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  1. #1
    web-footed pedaler
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    chain tensioner?

    After dealing with the perpetually slipping sliding dropouts on my Trek Rig, I'm shopping for a new frame for next year. I have no interest in eccentric BB frames. I was wondering if it might be better just to find a really good chain tensioner and go with a regular vertical dropout 29er frame and run that instead. I had a Surly tensioner several years ago for a short time and it was okay but the chain slap noise would likely drive me crazy now. Any suggestions about which tensioners might be better than an other would be appreciated. I ride a lot and I ride hard so it has to be durable. Other thoughts on this would be helpful.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I just went through the same issues on my Trek Rig see my posts in this forum. I went with a much lighter Sette Razzo frame for $250 and used a derailer for tension. I just did my second long ride on the new setup and it feels perfect w/o issue.

  4. #4
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    Track ends rock!
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Track ends rock!
    Track ends have their own set of issues.

  6. #6
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    Sure, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Track ends have their own set of issues.
    ... just use a set of tuggers. Problem solved.

    IMO, tensioners suck. I had a few, and the only way I could get them not to slip was to zip tie or velcro tie them up to the chainstay. Cheeseball solution. Otherwise, I would hit a big bump and the chain would dump off from the bit of flex in the tensioner.

    Maybe the thing to do it to coat the mating surfaces of your Rig sliding dropouts with blue Loctite after giving them a good cleaning. Then assemble it with Blue Loctite in the mating surfaces, torque it down with a torque wrench to spec (with some Blue in the bolts) let it dry for 24 hours and see if your problem goes away.

    Blue Loctite is basically going to fill in all the imperfections between the metal surfaces with a plastic-like stuff to make it more grippy between the parts. It will easily pull apart if you need to disassemble it.

  7. #7
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    Using tugs solve one problem with them, but there are still plenty of others. Regarding usability, track ends are pretty much the worst.

    It sounds like you were using sprung tensioners, which suck. However, there are a lot of different kinds of tensioners available, and there are several options which work very well and are easier to live with than track ends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Using tugs solve one problem with them, but there are still plenty of others. Regarding usability, track ends are pretty much the worst.

    It sounds like you were using sprung tensioners, which suck. However, there are a lot of different kinds of tensioners available, and there are several options which work very well and are easier to live with than track ends.
    The only issue is carrying a wrench for the bolt on hub. And if you change gear a lot you need to readjust your caliper. Easy as pie.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  9. #9
    ballbuster
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    I ran track ends for years...

    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Using tugs solve one problem with them, but there are still plenty of others. Regarding usability, track ends are pretty much the worst.

    It sounds like you were using sprung tensioners, which suck. However, there are a lot of different kinds of tensioners available, and there are several options which work very well and are easier to live with than track ends.
    ... and the only issue I had was geting the wheel straight the first time. Lots of trial and error. Once the locknuts on the tuggers were set, it was easy peasy to take the wheel on and off and get it back on straight.

    The other PITA was getting the rear brake caliper aligned, but once set, you don't have to mess with it.

    I'm curious as to what issues you feel track ends have.

    And I ran a Surly Singulator cinched up past the spring (as you're supposed to do).

  10. #10
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    The main point I'm trying to make is there's not really one system which is clearly superior. They all have their drawbacks and advantages.

    For track ends just generally removing and reinstalling the wheel is a hassle, especially if you're repairing a flat on the trail.

  11. #11
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    Hacs from Black sheep...

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    As was mentioned in the 'other' tensioner thread Danny MacAskill uses a tensioner on his bike. His frame is a purpose built SS with vertical dropouts. I'm using a similar set up with a Paul Melvin. This type of chain tensioning is really starting to make sense to me. Brake alignment is never an issue and there is the ability to change cog size without adjusting chain length or wheelbase.

    The tensioner I like the most is the one Danny uses from Trialtech, then the Yess ETR/V or even the ETR/H, followed by the Melvin. The hassle is inconsequentcial IMO.

    As I'm a picture whore this gives me another chance to post a picture of my bike to show you what I mean.


  13. #13
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    Blackspire Stinger



    BB mounted Blackspire Stinger

  14. #14
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    I'm having good luck with my DMS tensioner...I found it on amazon.
    Very simple and quiet...

  15. #15
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    I use the Sette chain tensioner. The trick is to route the chain above the tensioner so it pulls the chain up and engages more cog teeth.

  16. #16
    web-footed pedaler
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrhxc View Post

    BB mounted Blackspire Stinger

    Wow! That bike is just too clean!
    Does that tensioner make much noise?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ant-Eater View Post
    Wow! That bike is just too clean!
    Does that tensioner make much noise?
    I just finished building up the bike (Canfield Yelli Screamy) and have only ridden around the neighborhood. The Stinger was silent

    I'll be riding some trails this weekend and will let you know how it performs.

  18. #18
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    My new Surly Singleator...... I rode it pretty hard over bumps/curbs to see how it would perform on the trails and it works as advertised so far. There was too much chain slack with my gear combo to use in pull up mode so push down it is.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails chain tensioner?-bikey-004.jpg  

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  19. #19
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    Regular frame combined with an Eno Eccentric rear hub will win every time...nearly
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  20. #20
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    Tensioner

    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    Danny MacAskill uses a tensioner on his bike. His frame is a purpose built SS with vertical dropouts. I
    The tensioner I like the most is the one Danny uses from Trialtech, then the Yess ETR/V or even the ETR/H, followed by the Melvin. The hassle is inconsequentcial IMO.
    I have to agree with this view. Trials riders almost always ride tensioners, and I doubt that many of us put a drivetrain through that much stress. I think the biggest problem people have with tensioners, myself included, is that they don't have the sexy look of a single speed drive train, but they do eliminate tight/loose spots, brake setup issues, and the need for a frame that moves, gyrates or extends like some transformer robot.

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