Author Topic: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?  (Read 1309 times)

Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« on: June 11, 2017, 09:54:41 pm »
Has anyone fitted one of these and can give me a bit of advice. There are instructions on the site but before ordering I found them very confusing (will go back and look again now I have the bit).
The problem is that when fitted using the usual stop on the hanger the tensioner appears to be 180° out. The site says not to try and force the spring and I can't see anyway of reconfiguring the spring. It would work if the stop on the mech was set against the front edge of the hanger (Huret/Simplex pattern) rather than against the derailleur/B screw stop of the hanger (Campag/Shimano style). Doing this will mean filing the front edge of the hanger in my case, which I am not over enthusiastic to do (but will probably be ok if I file a flat and not a notch).

Has anyone else been in this situation and what's the solution? Need the tensioner because I can't "magicgear" the sprockets I would like for off-road with the Alfine8.

Torslanda

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Re: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2017, 10:56:58 pm »
I managed to reconfigure the Planet X version of the same thing so it pushed upwards.

as in this pic...



From memory it looks very similar.

Is there any reason you couldn't use the Alfine tensioner?
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2017, 11:43:43 pm »
IIRC this tensioner is intended to force the chain downwards (not upwards as per the pic on their website) and the correct preload on the spring is between 1/4 and 1/2 turn. So yes, when you bolt it on, the rest position of the arm should be about 8 o'clock or so, and you swing it ACW (thus loading up the spring) before hooking the chain under it.

cheers

IanDG

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Re: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2017, 09:09:14 am »
I've used one, I fitted it as Brucey say's  - jockey wheel on top of the chain, forcing it down.

P9286586 by ian, on Flickr

Re: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2017, 09:39:07 pm »
I managed to reconfigure the Planet X version of the same thing so it pushed upwards.

as in this pic...



From memory it looks very similar.

Is there any reason you couldn't use the Alfine tensioner?

I know that they say it can be modified to an unsprung tensioner pushing up but this doesn't do me any good because I have a 32t ring and if the chain is already tight enough not to touch the chainstay it is tight enough not to need a tensioner (which is not the case with my ideal choice of sprockets).

The Alfine tensioner is muchly fugly which is why I chose the tensioner that I have.

IIRC this tensioner is intended to force the chain downwards (not upwards as per the pic on their website) and the correct preload on the spring is between 1/4 and 1/2 turn. So yes, when you bolt it on, the rest position of the arm should be about 8 o'clock or so, and you swing it ACW (thus loading up the spring) before hooking the chain under it.

cheers


Yes this as I understand it as well, just that mine points to 12o'clock when unloaded and 6 when at max tension.

I've used one, I fitted it as Brucey say's  - jockey wheel on top of the chain, forcing it down.

P9286586 by ian, on Flickr

This is what I want. It  looks like it's the same gear hanger as mine as well but I can't see the pin that stops it turning so it obviously isn't in front. How did you do that, please?

Gonna have to take some photos!!

Torslanda

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Re: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2017, 09:53:36 pm »
The one I get from my wholesaler fits exactly as Windy's pic. I'll be in St. Meard on Sunday evening. Should I bring one with me?
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

IanDG

  • The p*** artist formerly known as 'Windy'
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Re: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2017, 10:22:56 pm »
IIRC, there was a prt of the spring that sticks out and sits behind the gear hanger and creates the tension

Re: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2017, 11:31:24 am »
FWIW it is usually possible to modify both rear mechs and chain tensioners by drilling a different spring anchor hole in the aluminium body part.   Provided the pivot can be disassembled OK, actually drilling the hole isn't difficult.

This means that if the external spring mounting can't be moved, you can still vary the spring tension/mechanism position to suit some special need.

cheers

Re: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2017, 05:59:06 pm »
The one I get from my wholesaler fits exactly as Windy's pic. I'll be in St. Meard on Sunday evening. Should I bring one with me?


Yes please, if only to compare and see why I am such a wally!
IIRC, there was a prt of the spring that sticks out and sits behind the gear hanger and creates the tension

Mine actually has a separate pin that does this. If it was the end of the spring it would probably not far off right, but the spring doesn't stick through the part with the holes, just sits flush. The locating pin is what bugs me. However looking at your photo the pin that locates must be in about the same place as on mine. It's just the spring positioning that appears to be wrong.
FWIW it is usually possible to modify both rear mechs and chain tensioners by drilling a different spring anchor hole in the aluminium body part.   Provided the pivot can be disassembled OK, actually drilling the hole isn't difficult.

This means that if the external spring mounting can't be moved, you can still vary the spring tension/mechanism position to suit some special need.

cheers


This has occurred to me; it's dead easy to pull apart. Just a case of getting my head round where to put the hole and finding a drill that is presentable. I don't know how hard the locating washer is, it might be easier to drill.

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
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Re: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2017, 10:24:35 pm »
YHPM
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2017, 08:47:19 pm »
Just to give what I hope will be the final solution of this problem. There is in fact a third hole which was not used and not even completely drilled out. This hole is in line with the head (blind end) of the circlips that holds the device together. Cleaning it out with a 2mm drillbit made it useable but the tang of the spring poked through (which would have made it  very difficult to fit the circlips and even more difficult to remove it if need be later). Cue mini bolt croppers to shorten the tang.
The tensioner now sits not at Brucey's 8o'clock position but closer to 7o'clock. I will fit it up properly with a 21t sprocket and test it this w-e.

Re: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2019, 10:24:47 pm »
A quick update to this thread to say that after quite a while with a very reliable chain tensioner I have just had a mishap. In view of the project to go back on the road I have pt the mtb back together (with cable discs front and back). In order to get to the gearing for road use I changed the sprocket from 21 to 18. Tuesday evening I had not yet changed the chainring and lengthened the chain when I took the bike out to go to the monthly club meeting. On the way there the tensioner was a bit noisy, but I thought with the extra slack in the chain the pulley isn't lining up so well. On the return the noise stopped, followed immediately by a skipping chain. Inspection showed the pulley was missing. That means it unscrewed itself in under 3kms (from the moment I changed the sprocket). Scary that it should do it so quickly. I looked but didn't find the old pulley, nor its bolt.

I have now fixed in a replacement pulley. The problem can arise because the rotation of the pulley is anti-clockwise and obviously a suble misalignment was sufficient to create the drag that unscrewed the fixing screw. To help things the new pulley has had its bolt loctited with Loctite 271, the strong thread locker. What it really needs is a lh thread but no chance of organising that.

A little warning to others with this sort of tensioner, a bit of loctite on that bolt that holds the pulley  may help to make it secure. Also pay attention to strange noises emanating from the back of the bike. :)

Re: Velosolo chain tensioner - anyone fitted one?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2019, 07:32:58 am »
that was somewhat unfortunate!  An upwards pushing tensioner wouldn't have the same issue.

FWIW it is possible to make a tensioner that works the same (downwards pushing) way but doesn't have self-unscrewing tendencies even when fitted with RH threaded bolts; however it requires a bracket that loops around the pulley and  has an M5 screw that goes from right to left in it.

It won't have escaped the notice of anyone who has overhauled derailleurs of different vintages that most older mechs had two pulley bolts running from right to left and newer ones usually have the tension  (lower) pulley secured in the same way (i.e. with a bolt running right to left) but the guide (upper) pulley is more likely to be secured with a bolt running from left to right; the reason for this change is surely so that the bolts don't tend to unscrew should the pulley bushes start to bind slightly. With the 'new' arrangement if the bolts are spun in the same direction as the pulleys turn, they self-tighten.  With the older mech design it wasn't that unusual to see a mech that had shed the guide pulley; however it required that the pulley was binding and/or the bolt was never properly tightened.

cheers