Re: 2 tires down, I must be doing something fundamentally wrong here...
Just one more word of caution before you go any further. Every tensioner bracket I've seen requires a slight twist to get the tensioner wheel to align with the chain path. The chain stay, the part of the bike frame that the rear wheel and tensioner bracket mounts to is usually not parallel with the rear wheel. The tensioner bracket mounts to it and unless you add a slight twist to the tensioner bracket the tensioner wheel will not run true with the chain. Mount everything up and then stand back and look at things I think you'll see that the tensioner wheel is cocked slightly to the chain path. That must be corrected or you'll continue to wreck rear wheels/spokes. Also heed the advice above and secure the tensioner bracket to the bike frame so that it can not move (rotate) into the rear spokes. This situation is not uncommon; in fact it is probably the biggest cause of premature damage and failure of the first-time build.
Age and Treachery Will Always Triumph
Over Youth and Skill & "Charlie Don't Ride"
Last edited by 2door; 06-07-2010 at 09:57 PM.