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  • Singlespeed Tensioner
  • Premier Icon notmyrealname
    Free Member

    Now the bad weather has well and truly arrived I’m going to convert my Solaris Max to singlespeed for the winter.

    I’ve rode singledpeed quite a bit in the past but always had frames with sliding dropouts and the likes. The Cotic will need a tensioner of some description.

    Any suggestions?

    Are the Alfine tensioners any good on MTB’s?

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Full Member

    I’m a massive fan of VeloSolo

    https://www.velosolo.co.uk/shopsingle.html

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Full Member

    @eddiebaby do you think that would work as a get-you-home rescue measure in the event of braking a rear mech without shortening the chain?

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Full Member

    I have no idea! I am sure there far more experienced singlespeeders than me on here.
    Edit: I’m pretty certain it wouldn’t. It only takes up a small degree of slack. Not the mass of length a modern mech has to handle.

    Premier Icon Stevelol
    Free Member

    My first SS is a year old this month and I’ve had good experience with the Surly tensioner.

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    I’ve got the one from CTBM (or Bikemonger as is now) and it’s decent enough. I needed to put threadlock onto the bolt holding the jockey wheel the other week but apart from that it just works.

    Premier Icon sl2000
    Full Member

    Are the Alfine tensioners any good on MTB’s?

    I’m using one and like it. I couldn’t use a push-up tensioner because too much slack to take up. I’m running narrow wide chainring and rear cog so can’t use a half link. I don’t like the push-down rear tensioners because of lack of chain wrap.

    Main disadvantage is chain slap – it’s like going back to a non-clutch rear mech. Haven’t dropped the chain though.

    Premier Icon TheGhost
    Full Member

    I’ve got a black Surley Singulator in my spares box. PM me if it’s of interest.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    I’d just run a stinger style roller on the ISCG mounts.
    No crappy springs to rely on and out of the way of rocks.

    Premier Icon tthew
    Full Member

    I’m pretty certain it wouldn’t. It only takes up a small degree of slack.

    You don’t need to take up a massive amount of slack, only one link’s worth. Just shorten the chain to suit. That pseudo-derailleur of sl2000`s is total overkill.

    Premier Icon Del
    Full Member

    as multispeedstu above 😉 a bb mounted roller works very well. out the way, run the bolts a smidge loose and you can just give it a tap to increase tension, and the rear works exactly as it did before if you need to get the wheel out for some reason. did me for a couple of years on one frame. blackspire less than 20 quid. very simple.

    Premier Icon abingham
    Full Member

    Might be worth trying to get a magic ratio on your Solaris Max before buying a tensioner? There are some calculators online where you put in your chainstay length and chainring size and it’ll show you how close certain ratios get to not needing a tensioner. Looks MUCH cleaner if possible!

    Premier Icon ctk
    Full Member

    I’ve used loads and like the Surly one.

    Premier Icon tthew
    Full Member

    Might be worth trying to get a magic ratio on your Solaris Max before buying a tensioner?

    Initial chain, sprocket and chain ring wear, (probably more correctly bedding in) happens surprisingly quick, so your magic ratio, nicely tentioned chain will be flapping around like a pro’s pants after a couple of weeks without some adjustment.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Full Member

    You don’t need to take up a massive amount of slack, only one link’s worth. Just shorten the chain to suit. That pseudo-derailleur of sl2000`s is total overkill.

    That comment of mine was about using a tensioner as a mech replacement for riding home with un shortened chain.
    All my SS bikes have EBBs.

    Premier Icon mudeverywhere
    Free Member

    How about a Rohloff or Paul Melvin tensioner?

    The only non EBB or sliding dropout singlespeed I had used a Surly. It wasn’t strong enough to prevent chainslap but think that’ll be the case with anything relying on a spring and no clutch. Not used one but I magine one of the fixed in place roller types would be best at stopping that.

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    The single arm Alfine tensioner CT-S500 has the wrong chainline for singlespeed use (from memory, I’m sure it wouldn’t go anywhere near).

    If you try s magic ratio, just set it up with a chain thats already done a few hundred miles, makes a big difference. And you can ride a singlespeed with a surprising amount of slack chain 🙂 Finally, if you go magic, just check your rear wheel does not have a rearward path to take it out, otherwise you’ll be removing the quicklink every time you want your rear wheel off.

    Premier Icon poltheball
    Free Member

    I ended up buying a second hand 10spd SLX clutch mech and tensioning it with an old spoke (can also use a short run of old cable). No more dropped chains or chain slap, and it only cost a tenner!

    Premier Icon Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    Its been some time since I ran a singlespeed, but I cant see the options will have changed much.

    Whilst some of my chums constantly faffed with magic chainstay lengths and sliding drop outs as the chain wore, I just bashed on a Rolhoff tensioner which took care of all that crap and just let me ride. Its got a really strong spring too, so no chain slap either.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    Is there any reason not to run a ISCG chainring tensioner (if you have one spare)?

    Premier Icon notmyrealname
    Free Member

    Is there any reason not to run a ISCG chainring tensioner (if you have one spare)?

    The main reason was that I never knew such a thing existed 😀

    To be honest they look like a pretty cheap and easy way of doing it and doon’t look too bad either. Just need to find somewhere that has stock of them now!

    Premier Icon kayla1
    Full Member

    Is there any reason not to run a ISCG chainring tensioner (if you have one spare)?

    None at all and they make dropping the rear wheel out dead easy cos the chain’s tensioned at the other end-

    Premier Icon Del
    Full Member

    does depend on ratios, chainstay length, and design of your guide as to whether you’ll have sufficient adjustment without using a half link, and then you can only do that if you’re not using a thick/thin chainring. the other option is to get busy with the drill/file/mill on your tensioner but it’s not like they’re complicated things. 😀

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    kayla1

    None at all and they make dropping the rear wheel out dead easy cos the chain’s tensioned at the other end-

    That’s me sorted then 😉

    Premier Icon belugabob
    Free Member

    For those “singlespeed it, to get home” moments, just shorten the chain.
    Assuming, of course, that your multi-tool has a chain breaker, and you carry a couple of quicklinks

    Premier Icon shedbrewed
    Free Member

    Magic ratio on this turd, with one of @kayla1 awesome chainrings up front.


    I am pondering a slight reduction in gear size which would necessitate a tensioner. Nice to read of the various methods.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Full Member

    doomanic
    do you think that would work as a get-you-home rescue measure in the event of braking a rear mech without shortening the chain?

    It would be less faff to carry one of those tiny multi-tools with a chainbreaker, and shorten the chain to singlespeed it.

    Carry some rubber gloves as well. 🙂

    As for tensioners, the best tensioner is no tensioner.

    There’s lots of tricks to Magic Ratio a singlespeed.

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