The Easy Racers Return Idler Kit allows you to get rid of that old stock S bend jockey wheel setup or fixed chaintube, and mount a high quality T-Cycle Return Idler directly to your existing idler tab. You'll find the upgrade is smooth, quiet, easy to maintain and ultra durable. Installation is super easy, especially if you're only replacing a chaintube. The tensioner has more parts to take off, and you should do a quick chain length check. On most bikes, you won't need to change anything, but on bikes that were set up with a bit of extra chain, you may want to shorten it by 1 or 2 sets of links. A quick shift into the big-big combination and you'll know.
1. Is this kit quiet?
Yes, very. It's basically silent. The idler floats back and forth, so there's barely any rubbing at all. It's much quieter than the spring tensioner or the chain tube.
2. Is there much drag?
The drag is very, very low. Way lower than the S bend tensioner and much lower than the chain tube. Some people report their cranks will spin backwards more than 2 revolutions before stopping. Basically, this is the lowest friction way of carrying the return chain.
3. Do I really need anything on the return chain?
I've heard of some people just going without anything. It's possible to go without anything, but your chain is likely to hit the ground on bumps. The chain can also sway around a lot without anything to control it. The biggest reason, though, is to prevent the chain from going under the rear wheel if you ever miss a shift up front. If the chain ever gets under the rear wheel, it's not pretty. It's very hard not to go down fast if that happens. That's why Gardner recommended people always have something to keep the return chain up. This kit is acknowledged as the best way to do it.
4. Will I need to take out any links?
If you currently have an S bend tensioner, the answer is "Maybe, but only one or two if you do". If you have the stock little chaintube, the answer is "Nope, just bolt it on and go". Determining the ideal length of chain is pretty straightforward. First, shift to something other than the largest cog in bacl. Next, shift to the largest chainring in front.Then shift carefully to the largest cog in back. This "big-big" gear combination determines the chain length you need. When you're in "big-big", the deraileur should be pulled forward and slightly below horizontal, to about 4 o'clock. If it's angled down more than that, say 4:30, or 5:00, you have more chain than you need. Bend a link back on itself to see how the angle changes. Chances are, if you need to do anything, one or two links will do it.
5. I notice you have a lot of different versions. Are they all really different?
We make a lot of variations because there are a lot of variations in the way things mount, or in the side to side location of the mount relative to the chainline. We are perfectionists, we'll own that, but there really are important differences between each kit. If you're unsure which you need, let us know. We've sold a lot of these and are very familiar with the bikes.
Installation varies a bit from bike to bike, but is pretty simple. The mount is designed to bolt up to the particular frame tab you have. Somewhat counter intuitively, on Tour Easys, Gold Rushes, and Ti Rushes, the mount attaches to the inside of the frame tab (this keeps the idler float range lined up with the chainline).
Once the mount is attached, you remove the chainkeeper, drop the chain onto the idler, and reinstall the chainkeeper. On all but the Fold Rush, that's all there is to it. On the Fold Rush, there is an alignment step because the frame tab isn't parallel to the chainline, so you have to loosen the rotation clamp on the mount and dial that in.
This idler kit has been a best seller ever since we introduced it way back in 1999. Serious Easy Racers riders always seem to come around to this idler kit, and never look back. We have more testimonials on this kit than probably any other, it just silently does it's thing, year after year after year.
The Sport and Elite kits both use the same mounting hardware, stainless idler shaft, and chainkeeper. The Sport version uses a Sport Series return idler with molded Nylon sides, a special urethane chainbed, and an ABEC 7 steel bearing. The Elite version uses an Elite Series return idler, with a see through CNC machined aluminum core and hybrid ceramic bearing. Either idler will last tens of thousands of miles. No one has actually worn one out yet. The original versions of this kit used a brass idler bushing that would eventually wear out, but we make them from stainless steel now and no one has managed to do one in yet. This is a very durable, basically carefree idler kit.
The mounting hardware on all kits is made from CNC machined aluminum, anodized black. All the hardware is stainless steel. The idler shaft is a precision ground stainless bushing supported on a 6mm bolt. The chainkeeper is made from a special abrasion resistant molybdenum disulfide impregnated nylon supported on a 5mm bolt.
No particular maintenance is required. Wiping down the idler every once in a while is a good idea. As long as you take a little care to keep solvents and detergents from getting into the bearing, everything will last for a long time. If you ever do want to replace the bearing, it is very easy to do. It is a standard sized 608 bearing (skatewheel bearing) which is very common and easy to find.
Compatible with all known versions of the Tour Easy, Gold Rush, Ti Rush, Fold Rush, S&S coupled Ti Rush, and Taiwan (Sun) Tour Easys. We can also do idlers for the C-Rush, etc. if you don't already have a T-Cycle idler stock on your bike. We don't show the kit for those bikes on the website because most bikes already have them. If you don't, and would like one, give us a call or an email and we'll make one up for you.
We also make idler kits for some of the Sun LWB bikes, like the EZ-1. There has been a fair amount of variation in the mounts on the Sun bikes over the years. if you email us a photo, we'll know what to put together for you.