Problems with tension on Surly Singleator- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Problems with tension on Surly Singleator

    I have the Surly Singleator on my newly converted Ti SS and am having problems setting the tension. I have tried facing it away from the crank, tighten it, then swing it forward to where it is under the chain. It will not keep tension! I can move it by had anywhere and it stays in that position. Do I need to put it on then tighten it up or something? I have no clue on how to get it to stay where I have good tension. Anyone give me a run thru on how to tighten it up? Other than that the conversion was easy and I have only the handlers to cut down or replace and the grips left to install then I will be riding it. Here are some pics of it on my bike that I have converted. Thanks and all the help that I get will be very helpful.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    loosen it, pull the tension arm back and make sure the spring is set properly(it should lock in)....then re-tighten it. I had the same problem when I was adjusting my Forte one which is pretty much the same design.

  4. #4
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    If you can adjust it to push up from underneath the chain, you'll get more wrap on the rear cog.
    You need an 18 mm cone wrench to tighten the unit. Use a zip tie to the chain stay to create more tension if needed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Yeah, I read the instructions. I am more a visual person though. Not sure how to go about tightening the spring. When I put a wrench on the tab on the bakc of the tensioner it does not turn. I know I need to do it on the bike. I guess I need to get a cone wrench also.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by xUSER_NAMEx
    loosen it, pull the tension arm back and make sure the spring is set properly(it should lock in)....then re-tighten it. I had the same problem when I was adjusting my Forte one which is pretty much the same design.
    Lock in? I do not understand this. The spring is already in there right? It did come with a spring in a bab. Does it not have it in it already?

  7. #7
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    Read the instructions closer, specifically step 8. There's two springs, which to use depends on whether you want it to push or pull the chain.
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  8. #8
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    The instructions are super-simple. You must have the correct spring installed for the intended direction that you desire tension - one for "pushing up", one for "pushing down".

    Once you are sure you have that figured out - install the unit but DO NOT TIGHTEN THE 5mm BOLT ALL THE WAY yet... take your 18mm cone wrench and tension the unit nice and firm - but not super tight (you'll see the Singleator start doing it's thing now) - THEN tighten down that 5mm allen bolt to lock everything in.

    Presto! done. You can not adjust the tension with an 18mm cone wrench if the 5mm bolt is cranked down already. Sounds like that's your problem - aside from a little reading comprehension .
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mini73
    Lock in? I do not understand this. The spring is already in there right? It did come with a spring in a bab. Does it not have it in it already?
    Yes - it does, default for "pushing down". He was talking about the little hole that the ends of the spring are captured by - and the spring snapping out or something. You need to dis-assemble the unit to switch the springs.
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  10. #10
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    Video

    See if this works:

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Uyy2CvqOPdc&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Uyy2CvqOPdc&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    See if this works:

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Uyy2CvqOPdc&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Uyy2CvqOPdc&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
    This is what I needed excactly! I have been doing it right the whole time just without the wrench behind to hole the tensioner. Thanks and I'm going to try it in a minute.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob
    Read the instructions closer, specifically step 8. There's two springs, which to use depends on whether you want it to push or pull the chain.
    I read the instructions over and over and understand them. The problem is I am not holding the wrench on the tensioner when tightening the bolt. I got the video now and see where I was messing up. I knew I had the right spring in it just was convering all my bases for getting the problem fixed! I am mechanically inclined so I can figure most things out! LOL , Just was unclear on the tensioner that's all! Thanks for the help.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mini73
    This is what I needed excactly! I have been doing it right the whole time just without the wrench behind to hole the tensioner. Thanks and I'm going to try it in a minute.
    Key is that 18mm cone wrench - and no, it does not need to be the Surly one, which of course is a bottle opener too.
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  14. #14
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    I followed the directions and had no problems. Make sure you have the proper spring, they have a specific "pull down" spring and a "push up" spring. I think putting in the wrong spring won't hurt anything, it'll just break sooner than later or lose tension. I also made my chain as short as possible which reduced the amount of spring tension needed, and probably why I've replaced the spring only once in several years.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterofnone
    I followed the directions and had no problems. Make sure you have the proper spring, they have a specific "pull down" spring and a "push up" spring. I think putting in the wrong spring won't hurt anything, it'll just break sooner than later or lose tension. I also made my chain as short as possible which reduced the amount of spring tension needed, and probably why I've replaced the spring only once in several years.
    You turn the pivot bushing one way or the other depending on whether you are using the "push up" or "pull down" configuration. According to the instructions, turning the wrong way will ruin the spring though I have not verified this personally.

  16. #16
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    I would use it pusing up but the chain that I am using is alittle to long. I tried taking more links out of it and then putting it on but was not able to cause it was to tight to get over the chain ring. Should I try a single speed chain or a bmx chain? That way I would not have that much slack to put tension on? I know it is better to push up on the chain to have more chain wrap on the cog wheel.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_
    ...Use a zip tie to the chain stay to create more tension if needed.
    I'll take that piece of advice one step further. Don't get me wrong here, I like the Surly Singleator and used one for a number of year. But when using one always make sure you have a zip tie in your Camelbak or seat bag. Because it isn't a question of if but when the spring will fail. I used to constantly keep a stash of 3 or 4 in my tool box but always kept a zip tie on me when I rode. It saved me a long walk on a number of occasions.

  18. #18
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    even before you buy it(if you bought it at jenson) it tells you : warning , will need and 18 mm cone wrench and what is the first mistake people make, not reading instructions and not buying the stupid cone wrench. some one should sticky this or put this in the SS FAQ that nobody reads before asking a question
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuck_chorris
    even before you buy it(if you bought it at jenson) it tells you : warning , will need and 18 mm cone wrench and what is the first mistake people make, not reading instructions and not buying the stupid cone wrench. some one should sticky this or put this in the SS FAQ that nobody reads before asking a question
    I knew I was going to need the wrench as I bought it my LBS. Im sorry if the question that I asked is was already asked and dumb!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mini73
    I would use it pusing up but the chain that I am using is alittle to long. I tried taking more links out of it and then putting it on but was not able to cause it was to tight to get over the chain ring. Should I try a single speed chain or a bmx chain? That way I would not have that much slack to put tension on? I know it is better to push up on the chain to have more chain wrap on the cog wheel.

    If you need to shorten the chain by half an inch you could use a half link, or better still, a link and a half which you can just fit with two master links. Don't bother with a half-link chain, just use a KMC 610HX.
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  21. #21
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    no i was throwing it out as a general rant
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  22. #22
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    Ok. no problem. I rode my newly converted SS last night around a few blocks with the family and had no problem. Did not ride to hard or anything as I was kind of scared of the chain coming off and busting my knee or something. Was thinking about trying to us the tensioner in the push up position. I might try. Don't think it will work though due to the tensioner hitting the frame and the chain being to long but i'll try and see. Going to go riding on the trail to see how it does.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mini73
    Ok. no problem. I rode my newly converted SS last night around a few blocks with the family and had no problem. Did not ride to hard or anything as I was kind of scared of the chain coming off and busting my knee or something. Was thinking about trying to us the tensioner in the push up position. I might try. Don't think it will work though due to the tensioner hitting the frame and the chain being to long but i'll try and see. Going to go riding on the trail to see how it does.
    if you go for some jump and try to pedal as you hit the ground the chain will slip
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  24. #24
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    I rode the bike yesterday and the chain did not come off or anything. It was so quiet! I was able to hear some other guys in the distance with their geared bikes! Alot different riding a SS bike and thinking I'm going to like it! Now just got to update some components. Like the handlebars, brake cables, and maybe a new crank.

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