Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???

    I'd love to see pics of any homebrew chain tensioners out there.

    I'm building up my first SS on the VERY cheap (student w/ family, etc.) and I'm hoping to get some ideas from those that have done this so I can avoid having to plunk down $$ for a new tensioner. It'd be fine to see what you've done with rear derailleurs, but I'm mainly interested in homebrew chain tensioners or modified derailleur tensioners.

    Bonus points (or gold stars if you prefer!) to anyone that includes instructions as well.

    Apologies in advance if this is covered already somewhere else. I've done a bunch of searches on this forum and only found a couple of random shots.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Sevadari; 09-09-2006 at 08:08 AM. Reason: additional question

  2. #2
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    what type of bike are you building up?i mean i know you may be on a tight budget, but like a decent tensioner can be had for only 20$
    so this is how you add a signature!!

  3. #3
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    Old Derailleur and a Dremel

    Sorry for the blurry pic. Take a old derailleur and dremel off the lower aspect of the derailleur, leaving the upper pulley. Then take a small length of cable to center the pulley in the chain line. Use the cable adjuster bolt to fine tune the line.

  4. #4
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    Hmm, how cheap do you want to go? I made this for an old Orange frame. One piece of mild steel, bent, shaped, drilled + one old pulley and a bolt. Cost? Nothing. Worked? Yep!

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    Quote Originally Posted by felixdale
    Hmm, how cheap do you want to go? I made this for an old Orange frame. One piece of mild steel, bent, shaped, drilled + one old pulley and a bolt. Cost? Nothing. Worked? Yep!

    Wow. That is beautiful! You could package that and sell it for money I bet!
    www.cycletofitness.com It's only a super-awesome website for a super-awesome store. Just click it. I dare you.

  6. #6
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    Here's mine

    Another piece of bent steel with a pulley attached. My refinement is a spring that tensions it somewhat--although it took a special shaped QR nut to hold the spring in place. This worked OK--I even raced on it--but eventually it either got bent or wore out and wouldn't reliably hold the chain. I bought a $14 generic tension off ebay instead (and now I'm getting a wheel with an ENO hub, so I can ride fixed)

    Eric


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttvrdik
    Sorry for the blurry pic. Take a old derailleur and dremel off the lower aspect of the derailleur, leaving the upper pulley. Then take a small length of cable to center the pulley in the chain line. Use the cable adjuster bolt to fine tune the line.

    do you have pics of the final product?
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A Select Start

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by felixdale
    That's a great idea (drilling a fixed cog so you can mount it directly to a disc brake hub), but I'd be worried about getting the holes lined up perfectly--it seems like any out-of-roundness would be easily felt. Any tips? And for my purposes, it doesn't allow me to tension the chain, which the ENO does.

    Eric

  10. #10
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    Hi Eric,

    I don't have a piller drill as recommended by some but it is not difficult. I used a cheap pressed steel cog that came with a SS converter kit. These are quite easy to drill. Mine is an 18 tooth. You need a standard 6 bolt dics to mark it up - lay the disc on top of the cog and center it up - make sure of this - eye up the centre edges of the cog against the centre circle of the disc. I also measured the gap in three places. Hold tight and draw the 6 round circles where the bolts go. Centre punch these and then using good quality HSS bits drill the holes. 2mm first all the way through and then a 5.5mm to finish. De-burr with a 7mm or similar and that's it. Mine ended up spot on - just takes some time and care. Virtually all set ups have tight and loose spots but this came out perfectly acceptable.

    As you say though in your case for fixed you need track ends or an eccentric BB/hub as a tensioner is no good with the vertical drop out/fixed combination.

    Good luck,

    Max

  11. #11
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    So far looks like some real ingenious designs and great info.

    Thanks for sharing what you've got!

    If others have photos, ideas, or instructions, keep 'em coming!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by felixdale
    Hmm, how cheap do you want to go? I made this for an old Orange frame. One piece of mild steel, bent, shaped, drilled + one old pulley and a bolt. Cost? Nothing. Worked? Yep!

    That is one sweet looking homebrew tensioner...hey, that sounds like a cool name, "Homebrew Chain Tensioners". How 'bout we go in business, or, I'd be happy to sell you the naming rights?

    Instructions for that homebrew set up if you don't mind?

    Thanks!

  13. #13
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    Well, it's only a bit of bent steel! Actually a straight bracket from a hardware shop - just drill (or enlarge existing) hole one end for the QR skewer, a hole the other end for the pulley bolt - bend it in two places until it fits the chainline and use washers to space the pulley...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevadari
    I'd love to see pics of any homebrew chain tensioners out there.

    I'm building up my first SS on the VERY cheap (student w/ family, etc.) and I'm hoping to get some ideas from those that have done this so I can avoid having to plunk down $$ for a new tensioner. It'd be fine to see what you've done with rear derailleurs, but I'm mainly interested in homebrew chain tensioners or modified derailleur tensioners.

    Bonus points (or gold stars if you prefer!) to anyone that includes instructions as well.

    Apologies in advance if this is covered already somewhere else. I've done a bunch of searches on this forum and only found a couple of random shots.

    Thanks!
    Do you have an old chainring? If so, simply place it between the top and bottom chain runs. It usually stays right there in place after you set your chain tension.


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    It is inevitable ...

  15. #15
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    I think mine takes the cake. Apologies for not having a picture with a single cog on there, I didn't have time to remove the cassette before i got overly excited and had to start taking pictures. The system is a few seperate parts, all based around the lack of a deraileur hanger on my frame thanks to a misplaced sidehop... The QR nut is replaced with one of my own design which allows the tension arm to hang off and pivot up or down to adjust tension. The arm is locked in place with a couple of set screw and has yet to loosen itself as the slackening of the chain works to tighten the system up again. The idler pully has an adjustable chainline on it, and could theoretically be used to switch between two or three different gears if you felt like busting out the allen keys. Whole thing was made over the course of a day by myself out of necessity to ride and unavailability of Planet-X parts over here.


  16. #16
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    A local rider made one out of a spoon, so I guess he ate his cake first.

    https://paolo.rantsurf.com/

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  17. #17
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    Hahaha! Nice!

  18. #18
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    Six conversions over 5 years

    All going strong, Mrp roller will not let me down and is not that expensive.

    I may run a ss conversion clinic this winter for the freecycles community bikeshop here in missoula." width="549">

  19. #19
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    Looks like us 'bent steel' guys all got the same idea. Love that spoon too.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttvrdik
    Sorry for the blurry pic. Take a old derailleur and dremel off the lower aspect of the derailleur, leaving the upper pulley. Then take a small length of cable to center the pulley in the chain line. Use the cable adjuster bolt to fine tune the line.
    You dont need the cable if you replace the limiting screws with longer ones.
    HB - The God Damn Flying Dutchman
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  21. #21
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    A swedish guy called Ville made this one:



  22. #22
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    The spoon one is great!
    pUt Da LiMe In Da CoKe YoU nUt


  23. #23
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    All of those look awesome. I love homemade parts.

  24. #24
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    I am always impressed by the single minded problem solver.

  25. #25
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    some very ingenious solutions!

    I like them all! I almost wish I need to use a tensioner.

    since I have semi-vertical dropouts, there's about a 1/16 to 1/8 inch adjustment for chain elongation. I fabricated these removeable spacers so that the axle is supported and it's easy to center the wheel.


    With a half-link I'm able to find several "magic gears". This setup is a 2 speed (36x20 and 42x13)

  26. #26
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    Well, this thread inspired me, so this afternoon I canibalized an old derailer, and a 3/8 wrench and made a chain tensioner, what do you think?




  27. #27
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    Nice. That one looks stronger than the rest.
    pUt Da LiMe In Da CoKe YoU nUt


  28. #28
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    It took a lot of heat and 2 pairs of vice grips to bend the wrench.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatFender
    It took a lot of heat and 2 pairs of vice grips to bend the wrench.
    Looks sturdy as all get out! How'd you secure the wheel to the wrench, can't see it too clearly.

  30. #30
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    I drilled through the wrench, and used the threaded portion from the old derailer as a wrench, its kind of ugly, but its beefy, it was free, and it works. Im going to get a regular nut from the hardware store later, but I had to get to class, so I did it this way for now.

  31. #31
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    No tensioner .....

    ... but this helps me out fine.

    Simple and effective, two rings cut from an normal breadplank/board. It's the kind of 'soft' plastic that helps keeping the noise down, which to me is one of the advantages of SS.

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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatFender
    Well, this thread inspired me, so this afternoon I canibalized an old derailer, and a 3/8 wrench and made a chain tensioner, what do you think?



    But you have horizontal drop outs?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveInNH
    But you have horizontal drop outs?
    Yeah, but this thread inspired me so I made one.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatFender
    Yeah, but this thread inspired me so I made one.
    Yours is second ONLY to the spoon.

    Well done!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by felixdale
    Hmm, how cheap do you want to go? I made this for an old Orange frame. One piece of mild steel, bent, shaped, drilled + one old pulley and a bolt. Cost? Nothing. Worked? Yep!


    Stole your idea and made my own, thanks for the idea.

    Easy and cheap (under $5) and it works. Put mine on the outside so I didn't have to worry about respacing the rear wheel. Slotted the back, so I can switch wheels faster.



    more pictures on plusonelap.com

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    Easiest, cheapest way - by far. It's also spring-loaded so arguably more effective than the solid, homemade kinds. Pass it through the top jockey backwards, then Dremel off the lower jockey.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScaryJerry
    I think mine takes the cake. Apologies for not having a picture with a single cog on there, I didn't have time to remove the cassette before i got overly excited and had to start taking pictures. The system is a few seperate parts, all based around the lack of a deraileur hanger on my frame thanks to a misplaced sidehop... The QR nut is replaced with one of my own design which allows the tension arm to hang off and pivot up or down to adjust tension. The arm is locked in place with a couple of set screw and has yet to loosen itself as the slackening of the chain works to tighten the system up again. The idler pully has an adjustable chainline on it, and could theoretically be used to switch between two or three different gears if you felt like busting out the allen keys. Whole thing was made over the course of a day by myself out of necessity to ride and unavailability of Planet-X parts over here.

    That looks pretty retarded.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexrex20


    Easiest, cheapest way - by far. It's also spring-loaded so arguably more effective than the solid, homemade kinds. Pass it through the top jockey backwards, then Dremel off the lower jockey.

    Why?! How can it be cheaper 'by far' than free!

    And it looks a mess - sorry!

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    Quote Originally Posted by felixdale
    Why?! How can it be cheaper 'by far' than free!

    And it looks a mess - sorry!

    The thread is about a single-sped conversion, so it's assumed - and correctly so - that the bike has gears (derailleurs, shifters, and so on). Technically speaking, the rear derailleur is free, so I don't see what kind of crazy logic you've employed.

    Compared to your bent steel approach, which is arguably not always free (not everyone has scrap metal and spare parts), a rigged rear derailleur is always going to be free.

    Looks is subjective, and as you think a derailleur is ugly, I think bent steel is as ghetto as it comes. There's no spring tension and they are not easily adjusted or even constructed. The thread starter is a student with a family so it can be assumed he's on a budget (he even says so) and on a time schedule. I doubt he has time to **** around in his garage for the better part of a day.





    Looks a lot better than your "bent steel."
    Last edited by alexrex20; 09-17-2006 at 06:58 PM.

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    Ha ha! You don't like people disagreeing do you my friend!

    No, give me a bit of old bent steel, a cool spoon or a converted spanner any day - much better solution.

    (IMHO)...


  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexrex20


    Easiest, cheapest way - by far. It's also spring-loaded so arguably more effective than the solid, homemade kinds. Pass it through the top jockey backwards, then Dremel off the lower jockey.
    You still don't need that piece of cable on there.
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  42. #42
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    Bump, Lets see some more of those homemade tensioners.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatFender
    Well, this thread inspired me, so this afternoon I canibalized an old derailer, and a 3/8 wrench and made a chain tensioner, what do you think?



    I wish I could have seen these before they went red X

    oh, and my contribution...
    Last edited by micah; 12-07-2006 at 02:49 PM.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ihatemybike
    You dont need the cable if you replace the limiting screws with longer ones.
    Perhaps with Shimano mechs this is true. On my XO mech that I'm currently using for a tensioner, I couldn't get enough inwards chainline adjustment even with longer screws as the surface they bear on rotates out of line with the screw. (try with a SRAM mech and you'll see what I mean)

    Also, using cable on a shimano mech you can tweak chainline or switch between two cogs using the barrel adjuster. This is faster than doing the same job with a screwdriver.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by BundokBiker
    I like them all! I almost wish I need to use a tensioner.

    since I have semi-vertical dropouts, there's about a 1/16 to 1/8 inch adjustment for chain elongation. I fabricated these removeable spacers so that the axle is supported and it's easy to center the wheel.


    With a half-link I'm able to find several "magic gears". This setup is a 2 speed (36x20 and 42x13)
    I like this, and its precise fit.

    How do you make it? Is there a simple way of making it with the kind of precision on yours without involving milling machine and lathe? and at what size difference would I need if I were to make several pieces to ensure a perfect chain length?

  46. #46
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    Sorry no tensioner, but a mig welded horizontal dropout!


    bigger picture

    I have added two PolyOxyMethyleen (not on this) picture rings to prevent the chain coming of the chain ring /cog (cheap chain rings are a bit oval ). The cons of the (POM) rings is the dirt they collect (have to dril a couple of holes)


    The chain tensioner of my tandem
    Last edited by gijsberg; 12-10-2006 at 06:19 AM.
    ---------------------------
    Gijs, from the mountain

  47. #47
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    ............
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  48. #48
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    Mine

    Here is my tensioner fogive the dirty nasty frame.



    Just an the old derailleur with all the cables removed and used the adjustment screws to line it up. Works wonderfully and completely free (if you are doing a geared to SS conversion). No need to really mutilate it only ground down a little bit of the cage since I was using the SRAM PC-1 chain and its a tad bit wider than the old 7-speed chain the derailleur used to hold.
    Willis

  49. #49
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    there's some good ones up, especially the spoon

    here's my addition, frankentensioner.. shimano acera canti brake arm with a fully functional tensioning mechanism


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  50. #50
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    TT...............

    Lets see that on the bike, it looks interesting.

  51. #51
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    I'll see what I can do.... I "cooked" this up a number of years ago on my first SS convert. this was back in the non-digital age (or maybe it was just me stuck in the 80's...lol)
    I'll go through some old photos and try to scan one or two.... It worked great, all I did to the frame was drilled a small hole for the spring end to hook onto. A bud of mine has been running one on his trials bike for years now
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  52. #52
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    since we're sharing...

    I like the spoon one so far, but here's one I made from a derailleur that I pulled from a junk bike. The only thing I had to buy was the M10x1.0mm bolt - quite an oddball size.

    121_2123 (Medium).JPG

    cheers,
    dave

  53. #53
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    Here is mine, made from an old deralieur.





    ^The end of a brake cable used to adjust chain line^

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by BundokBiker
    I like them all! I almost wish I need to use a tensioner.

    since I have semi-vertical dropouts, there's about a 1/16 to 1/8 inch adjustment for chain elongation. I fabricated these removeable spacers so that the axle is supported and it's easy to center the wheel.


    With a half-link I'm able to find several "magic gears". This setup is a 2 speed (36x20 and 42x13)
    I did that, only with folded up bits of duct tape. Hence the roll of tape I posted earlier.

  55. #55
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    Ok, had to go through some floppy's to get these
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    I Ride, I Know

  56. #56
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    def my favorite so far is the bent spoon.

  57. #57
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    Heh, I'm gonna have to tell him his spoon is the fave of so many.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  58. #58
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    Bump. Gold just what I was looking for.

    Great thread pity many of the pictures are now missing.

  59. #59
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    Wink

    I've built several models of chain tensioner and still the best is the derailleur you have lying around. Easy to set for the chain line you have (whether you are using limit bolts or a peice of cable), strong, and made to do exactly what you want it to. You can change your gearing through a wide range of cogs and rings as you experiment and as you get stronger and better as a SS rider. Wheel removal is easy as well. Whats not to like?

    Since its for a single speed, I use an old road derailleur. More compact, you don't need the long cage.

    Put your limited dollars into a good wide base cog and spacers and you can convert a nice hardtail gearie into a great SS bike.

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    Stolen

    from vorb.org.nz
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  61. #61
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    This tensioner is on my trials bike and works great. It is made from sheet metal, hacksaw blade, and a piece of PVC pipe. Super lite, super simple, super strong.

  62. #62
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    Sweet! How about a pic of the rest of the bike? You´ve got me curious on your ´trials´set up!

  63. #63
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    is it just me or are half the links on that chain mounted 'backwards'?

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    is it just me or are half the links on that chain mounted 'backwards'?
    Yep, it was tempoary chain and I joined it upside down.

    Get building people......I love homemade tensioners.

    The Marino trials bike.

  65. #65
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    I just finished making one out of mechano. Seems pretty solid and smooth and looks cool in red too. My camera has been misplaced but when I find it ill post a picture.

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    I understand how a complete derr works as a tensioner since it's spring loaded. However- do the other units work- the cage and bottom roller of a derr for example? Is sandwiching it in with the QR enough force to keep the tentioner from moving up or down once you get it where you want?

  67. #67
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    Hey is that the code for zelda!
    I'm not the monster here, you are. You and the rest of that fairy tale trash, poisoning my perfect world.

  68. #68
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    Yep. It's not like the chain wants to stretch or anything. The 'tight' side of the chain is on top, the 'slack' side of the chain is below. Your tensioner just needs to put enough tension on the chain so that it doesn't jump or ride up a tooth.

    You can also use the derailleur hanger bolt (if you have on) if you're concerned about or can't use the quick release.

    Have fun!

    dav

  69. #69
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    that makes sense- i never thought of that. the tensioned side of the chain would be the top side since that's the side that's being driven. the bottom side is just along for the ride until it wraps back around top. Well- I guess I will just be using the cage section then, rather than the entire derr- that will clean it up just a tad. thanks!

  70. #70
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    Here's a picture of mine.

    My previous set up of 32T/14T was perfect and didn't require any tensioner. I have since decided to run 42T/17T and so had to make a chain tensioner as my frame has vertical dropouts.

    I used a strip of galvanised bracket which is used for fastening plumbing pipes. I folded it over to add more stiffness as it is quite malleable. The latter also means it was easy for me to shape the whole thing by hand to line up with the chain line.

    I don't know about its rust resistance property yet but a touch of paint should take care of that.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-img_0120-small-.jpg  

    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-img_0121-small-.jpg  


  71. #71
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    Nice!

    What's in the derailleur hanger? Did a bolt snap off?

  72. #72
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    great thread
    subscribed

    the spoon and the PVC/hacksaw are my faves so far!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  73. #73
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    Yup, the bolt snapped off. That was how I ended up with a SS. I am glad it did!

    I have since fastened a cable tie from one of the holes to the chain stay and it very isn't noticeable.

  74. #74
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    Here is my contribution with some inspiration from others:








  75. #75
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    None of these are mine, but I love the design of them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-fabi-tensioner3.jpg  

    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-fabi-tensioner4.jpg  

    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-kettenspannerneu-2.jpg  

    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-kettenspannerneu.jpg  

    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-tensioner-1.jpg  


  76. #76
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    So I wanted a chain tensioner but not one of those Forte ones that come in the kit because I have heard reviews that they are kind of chintzy so I decided to check out this thread and then make my own. I liked the ideas on here and wanted something that I could make without any power tools so I took a few ideas and put them together. I picked up a couple of cheap pieces from the local hardware store from the parts bins and went to work.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-100_4359.jpg  

    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-100_4362.jpg  

    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-100_4372.jpg  

    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-100_4373.jpg  

    Last edited by Godzilla77; 03-12-2010 at 01:20 AM.

  77. #77
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    Anyone been working on customer tensioners?

  78. #78
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    Homemade tensioner

    Well, here's my addition. My bike came with a homemade setup that simply clamped in the skewer like many on here, but the problem was it was flimsy and would eventually creep up and lose tension. I had to adjust it several times during a ride and it got annoying, so I decided to fix the problem. I took a small piece of flat bar stock from Home Depot, got a nice stainless steel allen head bolt and a couple nuts. I made the tensioner same as many on here, but on the bottom I welded one of the nuts on so that I could thread the bolt through, put a second nut on as a jam nut and here is the result. It's clean, super light and cost me less than $5. I took it out this morning and beat on the bike for over an hour and never had to readjust. It works perfectly.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-bike3.jpg  

    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-bike2.jpg  

    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-bike5.jpg  


  79. #79
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    file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Mclovin/Desktop/Tensioner.jpg

    its not that bad lol does the job

  80. #80
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    try again lol

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by toyota200x
    This tensioner is on my trials bike and works great. It is made from sheet metal, hacksaw blade, and a piece of PVC pipe. Super lite, super simple, super strong.
    diggin the tensioner.
    Half the links on your chain are on upside down... is there a reason for that, or just an accident?

  82. #82
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    well i know it's probably cheating, but i did in fact make it at home.
    It has a buch of index points to set the initial position, and it has a titanium flex plate to fill the gap, instead of using a spring. The pulley setup is pretty similar to the surly.
    The index plate is also titanium, and it has a pin that rests against the deraileur stop on the hanger to keep it from moving. It can be used in either push up or pull down mode.
    I can probably loose another 10g on it if i wanted to, maybe even 20g.




  83. #83
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    ISuckAtRiding, I will be one of those now!

    Johnnydrz

  84. #84
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    Wow, that looks awesome, nice job! I like the spoon and all, but man, the latest from ISAR is SWEET!

    One question - is there a matching pin on the inside of the tensioner, to fit an index hole?

    And how about a pic of your workshop? What kind of equipment did you use to produce this?

    cheers,
    dave

  85. #85
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    Whoops, scratch that last question. I happened to be subscribed to the ST EBB thread too, and stumbled across yer website with the shop pics!

    cheers,
    dave

  86. #86
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    Ti tensioner looks awesome. You could start a business.

  87. #87
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    1" x 1" Al Tubing

    Here's one I carved out of some 1" x 1" square aluminum tubing. Drilled and tapped the bottom end for a derailleur pulley, add some washers to space it properly, and that's it, works like a charm!

    If I were to do it again, I'd offset the holes a bit so that I could keep more of a right-angle section to the tubing at each end. As it is, it flexes a tad...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-img_4162-%5B50%25%5D.jpg  


  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdn-dave
    Here's one I carved out of some 1" x 1" square aluminum tubing. Drilled and tapped the bottom end for a derailleur pulley, add some washers to space it properly, and that's it, works like a charm!

    If I were to do it again, I'd offset the holes a bit so that I could keep more of a right-angle section to the tubing at each end. As it is, it flexes a tad...
    There have been some good ones since I last checked out this thread. Great work, and I really like how this one turned out.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    well i know it's probably cheating, but i did in fact make it at home.
    It has a buch of index points to set the initial position, and it has a titanium flex plate to fill the gap, instead of using a spring. The pulley setup is pretty similar to the surly.
    The index plate is also titanium, and it has a pin that rests against the deraileur stop on the hanger to keep it from moving. It can be used in either push up or pull down mode.
    I can probably loose another 10g on it if i wanted to, maybe even 20g.



    That thing is nice but why even worry about cutting 10-20 grams when the tensioner is like 2 lbs?

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by loggerhead
    That thing is nice but why even worry about cutting 10-20 grams when the tensioner is like 2 lbs?
    i think you're not seeing the decimal point. It's 83.4g, not 834g.

    But i can see how you could make that mistake, i could have made it out of uranium or something.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    i think you're not seeing the decimal point. It's 83.4g, not 834g.

    But i can see how you could make that mistake, i could have made it out of uranium or something.
    wow, then thats really something to put on a scale. thats awesome.

  92. #92
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    ISAR, that's a piece of art. Well done!

  93. #93
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    thanks guys!

  94. #94
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    Old Derailleur Cage...

    This thread inspired me to save some money and create my homebrew tensioner out of an old derailleur cage. Awesome work, everyone!




  95. #95
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    Love the 1 x 1 tubing tensioner. Very creative.

  96. #96
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    Wow... Nice find! If only I saw this thread a week ago. Could have save me some dough. And the uniqueness! Hats off to everybody that contributed to this thread!

  97. #97
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    Hope

    4th generation BUMP

    i know, i know....but i have a bike that will possibly work with one of these solutions...lots of pix now gone, but this is an interesting thread that really brings out some ss ingenuity and drive. right now, i simply have the clunky, heavy shimano derailleur still on my Giant Innova monstercross....and i'd like to simplify it a bit with a more elegant, half-assed tensioner.

    any more new creations beyond the SPOON and PVC-minimalist-friction doodads?

  98. #98
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    I use the good ol' v-brake arm



    I'll post some better pics sometime

  99. #99
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    nice....do you notice any big difference in 'drag' compared to a straight up ss w/o tensioner? i might just head to the local Goodwill and find a spoon...

  100. #100
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    No drag at all since it's on the slack side of the chain. I'd suggest something burlier than a spoon. I tried something similar to the spoon and it flexed easily which derailled and dropped the chain. Find something a bit stiffer if you can

  101. #101
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    Nice work to all "outside the box thinkers". I'm more of a "have to" than a "can do" kind of guy. Keep up the great work!

  102. #102
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    Wow, you guys are really innovative. I was thinking of changing over to SS for the winter, and this is really inspiring. Time to get on craigslist and look for a good bike!

    I do like SS- I commute on a Redline 925, but SS a mtb is really intimidating.
    Last edited by VioletSS; 08-06-2011 at 09:08 PM. Reason: Forgot

  103. #103
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    Here's mine before, and after I took out six links. Works great!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-randolph-20110701-00027.jpg  

    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-100_1130.jpg  


  104. #104
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    Here's mine. Made it at work at lunch over a couple of days.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-gedc0976.jpg  


  105. #105
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    Am I the only one who clicked on this thread thinking it would be about homebrewed components chain tensioners? ::facepalm::

  106. #106
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    ,,,
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-bp-001.jpg  


  107. #107
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    @veryavgwhtguy

    I like the use of the v-brake arms! Is the spring functional? Can you show a shot of the derailleur hanger, where the b-screw usually hits?

  108. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdn-dave View Post
    @veryavgwhtguy

    I like the use of the v-brake arms! Is the spring functional? Can you show a shot of the derailleur hanger, where the b-screw usually hits?
    The spring is functional, but the spring 'tab' doesn't rest on the b-screw shelf. I couldn't get that to work. The spring tab is actually on the opposite side of the hanger than the shelf.

    The d-hanger outside isn't concentric with the bolt hole. So I put the v-brake on and rotated it until the spring tab interfered with the outside of the d-hanger, providing my spring tension. It was a fluke that it worked out at all, and will vary by frame.

    I could drill a tiny hole for the spring tab to go in (and make a push-up tensioner work by doing this) but I don't want to drill my new frame.

    Or (just thought of this) use a piece of sheetmetal sandwiched between the brake arm and hanger, and drill the spring tab hole in that.

  109. #109
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    For those using an old derailleur, how tight are you making the chain? The tension on the derailleur can vary. Is the bottom wheel really close to the chainstay and parallel to the ground? Or is it vertical to the ground. Or does it not really matter?

    Thanks. Here is a photo of the one I just made.


  110. #110
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    My solution


  111. #111
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    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/RS6SQr08BHX2CMnLiXfZWtMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-JPN_DdnAnpA/TT22aWmvzfI/AAAAAAAABYE/QG8NxgtojXA/s640/DSCN1410.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a>

  112. #112
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    that v brake tensioner is ingenious!

  113. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by allrachet View Post
    that v brake tensioner is ingenious!
    Thanks! It ended up working fine for smoother terrain. When I would ride off drops, the chain would frap around and overtax the vbrake spring, making it jump off the little retainer tab. I use an Alfine tensioner now, which functionally works like a derailleur.

  114. #114
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    My homebrew solution




  115. #115
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    I made a handful of these and got them powdercoated (a few of the MTBR members that have bought them wanted green, as well as myself, so green it was)...and I've actually got 7 or so left, if anybody wants one PM me.







    There are a couple different ways to adjust chainline on them, either by a triple nut solution or using an aluminum spacer that will have to be cut to size, I will provide both, as well as everything else to bolt them up and get yourself tensioned.

  116. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2002maniac View Post
    My homebrew solution
    Very nice!!!

  117. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120 View Post
    Very nice!!!
    Thanks! I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. Mounting it on the inside of the hanger makes it stronger, lighter and more out of the way.

    BTW: I loved riding my GF rig, but it is a tank compared to this bike. Sub 20lb SS bike is the way to go

  118. #118
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    I used an old road derailleur I had form 25 years ago. Removed the top pulley. Loosened the pivot stop screw to allow the derailleur body pivot up almost ouching the frame. Then set the stop "H" and "L" adjusting screws to set the chain line. Just using the bottom pulley to push down on the chain. The chain is only about 1/4 of link too long, so I might try a 33t chainring to get rid of the tensioner for good.

    Might not be the best looking but it works good and was FREE!!!.

  119. #119
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    When the store bought tensioner broke right before the trail ride I rigged this up. It worked all the way around a short but very rocky loop but I will fabricate a better unit ASAP.


  120. #120
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    sorry but that is way too ghetto. old derailleur will look and function better.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  121. #121
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    sorry but that is way too ghetto. old derailleur will look and function better.
    Like I said, last ditch repair done at the trailhead when the real tensioner arm broke. I'll post the new unit in a day or 2. It is pretty bad though huh, LOL.

  122. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by camekanix View Post
    When the store bought tensioner broke right before the trail ride I rigged this up. It worked all the way around a short but very rocky loop but I will fabricate a better unit ASAP.
    It may be ghetto, but it works. I have seen commercially available ones base on the same principle. If you spend a little time you could perfect the design into something more appealing and usable.

  123. #123
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    I can attest to it's usability.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-cor...od-830980.html
    you can see it in the pics on page 2

  124. #124
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    Ok, here is a proper unit to replace the PVC & zipties. Final adjustment and painting will be this weekend.




  125. #125
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    My DIY Tensioner

    Pics of homebrew chain tensioners???-20130413_085905.jpg

    Works great.

  126. #126
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    nice

    Quote Originally Posted by rusheleven View Post
    My DIY Tensioner

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Works great.
    nice diy

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