Converting: Best Chain Tensioner?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    The Duuude, man...
    Reputation: ncj01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,537

    Converting: Best Chain Tensioner?

    I'm going to convert this frame to SS, using these wheels. I'm eyeing the new-design Surly Singlator, the Soulcraft Convert, and the Paul Melvin, and Kore Chain-reaction. I really need to know which one is the undisputed best. I'm very freakish about things working right, don't care so much about cost (well, I do to the extent that I'm not buying a new frame, but give or take 50 bucks, I'd prefer top notch chain tensioner).

    Thanks for any help.

    <img src="https://image.pbase.com/u44/ncj01/upload/28279693.rightsidewholebike.jpg">
    FS: Everything

  2. #2
    The Duuude, man...
    Reputation: ncj01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,537
    Quote Originally Posted by ncj01
    I'm going to convert this frame to SS, using these wheels. I'm eyeing the new-design Surly Singlator, the Soulcraft Convert, and the Paul Melvin, and Kore Chain-reaction. I really need to know which one is the undisputed best. I'm very freakish about things working right, don't care so much about cost (well, I do to the extent that I'm not buying a new frame, but give or take 50 bucks, I'd prefer top notch chain tensioner).

    Thanks for any help.

    <img src="https://image.pbase.com/u44/ncj01/upload/28279693.rightsidewholebike.jpg">
    Can you guys not help a brother out???

    Perhaps there's a lot of people signin' in asking crazy newbie questions, and as such they tend to get ignored...??

    I'm semi-newbie-ish, I guess. I did race a SS rigid 29er last season, does that make me semi-worthy of someone hookin' me up with the scoop on the best chain tensioner? I've read the entire FAQ section at the top of the board. I've read everything in Sheldon Brown's site. I know all the different types of chain tensioners, where to buy them, what they cost, the methods by which they work, and the CLAIMED pro's of each (and claimed CON's of thier competitors).

    However, I still have no info on the actual performance of each model...a spring loaded versus a set-solid design for instance. The soulcraft looks pretty nice to me, but I don't want to choose based on how it "looks" or "sounds." Hook a brother up, what tends to be the best performing chain tensioner out there?? I want/need good chain control, silence, durability, and not to drop the chain...

    Thanks!!
    N
    FS: Everything

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,041

    personally...

    I have two different ones, I have a soulcraft convert and a soulcycles purgatory on the other...links:
    http://www.ridesoul.com/components/purgatory.html
    http://www.soulcraftbikes.com/id57.htm
    but i think if i had to go for a new one i would go with the rollenlager from rennen design.
    if you can get the page to load its:
    http://www.rennendesigngroup.com/

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,041

    one more thing

    enjoy singlespeeding!!!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Casual Observer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,211
    I had the older singulator, and it died. I have the Soul cycles one now, and zero complaints (Can't beat $20). Don't get the Kore. It's useless.

  6. #6
    hot like a box of fire
    Reputation: a nice cake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by dompedro3
    I have two different ones, I have a soulcraft convert and a soulcycles purgatory on the other...links:
    http://www.ridesoul.com/components/purgatory.html
    http://www.soulcraftbikes.com/id57.htm
    but i think if i had to go for a new one i would go with the rollenlager from rennen design.
    if you can get the page to load its:
    http://www.rennendesigngroup.com/

    rennen is the best, hands down.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    144

    What kind of frame are you converting?

    It's often possible to get a "perfect" chain tension without a tensioner. I converted my old Kona hardtail and a 34:20 or 32:18 fits perfectly. If you know the chainstay specs for your frame, check out the fixed innovations website at

    http://www.peak.org/~fixin/personal/fmu/php/index.php

    It's useful!

    -Que?

  8. #8
    The Duuude, man...
    Reputation: ncj01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,537

    thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Que?
    It's often possible to get a "perfect" chain tension without a tensioner. I converted my old Kona hardtail and a 34:20 or 32:18 fits perfectly. If you know the chainstay specs for your frame, check out the fixed innovations website at

    https://www.peak.org/~fixin/personal/fmu/php/index.php

    It's useful!

    -Que?
    I checked that fixie site out this afternoon...while it seems mostly focused on road cyclists, it sounded pretty good.

    I will certainly try the no-tensioner approach, though I wonder about chain stretch....ie if I get it to fit perfect 1x, will it continue to stay perfect very long???

    I put a pic in above, but for some reason its not showing. It's an airborne hardtail, wheels are crossmax's.

    I went ahead and ordered the Rennen. Thier website is a little tempermental..wouldn't come up at first, then most of the links wouldn't work off the site...but one did, and it turned out to be the "pay now w/paypal" link....we'll take a peek-see how well it works. I'll be crossing it up between my airborne, and my soon-to-be moots 29er ybb...while I don't see it embraced with too much feavor over here, me thinks 29er and SS is like pea's and carrots...ask yourself this: what is most important riding characteristics of a SS? I think any answer will be at the top of the list of best PRO's associated with a 29er. I ran my surly KM last year geared for several races, kept getting 2nd's and 3rd's....took the gears off and got me SS-Monkey ON, and slapped the same geared feild for the first time...

    "Rhino" will kick my arse if he see's me posting this, but here's a photo of the KM in question (yes, I've since sold it and the first moots and am shopping my 2nd mooto x now):

    <img src="https://picserver.org/view_image.php/KO7S2FLK9H/p.jpeg">
    FS: Everything

  9. #9
    KgB
    KgB is offline
    SNGLSPD
    Reputation: KgB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,034

    eno

    if you need a rear wheel anyway I would use the eno hub.
    If you already have a wheel I would file the dropouts and or the axle.
    I've been inside too long.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    144

    chain stretch

    You'll have good tension depending on how tough you are on chains/drivetrains. I generally go through 1-2 CHEAP chains per season. The chain will start to get kinda loose after a while, but never so bad that it's gonna derail itself (unramped chainring and BMX cogs are key here).

    Good luck with your tensioner though. I'm sure the airborne will come together just fine.

    -Que?

  11. #11
    The man who fell to earth
    Reputation: Ziggy-Stardust's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    335

    Soulcraft vs Shimano?

    The Kore is absolute junk, forget about it.

    The Soulcraft is ok (I'm using one now), but it has it's problems:

    1. It's nearly impossible to get it to keep the same tension after the initial setup. After you set the tension (in push up config), invariably after a ride or two the mount will slip some and your chain will be slackened. It doesn't slacken to the extent where the chain slips or derails, but still it does NOT hold perfect tension like I had anticipated/hoped. There were some suggestions put up here a while ago to supposedly remedy these problems (scoring the mating surfaces and using beeswax), I tried them and they didn't really work (they helped slightly though).

    2. With these "minimalist" single roller chain tensioners (all of them, not just the soulcraft), there is a very limited amount of rear cog/front ring swapout capability (using the same chain that is). For instance, if you set your bike up with a 32t chainring in the front and a 16t cog in the rear, cut your chain to the proper length and got every thing set just right...and then later decided you wanted to put an 18t cog in the back, you couldn't do it without getting a longer chain. These single roller tensioners only afford a very limited range of available chain length, making swapping out different cogs virtually impossible without a custom cut chain for each unique combination (although there is some overlap, but it aint much).

    3. The soulcraft is expensive...$65 is a lot of money for a simple tensioning device.

    So what's better than the soulcraft? I hate to say it but an old s-h-i-m-a-n-o derailleur takes care of all of these problems. Its dirt cheap (or free if you already have one laying around), it can accommodate a very large range of front chainring/rear cog combinations with the same chain, and it maintains a constant tension and does not come loose. It may not look elegant and it may not be the singlspeeder's purist vision of simplicity and unnecessary gadgetry...but it does work for conversions, that's for sure.

    One method I've been meaning to try that I think looks really cool is the "captive chainring" tensioning method. An old chainring (or rear cog from an old cassette) is stuck in between the upper and lower chain between the chainstays. Its on the FAQ, I'd suggest checking it out, supposedly it works like a charm...plus its cheap enough to try it out without making a big investment.

    Good luck...




    Quote Originally Posted by ncj01
    I'm going to convert this frame to SS, using these wheels. I'm eyeing the new-design Surly Singlator, the Soulcraft Convert, and the Paul Melvin, and Kore Chain-reaction. I really need to know which one is the undisputed best. I'm very freakish about things working right, don't care so much about cost (well, I do to the extent that I'm not buying a new frame, but give or take 50 bucks, I'd prefer top notch chain tensioner).

    Thanks for any help.

    <img src="https://image.pbase.com/u44/ncj01/upload/28279693.rightsidewholebike.jpg">
    Last edited by Ziggy-Stardust; 05-11-2004 at 07:33 AM.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,529
    Quote Originally Posted by ncj01
    I'm going to convert this frame to SS, using these wheels. I'm eyeing the new-design Surly Singlator, the Soulcraft Convert, and the Paul Melvin, and Kore Chain-reaction. I really need to know which one is the undisputed best. I'm very freakish about things working right, don't care so much about cost (well, I do to the extent that I'm not buying a new frame, but give or take 50 bucks, I'd prefer top notch chain tensioner).

    Thanks for any help.

    <img src="https://image.pbase.com/u44/ncj01/upload/28279693.rightsidewholebike.jpg">
    When I first built my SS, I was running 32/16 and a homemade, manual tensione (made from a CHEAP derailleur). The first one failed and got sucked up and around, then jammed into the spokes. The second one worked fine until I tagged a rock and bent it.

    I then picked up a Singulator, which would throw the chain under a lot of power and me from the bike a couple of times.

    I then began playing with chainrings and cassette gears, and wound up using a Salsa 34T (no ramps or pins) and a 17t from a road bike cassette... Worked, but once the chain began to stretch, it was too loose, and the would derail from the rear with a loose chain in the rough stuff.

    I purchased a Chris King cog. It held the chain tight (a little too tight with a new chain), but once the chain stretched, it was perfect.

    Also, I filed a flat spot on one side of both axle ends, and filed a little extra out of the vertical dropouts, that way, by rotating the axle in the dropout, I could get a LITTLE bit of adjustment.

    Sorry its lengthy, but it was a lengthy process... The bike is now a little lighter, due to the absence of a tensioner and its one less part to fail!

  13. #13
    I speak for the trees
    Reputation: lorax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    42
    I used an old singleator in a push up configuration for about 2 years. It worked well except in rocky, technical descents when it would slip off the cogs or chainring at times. It probably only needed to be tightened to accommodate for chain stretch some but I was too lazy to adjust it since it was only once every 3 or 4 rides that it might slip off.

    If I were to buy another chain tensioning device, however, I'd try something different.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-09-2004, 10:02 PM
  2. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-08-2004, 08:32 AM
  3. Spot Rocket Frame Saver Chain Tensioner
    By the pope in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-08-2004, 11:22 PM
  4. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-05-2004, 04:13 PM
  5. Bianchi SISS Chain Tensioner
    By sea otter in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-03-2004, 01:23 PM

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.