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So I’m going to try and explain this without pictures, so here goes. I’ve got a old mtb from the early 80’s that I’m converting to a SS. This is the second early 80’s bike I’ve done. The first has vertical dropouts, this one has nearly horizontal dropouts. The first bike uses a DMR chain tensioner so I bought another for the second bike.

I can’t see how the tensioner will work. The angle of dropouts puts the tensioner wheel right up against the chain stay and even then I can’t get the bolts in place. So what I did was forget about the tensioner and I cut the chain so it was tight enough in the center of the horizontal dropouts. Then clamped the quick release tight.

I’m not liking this.
A- because how do you know your wheel is straight
B- given the amount of torque needed to SS I am thinking the qr won’t hold.

So now I’m thinking of replacing the qr axle with a solid one and using axle nuts. I saw this same scenario used on a utube video when a fellow converted a road bike to ss.

This bike is for my nephew to use while at university for 4 years. He’s new to biking so I thought this would be the easiest bike for him to maintain. He’s very mechanically inclinded and has been helping me with the build and understands what we are doing. I just want to build him a safe bike.

Any input regarding the tensioner or use of a solid axle is much appreciated.

Cheers
Dan
 

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If you have horizontal dropouts, perhaps you can tension the chain by sliding the bolt on axle forward or rearward? Typically, tensioners are for vertical dropouts because there is no room to slide the wheel, thus tension the chain.

FYI... if you have horizontal dropouts you really SHOULD use the bolt on axle, not QR for the very reason you described. You may also want to look into something like the Surly tugnut to tension the chain properly. I think that may work for you.
 

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QR's work just fine as long as you use a tug-nut of some sort (I use Surly's tug-nut on my qr equipped fixed gear gravel bike).

As far as whether or not the wheel is straight: remember, we are talking about a bicycle and not a Boeing. Center it by eye wherever clearance is the tightest (usually the chain stays) and if you are really anal, get out a ruler and measure it after you tighten the qr down.

If your dropouts are semi-horizontal, you don't need the DMR.
 
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