Straitline Silent Guide

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Extremely robust but light 7075 alloy construction..

Price: £119.99

Time Tested: 4 Months

From: Hotlines UK

The world of chain devices isn’t the sole preserve of downhillers, 4xers and the radder side of mountain biking anymore. Thanks to the new generation of lightweight, easy to fit devices and the advent of wider ratio cassettes and the introduction of 10spd, running a single ring up front without a derailleur makes a lot of sense if you’re into trail centre bashing, woodsy thrashing want to lose weight or just can’t be arsed changing gear that much. Unless you really really need a 22T for the steep hills or do enough road work to require a  44T big ring, a lot of riders can get along just fine with either a 32, 34 or 36T ring up front, dependant on strength, local geography and willingness to get out of the saddle and suffer from time to time.The only problem is that a single ring tends to drop the chain a lot without a device, which is where this  Silent Guide comes in.

The Straitline Silent Guide weighs just 190 odd grammes including the fitting bolts, making it one of the lightest chain devices out at the moment. This particular one I’ve had to test will fit any ring from 32 to 36T although a larger and marginally heavier 36-40T version is available. Fitment is via ISCG05 (that’s the larger spaced tabs) or old style ISCG mount. If you’ve not got any tabs on the frame (like me) you can use an adapter which is held in by the BB but this requires removing and refitting the BB which is a bit of a faff.

The elastomeric runners up close..

Talking of faff, if you’ve ever fitted a chain device it can be a bit of a hassle, but once I’d got my adaptor on the Silent Guide was very easy to fit, requiring no spacers or filing of crank arm tabs. The 7075 T6 aluminium backplate and bashguard are machined to remove as much excess material as possible and they’re pleasingly high quality too, rather than the Airfix kit feel some devices have.

Possibly the best bit of the Silent Guide is the complete lack of moving parts, with the chain sliding on ‘elastomeric’ (read nylon) guides which self lubricate as well as holding the chain in place. Despite rapid initial wear the chain soon settles into the grooves it has cut and it’s been quite happy despite being covered in mud and grit and left in the garage with no maintenance. There’s very little drag and as the name suggests it is silent in use. It’s full of win.

The chain hasn’t fallen off yet despite being on a Patriot which suffers from quite a lot (understatement) of chain growth and as a side benefit the amount of slap and rattle from the chain on the swingarm has been reduced. Pickup when pedalling is totally reliable and instant which makes getting on the power after rooty or rocky sections easy peasy and totally free of grating chains, which is worth going for a single ring setup on it’s own. Mud clears quickly and easily from the backplate and guides and despite it not being designed for being hopped upon the bashguard has taken some right whangers from rocks without any problems. Best of all for the bike tarts out there you can colour code the runners to the rest of the bike with black, white, red and blue  available as well as the standard green.

Overall: It’s light, it works a treat and it’s perfect for the world of 1×9 (or 10).

It looks pretty tidy too...

Review Info

Tested: by for

Comments (0)

    It’s a flat piece of alloy with some plastic bits on it right? For £120? Am I missing something? Does it include the bash at least?

    Yes, the bash is included. Have you seen how much any of the chain devices out there cost these days? 😉

    Looks very tidy, this is exactly what I’m after but the prices seem ridiculous. No question it’s in line with other items on the market but does that justify the price tag?

    Oh well that’s something. I know they’re expensive generally, but this item looks like I could knock one up with some aluminium plate and a bit of polyurethane.

    You pays your money I suppose.

    Hehe, this discussion is a massive can of worms. After all, handlebars are just bits of tubing, bikes are just bits of tubing welded together and forks are just tubes and oil and a bit of rubber, etc etc. The dark magic of capitalism means things are worth what people are willing to pay – you vote with your pocket after all.. 😛

    Bashguard seems pointless on one chainring… something like the LG1 is lighter, or the XCX even.

    I will vote with my pocket and go for the £16.99 superstar option.

    replacement nylon blocks are £12.99 so you’re paying £100+ for two plates of aluminium!?

    DMR do cheap and effective chain devices.

    Only £30 cheaper than a Mmbop frame !!!!

    Why does it have to be 1×9 or 1×10? I’ve been running 1×8 on my trail bike for years and I still am!

    I was running 1×7 on my winter bike until I went singlespeed a few years ago. Then I used a £5 cheapie cheap front mech as a chain guide and I don’t remember dropping the chain ever. I’d also be surprised if the front mech weighed much more than the Straitline’s 190g.
    I’ll confess that I am now a Gamut chain device owner now on my full susser and it does look very nice.
    Tip for Gamut owners: Cut a section of road bike inner tube and stretch it over the roller to lose the chain noise.

    I have a superstar chain device…its cheap, but its also very cheaply made. The roller has no bearing or bush at all, and the system is very noisy – i’ve replace the jockey with an MRP roller as a stop-gap. It does the job – never dropped the chain – but isn’t very subtle and drags an awful lot

    The Straitline is top of the list to replace it. It’s pricey yes, but hopefully that will mean it may last and work properly.

    If your running a single ring, a proper chain device is top of the list

    Have the MRP 1.X device, haven’t lost a chain yet, it’s quiet and 40 quid but I still felt ripped off.

    N-gear + fsa bash =£30…….

    I think the problem with chain devices is that while they’re pretty cheap in terms of their material cost, the volume runs that these companies are putting through are pretty low so the price per unit ends up being still relatively high. They’re probably not even making them themselves.

    It is only a piece of aluminium and a few bits of plastic (although I guess it’s not just any old plastic?) but the cost will be in getting them into the right shape.

    N-gear + fsa bash =£30…….

    To be fair, your not comparing like with like. The straitline is for the sort of riding and bike where you need a bottom guide, otherwise the chain comes off on the backpedal stroke and over really rocky ground. It can then jam up behind the crank/against pivot or in the top guide.

    “They’re probably not even making them themselves.”

    Straitline pretty much make everything in house themselves. They’re kind of like the Canadian version of Hope!

    It the new golf – that’s why

    Nice review Jon, thanks. What size ring did you use with it ? Is the bash an integral part or could I use another make/model? Not that taken with the bash appearance. Cheers

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