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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 02-21-08, 08:35 PM   #1
I_luv_hooters
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chain tensioners

I know most of you think they are gay. The fact is my chain keeps coming loose on my lemond. It takes a few days but it will be loose and I'll need to re-tighten. Do any of you use a chain tensioner like the MKS one or perhaps one of the many BMX ones that are cheaper (such as the redline one http://cgi.ebay.com/REDLINE-Alloy-Ch...QQcmdZViewItem )? Do they fit any track end? Or...Can I simply get better tracknuts as a solution? Thanks.

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Old 02-21-08, 08:37 PM   #2
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If anyone thinks chain tensioners are gay theyre a dumbass. Theyll save your life if you tracknut(s) somehow become loose.
I am always shocked to see when people dont run some.
I use the MKS ones and they fit perfect.
What frame do you have?

Last edited by deathhare; 02-21-08 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 02-21-08, 08:40 PM   #3
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the mks models are quite nice and the surly works well, but is fairly large and kludgy. i cannot speak for other brands. with the mks, there are two sizes -- one that fits most standard steel frames with thinner track ends (5mm i believe) and one that fits many aluminum frames with thicker ends (8mm).
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Old 02-21-08, 08:45 PM   #4
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i have had both MKS and Surley's The MKS are small and light so they don't stand out but I had one work loose and fall off. Since then I have been running the Surley's and love them. More $$ but durable, easier to adjust in my opinion, and they open a bottle of brew. Use them, its not gay. They could very well save your life.
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Old 02-21-08, 08:49 PM   #5
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i recommend a bit of blue loctite on the mks threads. it doesn't make it any more difficult to adjust them, but they hold a bit better. feral is right that they can be a little strange to adjust because you are dealing with two threaded sections and have to be sure that both have significant engagement.
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Old 02-21-08, 08:52 PM   #6
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i don't like the ones that go on the outside of the dropouts so... i use these

nagasawa:


fuji track pro:
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Old 02-21-08, 08:53 PM   #7
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I have the MKS. They don't seem to offer much range of adjustment (the axle has to be pretty much dead center in the track ends) but they work ok I guess.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by deathhare View Post
I use the MKS ones and they fit perfect.
What frame do you have?
It's my Lemond Filmore with the mavic ellipses that keeps coming loose. The track ends are kind of rounded looking as opposed the square look of the ones you guys have posted. Thats why I wonder if the MKS are universal and will fit mine. I don't think i want the huge surly one hanging off my bike. I'll drop $31 for the MKS. I assume they come as a pair and I should use both. I want the one with hex nut tightening instead of 10mm nut.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by I_luv_hooters View Post
It's my Lemond Filmore with the mavic ellipses that keeps coming loose. The track ends are kind of rounded looking as opposed the square look of the ones you guys have posted. Thats why I wonder if the MKS are universal and will fit mine. I don't think i want the huge surly one hanging off my bike. I'll drop $31 for the MKS. I assume they come as a pair and I should use both. I want the one with hex nut tightening instead of 10mm nut.
there are two sizes of tensioners...one for steel frames and one for aluminum frames
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Old 02-21-08, 09:29 PM   #10
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I've got the MKS oversized ones and they work great. They also have sort of a contoured shape to them in the inside that seems to fit round shaped track ends.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:34 PM   #11
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Well bens has these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ayphotohosting

I wonder if they'd work. it looks like it and the price is right. thanks.

Edit: forget it it - says BMX. Oh well! I'll keep searching for the oversized ones.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:57 PM   #12
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I got mine from Trackstar:

http://trackstarnyc.com/store/catalo...roducts_id=230

They even sent me a bunch of cool stickers and an issue of COG magazine. Looking back, it was a great decision.
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Old 02-21-08, 10:39 PM   #13
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Ben;s cycles has the MKS ones too.
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Old 02-22-08, 04:17 AM   #14
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I got the MKS's NJS stamped standard model on my other bike and it's super nice, I only got one though. IMO you don't really need two of them.

I also got a pair of simple old school -style tensioners on my Vivalo 'cos the MKS didn't fit the 110mm trackdrops made for the narrower axle, those older ones do fit with however. They look kinda like the one one the Nagawasa on the pic above. I got them from a local 'mad collector'-type dude who has like a 100 pairs of them and I'm actually thinking of getting a bunch of them from him and putting them up for sale on on Ebay.

And hey, Ben's sent me a Cog mag as well.
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Old 02-22-08, 06:51 AM   #15
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I also got a pair of simple old school -style tensioners on my Vivalo 'cos the MKS didn't fit the 110mm trackdrops made for the narrower axle, those older ones do fit with however. They look kinda like the one one the Nagawasa on the pic above.
And hey, Ben's sent me a Cog mag as well.
yup my nagasawa is 110mm spaced. i wanted to get the mks ones but they are for 10mm dropouts and not 8mm...

i think bens sends u a cog magazine if u are one of the first 10 orders of the day... i think i read that on their front page
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Old 02-22-08, 06:58 AM   #16
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If anyone thinks chain tensioners are gay theyre a dumbass. Theyll save your life if you tracknut(s) somehow become loose.
I am always shocked to see when people dont run some.
Telling people to use tensioners because their wheel slipping is just poor advice. The solution is to figure out why the axle is slipping, crappy track nuts? Dropouts misaligned? Paint or some other garbage on the dropout surface?

Chain tensioners are used because people want to easily set their wheel position, because it also holds the wheel in place doesn't mean that's what it is for.

Learn how to tighten a rear wheel properly. It'll save your life, instead of using hack solutions like a chain tensioner.
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Old 02-22-08, 07:00 AM   #17
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Well bens has these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ayphotohosting

I wonder if they'd work. it looks like it and the price is right. thanks.

Edit: forget it it - says BMX. Oh well! I'll keep searching for the oversized ones.
Stop looking for chain tensioners and start figuring out why your axle is slipping in the dropouts. This is NOT the way to solve the problem.
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Old 02-22-08, 07:23 AM   #18
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yup, they're primarily made to help you dial in the right chain tension, which they are really handy for, but then you are supposed to crank the bolts tight enough so that the BOLTS keep the axle in right position.
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Old 02-22-08, 09:34 AM   #19
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yup, they're primarily made to help you dial in the right chain tension, which they are really handy for, but then you are supposed to crank the bolts tight enough so that the BOLTS keep the axle in right position.
OK, lets start with new tracknuts then. I think this may be all I need. Where should I purchase replacement tracknuts to get the best, most grippy? Is there usually just 1 standard size that fits all? Mine seem typical in size on my Mavic Ellipses.
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Old 02-22-08, 09:59 AM   #20
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Dude, tensioners are totally "gay"
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Old 02-22-08, 10:57 AM   #21
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If you do decide to get one I'd recommend the Surly if you don't care for aesthetics. They are hands down the easiest to adjust chain tension than with a MKS (you need a tool to do it compared to just hand cranking) and offer a wider array of the axles position in the track ends. They double in cool factor because they work with both conversion frames (you don't want your wheel slipping on semi-horizontal drops) and track frames and make tensioning a faster/easier process. Of course you can get by without one but it's a nice little convenience to have.

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Old 02-22-08, 11:09 AM   #22
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that is the ugliest POS component I've ever seen on a bike. Thank god I am a competent human and can manage without a hideously stupid looking bottle opener bolted to my bike.
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Old 02-22-08, 11:11 AM   #23
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that is the ugliest POS component I've ever seen on a bike. Thank god I am a competent human and can manage without a hideously stupid looking chain tensioner/bottle opener bolted to my bike.
that's why I said if he didn't care about aesthetics...but why should it matter what it looks like when, while you're riding, your eyes are looking ahead?
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Old 02-22-08, 11:29 AM   #24
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that is the ugliest POS component I've ever seen on a bike. Thank god I am a competent human and can manage without a hideously stupid looking bottle opener bolted to my bike.
Hahahahaha damn. Someone got served.

To the OP, don't you have a few other sets of wheels lying around? Assuming they don't take anything goofy, you could always borrow a set off of a different wheelset and see if that eliminates the problem.

I also agree that chain tensioners are meant to help SET tension, not maintain it.

I also find it silly when people think that you will immediately die if your wheel slips in the dropout. If your tracknuts somehow come loose (usually gnomes), your tire will grind to a halt on a chainstay. Not exactly the end of the world.
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Old 02-22-08, 11:44 AM   #25
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Yeah, you don't need a tensioner if you have good track nuts, for the most part.

Last edited by roadfix; 02-22-08 at 11:51 AM.
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