Promax C-2 Chain Tensioners
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The new year always brings some new gear. Some of the most anticipated offerings come from Box Components and Promax. I know that I have spent a fair amount of time perusing the promo materials in the hotel room at Grands. While items have been trickling into our favorite retailers few have actually purchased the new wares.

So, recently I was placing an order for some parts and thought I would order a set of the Promax C-2 chain tensioners for my trail/practice bike. Since it is a mid-90s Dyno I knew that they may or may not work on it. Well, they didn't work on it. The issue seems to be that the notches on both the body and clamp are cut for aluminum frames, not chromoly. This presented several issues.

First, it was next to impossible to keep the whole thing lined up long enough to get it tightend. Second, whenever I tightend the nut down to more than finger tight it tended to slip off the ends of the dropouts. Lastly, the alignment groove on the body was significantly thicker than the material of my frame dropouts, so cranking on the axle nuts didn't actually tighten them against the frame, just the chain tensioner.
I'm not blaming Promax for the issues above. Do I wish they would make some changes to accomodate older frames? Sure. Do I really believe they will do it? Probably not, and rightly so. Nobody is in business to make new parts for old, out of production bikes. Collecter bikes, maybe, but not daily riders. These were not made for my bike, fair enough. Just keep that in mind if you were thinking about buying a set for an older bike.

Now a couple of issues that I have with them outside of my personal quandry. I hate (yes, I know a strong word there) tensioners that have a nut on the end instead of an allen bolt. Come on Promax, really? That just screams cheap. Most parts on race bikes these days use allen heads so it's not like riders don't carry them. The C-1s have them. I know that would change the design, but I think it would make it work better.

Second, the tension part just wobbles around. Really a big pain when trying to install the wheel. You're trying to align the body, hit the dropouts and keep this slinky like tension plate where it needs to be. Not sure what would be a good solution on this, but that was aggrevating.

Are they a bad product? No, I wouldn't say that. I think if you really want a set of tensioners at an almost ridiulously low price, these may work for you. I don't think they look great, but they don't look bad. They don't feel cheaply made, although I wouldn't rank them with the Answer, Sinz or Kingstar tensioners I have used before. They are pretty simple, no frills bike parts. I don't want to beat them up due only to my experience, as I should have done some more research before purchasing. My rating would be a 3 out of 5.

March 12, 2013