written by J.V. Nixon
Established in 1994, Yess Products is a full fledged Aluminum bicycle frame and parts manufacturing company. Having the experience of frame building for the last decade, Yess Products has continually evolved and matured to what it is today. Quality is their number 1 priority.
Yess Pro makes singlespeed chain tensioners in three models.
- ETR-Vertical – Used for hardtails that work with vertical dropouts. ($55.00 CAD)
- ETR-Horizontal – Used for hardtails that work with horizontal dropouts. ($60.00 CAD)
- ETR-Vertical-Full Suspension – Used for full suspension bikes in conjunction with the ETR-Vertical. ($15.00 CAD)
The model we’ll be reviewing will be the ETR-Vertical + Full Suspension single speed kit ($55.00 + $15.00 = $70.00 CAD).
Contents (click to enlarge)
In the Yess Pro ETR-Vertical and Full Suspension kit we received
- One ETR-V – Black anodized
- 6mm x 20mm Button head bolt
- 6mm Lock nut
- Instructional manual
- parts list
- Delrin guide wheel
- M6 x 25mm Bolt
- Plastic Sleeve for guide wheel
The Yess Pro is very simple and below you can see all of the parts that made up our chain tensioner. All of the main parts can be sourced easily from any bike store which was a plus. The spring is nothing more than a cantilever spring, the pulley was a Shimano pulley, and the rest of the tensioner used other standard parts.
The guide comes pre-drilled for quick release, but as you can see below, we’ve drilled it out to work with a 10mm axle.
Dissected (click to enlarge)
How the Yess Pro is different:
This single speed tensioner is different from every other single speed tensioner that I’ve ever used. The full suspension kit is designed specifically to adapt the vertical chain tensioner to work with full suspension bikes.
- Delrin guide wheel is quiet.
- Parts are easily accessible and replaceable.
- Lightweight at only 111g
- The tensioner connects to two points, the axle and the derailleur hanger. Its solid and securely attaches to the bike.
- Adjustable spring tension (12 different possibilities)
- Adjustable chainwrap.
- More vulnerable pulley arm is protected by the outer arm.
- Tensioner tucks in underneath the frame for more protection.
- Tensioner generates a low profile chainline that keeps it away from danger.
- Pulley pulls the chain downward instead of upward.
- Accommodates for chain growth and maximizes chain wrap around the gear (60% chainwrap).
Top View (click to enlarge)
How well it worked:
We used the Yess Pro on a Transition Double and The Yess Pro works as advertised. It really is the best full suspension chain tensioner I’ve used. The beauty of the design is the tunability of it. There are multiple holes to adjust the spring rate of the tensioner which makes the chain nice and tight. The chain was securely held in place no matter what the suspension was doing with no chain slap or chain derailment.
Backside – 12 possibilities for spring adjustments (click to enlarge)
Why it’s better than a single armed spring design:
- The single armed spring type only connect to the derialleur hanger. They are fairly weak and often people will wind them up or use zip ties to create more tension. There is not as much chainwrap and they don’t accommodate for chain growth (on most full suspension bikes as the suspension moves through its travel, the chain will grow and shrink).
Side View (click to enlarge)
Why it’s better than the fixed arm tensioner:
- Chainrings are not perfectly round. A fixed arm tensioner cannot over come this. Another issue is that these tensioners require a bit more precision and often using half links might not prove sufficient to get proper chain tension. Gear choice is often limited when using a fixed arm chain tension. These tensioners do not work well with full suspension bikes as they do not adjust for chain growth.
Front View (click to enlarge)
Why it’s better than using an old derailleur:
- When using an old derailleur, the spring tension is not adjustable. Using a derailleur means it will hang lower and is not protected quite as well. The Yess Pro is built stronger to take impacts as well.
Back View (click to enlarge)
Yess Pro in action
What I’d change:
The things that I would change with the Yess Pro tensioner are outlined below. Most of them are improvements that would make this a stellar tensioner but it works as advertised in its current state just fine
- Longer pulley shuttle (already improved according to Renny at Yess Pro) – The prototype I received worked fine however the pulley couldn’t be extended as far as I’d have liked to adjust for varying chainlines. I had to space the rear gear a little further out that I’d have liked.
- Cartridge bearing in the pulley wheel – The pulley was pretty smooth but incorporating a cartridge bearing inside the pulley would make it last longer and run smoother.
- Better clearance in the pulley trough – The pulley has two metal wheels that help hold the chain on the pulley. A lot of people who run single speed setups often use bigger chains (BMX, Single Speed, etc) than a typical mountain bike chain and it’d be nice to have this area wider or easier to adjust rather than bending the plates outward.
- Pre-drilled for 10mm – The Yess Pro is pre-drilled for quick release’s but it’d be nice if it came pre-drilled for 10mm and had an adapter to space it down to a quick release for those running quick releases.
- Utilize a urethane style roller with cartridge bearings instead of the Delrin roller for increased longevity and easier replacements.
- Incorporate a bigger slot in the Yess Pro that attaches to the derailleur hanger and use an allen bolt that directly attaches to the derailleur hanger instead of using a nut and bolt. This way, the guide has little/no chance of moving if you need to remove the rear wheel and by using threads in the hanger it is more secure.
If you’ve got a full suspension bike, or are looking for a stellar single speed tensioner, the Yess Pro offers a lot of benefits not seen before. It maintains proper chain wrap and keeps the drivetrain snug and working great. The adjustability is great on it and its the tensioner to get especially if you’ve got a full suspension bike.
The tensioner is solid and will take a beating. Price wise, it might be a bit more than your standard cheap tensioner but its features are ones that you might miss out on at the worst of times. It was a breeze to setup and works as advertised.
You can purchase the Yess Pro Products at http://www.yesspro.com