Yes, there would be work involved but the key thing is to change the tension significantly over a very small travel length. Regular springs cannot do this. This gives me an idea I think might work and it would be so much easier to implement with zero special machining, parts, etc. IOW, off the shelf parts. Ever since setting up my son's 50 hp motorcycle engine in his go kart using 2 chains and a jackshaft I have been thinking about this issue.