Originally Posted by Groove
Well, I finally built up the courage to take Nightcruiser's suggestion about removing the chain tensioner. (Spool fell off during a ride and of course it rolled directly into the sewer grate as I was running after it for about 50 yards). So I walked the bike back to my garage, removed the tensioner bracket and a few chain links..
It works way better than I would have imagined. Much less rolling resistance and MUCH quieter. The difference is night and day for me. The funny thing is, this is my first build that still has the rag joint...
Welcome to the other side! LOL
I had the same exact experience, beside being problematic and always needing to be checked every ride and tweaked often, the tensioner made a lot of noise and caused a lot of drag when I pedaled. Once it was removed my bike rode more like, well, a bike! LOL I was apprehensive at first like you about removing the tensioner entirely, but once I did the improvement was so great, my bike is pushing near 2,000 miles with absolutely zero chain issues. (running #41 industrial/farm chain) When I first built the bike and was running with the tensioner I was constantly checking the chain, checking the tensioner, before a ride, during rides, after rides... After I removed the tensioner I kept my eye on it for a few hundred miles, out of habit I guess, eventually I got used to the idea that I didn't have to fiddle with the chain every ride......
BTW I'm still running the rag joint too, cause my sprocket is dead center with absolutely no wobble. Rag joints can be a PITA to get setup right with no wobble, but if you can manage to get one balanced out well they work just fine. It's the wobbling and vibrations that cause a lot of the problems with these little HT kits, if you take your time and smooth them out your bike will ride smoother and last longer....