I had already geared it down to a 33 x 20 (John rides a 16), a shorter stem (inverted), narrower clapped out old ti rail saddle and wrapped the WTB grips in road handlebar tape for more comfort as well.
Saturday avo I took it out solo and as soon as I was offroad the chain fell off and continued to do around a very much shortened circuit. Yes, you can tension the chain if it becomes loose, no I did not have an 8mm spanner to assist. :-(
At home after much fettling in the garage and neglection of child minding duties.......I'd changed the rear sprocket about three times all to no avail. put a 1/8 track chain on but it rubbed the bash guard, changed the front chain ring - no good, so in the end put an old circa 1985 21 toother on the back, tensioned it up and went riding with the local mtb club on their first club day of the season.
The bike behaved and I even figured out the cheap front chainring was slightly oval, so took the chain off, rotated the cranks 180, remounted the chain and it all worked in a most harmonious fashion. The high spot in the chainring took up the slack in the chain at just the right time. Sweet.
My aversion to riding off road with rigid forks hasn't left me unable to lift a coffee cup, beer or cup of tea so far. Might be some truth to the 29er forum nerds who say you don't need suspension forks......