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Old 07-31-11, 05:09 PM   #1
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HELP! Chain tensioner broken at the start of our bike tour (Alfine).

Hi guys wondering if anyone can help me brainstorm a way to fix this if my attemps fail.

I am in a town with no bike shop and just arrived via bus. We stupidly did not remove the chain tensioner from one of the bikes and it must have hyper extended and the spring inside slipped and gouged a strip off so now it won't hold tension. We tried just shortening the chain (this has worked for me in the past) but the cog sizes unlucky won't allow a tight enough chain so there is still some slack. We tried removing more but it was dangerously too tight (snapped one of the master links).

We have this tensioner

I managed to get some JB weld from a hardware store and I put some inside around the gouge where the spring was slipping, hopefully this may hold the tensioner in place, but I won't know for another 14 hours (the drying time).

Is there anything else I could grab from a hardware store to tension the chain? I should mention I have messaged every person I could find with a bike or part for sale in this town to see if they have an old rear derailleur or a tensioner.

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Old 07-31-11, 06:00 PM   #2
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zip tie tensioner to chainstay so it pulls up
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Old 07-31-11, 06:19 PM   #3
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Aquakitty: Can you improvise something with a heavy rubber band or a small bungee? Maybe bend up a "helper?" spring from a coat hanger?
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Old 07-31-11, 06:41 PM   #4
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If there's a hardware store in town, odds are they have a decent selection of springs for screen doors and similat applications. Put the tensioner together and try to imagine where and how you could attach an external spring, that goes to the chainstay. Then look for something suitable.

BTW- if your tensioner springs downward, find a piece of scrap, and use two hose clamps to hold it to the swingarm, extending beyond the pivot. Attach the spring to the extension, so that pulling it up, pushes the tension arm down.

Meanwhile, you might want to do some planning for a replacement. Figure our where you'll be in 3 days or so, locate, check that it has a post office, and order a replacement sent to you c/o the postmaster at that office

as follows

sad sack
hold for pick up
c/o general delivery
friendly town, xx 12345

If you can get to a library, and use the internet you can also send to a hotel, or other business.

When I led tours we used a similar system to get emergency parts and never had a problem.
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“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

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