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TartyBikes RD Hybrid Tensioner

Product code: 14301

$38.70

In stock

TartyBikes RD Hybrid Tensioner

BMX Race / MTB
Trials

Sold out

Updated skid design, and new BMX Race / MTB tensioner now available!

Plan on ditching your snail cams, and just using the RD hybrid Tensioner? You'll need some RD Axle Blockers!

  • Affordable, useful, and durable. The RD range of products!
  • Designed by Tarty Bikes founder Adam Read, and tested by us.
  • All the benefits of a fixed and spring tensioner combined!
Please note: We have made a small change to our manufacturing process. For the updated design, material around the head of the main bolt attaching the skid to the tensioner arm is completely removed. This makes milling this part of the skid much simpler, and more consistent, as well as saving a fraction of weight too! As the main shaft of the pivot bolt is what the skid is supported by, this does not affect the function or performance of the tensioner.

New! The BMX Race / MTB RD Hybrid Tensioner

- The BMX Race / MTB version features the same skid as the Trials version, but with some changes in spring and arm design to better suit these disciplines!
- The BMX Race / MTB tensioner uses a completely new design of arm. Straight, with no bends, the BMX Race arm is designed for narrower chain lines and tighter chain stay clearances.
- The exaggerated 'hook' design of the BMX Race tensioner arm allows the tensioner to sit lower relative to the rear wheel axle, and more inline with the chain stay for reduced tension / drag, and tuck the tensioner neatly underneath the chain stay for better clearance, which is often an issue with current race BMX tensioners.
- A bespoke spring hand made from 2mm stainless steel spoke, with less tension helps to reduce chain friction, and a simple hook design to attach at the nose of the skid makes replacement easy.
- Suitable for use on single speed Mountain Bikes, and any other bike needing a tensioner for single speed use.
-Please note: For trials bikes, we recommend the Trials version of the tensioner, which features a 'thicker' stronger arm, carefully formed to suit trials bike chain lines, and uses a stronger spring for maximum tension.

- Designed by Tarty Bikes founder, Adam Read, with testing and development input from Ben and Charlie.
- The RD Hybrid Tensioner combines the best features of fixed and sprung tensioners! A fixed mounting arm eliminates movement, and the sprung skid maintains a constant chain tension, even if your chain has loose and tight spots - a limitation of sprocket / chainring / freewheel manufacture, and a common gripe with many riders.
- Works with horizontal and vertical dropouts for a wide range of frame compatibility. Please note: The RD Hybrid Tensioner is only compatible with standard 10mm axle hubs or 10mm bolt in hubs, not through axle hubs. If you would like to fit one to a different axle diameter, please get in touch as we have the capability to custom make or expand the options available here.
- Super easy to fit! Our unique 'hook' design mounting arm means you don't even have to remove the wheel to fit the tensioner. A skid plate rather than a pulley wheel makes removing the chain easy if needed, and won't clog up with chain gunk over time. Surprisingly, the skid seems to make a very similar amount of noise to pulley wheels, too.
- Each mounting arm is made from 2mm thick SAE 304 stainless steel, and laser cut right here in Bamber Bridge! The mounting arms feature an etched Tarty Bikes logo, and are bent to shape by us in house. The offset from the inside of the tensioner arm to the centre of the skid channel is approximately 10mm, meaning the distance from the inside face of the dropout on your frame to the centre of your chain should be ~12mm. If you require a mounting arm which offers more or less offset, please let us know the horizontal distance from the inside of the dropout face on your frame to the centre of your chain in the notes when you order, and we can supply a custom offset mounting arm for you instead.
- The RD Hybrid Tensioner skid is made from a car engine timing chain tensioner slider, which we then modify in house to better ensure chain retention. This item is designed to have an engine timing chain to running over it for hundreds of thousands of miles at high speed, which gives it excellent wear resistance! Our prototypes showed no discernible wear at all during testing.
- Channel thickness in the skid is 12mm, meaning the average 3/32" chain will have just over 4mm of 'free' space, allowing the tensioner to cope with varying setups and chain lines.
- The spring is a carefully coiled plain gauge, stainless steel spoke shaped to fit exactly using a custom-made jig created by Adam. Stainless steel spokes are ideal for use as the spring due to their excellent elasticity, and tensile strength. Multiple coils ensures tension is provided through a wide range of angles, without permanently deforming like similar tensioners which use a flat piece of steel.
- Fully rebuildable with basic tools, with all parts of the tensioner held in stock if spares are needed.
- Please note: Modification of the skid, and assembly, is all done in house by us. There may be small marks to the tensioner arm and skid from assembly. Modifications are done by hand using milling tools and, due to the nature of the skid production, no two skids are exactly the same finish.
- Weight: 47.5g (Trials version) / 45.8g (BMX Race version)

Additional Information

Tensioner Compatibility

The RD Hybrid Tensioner is designed to fit as many frames as possible. We have created a general guide on how to fit the RD Hybrid Tensioner. If you need any further advice on fitting, please get in touch.

Below is our guidance for fitting to the most common frame and hub combinations. Important: For certain chain stay length and sprocket combinations, you may need to take links out of the chain, or add a half link before installing the tensioner. You can check if your current chain tension is correct by following this guidance:

With your rear wheel in position, take off any tensioner(s) currently fitted and pull down on the chain at 125mm / 5" from the rear axle. If the angle that the chain makes coming off the rear sprocket is under 20 degrees from horizontal then the RD Hybrid will work well with any size rear sprocket, 20 to 30 degrees is possible with rear sprockets 16T and over. If the angle is over 30 degrees, this product isn't suitable, and you will need a double wheel tensioner to ensure there is enough 'wrap' of the chain around your rear sprocket. You can fit a half link to your chain to shorten it, and achieve the correct sprocket contact angle. We sell half links for 3/32" and 1/8" chains here.

1 - 135mm OLD frames with vertical dropouts: You may need to remove spacers from the drive side of the hub when fitting the tensioner to get the spacing correct. Frames can be flexed in or out slightly to fit if required. If you need hub spacers, we sell them here. For hubs where removal of the drive side spacer is not possible, the end of the axle must sit into the dropout a minimum of half the thickness dropout. If it does not with the tensioner installed, the end cap of the hub may need to be modified, or an alternative spacer used.

2 - 135mm OLD frames with horizontal dropouts: As above. If you are using snail cams, or a BMX style chain tensioner, remove the drive side tensioner, and slide the wheel all the way forward in the dropout before installing the tensioner. You may need to remove any bolts from inside the dropout if snail cams were being used. You can leave the non drive side snail cam in place, or remove it if you choose. If the wheel sits over to the drive side once set all the way forward in the dropouts, you may need to use a snail cam on the non drive side to adjust it straight with the tensioner fitted. You may need to remove spacers from the drive side of the hub when fitting the tensioner to get the spacing correct. Frames can be flexed in or out slightly to fit if required. If you need hub spacers, we sell them here.

3 - 116mm OLD frames with horizontal dropouts: If you are using snail cams, or a BMX style chain tensioner, remove the drive side tensioner, and slide the wheel all the way forward in the dropout before installing the tensioner. You may need to remove any bolts from inside the dropout if snail cams were being used. You can leave the non drive side snail cam in place, or remove it if you choose. If the wheel sits over to the drive side once set all the way forward in the dropouts, you may need to use a snail cam on the non drive side to adjust it straight with the tensioner fitted. You may need to remove spacers from the drive side of the hub when fitting the tensioner to get the spacing correct. Frames can be flexed in or out slightly to fit if required. If you need hub spacers, we sell them here.

4 - 116mm OLD frames with vertical dropouts: These frames usually use a roller tensioner that fits into the drive side chain stay. Make sure that the RD Hybrid Tensioner arm will not interfere with any frame features or welds in this area. You may need to remove spacers from the drive side of the hub when fitting the tensioner to get the spacing correct. Frames can be flexed in or out slightly to fit if required. If you need hub spacers, we sell them here.

Maintenance

The RD Hybrid Tensioner is assembled in house by us using a light Teflon grease in the main pivot, and a small amount of thread locking compound on the main axle nut. We also use a small amount of thread locking compound on the end of the spoke to prevent the nipple working loose. This means your tensioner should run smoothly for hours of riding!

If you do need to service your tensioner, make sure to apply a small amount of grease to the main pivot, and we recommend cleaning off the old thread locking compound from the main pivot, and applying some fresh medium strength (blue) compound before reinstalling. If you remove the spoke nipple holding the spring in place on the skid, make sure to replace this with a new, brass nipple. Do NOT use an aluminium spoke nipple!

We keep stock of all the individual parts of the RD Hybrid Tensioner. If you require a part, please get in touch, and we'll be able to help!

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  • Tel. (UK). 01772 32 33 33
  • Tel. (Intl). 0044 1772 32 33 33

TartyBikes Ltd, Units 3-4, Club Street, Bamber Bridge, Preston, PR5 6FN

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