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IntheBush
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Single speed tensioner
08/22/19 at 11:49pm
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Thinking about converting a standard frame to SS..

I'm familiar with the half link possibility, but think I'm going to go with a chain tensioner.

For those with experience with these, can you suggest the best one to get/use.
  
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hudsontp
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #1 - 08/23/19 at 12:53am
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How much do you want to spend?

Little to nothing $ - use an old derailleur and lock it out to the intended chainline
Find a magic gear, you may need a half link. This is always the best option, but as the chain stretches, theres no way to tension. But if you play with a few gear combos, you might find one that works.

Cheap ones are $20-50 and all will have some mixed reviews. Surly Singulator, DMR tensioner, cheap ones from Performance.... these will all hang from the hanger and push up or down to tension the chain. Will need to be adjusted as chain stetches. If you use one of these, it is far better for the tensioner to push UP, towards the chainstay, so that you get way more wrap around the cog.

Same price point, but ive had better luck with, blackspire stinger. You can mount to iscg tabs (if you have them on your frame and buy the iscg mount) or in place of a bb spacer. This you can push UP towards the frame,  but from just around the crank, and again get great chain wrap. This would be my suggestion for the budget go to, i ran one for several years without issue.

Expensive ones should work far better, i just picked up a Trickstuff EBB for standard threaded bb's, or there are some fancy Rohloff tensioners that work well. Price range $80-160 
The rohloff is similar to the singulator in basic concept, but with a MUCH better spring  (people tend to break the spring often in the surly, and it is pretty weak). Looks more like a derailleur, but intended and designed only for SS use.
The trickstuff BB is one of only two EBBs that I know of that work on standard threaded bb's. Not cheap,  but a friend has used one with good success so Im gonna give it a shot, since it is much cleaner than running a tensioner.

This all assumes you have a standard, threaded BB. If you have a bike that takes a BB30 crank/bb, then drop everything and get an EBB. There are tons of them out there (niner i think makes some, wheels manufacturing, problem solvers i think? And im sure more).

Does that help?
  
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SurlyDave
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #2 - 08/23/19 at 12:58am
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DMR works well with QR axles. Rollenlager is similar design but more $ and maybe this was discontinued. 
Basically you want a design that mounts both to the axle hole and the derailleur hanger and avoid spring tension designs. 
Your options may be even more limited with modern thru axle frames. 
Having said all that a chain tensioner is just a gateway drug to a more pure SS set up be it adjustable dropouts or eccentric BB's. 
  
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Enoch
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #3 - 08/23/19 at 1:08am
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DMR has worked well for me. I usually have to replace the roller bolt so I can shim it in and out to get the chain line I want
« Last Edit: 08/23/19 at 1:10am by Enoch »  
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IntheBush
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #4 - 08/23/19 at 2:50am
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Enoch wrote on 08/23/19 at 1:08am:
DMR has worked well for me. I usually have to replace the roller bolt so I can shim it in and out to get the chain line I want


This works with a thru axle?



  
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IntheBush
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #5 - 08/23/19 at 2:58am
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SurlyDave wrote on 08/23/19 at 12:58am:
..
Having said all that a chain tensioner is just a gateway drug to a more pure SS set up be it adjustable dropouts or eccentric BB's. 


Yeah, I tried that route..

Ordered a new SS from a big name (came with a belt drive)..

The first one they sent me came completely out of the box during transport, and arrived at my house in an open box and visible damage. The driver took that one back..

The second one arrived still loose in the box secured with three pieces of tape, but was sent with a boost frame, non boost wheels and spacers, one of which had fallen off. And a dinged up Fox 34. 
I kid you not.  

It went back too. Two strikes and you're out.   Smiley


« Last Edit: 08/23/19 at 2:59am by IntheBush »  
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Banjopickin
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #6 - 08/23/19 at 1:44pm
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I used this on my old SS...

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Worked pretty well and I like how it tensioned the chain up instead of tensioning it downward. 

Pretty much the same as the DMR.
  
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...packin some Chub in the back of the pick-up.


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SurlyDave
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #7 - 08/23/19 at 4:01pm
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The Rennen also states its thru axle compatible whereas the DMR is not. At least not the one I have.
  
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IntheBush
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #8 - 08/23/19 at 11:10pm
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On the way.

Thanks.
  
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team_ssr
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #9 - 08/25/19 at 9:13pm
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I would also add, that whatever option you choose to be sure you have the tools required for trail side repairs.  I've "heard" of riders unable to fix a flat because they didn't have the tools required to remove a wheel to install a tube.
  
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IntheBush
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #10 - 08/29/19 at 1:13am
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Got the Rennen tensioner.

It appears to be good quality, and includes instructions for QR and bolted axles..
But not thru-axles.

It will not work with my thru axle frame, as intended. It's going back.

  
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IntheBush
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #11 - 08/30/19 at 1:20am
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I talked to George the guy that owns and ships the products.. He says it was designed in 2003.
Before the thru axles we have today were even on the drawing board..

Whether it will work or not depends entirely upon your frame. But regardless of the frame configuration, if you have a standard thru axle frame the upper attachment point will not work at all.

  
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #12 - 10/08/19 at 6:26pm
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I have the DMR and it works great for QR....not sure about through axle
  
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IntheBush
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Re: Single speed tensioner
Reply #13 - 10/08/19 at 10:53pm
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Update..

Ending up going with a Surly singleator in the downward orientation (too much slack in the chain and the oversized carbon chain stays prevented upward orientation). With a 19t surly stainless cog I've got 8 teeth engaged.

Like all tensioners, not a perfect solution.. But works well, chain stays tensioned with no slippage (over 5 rides now) and is well made. 

Need a cone wrench for proper tensioning of the spring.
No cone wrench? Don't waste your time..
  
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