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Surly Singleator Chain Tensioner

Item #: RD707Y01
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Surly Singleator Chain Tensioner

Heads up, singlespeeders! If youre trying to convert any recent model bike into a singlespeed, youve probably realized by now that since the dropouts are vertical, there isnt any way to properly tension the chain. Surly comes to the rescue with the Singleator. This handy device mounts to the derailleur hanger and provides proper chain tension in a simple, lightweight package.

  • Tensioner allows use of 1-speed drivetrain on vertical drop frame
  • Mounts to derailleur hanger, self aligning floating pulley
  • Adjustable chain line
  • anti-chain drop hoop
  • This part requires an 18mm Cone wrench to make it work. See the the Surly wrench below. Its the perfect fit. If you are self-installing, make sure to have one on hand. Make sure to read the instructions.
  • Weight: 157 g
4.0 / 5.0
23 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Stars
Good product, but has some faults
I've owned 3 of these over the years, for several singlespeed conversions. On traditional frames that have vertical dropouts, you will need this kind of product to tension your chain. It works great on my mountain bike, even with having an Absolute Black oval chainring! I've NEVER dropped a chain, ever, ever, ever. No matter how gnarly and bouncy the ride gets on my hardtail, the chain stays on. I have mine in the push up orientation, which wraps the chain around the rear freewheel even more, incidentally. The only con I can say is that the springs that are supplied with it, (one is for pushing up, one is for pushing down), are just a bit too fragile. I've had them break on me, due perhaps to fatigue and once with a particularly anger-filled tire change on the trail, in 90-degree temperatures, with 100% humidity, with mosquitoes and deer flies consuming me, and a thunderstorm bearing down on me. Anyway, just recommend treating it a bit more carefully than I did, and know that both Jenson and Surly sell replacement springs for this device, and that you'll maybe need to buy one in the future. Just be sure you get the right one; remember that there are 2 versions, push up and push down. Otherwise, once you've got it dialed in and properly adjusted with a narrow 18mm cone wrench, it will work really well for you. Guys, this is one of those times in life, when you actually do need to read and follow the directions.

PROS: Works well, (once properly installed)

CONS: Springs break too easily

BEST USES: Road Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Singlespeed conversions on vertical dropouts, City Bikes
August 18, 2016
Camillus, NY
Easy peasy
Useful in quick conversion to single-speed without having to buy new wheel, hub, etc.

PROS: Easy To Install, Attractive Design

BEST USES: Mountain Biking, Upgrade
May 3, 2014
Stuttgart, Germany
Don't waste your money
Went through a lot to dial in my singlespeed slopestyle set up and it would've been a lot easier if I started with a cheaper tensioner (ended up with the gusset) . First off the integral spring design is weak and does not provide as much tension as the lever type found on cheaper tensioners. Carrying around a cone wrench to tighten this thing on the trails is just ridiculous. There is also nothing to keep the tensioner from loosening on the hanger even though cheaper tensioners have this feature. The tensioner constantly failed with proper chain length/line and loosened all the time. The only nice part of the tensioner is the big rings that protect the pulley, I pulled them off and put them on my gusset tensioner for a sweet setup that has zero problems.

Bottom line is I wish I spoke to my LBS shop guys before I wasted money as they confirmed all of the same problems I had setting up the bike.

Absolutely did not work in push down configuration on my norco empire 5. Don't waste your money cheaper tensioners work way better! Not a single problem with my gusset

PROS: Easy To Install

CONS: Weak Spring, Bulky
June 18, 2014
I should have bought this the first time
Delivery was free but did take extra time than normal; not sure why.

PROS: Lightweight, Good tension

BEST USES: Road Bikes, Mountain Bikes
July 14, 2016
Decatur, Alabama
Single minded perfection!
Follow the directions and it works perfect!

PROS: Lightweight, Attractive Design, Easy To Install
November 18, 2014
canyon lake, ca
Very nice - Installation is a little tricky - not a problem, but you can't just slap it on. There are others out there that do the same thing, but I went with Surly since I knew this had to be a tried and true design - worth a few extra bucks.

PROS: Gets The Job Done, Durable, Attractive Design

BEST USES: Casual Riding, Road Biking
May 12, 2014
Worcester MASS
Did not perform well...
Did not perform well at all, chain kept popping off every time I was on a slight rocky area. the tension just could not hold and after a while I would have to readjust it for more tension on the chain.
September 1, 2008
Stamford, Ct Usa
Surly singulator AWESOME!!!!!!
I reversed the spring for the singulator to be pushing up on the chain and it works flawlessly. I've been using a standard tensioner most others have been using for years and it skips teeth and bouces around on decents. This one is dead quiet and never skips teeth even on the most grueling climbs (32x18 gearing). I like how the spring is internal and the unit is very nice looking. With the way I'm running this unit, it is almost unnoticable on the bike as it runs close the the bottom triangle rail. I love this thing.
April 25, 2012
Central Illinois
Overall, this is a...
Overall, this is a better deal than a DMR tension seeker 2. It has less parts to deal with. You need an 18mm cone wrench to install, but the Pedro's wrench I bought with this product was too big to fit in the area it needed to go in to. Skip the tensioning mechanism and use a zip tie.
May 16, 2006
Toluca Lake, Ca
the surly is a great...
the surly is a great product for a great price gives the bike a very clean look and a very smooth ride
January 27, 2005
Fonda, Ny United States

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Get free Standard Shipping with your $50 purchase today! Just choose Standard Shipping during checkout.

Please note this offer is only available to physical shipping addresses in the 48 continental United States (no PO Boxes), and oversize charges still apply on some heavy/large items.