Re: How can you reduce the noise from pedaling?
A couple of other things to "cheat" some clearance if you want to get rid of the tensioner-
a smaller sprocket gives a smidgen more frame clearance,because it doesn't pull the chain so far vertically if you're running a 44 or especially anything bigger, a smaller sprocket can give you more clearance- My 66 runs great with a 34 on flat smooth roads- and I don't have to rev it open for a great cruise speed.
And there's always axle spacing- and more leeway if you have a freewheel wheel- a spacer or a washer added to one side and put on the other can make a difference- often a 1/8" washer can simply be added or removed for as much difference-
you may have to adjust the spokes and rim and change the wheel "dish", to recenter the rim in the frame