Paul Melvin Chain Tensioner
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The Melvin bolts to the frame where the derailleur would normally go and allows the use of a single speed rear wheel on bikes with vertical dropouts.
Vertical dropouts have the slot for the hub axle going up and down. This keeps the wheel at a certain distance from the cranks, but nine times out of ten though it doesn't put the wheel in the right spot for a single speed wheel and the chain is too tight or too loose. The Melvin takes care of the chain tension and lets you run a single speed wheel on almost any frame with a derailleur hanger.
The mounting pivot has spacers that can be arranged to adjust the chainline. The Melvin works best, of course, with our hubs, but the chainline spacers allow it to work with most other hubs too. In addition to the pivot spacers, the pulleys have side to side float to fine tune the chain-line. The pulleys are machined aluminum and have their own sealed bearings for durability.
The aluminum pulleys are 2.25mm thick at the tooth, which should fit inside narrow multi-speed chains, but the pulley cage is wide enough to allow 1/8" single speed chains too.
Upgrade kits are available to retrofit older Melvins with the new sealed bearing pulleys.
There are other chain tensioners out there but only the Melvin uses two pulleys which give it chain wrap. One of the coolest things about the Melvin is that it works with multiple front chain rings while maintaining proper chain tension. Of course this is no longer a single speed, but can be very handy for loaded commuting. Because we use two pulleys, chain rings with a maximum difference of twenty teeth can be used up front.
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