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Old 05-06-2010, 11:45 AM   #1
7808
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Default skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

ive been building a extra long and low 650 for a while and my chain run is long and the back wheel wont be able to be adjusted much so i need a tensioner

ive been back n forth between building or buying, skate wheel or sprocket and need to get it done. whats best ? pros and cons?

first i thought a sprocket would be better and smoother, but then i read about it and it seems a skate wheel might be the way to go - cheap to replace, if it siezes up its not going to stop the chain, im told once it wears the grooves in and is riding on the rollers of the chain, its smooth and quiet and lasts a long time

and i never see any big bike manufacturers use a sprocket, only pads or rollers, must be a reason?

ive read/been told a few places that those spring loaded tensioners like monstercraftsman makes.. dont really work, and that idealy the mount should be solid with only a little give from mostly compressed springs for example

Last edited by 7808; 05-06-2010 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I agree with the direction you are headed. a compressible spring would be IMO the way to go. I have never seen a setup like that but it seems simple enough to execute. I definitely think a skate wheel is the way to go. As I have written before, higher abec rated bearings will provide a smoother quieter operation and ultimately will outlast cheaper ones. as for the wheel, the harder the urethane, the longer the life. I see a lot of "old school" wheels being used and they are just to soft to last
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

take a link or two out of the chain to give yourself some adjustment.

i made a tensioner with a skate wheel once (i dont have pictures any more). It worked very well because i used a very heavy-duty hairpin style spring from a VW Beetle decklid. It was very rugged and the wheel broke in very nicely. that was 4 or 5 years ago and its still on the road with no problems.

with that said...

if i had to do it again, I would make it solid mount to redirect the chain to clear any frame parts and oil tanks that might be in the way... Tensioners are used on swing arm bikes like motocross bikes that have a lot of travel to take up the slack of the chain. The swing arm can move so much that the chain tension is changed tremendously. On a hardtail bike you dont have this problem. once you set the chain tension, it should stay that tight... with the exception of the chain stretching and breaking in a little. All you need is minor adjustments from time to time. I feel like if you have a tensioner on a hardtail bike, you are just giving the chain an opportunity to have slack somewhere else. even sprung/tensioned slack. When you are hitting the gears hard, the chain is still going to slap around a little.

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Old 05-06-2010, 12:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I went that route cause the chain was eating a hole in my oil tank. $20 skateboard at W-mart and I have 4 wheels. I made a bracket out of 3/4" square tubing and mounted it under the seat area (returning to trans). did a quick job ( this was to see what the noise was...the chain hitting the oil tank). Just got back from a 90+ mile ride this weekend, the wheel has a slight grove (bad alignment on my part), but NO problems ...and better yet NO banking into my oil tank.

Last edited by Rob Axel; 05-06-2010 at 12:26 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

also, I went with the hard/fixed mount. no spring used. I wasn't sure regarding spring tension... to much, stretch the chain and put added stress on the bearings...not enough...same problem...banking into my oil tank...
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

cool this helps. i can get to building somthing now. u guys saying i should go with a harder compound for a wheel?

i did a little research, they have a rating system on skate wheels and they seem common to range from 87a to 101a 101 being harder and used on indoor floors, softer for street so little rocks n stuff "bouce out" of the wheel, and roller skate wheels are actually nice and wide compared to skate boards
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:55 PM   #7
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:56 PM   #8
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I'd like to see a belt tensioner from a car or truck modified for a chain tension-er. Although I'm sure it has been done.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

SEARCH
"chain tensioner"
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

yeah, its definitely been covered... but while we are on topic I have 3 things to say...

1. (and I dont think this has been covered) a compressable spring rather than scisor style would be rad, efficient, and work well

2. you want a 95-101 durometer wheel and in my opinion at least abec 7 bearings

3. the tensioner will work better in the long run ( on stressed members) mounted on the lead (bottom) rails. even though there is a push pull effect, the initial stress from the pull on a rigid mount puts an asymmetrical force on your rear frame tube... every time you have an aggressive start the slack will tighten against the mount and cause unneeded forces to the entire setup.
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

If you insist on putting it up top why dont you just put it closer to the oil tank and barely touch the chain. That will keep it from rapping the bottom of the tank just fine.
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I always wonder why I see tensioners on the top? how many bikes have slack on the top when running? (none) It has to wear out the tension wheel, be it a skate wheel, Delrin, steel sprocket etc........it drives me nuts to see it like this
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I recommend slimeballs if anything.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I fought with this for months before just using a skateboard wheel as a solid rubbing block. That's right not turning and it works great. The spring loaded sprocket tensioner was loud as hell and made my tranny feel like it had all kinds of slack in it when downshifting. I think a skateboard wheel is the way to go because like you said, if the bearing fails then the chain just glides across and nothing gets broken on the bike or you!! But like stated above I can't see putting one on the top.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

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Originally Posted by jcarter78 View Post
I recommend slimeballs if anything.
i prefer bullets....

few i've made



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Old 05-06-2010, 09:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I've been using these for a while and they work good.
American made too.
http://lbvengchaintensioners.com

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Old 05-07-2010, 06:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

check out my website and look at the jawa

did it a while ago before it was a trend ,i needed to to clear the frame
made a rigid mount on my hardtailsection
mounted the wheel with a "bridge" that holds the chain on it

works perfectly
maybe not the best looking ever ,but hey i had only two weeks to build the complete bike incl. engine overhauling !!
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

i checked out the jawa, i cant see maybe, is it even adjustable?

i didnt know it was a trend, i thought some people it was nessisary like my setup, i wouldnt be wasting my time if i didnt need one for clearance

after 2 skate shops i finally had to go into a roller rink's shop to find actual roller skate wheels, and they look like the ideal size and width, and luckily the cheap ones were even a good hardness (96a i think) because you have to buy a set of 8 , went back to the skate board shop to buy bearings though otherwise you get stuck buying 16 bearings at the roller rink. i got 8 x abec 5 bearings at the board shop for $11

does anyone have one of those spring loaded ones like picture above with the bullet wheel? just wondering if they just use bronze bushings or what for the pivot point that would be always moving a little

Last edited by 7808; 05-07-2010 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:33 AM   #20
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

heres a couple pics of the one cgcyclewerks made for me

this one ended up being alter a little bit tab holding spring needed to be a little longer
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:20 AM   #21
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

thats very similar to what i have in mind
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:25 PM   #22
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

You mentioned Monstercraftsman , they make the tensioner spring loaded so when you change gears it will move with the chain. They also have a skate wheel or sproket. I went to the web page and was impressed with the video of how it works. Lowbrow sells them.
Good luck
Larry
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:29 PM   #23
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

Made this one


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Old 05-08-2010, 03:38 PM   #24
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I just bought the monstercraftsman weld on spring tensioner with the sprocket.Its a real well made piece and looks real good. Im gonna go down to my shop and work on welding it on. Ill post some pics when im done.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:40 PM   #25
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 79vette View Post
You mentioned Monstercraftsman , they make the tensioner spring loaded so when you change gears it will move with the chain. They also have a skate wheel or sproket. I went to the web page and was impressed with the video of how it works. Lowbrow sells them.
Good luck
Larry
Yeah, good luck..............
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:54 PM   #26
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

"Does anyone have one of those spring loaded ones like picture above with the bullet wheel? just wondering if they just use bronze bushings or what for the pivot point that would be always moving a little"

+

"i got 8 x abec 5 bearings at the board shop for $11"

=

you answered your own question....
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:55 PM   #27
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I got mine from scotto 93,here on this board. Mine is a sprocket with a scissor spring.Was easy to install and verry well made. I installed it on the bike and so far I can't complain about anything. I have not riden the bike verry long but for the 2 or 3 mile maiden voyage it's been quiet and flawless.I like it.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:46 PM   #28
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I'm using aggressive skate wheel seeing that they are flatter and made for more abuse aggressivemall.com you can buy 4 for 20 to 30 dollars and some ceramic bearings for the same and not have bearing trouble seeing that the ceramic are almost indestructible and are the equivalent to a abec 13
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:02 PM   #29
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

i used a long bord wheel becouse there a little wider just food for thought
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:08 AM   #30
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

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Made this one


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Old 05-09-2010, 12:36 AM   #31
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

any one have an old Zorlac zombu laying around!!???

that would be rad!

those things were like 65mm and 101a!
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:44 AM   #32
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by choppwatchagot View Post
i used a long bord wheel becouse there a little wider just food for thought
i looked at those too, but they only seem to come in really soft , i grabbed one and sqeezed it and it deformed, hows it holdin up ?

roller skate wheel seemed to be the best combo of price width and hardness
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:02 PM   #33
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

Skateboard wheel is the way to go!
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:30 PM   #34
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I have 150 or so miles on a soft rubber wheel......like squishy soft, and there seems to be NO wear on it yet. How much does hardness really matter? Got that setup at Tractor Supply Company for about $10.
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:19 AM   #35
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 79vette View Post
You mentioned Monstercraftsman , they make the tensioner spring loaded so when you change gears it will move with the chain. They also have a skate wheel or sproket. I went to the web page and was impressed with the video of how it works. Lowbrow sells them.
Good luck
Larry
i know Jon (the guy from there) as he doesnt live far from me......

he for sure builds some QUALITY stuff........

this is the VERY FIRST one he built for Ironheads.....he did all the R&D and fitment for them on my bike





it's shown again on the monstercraftsman.com site under videos.....

the video on the bottom center of the page is my bike
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:04 AM   #36
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I didn't have much luck with my monstercraftsman tensioner mainly because the spring was too weak. I'll say one thing about Jon though, he really does check in on his customers. In fact he offered to provide me with a stouter spring but I just decided to go another route. He really did seem concerned about treating me right.
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:09 PM   #37
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

ending up making one with a skate wheel.. roller skate wheel! they come in the same hardnesses as skateboard, but there wider
roller skate left standard skate board right, roller skate wheel is probly the same size as those powell bones wheels i couldnt find locally but the roller skate wheels come in a 8 pack and are pretty cheap, there also 97 or 95 hardness

not done yet, made an adjustable mount for the other end of the spring that will be welded to the frame it has a cup that threads up and down to push the spring harder, i might mess with differnt hardness of springs so i can get a real hard one that i will just set and it wont abosrb much shock but this one is pretty stiff, and worst case it will fully compress unlike a torsion spring which can always go around some more with enough pressure

kinda big and overly complicated probly but i was half drunk when i made it
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:27 PM   #38
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

i really need to try this before my frame gets eaten.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:58 AM   #39
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

Seems like everyone has the same thought that this has to be spring loaded and under tension.....Mine is in a fixed position, such as a pulley. I changed the position so the chain has straight line and closer to the oil bag...since the reason I put it there was to keep it from eating the bottom..
Put a good 200+ miles on it.,...so far so good.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:16 AM   #40
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

Dam I need that,the old sporty has a bolt on hardtail that changes the the bike enough that the chain is trying to saw the oiltank in half!
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:15 PM   #41
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

tensioner i made for my extended swingarm iron head 136 link chain. did not like that there was no spacer between the skate board wheel bearings and allowed wheel to cock. pivot is on bronze bushings and hardened shoulder bolt
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:05 PM   #42
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

Anyone ever seen one set up like the plunger rear ends? Seems like that would give you even resistance and you could run a good solid spring in it. Maybe a valve spring out of an old V8 or something. Might have to make a drawing of what im talking about, unless it happens to make sense to you guys already. Just seems like it would work well and I have never seen it done.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:23 AM   #43
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

skate wheels look awesome
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:15 AM   #44
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I plan to go the sprocket route, just ordered one of these the other day for $8.49 + shipping http://www.agrisupply.com/product.asp?pn=18301

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Old 09-14-2010, 09:43 AM   #45
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

The only bit I wanted to add is that wheel hardness is measured in "durometers" (doo-raw-miters) which is measured with a loaded dial gauge. Also they measure diameter size in millimeters, from about 55 to 75. So when you walk into that skateboard shop and your looking at a hundred candy colored wheels, you can tell the skate-rat behind the counter "I'm looking for a 65mm wheel in 100 durometer" and not get "the look".
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:34 AM   #46
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

This is the only thing you need and its the best in the buisness by far.

http://troyfabrication.wordpress.com/chain-tensioner/
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:35 PM   #47
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

My buddy is using a sprocket for his tensioner, it works perfectly with his super long chain (monted on the bottom)... you can use a wheel or a sprocket. A wheel can wear out though while a sprocket never really will. I have a 4-inch hard tail and I don't bother
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:32 AM   #48
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

Im def gettin' the one from MonsterCraftsman.... they look awesome..run awesome(seen'em on a buddy's chop) and are reasonabley priced IMO...

key is to keep an eye on the wheel bearing tightness..over tightened nut will slow the wheel..causing chain to dig....a free rolling wheel stays pimp forever...

plus..its all about the Powell re-issues man!!

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Old 03-30-2011, 03:51 AM   #49
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

on my little custom i used a cam timing chain shoe from a small ford engine slightly visible in the red ring,springloaded using a similar spring used in clothline clips (name??) works great and the quality is perfect= no wear
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:01 PM   #50
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

key is to keep an eye on the wheel bearing tightness..over tightened nut will slow the wheel..causing chain to dig....a free rolling wheel stays pimp forever...


Get a bearing spacer. It goes on the inside between the two bearings. I don't know if anybody uses them anymore (for skating) but they are there for a reason. That way you can get that sucker good and tight and there should not be any resistance and let the bearings spin the way they're supposed to. From the inside out should be washer/bearing/spacer/bearing/washer/nylon lock nut. And stay away from any wheels off a pair of fruit boots. Dead give away right there.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:31 PM   #51
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

Making a tensioner seems like a lot of work and kind of sketchy, especially when taking a link out is so easy. Find the half link take it off the bike, then take a nail and pound the pin out with a hammer. Would take all of 10 minutes.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:06 AM   #52
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

I have a half link installed, that is not the problem...these tensioners are needed because of added length between the transmission and rear wheel sprocket. This in turn requires a longer length chain, in order to keep the chain from "bouncing" and striking a chain guard or a oil tank the chain needs to be rather "tight" but not to tight. I was able to tighten my chain and eliminate the "bounce" but I felt uneasy about how much tension I was putting on the bearings in the transmission and rear wheel. My chain has minor bounce, but it is still enough to slap the bottom of my oil tank. Maybe I should just remove the section of tank and epoxy in a piece of tensioner ....
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:28 AM   #53
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

tensioner works well
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:35 AM   #54
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bp131 View Post
Get a bearing spacer. It goes on the inside between the two bearings. I don't know if anybody uses them anymore (for skating) but they are there for a reason. That way you can get that sucker good and tight and there should not be any resistance and let the bearings spin the way they're supposed to. From the inside out should be washer/bearing/spacer/bearing/washer/nylon lock nut.
I cant believe youre the first one to say that. Thank you. If you guy insist on using a skateboard wheel please do use a bearing spacer so you can acually tighten the inner race to each other, & tighten the nut on axle tight.

If you arent running it set up correctly, which is normally for flippy boards, but slalom, or speed boarding....you learn how to set stuff up to work & last....when barely snug youre axle nut, it slows the wheel, that becuase youre smushing the bearing & applying sideload. Use an Axle spacer (steel, not alum) & you can correctly tighten you bearings, the wheel spins correctly, all the time.

Otherwise the bearings will wear the seats in the wheels, the bearing themselves will wear, & the inner race of bearing is spinning on the axle as well.

Look at Abec11 Wheels, or 3DM wheels if you want a real wheel thats not on the level of a kid toy. Also look at the Built in Bearing on the Abec11 site, they have the spacers built in the the bearing......



All that being said.......I like sprockets best. I like a large bolt/axle if its going to be supported from one side only. Skateboard axle is 8mm, not real big. I like big bearings, & I like the look of a sprocket.

They have 530 sprockets loaded with bearings at Tractor Supply for $15.00, they have 1/2" or 5/8" inner dia, so you can buy a sleeve to run anysize under that for your support bolt/axle.

Heres my last one. If it makes you feel better the spring is from Seismic skate truck. The tension on mine is adjustable from the bottom seat. I have my choice of 6 different spring rates as well.

The part that say made in usa is part of an old meat grinder handle.



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Old 03-31-2011, 12:26 PM   #55
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

bozi that shit is rad! i want one like that for my trump!
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:09 PM   #56
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

If you want to see what I think is one of the best skate wheel tensioners you should check out supercroutons build here. He will make you one if you like as he has them advertised on his website.

Check out this thread #92

http://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/s...8210&showall=1

Cheers Dan.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:31 PM   #57
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Default Re: skate wheel or sprocket tensioner?

Nice piece like the work and it is unique....Yeah, Dan builds nice stuff. he has a attention to detail that most people forget about
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