Recommended singlespeed chain tensioners for 142x12 frame?


Well-Known Member
I'm looking to dabble in gravel/cx singlespeeding in addition to my already purpose-built SS MTB but I'm not sure what's the best approach for chain tensioning since it's a thru axle and my DMR STS tensioner won't work without a QR setup. Unfortunately unless someone is looking to buy a gravel/cx frameset or a swap for a sliding dropout frame I'm forced to riding what I've got, which isn't bad since it's versatile enough for everything I do away from the MTB.

142x12 thru axle rear
Currently running SRAM 950 GXP crankset on a threaded 68mm shell. Can be used as a DM or 110BCD so chainline is flexible somewhat to work with whatever tensioner I decide.
I have a 40t oval direct mount ring used for cx racing so a BB mounted tensioner won't work in that situation but I'm not ruling it out since likely I'll be racing 1x11 in most cases and getting a new chainring for gravel riding.

Surly Singulator or one of the generic single arm, spring-loaded ones that mount to the hanger
Paul Melvin
Rohloff XC
Blackspire Stinger

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Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I have a paul Melvin used a couple rides with a couple sprockets with the wide base . Will sell cheap if intrested

Karate Monkey

Well-Known Member
If the chainline works for you, the Shimano Alfine tensioner is also a possibility. It is narrow, iirc. The Melvin is a much more adjustable, much more expensive version of the same thing.

You could also use an old, light, short cage road derailleur. They are designed to have variable chain line, after all.


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the input all! Holding off on everything right now and sticking to a geared gravel setup but good stuff to consider in the future.