officially done with chain tensioner

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by screamthepoetry, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. screamthepoetry

    screamthepoetry New Member

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    it seems like ever since i got this thing it has been one problem after another, and it all has to do with either the chain or the tensioner.. and after bolting the tensioner directly to the frame i had no problems with it for a week... then yesterday on my way to work the tensioner got bent down into my spokes at 30mph, not only ripping out 3 spokes but locking up my back tire and throwing me into the middle of the highway to almost get hit by a car.. now hoping that nothing is wrong with my motor after the crash, i am going to pull the tensioner off and take a link off the chain and run it without it..i have done the measurements and my chainstay has enough clearance and the chain should stay plenty snug without the stupid thing.... alot of you have told me before just to get rid of it and i have heard both arguments..but from what i can tell it is all around safer to just not have it then it is to try to run with it anymore
     
  2. maintenancenazi

    maintenancenazi New Member

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    I here ya! I had all kinds of trouble just trying to set mine up, the darn thing just kept trying to derail my chain. No matter how i tried to bend it, or set it up! My bike is a Trek 3700, and was lucky that the chain did not rub on anything after I got rid of it, and it ran really smooth without it! At least that part of my build went well, at least until my motor locked up after only 5 MILES!! :-||


    That's ok though, got a new engine coming and gonna tear in to old one to see if it's worth to, or able to be repaired..

    Peace, James
     
    #2 maintenancenazi, Dec 3, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  3. Velodrome

    Velodrome Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps something a little more robust ? See Sportsman add right side of this page. I have a similar design on mine; no problems.
     

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  4. screamthepoetry

    screamthepoetry New Member

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    ehh thing is i got this because i wanted a good affordable form of transportation..but with the money i keep putting into it i could have just bought a scooter.. and i just dont see a point in the tensioner with my set up, everyone keeps saying i will have to deal with the chain stretching without it eventually, but i would rather spend 15 on a new chain every few months then keep buying new wheels because the chain tensioner wants me dead..also i constantly worry about it when its on there and cant even enjoy my ride.. just not worth the hassle, tomorrow its coming off and i hope i can salvage my wheel till at least after xmas time and can afford a new one
     
  5. Allen_Wrench

    Allen_Wrench Resident Mad Scientist

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    Once you have a new rear wheel, fit up the engine-side drive sprocket and install the new motor. Then see if you can run the chain from motor to wheel with a decent amount of clearance between your chainstay and the chain.

    If it looks like your drive chain won't tear up your frame while you're riding, you are good to go. You can adjust your tension by moving the rear wheel further back in the dropouts. And if you need to adjust your pedal chain, you can put the tensioner over there on that side and not worry about the same kind of problems.

    If, however, it looks like the lower part of the drive chain is going to try to saw through the chainstay - do not despair! Phantom Bikes makes this beauty: http://www.phantombikes13.com/images/chain tensioner lg.jpg
    It is a rather long tensioner bracket that spans the lower drive-side chainstay and the upper drive-side seatstay. Once you mount your chain guide wheel to this, it can't get pulled into your spokes. Only $35 for a fine piece of machining, and it should pay for itself in the wheels it saves.
     
    #5 Allen_Wrench, Dec 4, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  6. decoherence

    decoherence New Member

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    i was once like all of you. having issues because of idler failures.
    i mounted the engine so both chains are taught.
    it will probably take a few remountings & head scratching to get it right.
    while you are at it, i would say retapping all mounts on the engine.
    get a half link for the peddle side chain. in case it may help.

    after i changed over to running w/o an idler, i have has 0 issues with the chain assembly.
     
  7. The_Aleman

    The_Aleman New Member

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    Having a true spring-loaded chain tensioner is the only way to go for the long run, IMO.
     
  8. cuberasnapper

    cuberasnapper New Member

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    i use the one from phantom and it has been fine for an easy 200 miles and no problems also installed on 3 of my friends bikes its been great so far
     
  9. Bicycle Motor Fun

    Bicycle Motor Fun New Member

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    I too, think about the original chain tensioner being a potential problem like getting into the spokes! But, the mounting of the original CT puts the chain in more tooth contact with the engine drive sprocket which is a good thing--it is easier on the wear of the chain and sprocket. I will therefore, continue to use a CT of some sort to accomplish this one thing alone. I hope to hear from more readers on their thoughts in this matter. BMF
     
  10. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    GET A FREEWHEEL WHEEL-

    I NEVER use a tensioner- one build I have the chains evened up pretty well- but it takes some messing with- another thing is that CHAINS STRETCH-
    even playing around with half links, they get out of sync, because the motor chain will usually stretch more than a new pedal chain- If I use a half link, it is easier to split and size the smaller pedal chain-

    But if you put a freewheel on the pedal side you can hang a derailleur and the derailleur takes up the slack on the pedal side so you can first just set the motor's chain-eliminating the heavy unreliable tensioner and if there are no clearance problems otherwise

    You can also have gears then to pedal if you want- I've just put on a three cog freewheel they sell on ebay- search "freewheel" and list low to high- it is less than $11 delivered- and small and light 14, 16 and 21 teeth- or you can get a 5, 6, or 7

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Sco...Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4ab08ead64

    I wanted a lightweight one- i got this a while ago and am putting a 27 inch wheel on the back for easy peddalling in FLAT Florida.

    Other "tensioner Eliminating tricks"- use washers and spacers on a freewheel hub to move the motor sprocket side to side- the derailleur adjusts

    Get a smaller sprocket- the smaller the sprock- the more chainstay clearance- I'm just putting a 34 on but the 36 worked much better than a 41 and much much better than a 44 especially for clearance

    A cruiser frame has the most chain stay clearance, then a mountain bike and least of all a road bike- generally at least there may be exceptions.

    good luck
     
    #10 Nashville Kat, Dec 4, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  11. screamthepoetry

    screamthepoetry New Member

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    yeah chain tensioner is off, everything lines up perfect without it and i have plenty of clearance on the chainstay..only problem now is i need a new wheel cause my old one is destroyed beyond repair.. thing is i dont feel comfortable putting any kind of tensioner on it now, it didnt bend my frame or bend or break a bolt... it bent the steel plate of the tensioner straight into my wheel almost killing me.. so yeah im done using anything that can be that dangerous.. straight from sprocket to engine from now on
     
  12. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    Oh and if you get a freewheel wheel instead of a coaster brake, you'd then have to put a long reach brake and lever on it.
     
  13. decoherence

    decoherence New Member

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    i think much of stated chain stretch is a little play in all the different parts.
    it takes a couple retightenings to get everything "set".
    the same play can be used to adjust the tension.
     

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