How Important Are Chain Tensioners? (Short Solution!)

Chain tensioners cost between $15 and $25, which may not seem like much to most people, but if you are frugal like me, you might question whether they are really worth it. Therefore, are chain tensioners required?

For multi-speed bikes with vertical dropout frames to be converted to single-speed, chain tensioners are a need. They are also necessary if the bike chain is excessively long, you pedal a lot, ride frequently, or you wish to increase the chain’s lifespan.

On the other hand, if the bike frame just has horizontal dropouts or if you just acquired the bike and the chain is in good condition, a chain tensioner is not required.

Why Would You Use A Chain Tensioner?

The main responsibility of a chain tensioner is to change the chain’s tension. You can use it to change your multi-speed bike into a single-speed or when the chain stretches or is simply too lengthy.

It is simple to change gears once the chain tension has been adjusted.

The tensioner’s puller and spring system normally does that by reducing the chain’s tension as you shift and regaining it when the bike moves to your selected cog.

Without it, it may be difficult to shift gears, and the chain would probably frequently break.

Is it necessary to use chain tensioners?

As I mentioned, a chain tensioner is only required in certain circumstances, such as the following:

a) When converting from multi-speed to single-speed

Multi-speed bikes are faster and more efficient but heavier and harder to maintain.

With the right equipment, they can become single-speeds. Chain tensioners (Singulators) are required but not included in most conversion kits.

A chain tensioner helps restore chain tension after conversion.

After converting the drivetrain, a multi-speed bike’s longer chain may loosen.

Single-speed conversions require a chain tensioner, but not all bike frames are compatible. This device only works on bike frames with vertical dropouts to prevent wheel movement.

b) When the Chain is Excessively Long or Loose

Bicycle chains deteriorate and stretch with time. In that case, they become excessively floppy and are liable to fall off frequently while you cycle.

However, a chain tensioner makes sure that this never occurs. The tensioner enables you to accurately adjust the chain’s tension so that it operates as though it were brand-new.

However, keep in mind that it is suggested to replace the chain if it is too old.

c) If You Plan to Ride Long Distances Everyday

A chain tensioner is worthwhile investing in if you regularly ride, have been doing so for some time, and have no plans to stop anytime soon.

This is due to the likelihood that the chain will stretch and become loose over time. Therefore, since a chain tensioner is more affordable than a new bicycle chain, you should think about acquiring one instead of rushing to buy one.

d) If You Enjoy Hard Pedaling

Hard pedaling is another factor that could contribute to a chain stretch. Installing a chain tensioner is a good idea if you ride a lot and want to keep the chain tension under control.

When you pedal vigorously, be in mind that the chain may potentially misalign or come off. Fortunately, in such a case, a chain tensioner saves the day. Because of this, MTB owners should consider investing in an MTB chain tensioner.

e) The Most Essential Reason: Chain Tensioners Increase The Durability Of The Chain And Other Components

A chain tensioner lowers the possibility of chain wear and, consequently, wear to other drivetrain components because it provides the bicycle chain with the proper tension and improves shifting.

This allows you to use the chain and drivetrain for longer and ultimately saves you money.

In What Situations Are Chain Tensioners Not Required?

There have been instances where a chain tensioner was required. Let us now discuss two scenarios in which a chain is not necessary:

a) If There Are Horizontal Dropouts In The Bike Frame

Horizontal dropout bike frames do not need chain tensioners. Because such bike frames allow you to build chain tension by moving the rear wheel back, they do not need chain tensioners.

Horizontal dropouts might be track-ends or semi-horizontal.

Track-ends are seen on track bikes, trial bikes, dirt jumping bikes, BMX bikes, and some MTBs.

Track-end dropout frames are safer and do not need chain tensioners for fixed-gear or single-speed conversions.

Semi-horizontal dropouts are found on vintage road bikes. Because they allow you to slide the wheel back, they are perfect for single-speed cycles.

Thus, chain tensioners are unnecessary.

b) When the Bicycle Is New

It is likely that if the bicycle is relatively new, the chain will fit comfortably on the chainring and allow you to shift properly. A chain tensioner is not required in that scenario.

Except if you accidently install a longer chain or decide to convert it to a single-speed.

How Do Chain Tensioners Function?

When changing into a different gear, chain tensioners can release the chain’s tension by using a pulley and spring mechanism. The technique also stops the chain from constantly slipping and sliding off.

A chain tensioner typically uses two different pulley systems to achieve its function. There are two pulleys: a G-pulley that directs the bicycle chain into the cage, and a T-pulley that controls the tension of the chain.

The T-pulley extends the bike chain to provide the necessary tension once the chain tensioner is fastened to the drivetrain hanger.

How to Install a Single Speed Chain Tensioner

The following steps are involved in installing chain tensioners for single-speed conversions:

.Remove the axel nut from the driving side of the bicycle.
.Singulator should be lightly placed on the rear dropout.
.Before tightening it, remove the axel nut and replace it as is
.Before adjusting the chain tension, shift the wheel into the frame dropout.
.As you continue adjusting the chain tension with the tensioner screw, place the back wheel in .the opposite position.
.Finally, tighten the axel nut back to its original position.

Spread the love

Leave a Comment