December 3, 2010
Ed Oxley's verdict on a single ring chain device that needs no maintenance
Price: £59.95 (£79.95 with Turbo Charger bash ring)
Tested: Two months
The FreeChucker is something different in the world of chain devices. Let’s say you have a double chainring and bash ring set up on your bike at the moment, but you are interested in trying out a single ring set up. You have the option of winding in the limit screws on your front mech, which might do the job of keeping the chain on most of the time. If you back pedal though, the chain may well come off and let’s face it, this solution does look rubbish.
A reliable and cheap alternative is to fit a FreeChucker. The steel backing plate can be bolted to your frame via ISCG 05 tabs or can be bottom bracket mounted. You can then use your existing bash ring, or buy a ‘Turbo Charger’ bash ring as tested. Hey presto the chain is sandwiched between the two parts. The top guide keeps the chain on from above, whilst the ‘Taco’ inner bash plate combines with the bash ring to keep the chain on the lower part of the chainring. Even though there is no chain tensioning jockey wheel, the chain does not come off. The chain will move around though, so you don’t get the silent drivetrain, like you do with full chain devices. It is compatible with 32 to 36 tooth chainrings and comes in black or white.
This chain device uses no moving parts and so should require no maintenance after it has been fitted. This makes it a pretty good option for those who ride regularly through the filth, but don’t want to be maintaining and replacing chain device jockey wheels. If you are lazy, no good at maintenance or just don’t want to bother with it, then this is a great option. It’s tough and it works and the fact that it’s an open system also means that it clears mud really well. Before I fitted the FreeChucker I was dubious about not having a jockey wheel for tensioning the chain, but in use I never lost the chain. If you don’t mind chain noise then the advantages of price and no maintenance really stand out.
Overall: Great for the skint and the lazy. A clever solution that really works and it’s a good option for the single ring curious.