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So I'm getting ready to build up yet another SS and was asked, why I don't just buy a dedicated SS frame so I don't have to use a tensioner.

My reasoning is this. In a frame without a tensioner, there is a better chance of breaking the chain if some foreign object gets caught in the chain line. If you're using a tensioner, the chain will be able to take up a bit of slack from the tensioner and hopefully, not break.

Comments?

(note that I always run my tensioners in the "pushing up" position as this helps with power transmission AND keeps it out of the way or foreign objects)
 

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Hmmm....

....has this ever happened to you or someone that you know?

If so, then you have a good argument. Otherwise, it seems like a far fetched situation.

But, if you like tensioners by all means keep using them. No harm in that.
 

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I've only ever had foreign objects derail the chain, never break it.

The key here is that one can experience successful SS'n with both a dedicated SS frame and with a convert. Albeit, I definitely agree with Striker et al.

dd..''
 

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once again...ENO

jaydrunkenpee said:
So I'm getting ready to build up yet another SS and was asked, why I don't just buy a dedicated SS frame so I don't have to use a tensioner.
Instead of getting a new frame, why not make your existing frame into a dedicated SS? Just get ENO: http://www.whiteind.com/eno.htm

The Eric hub will make any frame into a tensionerless SS wonder of bliss. All my (2 bikes) bikes have it, and why get a SS specific frame? I'm happy with my Gunnar Rock Hound and my road bike, the Surly Pacer, which is SS.

ENO is like fnding the best beer. Once you stick to it, you never go back.
 

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It's happened to me twice.

donkey said:
....has this ever happened to you or someone that you know?

If so, then you have a good argument. Otherwise, it seems like a far fetched situation.

But, if you like tensioners by all means keep using them. No harm in that.
Once a stick got kicked up and another time a rock got kicked up. Both times, instead of the chain breaking, the tug bent to allow the torque I was applyng to pull the drive side of the wheel forward. The second time, I used a large rock to hammer the tug flat again. No big deal! I use the plate type of tugs like Crupi, not the eye bolt type, btw. Currently running Redline tugs.

Actually, seems like an advantage to using tugs over a tensioner. In a situation where a stick gets into the drive train, not only is the tensioner likely to get mangled or ripped off like a derailleur, but a big chunk of the chain is likely to get mangled as well. Even if the chain broke while running tugs, all I'd have to do is slap one of the spare links I carry into the it and get rolling again.
 

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I've see many chains bent & broken when a stick jambed into the derailure (or tensioner) and wraped it around the rear wheel, pushed into the spokes, etc... but I have not seen a chain break on a tensionerless setup (except in the usual way by climbing a hill).

I think you will have fewer problems without a tensioner.

Cheers,

Tom
 

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I've never heard of anyone having any problems getting things stuck in a dedicated singlespeed drivetrain.

I do have some bad experience with tensioners however. I did a 12 hr race last year, in some of the most ridiculous mud I've ever seen. By hour 7 or so, the cage on the tensioner was so full of mud and grass that it had rotated down onto the chain. Mud had also infiltrated the bushings, causing massive resistance in the pulley itself. Admitedly, the tensioner was one of my own design, and the above problems would probably have been eliminated by runnning a roller instead of a pulley, but with the amount of garbage that race was throwing at it, I wouldn't have been surprised if the roller had stopped rolling.

I really think that dedicated SS frames, or the ENO hub for that matter, solve many more problems than they create.


YO MAMA
 

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one reason to start with a tensioner, especially an old road

derailleur, is to experiment with gearing choices. You can change cogs or rings over a wide range without adding or subtracting links in the chain. Once you have a gearing choice you like then find a way to do it without a tensioner.
 

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Chains are pretty hard to break

... unless they're overly worn and elongated already. In my experience, when a stick gets caught in a tensionerless drivetrain, one of three things happens: (a) the chain derails, (b) the chain jams, stopping pedaling immediately but no damage done, or (c) the drivetrain eats the stick and spews it out.

I've never heard of a chain getting bent in such a situation, although it's conceivable that the cog itself could get bent if it's of the freehub type and is less thick than a DX/Novatec model.

Of course, if you do have a tensioner, the same object will simply destroy your tensioner.

My stance is that tensioners are for frames that can't be run tensionerless. They work fine for most people who use them, but you're better off without one if you can get away with it.
 
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