Spoked to Death
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Bikes: Salsa La Cruz w/ Alfine Internal 8-speed, Scattante Ultegra roadie, Maserati fixie conversion
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If you are going singlespeed w/ freewheel, then you could use a tensioner. But if you are going fixed, then you can't use any tensioners, they won't handle the stress of backpressure, and will fail terribly.
Semi-vertical might give you enough adjustment room. If you can move about 1/4" toward the BB, then you have enough adjustment space to make it work, though you may need to play around with gear combos and chain lengths to nail it. Perfectly vertical dropouts may require an eccentric hub (like the white ENO), or other tricks, like supporting a wheel soley on its skewer, filing the dropout back a bit, or using the so called 'magic' gear combos that match chain length perfectly to your axle/bottom bracket distance.