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That varying of the chain force vector (or whatever you want to call it. Vector works, direction is a component of a vector) is what I'm talking about. The position & size of the top pulley directly effects the suspension, such that it's doing much than just acting as a guide. Remove or move it and the forces going through the suspension change. Idlers usually don't affect forces like that. The bottom pulley could be removed without any direct effect on the suspension, it's just a guide, a true idler.
Yes, the top looks like an idler. But also, yes, it could help with understanding if it the parts were described more accurately.
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