The *BEST* Solution for "THE" tensioner/pulley

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by longhorn6, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. longhorn6

    longhorn6 New Member

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    GET RID OF IT !!!!!!!! THROW IT IN THE GARBAGE !!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, so i had sooooo many problems with my tensioner. Was also really loose still. So I brought my bike to my local bike shop and they said jus get rid of it ;) Could it be that simple i pondered to myself?? YES IT IS !!! i took it off (or they did LOL) and we shortened the chain and (Ur technically not supposed to do this BUT I have had no problems with doing this) FORCE Fed the chain onto the sprocket.

    With the end result of it riding sooooo smooth and working properly SO jus ditch the tensioner LOL THAT EASY
     
  2. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    amen. you've seen the light.
     
  3. 2door

    2door Moderator
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  4. Techbiker

    Techbiker New Member

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    Why is the tensioner required anyway?

    I'm going to install my bike kit this weekend so I was wondering if I should just not install the tensioner and shorten the chain. What are the downsides to this?
     
  5. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    The chain will stretch. But can be run with out the tensioner later on.

    LOL Tom, I can hear you screaming from here. (Tom and I have differing views on this)
     
  6. Techbiker

    Techbiker New Member

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    Should I go ahead and install the tensioner, let the chain stretch and then remove the tensioner later if it's annoying?
     
  7. Kevlarr

    Kevlarr New Member

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    Lets put it this way, even though I have more miles without my tensioner then with it I wouldn't recommend that anyone install their first kit without one. Consider the tensioner as training wheels for your chain.

    Once you get a little more familiar with your bike and build, know for a fact that your sprocket is on truer then true then there shouldn't be any problem with removing the tensioner.
     
  8. Techbiker

    Techbiker New Member

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    I think that I understand. The tensioner is actually used as a type of chain guide.

    Would it be safe to remove it if I use Andy's tophat adapter on my rear disc mount and have the engine perfectly lined up with the rear sprocket? It should be perfectly true unless there is a defect in the engine sprocket.
     
  9. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    kevlarr, i disagree. i've read thread after thread of new guys having problems with the tensioner, and IF your style of bike allows you to run without it, go for it.

    as far as chain stretch goes, it's mostly your sprockets seating in, especially with CNC'd aluminum ones, not the actual chain "stretching."

    mostly.

    and new builders should make sure their chain alignment is true before even firing up the motor. then we wouldn't have 3 or 4 threads a day about chains falling off, spokes breaking, wheels slipping...

    the drivetrain is the most important part of the build, and shouldn't be band-aided with a cheap tensioner. if you have to use it, use it right.

    the end.
     
  10. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Okay, let me reiterate what I've said before.
    Yes. You can run without a chain tensioner...BUT! Assure that the chain alignment and tension is PERFECT...otherwise you run the risk of derailing the chain at the rear sprocket and if you do it will probably be at a speed that could spell disaster for your rear wheel, spokes and possibly your head. Yes, motorcycles do not use a tensioner or a tensioner wheel. What we are riding are not motorcycles designed or built in a factory by experienced designers and builders. Our engines, sprockets and rear wheels are not installed to the critical alignment standards used in motorcycle factories. Our bikes are built in home garages, workshops and driveways by novice hobbiest in many instances who have a limited knowledge of essential mechaincal and engineering practice.
    The tensioner serves two purposes. One is to keep the chain at a set tension and the other is to help align or guide the chain onto the rear sprocket. If you run without a tensioner and your chain alignment and tension is not right on, then you run the risk of the chain swaying and disengaging (derailing) at the rear sprocket far more than you would if there was a tensioner to make up for the misalignment that too many people build into their installs. Yes, the tensioner can be and often is a source of trouble with many first time builds. That is primarily due to the tensioner not being installed correctly. This is because the installation manuals provided with ALL kits do not address the need to align (bend) the tensioner bracket so it aligns the tensioner wheel with the chain path. Installed as per the instructions, the tensioner bracket will align the tensioner wheel with the chain stay, frame, not the chain. Because most chainstays are not parrallel with the wheel/sprocket/chain it will drag the chain at an angle to the chain path instead of running true with the chain. This cultivates all kinds of issues; noise, chain derailing, tensioner wheel wear etc. In addition the tensioner bracket has the potential of loosening under load and rotating into the rear spokes with the same results as described above with no tensioner. There has been a lot of controversy regarding drilling a small hole in the chain stay and tensioner bracket and installing a screw to prevent the bracket from moving after is has been properly twisted (bent) to achieve the alignment required. To my knowledge there is not one instance of bike frame failure due to this. Many have warned against it but their warnings are based on conjecture and theory, not fact. If there is anyone who can provide photographic evidence to the contrary, please post them here so I can see conclusive evidence of frame failure due to drilling. Tensioner problems are almost exclusively due to them not being installed correctly. I blame the kit suppliers for this because it is a universal problem which no one seems to address and has caused more problems for the new comer than any other one feature of the Chinese 2 stroke, in-frame engine kits. Let me again repeat: Yes, you can safely operate your motorized bicycle without a chain tensioner. But, if you elect to do so make sure that you understand the elements necessary to achieve perfect chain/sprocket alignment and chain tension. Those who run without a tensioner are experienced, mechanically inclined people who understand the issues involved. The tensioner, correctly installed will allow the new comer, first time builder, the mechanically challenged to enjoy their new hobby without the threat of the chain coming off and wrapping around the rear sprocket which they will quickly learn is the most effective brake ever invented. Whew! How many times have I typed this?
    Still love ya, Dan :)

    Tom
     
  11. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Love you more Tom Sir!
     
  12. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Always wanted to ask, have you ever ran a MB with out a tensioner? Just askin' really have never had a problem not using them
     
  13. fall_down_stand_up

    fall_down_stand_up New Member

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    Me personaly love my factory chain tensioner....It makes taking the back tire off easier becouse you have alot of extra chain slack,it also helps to guide my chain and when my chain does stretch I just ajust the tensioner....
    I dont see how so many people have had problems with the tentioner....My factory tensioners have never let me down and thats including when I had the old tentioner without the bearings.....End of story....
    John-John
     
  14. DVBikes

    DVBikes New Member

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    wow this is actually sweet, cause my tensioner has been nothing but a pain in the ass, NO matter what i do i cannot line it up(chain idler that is) and thaTS WHAT IVE BEEN PLANNING TO DO TO MY BIKE AND TRY IT. Even though its my first build that really been my only on going problem. Im pretty sure my sprockets are aligned but my idler is trashed now so i havent been able to ride. I plan on using a different chain to shorten.(Gasbikes. com) doesent really give a rats ass about there customers.
     
  15. meatwad

    meatwad New Member

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    Here's the real deal. It's not a tensioner. Shouldn't be called one. Its a guide. Tensioners are for bikes with rear suspensions that have a large distance from the front sprocket to the swingarm pivot which effectively makes the chain different lengths at different angles of the swingarm. Even then it's purpose was not to put any kind of load on the chain but to take up the slack that would otherwise cause the chain to come off. In the old days dirt bikes had so little travel in the rear that they didn't need them.

    If one can shorten the chain as you did that is the best way to go. However the reason it is sometimes necessary to use the guide is not because of the chain length or the desire to "tension" the chain (which in fact it shouldn't be), it is due to the style of the chainstays one has on their bicycle.

    The guide when properly used is to route the chain above the chainstay of the bike to a point where it can drop down at an angle as to not interfere with the chainstay.

    Take my elgin for example. No ammount of chain breaking or lengthing would do the trick. The problem was the angle of the chainstay in relationship to the position of the motor. The solution is to use a guide or mount the engine as high as possible. In my bikes case the engine can not be put up high enough to make the chain clear the chainstay.

    IOW one frame might need to use one while another may not . It's all about the frame.

    I suppose however one could use the guide to take out the slack that comes with chain wear .

    It may be of some use to note that the smaller the rear sprocket the less chance of this kind of interference .
     
  16. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    Here's my question- If you can't get the tensioner/guide to work properly, how are you going to get the chain to "work" properly??

    Luck? Maybe.

    What I am saying is if you can't make the tensioner work, you aren't generally going to be able to size a chain, properly tension it, and keep it that way.

    It's not as simple as just removing the tensioner and riding away. If it was, they would save the .25 cents it takes to supply each kit with one.
     
  17. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

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    I agree that it's better to NOT use the tensioner, if you look on my website, many of my bikes are that way, but on many bikes you simply don't have any choice; you must use it!
    Many frames like the Schwinn Jaguar, don't have any adjustment for the rear wheel, 1/2 links dont always get the tension perfect, & shimming the engine every time the chain stretches is a pain in the arss!!!
     
    #17 Venice Motor Bikes, Nov 2, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  18. Humsuckler

    Humsuckler New Member

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    in all honesty, you should learn how to use the tentioner properly,
    #1, dont even think the wheel will stay put "adjusted" to the top of the slot. i have tried many times to tighten my chain this way and decelleration only pulls it back down.
    #2, drilling the frame isnt a great idea either! mentioned above being in mind, the right way to tighten your chain is to slide the tentioner back closer to the sproket!
    #3, you probley will need to "twist" it like tom explains (2door) you may not.

    #4, the chain tentioner only gives problems if you install it wrong, in other words bolt it in place and expect to to work,

    i set my last one up as i told you above, and adjusted it back once and have over 800 kms on it in the last month without a problem
     
  19. meatwad

    meatwad New Member

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    It's not as simple as just removing the tensioner and riding away. If it was, they would save the .25 cents it takes to supply each kit with one.[/QUOTE]


    I suspect that if the kit did not come with this device, a good number of people would complain to the supplier that the chain they sent was too long. After all the selling point of these kits is often that it can be put on a bike in a few hours with simple tools. Better to send a garage door opener guide than a chainbreaker.
     
  20. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    y'know, you could put a chain tensioner on the pedal side, instead. they actually make high quality parts for that...
     

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