Running 1×9 for XC: What are my options for keeping the chain on the front?

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  • Running 1×9 for XC: What are my options for keeping the chain on the front?
  • poppa
    Member

    Seriously thinking of dumping two front rings, shifter and mech because I can happily do my local group rides with just one front ring.

    Just wondering, what do I need to use to keep the chain on the front ring? Do I need one of those XC chain devices i've seen advertised that weight about ~60g and cost about ~£40? Are there any other options? I am aware that I probably need a non-ramped front chainring too.

    Taylorplayer
    Member

    Can you adjust the front mech over the middle ring with the hi/lo screws?

    HTTP404
    Member

    apparently a shorter cage rear mech run as tight as possible will negate the need for any chain device on the front.

    poppa
    Member

    Hmm interesting. A front mech would probably work OK, but if I stuck with 1×9 long term I would probably want something prettier!

    As for rear mechs, would a 1×9 with a 11/32 cassette work with a road rear mech, or do I need a medium (i.e. GS) MTB rear mech? I am guessing since my road bike has a total range of 30 (14 at the back, 16 at the front) I could use a road mech if I wanted?

    geetee1972
    Member

    Poppa – I have an MRP 1×9 chain guide that I've bought but never used. It works well. It you're interested I can let you have it for £30.

    Ive ran road mechs with 32 tooth cassettes…it works but they dont like it! The mech sits right on the 32 ring and makes a noise(like too much B tension), other than that all good.

    Mackem
    Member

    I dont have anything up front and havent had any problems. Give it a try you may be lucky. So long as your chain length is right you shouldnt have problems, the removal of the big ring allows you to take a couple of links out.

    bonesetter
    Member

    What HTTP404 said

    Good chainline most important

    bigdonx
    Member

    I have a similar 1 x 9 setup. Was having problems with chain jumping off front on fastish downs when free wheeling – a real pest, allways jumped out the way because of chainline when in higher gear. Tried a road mech and tight chain – was marginally worse in my case.
    As this was on my hack bike didn't want to fork out £40+ for a chain guide, so stuck on an old front mech – not the prettiest, but does the job. Haven't dropped the chain since.

    poppa
    Member

    To the people that aren't using chain devices and haven't had any problems, I am assuming that you have single-speed (i.e. non-ramped) front rings?

    To the people have had problems, do you also use a single-speed (i.e. non-ramped) front ring?

    I've seen these recommened several chains following similar questions on here.

    Not used it yet myself, but I plan too get one to run with a Blackspire Stinger and a DH 36T chainring.

    Should be fairly tidy too.

    tinsy
    Member

    A road mech swings at a different angle to an MTB mech thats why they foul on MTB cassettes in the bigger cogs, you can run an MTB short cage mech with 1×9, but thats loads more expense the long cage you have will be fine but run chain as short as possible.

    To stop the jumping on the front its the MRP 1×9 device or a n-gear jump stop and a bashring.

    If you ride offroad with nothing it will drop the chain, my record was 13 in one 1hour 20 min race, I bought a jump stop and bash the next day, they didnt make the MRP thing then.

    I did exaclty the same as I can quite happily do my local loop SS or 1×9, but after a few years **** about being a bit niche, I have gone back to having the full 27 gears, its no more hassle, and I didnt find running less gears a great deal less expensive. (ok singlespeeding was a bit but still needed a chain and front ring every now and then)

    poppa, I was using an unramped chainring when it dropped the chain 13 times in one short race, thats all rubbish as far as I can tell.

    JBiker
    Member

    Which side is the chain dropping? Inside, then go for a Deda dog fang (~£6). If both sides, there's a very pretty Paul's chain keeper oner (but ~£50 ouch!).

    poppa
    Member

    Useful stuff, thanks everyone. I think I will try with a front mech on first, to see if I get on with the set up. Those MRP 1.x guides look like what I am after, but they seem expensive for what they are! Still, I suppose if no-one else is making them they can charge what they want.

    The reason I want to go 1×9 is simply because I never seem to need the other gears, so it offends me to have all this stuff on my bike for no good reason. I sometimes guiltily change up into the big ring on road sections, but even then I could be comfortably spinning in the middle instead. I tend to save my energy for off-road anyway…

    Keva
    Member

    Get the N-Gear Jump Stop :
    http://www.billys.co.uk/english/group.php?prod=chng-js

    and a bash guard :
    http://www.bbgbashguard.com/

    I run this combination with a standard SLX middle chain ring and a med cage rear mech, it is faultless, chain stays on permanently.

    Kev

    TheGingerOne
    Member

    I do exactly as Keva – no problems

    mike_check
    Member

    The Paul's Chain Keeper looks a neat solution for XC use

    http://www.paulcomp.com/chainkeeper.html

    simple and tidy design, I use an E13 full chain device with upper and lower guides but think this would be overkill for what you ask, but the Pauls one is worth a look! Not sure of availability in the UK though.

    Mackem
    Member

    No dropping problems for me. I'm using a Middleburn unramped chainring.

    ajantom
    Member

    Been having this same problem on a recently built up 1×9 bike. It's only falling on the inside, and then it only happens when trying to put the power on while going downwards on rough stuff.

    I'm going out to the shed and going to see what I can make. I have a box full of old front mechs, plastic light brackets, etc. Must be a cheap and simple bodge that'll work 🙂

    tinsy
    Member

    mackem, enter a Summit MTB race at Lotts wood next year and report back.. You got 13 dropped chains to beat.

    bonesetter
    Member

    Mackem – Member

    No dropping problems for me. I'm using a Middleburn unramped chainring.

    I use one of those too with no drop.

    Also use a BB which adjusts dise to side so can get good chainline

    ajantom
    Member

    Think I may have cracked this using a rear light bracket and a file (used on the bracket – not the bike!) Loosely based on the Dedo Dog Fang idea.

    If it does do the trick, I'll post some piccies.

    catvet
    Member

    geetee 1972
    interested in MRP 1×9 chain guide
    thanks
    phwill@btconnect.com

    rootes1
    Member

    seen this thread:

    http://www.singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/trail-bike-with-single-ring

    from there:

    unramped sing speed surly ring 33t, fsa polycarb bash and n-gear jump stop

    also moved the bottom bracket across by one spacer

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