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Chain tensioners - do you use them?

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Chain tensioners - do you use them?

Old 01-18-14, 08:09 PM
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rms13
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Chain tensioners - do you use them?

I got a cheap pair of Origin8 tensioners a while ago and have been using them. But every time I have to take my wheel off, I feel like they are more trouble then they are worth
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Old 01-18-14, 08:29 PM
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They are more trouble than they are worth.
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Old 01-18-14, 08:43 PM
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Nope, I've never needed them.

It's actually easy to tension your chain.
Just install your chain and pull the wheel out with the tire touching the NDS chain stay and tighten down the NDS track bolt tight while like this.
Then use your palm against the seat tube as leverage to push your wheel away from the chain stay, tighten the DS track bolt.
Then loosen the NDS bolt and tighten again to even it out.

DS= side where the chain is
NDS= side where the chain is not

Last edited by Leukybear; 01-18-14 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 01-18-14, 09:15 PM
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"walk it back"

Chain tensioner definitely seems too much trouble if you have dropouts that can tension a chain. I considered putting a chain tensioner on my winter bike so that it could accommodate a high gear ratio on most days and a low gear ratio when conditions were poor. Even that useful purpose seemed like too much effort and so I run a moderate gear ratio without a tensioner.
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Old 01-18-14, 09:26 PM
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Thanks. Well I just installed a 18t cog instead of the 17t I had and now the tensioners don't fit so I don't have to worry about using them or not.

On a side note. I brought the wheel to the LBS to tighten the old cog and lockring and because the cog was slipping and I didn't have the right tools at the time. I swear they must have put locktight on them. I had to resort to using a hammer and punch to loosen the lockring. After about ten minutes with the chain whip I gave up and left the cog on and put the new one on the other side I probably will want to switch between cogs every now and then so I should have saved myself the time and energy of trying to remove the old one
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Old 01-18-14, 11:31 PM
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I use them on my bmx race bike, otherwise it's not worth it.
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Old 01-21-14, 06:35 AM
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my beater bike came with a tensioner on the DS. I use it because its there.
I don't use a tensioner on my other bike, and it seems to be working fine so far.
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Old 01-21-14, 08:04 AM
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Tensioners may seem like a bother until you lose your chain. This will almost always happen at high speed as the rapid right-left motion of pedaling at high speed is what will throw a slack chain off the ring. I lost my chain at 35 mph coming down a steep hill and it got wrapped around the rear wheel, locking it up. The results were dramatic. I kept the bike up as long as I could, but the rear wheel was skidding from side to side and eventually the bike slammed to the asphalt. I still have the scars. If you are going to ride fixed, I would highly recommend at least one tensioner unless you are absolutely certain that you will never let your chains loosen up. Good luck with that.
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Old 01-21-14, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cogdriven View Post
If you are going to ride fixed, I would highly recommend at least one tensioner unless you are absolutely certain that you will never let your chains loosen up. Good luck with that.
I agree here, but don't most people check their chain tension before each ride? I usually at least tap the chain with a wrench to make sure it isn't slack before heading out of the house.
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Old 01-21-14, 08:33 AM
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You would think, but don't we all get careless sometimes. You're in a rush. It was fine the day before. You notice it's a little sloppy as your speed picks up at the top of the hill and you tell yourself you'll tighten it up just as soon as you get to work…

Last edited by cogdriven; 01-21-14 at 08:34 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-21-14, 11:03 AM
  #11  
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Somebody needs to invent an automatic psi regulator. I'm far too lazy to check my tires.
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Old 01-21-14, 11:46 AM
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I completely overhaul my bike before every ride.
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Old 01-21-14, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
I completely overhaul my bike before every ride.
Coming from you, I kinda believe that.
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Old 01-21-14, 04:53 PM
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I don't even ride my bikes anymore, I just work on them.
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Old 01-21-14, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
I don't even ride my bikes anymore, I just work on them.
That's what I'm going to do , now that I know my chain is going to come off and cause certain death without the tensioners. Just doesn't seem worth it to actually ride anymore. I'm going to work on my bikes and maybe polish them with a diaper
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Old 01-21-14, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
I'm going to work on my bikes and maybe polish them with a diaper
Just make sure it is 100% cotton.

After reading this thread I am not sure which is going to kill me first, my suicide hub or the lack of chain tensioners.
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Old 01-21-14, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rex615 View Post

After reading this thread I am not sure which is going to kill me first, my suicide hub or the lack of chain tensioners.
Lack of chain tensioners will kill you, your suicide hub will allow you to kill yourself (hence the name).
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Old 01-21-14, 11:23 PM
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Have Surly Tuggnuts on my fixed and SS (both with track ends), and wouldn't go without them. Just one on the drive side is all you need for perfect tension effortlessly any time you need to remove/replace your wheel. No hassle at all to deal with, I can't imagine why anyone would find them the least bit unwieldy to use. A tad heavy for a small part though, but very strong.
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Old 01-22-14, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by stilltooslow View Post
Have Surly Tuggnuts on my fixed and SS (both with track ends)
And they double as a bottle opener to boot.
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Old 01-22-14, 02:55 PM
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I've never used a chain tensioner and I have a bottle opener on my keychain.
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Old 01-22-14, 04:47 PM
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nah braa no chain tensioner here.
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Old 01-22-14, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
I've never used a chain tensioner and I have a bottle opener on my keychain.
Originally Posted by GENESTARWIND View Post
nah braa no chain tensioner here.
Well both of you are missing out on one of those small things that makes life a tiny bit easier, and bottle openers on keychains went out just after cig packs rolled up in your white T-shirt sleeve. ; - ))
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Old 01-22-14, 08:30 PM
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I've had two frames with them and I like them. Its kind of a pain in the ass when I need to change a tube, but I'm willing to live with it because I can be pretty anal about chain tension.
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Old 01-22-14, 08:33 PM
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I've never used a chain tensioner or dropped a chain. Maybe I haven't been riding long enough...
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Old 01-30-14, 06:32 PM
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I only use a wrench to tap my chain to check for tension. That wrench is held in a gloved hand. And that gloved hand is a plaster cast of a mannequin's hand. The original hand of the mannequin holds the plaster cast hand. And this hand is affixed to a post which my own mortal human hand holds.

If even the thought of chain grease touches the tires, everybody dies. Fact.

Even if you have cheap junk-o parts, if they are set up properly, you will never throw your chain.

Tug nuts are useless to me as I swap cogs and rings all the time. They're good for folks who always have the same gears, as they're fairly precise and you always know where your optimal tension lies with the chain in it's current condition.
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