sturdier, however I'm having a hard time finding info regarding compatibility with my hub.

    I was also interested in that Yess BB mounted tensioner, but it won't work with my bike as it is for a Euro BB and the Instigator has English. The frame does have ISCG mounts, so I was also considering a DMR Elite Chain Reactor. I would prefer this type over a rear mounted tensioner as it looks cleaner, however I'm not sure if this will work with my single speed crank set.

  2. #2
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    Nobody knows nothing? lol

    Let's see if I can abbreviate my opening post regarding the two tensioner styles I am most curious about...

    Is a Paul Melvin tensioner compatible (getting a straight chainline) with a 135mm Chris King ISO Single Speed Disc Hub and a 18t cog?

    and...

    Will a ISCG mounted DMR Elite Chain Reactor ( or a Blackspire Stinger) work with a Truvativ Holzfeller 1.1 single speed crankset (170mm crank arms w/ a 36t chainring)?

    Hoping to find an answer without having to order both, as I doubt any store will except a return on a used/mounted product.

  3. #3
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    Can't help you with the Melvin, but the BB mounted Stinger is definitely compatible with the Hussefelt 1.1. I can't imagine the ISCG coupled with a Holzfeller would be that different.

    Once I got over my brain fart on how to set it up the Stinger works great. Should be even better if you've got ISCG mounts.

  4. #4
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    ::edit:: Wtf is going on with the site today? All screwy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babau
    Can't help you with the Melvin, but the BB mounted Stinger is definitely compatible with the Hussefelt 1.1. I can't imagine the ISCG coupled with a Holzfeller would be that different.

    Once I got over my brain fart on how to set it up the Stinger works great. Should be even better if you've got ISCG mounts.
    What confuses me about the Stinger is that on Blackspires website, they state, "Converts to Single-ring chainguide w/ BLACKSPIRE BLACKGUARD inner plate ". This inner plate mounts to the crank as a replacement to the granny ring, however the Holzfeller 1.1 only has one chain ring mount.

    Anything special you had to do in order to get the Stinger to work with the Hussefelt 1.1?

  6. #6
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    why do you need the ease of removing the rear wheel? racing for quick tire changes in case of a flat?

    i've tried the rear spring tensioners and they suck ass. chains always rubbing against either side of the bracket even if i line it all up perfectly, and then if it gets really bumpy the spring allows the chain to come off the cog/ring. fuuuuuuu

  7. #7
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    The stinger itself really doesn't have much to do with the crankset. The BB mount version, which I have, mounts between the external BB cup and the frame, taking the place of a spacer. It's held on by tourquing down the BB cup. Nothing mounts to the cranks, I don't use a bashguard with it.

    The ISCG version, afaik doesn't touch the crankset either, it just bolts to the ISCG holes on your frame.

    The only thing you're worried about is clearance.

  8. #8
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    your instagator is Euro BB, buy the yess and be done with it
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  9. #9
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    You sure? The Surly site says:

    73mm wide, threaded English 1.37 x 24t

    http://www.surlybikes.com/instigator.html

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babau
    You sure? The Surly site says:

    73mm wide, threaded English 1.37 x 24t

    http://www.surlybikes.com/instigator.html

    Does a bear $hitt in the woods!


    I have owned and worked my Instagator for the past 6 years, english and "euro" are considered the same.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_bo-z.html#bottom
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  11. #11
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    Grargh cycling and it's screwy terminology!

    Cheers for clearing it up, seems like the Yess would work. Comes down to if you want spring or fixed. The Stinger will be cheaper, and will probably look cleaner, but the Yess will do a better job of adapting to tight spots in the chain.

  12. #12
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    I have been running a similar tensioner to the Yess for 3 years on my SS, its the bottom half of a Roox DH chain tensioner (Nico, Cedric Gracia, and Ann-Caroline have used them in WorldCup DH races)

    the stinger is nice but you will have to loosen it up when you want to remove your wheel, and you will notice tight and loose spots in the chain
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter916
    Does a bear $hitt in the woods!


    I have owned and worked my Instagator for the past 6 years, english and "euro" are considered the same.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_bo-z.html#bottom
    According to your link...
    "Euro Bottom Bracket: BMX slang for an ISO /British bottom bracket , as opposed to a threadless "Ashtabula " American style bottom bracket designed for one-piece cranks."

    Thanks man! I'm going to be sure to bookmark that website. What a wealth of knowledge! I wish companies would mention info such as this in their product descriptions. It would get rid of all the confusion that bike wrenching newbies (such as myself) have when trying to figure out what works. I'm going to order that Yess tensioner tonight! Thanks again, it's much appreciated!

  14. #14
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    no problem, I have been wrenching in a shop for 10 years so I'm always willing to help out with questions when I can
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  15. #15
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    Maybe an ENO wheelset?

  16. #16
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    Taking the wheel off with a fixed tensioner is only marginally harder. All you need to do it instead of just loosening the QR skewer, you remove it completely. This allows the rear wheel to simply drop out of the frame.

    It is my firm belief that spring tensioners suck, and a fixed tensioner is better in every way. Think about it, with a spring tensioner you're still relying on a spring to keep your chain in place, and you can still get chain slap. With a fixed tensioner it's just there, and that's it.

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