Chain Tensioner

Hi All,

I am looking for a low profile chain tensioner for #25 chain. I know there is a design that uses zip ties but I don’t know where to buy it.

Thanks ahead of time.

Check out the WCP Cam tensioner. If that doesn’t work, check out 971’s drivetrain in 2017. They used some sleek chain tensioner that I thought was pretty cool, if anyone has any pictures.

Here is a part from McMaster, I’m not sure if this is what you are looking for.

Here is a tensioner from west coast products

Knowing more about the application might help folks narrow their suggestions to things that could work in your situation…pictures are a big plus…

Attached is the requested picture of our intake wheels where we need the floating tensioner.


I would try to get a plate sprocket in between the two sprockets and allow it to roll, that way it would be very low profile as long as the sprocket would be small enough to not go outside the wheels.
Like in these parts-

Edit: I would try to change the chain run to use two chains instead after looking at the pictures more

Are you able to add a second sprocket to the back wheel shift so you can have two chain runs instead of one? Even after adding a tensioner you’ll still only have a few teeth contacting the chain.

Thank you for the suggestion but the back wheel worked fine at our last regional and we don’t want to plan on making a lot of modification at champs in Detroit.


I like the idea of a floating adjustable sprocket. The problem is it would create another pinch point that we would have to guard.

Ive used everything from pvc to nylon to sprockets, its honestly whatever fits in the space. Just know with softer materials, while it may be convenient for spacing, tend to wear out. So bring spares!


Another way of tensioning it (on the cheap) is to put a zip-tie to tension the chain. zip it just tight enough so that the zip-tie cannot go over the sprocket. You’ll have to watch for wear on the zip-tie and replace it every few matches (before it breaks due to chainsaw effect) but as a quick, down-and-dirty, tensioner, they work great.

We have tried that but the zip ties break fast.

I know there is a chain tensioner that is build specifically for zip ties. It’s a piece of plastic that goes on either side of the chain. It has groves in the back for zip ties to tension it.

If you have a 3D printer this might be a good option to try

That should work. It doesn’t look like they posted the file to 3d print it though.


It doesn’t look to hard to model, if you need help with the CAD PM me and I can work on something if your team can’t figure it out.

I should be able to model it.


There’s also this tensioner from 95 - we used it in 2017 and it worked quite well.

The post linked mentions uhmw and not 3D printing, so if you are 3D printing, your results may not match the replies in that thread.