This is a guide to Single Speed Dropouts and Chain Tensioners.
On a geared bike the rear deraileur keeps the chain tight. On a single speed bike, as you know there is no rear derailuer so we need to find something to keep the chain from becoming loose and bouncing off when you pedal or go over bumps.
There are 3 main ways to accomplish this:
Single Speed dropouts need to have a way to adjust the rear wheel horizontally (as opposed to vertically) so that the chain can have the appropriate amount of tension.
In the image below you se how the rear wheel can be moved forward or back to adjust the chain tension to the correct amount.
An eccentric bottom bracket when rotate in the frame will create more or less tension on the chain.
Looking at the image below you can see how the hole for the cranks is off center, you can imagine the cranks moving forward or backward, thereby adjusting the tension of the chain.
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