Chain guides – top only type…..Why?
In the process of going to a a 1×10 system, almost there but for selecting a top chain guide. Seems to be a lot of opinion on what is good and what is cr*p. The superstar ones seems to be trashed on here quite often ,while the more expensive E13 and MRP are more highly regarded. What exactly are the differences? and are any of them really necessary over and above an old front derailer with the travel stops locked in place? I can count on one hand the number of dropped chains I have had in all my years of mountain biking with a 3×9 system, does moving to a single single make any difference?Posted 5 years agoMarkiMarkMember
You can carry on using your derailleur, it just looks a bit crap. I use a Pauls Components Chain Keeper BB that attaches to the external (x-type) bottom bracket replacing a spacer, and this has worked brilliantly. It’s really minimal looking, unlike the E13 and MRP versions. If you don’t use anything then you will lose your chain a lot.Posted 5 years agowhatnobeerMember
E13 Freechucker here. No moving parts, just a jump stop type guide that stops the chain jumping off the top and a backing plate. When used with a bash guard it sandwiches the chain in place so I cant fall off. Cheap, no parts to wear out and works perfectly, and it looks better than a fixed front mech.Posted 5 years agostilltortoiseSubscriber
What exactly are the differences? and are any of them really necessary over and above an old front derailer with the travel stops locked in place?
Right tool for the job, innit? Derailleurs are designed to move chains off rings, not keep them on, so it will always be a bit of a compromise. Best bet is to try it and then decide if you need a “proper” chain device.Posted 5 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
Superstar’s BB mounted one worked very well for me. My MRP one is pretty much exactly the same, but lighter and easier to set up.
Much of the hate for Superstar ones is for the seat-tube mounted one, which really is rubbish.
My commuter uses a mech, and it’s perfectly good for that but I didn’t fine it worked very well on my mtbs. And a fair bit heavier, too, if you care.Posted 5 years agosailor74Member
Moving to a 1×10 shouldnt make any detrimental difference to how often you drop your chain. In fact as you will be able to run a shorter chain it will most likely improve the situation. If you can count the number of times you have dropped a chain on one hand then you will probably be fine with the front mech locked out, although it will be a lot noisier than fitting a ‘proper’ top guide.
Most chains drop off the bottom rather than the top so a top guide only isnt going to work for everyone, it depends on how and what you ride. The new clutch mechs are designed to help stop the chain coming off the bottom of the front ring so coupled with a top guide will probably work for the majority.
A full guide pretty much guarantees you wont drop a chain, however the trade off is a significant increase in added pedalling friction, in other words its harder to pedal a bike with a full guide than with a top only guide. Having said that you cant pedal at all with no chain!
Lots of choices, but it really is down to how, where and what you ride. Fitting a full guide will give you more choice, you can run it with the lower roller for the DH days, then remove it for the long pedally days if you so wish. The trade off here is a full guide is extremely expensive compared to a top only one.
Finally should you decide to fit any type of chain device make sure you are not using a mineral spirit based chain lube, as this will react with the plastics in the chain device and cause it to fail. Tell tail signs of this are small cracks appearing next to bolts.Posted 5 years agobuzz-lightyearMember
Currently got an E13 Hive top-only – it’s light and causes no additional friction. It does move around, is a pain to fit nicely, it does flex a bit and the chain can jam under some situations. It’s OK.
My next attempt will probably be a jump-stop and thin-bash arrangement.Posted 5 years agobiker66Member
That N gear jump stop? In the ad link it says it’s goes up against the smallest chain ring (in the photo a granny ring). Does it extend out to the middle chain ring? I’ve got a 2×9 and want to take the granny ring off. Already got a bash on the outside.Posted 5 years ago
Would I need to change my long rear mech as well?robsoctaneMember
stilltortoise – Member
If you don’t use anything then you will lose your chain a lot.
…and if you use Superstar’s cheapo top chain guide you will lose your chain a lot but it will be jammed down the side of the chain device and hard to get back on the ring
I know you’re right and I think I know why. See the photo below… The part of the chainset where the bolts are, the end of the arm is a touch too long to fit properly on mine. This stops me moving the chain device down enough, creating a gap. The chain has enough room to bounce off the top of the ring and get stuck, just like you say!Posted 5 years agosomafunkSubscriber
I’ve recently built up my hummer (with thanks to Bencooper above for sorting my frame) using a 1×10 set-up with a Shimano Zee Shadow+ rear mech and Pauls Chain Device Chain Keeper as pic below shows, In the past 5 days the bike has been ragged round Dalbeattie 7stanes trail, Glentrool 7stanes trail plus a very rocky natural descent from halfway up the Merrick (largest hill in sw scotland) and two laps of Kirroughtree without so much as a smidgeon of chainslap or dropped chain in sight – Pauls chain device was bought from Aspirevelotech who delivered it in 4 days from Seattle, Washington, top folk who i can heartily recommend, they even drew me a wee picture with a smiley face wishing me happy riding.
Posted 5 years agobiker66Member
biker66, yes that’s how I run my 1×9 set up. The jump stop prevents the chain from falling inside to where the granny would be. Bash guard prevents it going over the top. I’ll post a pic later if I get time.
Thanks Keva. So are the sizing options the seat tube diamater or the distance from seat tube to chain ring? Still can’t quite see how you set it up to get the correct alignment with the chain.Posted 5 years agoBadlyWiredDogSubscriber
I know you’re right and I think I know why. See the photo below… The part of the chainset where the bolts are, the end of the arm is a touch too long to fit properly on mine. This stops me moving the chain device down enough, creating a gap. The chain has enough room to bounce off the top of the ring and get stuck, just like you say!
I’m running 1×10 with the Superstar BB-mounted one and a 34T chainring and it’s been fine for me. Looking at your image, my chainguide is rotated further forward so the thing sits more over the chainring and it works fine. Might be worth whipping off the cranks and seeing if that helps?Posted 5 years ago
here’s mine, jump stop and bash. Although not the most solid set up these days it is four years old now and has worked fine. Rattles round Cwmcarn without dropping. Actually looking at that pic the jump stop could do with moving down quarter inch. Something to do later on.
Posted 5 years agohonourablegeorgeMember
ska-49 – Member
Ive been riding this setup for a while with no problem.
I used to run a upper & lower guide (MRP SL and Gamut p30) but didnt like the lower roller so I switched. Not had any issues despite some dh runs and park stuff.
Looks like a pretty foolproof method for not losing a chain, that. Although I can’t help thinking you’ve made something of a compromise.Posted 5 years agoScamperMember
Also use a n gear jump-stop, complete BBG bash and a e thirteen ring, coupled with a short cage mech. Cheap, light, easy to set up and silent.
The only time it has jumped off on the outside was when too much oily crud built up on the front ring inner lip and crank spider arms over several months 😳Posted 5 years agomrblobbyMember
E13 LG1 trail comes top and bottom but no bash guard. Best bit tho’; mount top only first then add on the bottom roller if you think you need it.
Big +1 for this. Putting my bike with LG1+ together after stripping for a service and misplaced the bolt that keeps the bottom roller in place. Was just riding Coed y Brenin over the weekend with some mates so popped off the lower taco and just ran with the top guide.
Despite some pretty fast rocky sections on the hardtail I didn’t have any issues with the chain dropping. Reckon I’ll save the lower guide in the spares drawer for the serious gnarr 🙂Posted 5 years agosmiffMember
hold on, hope make chainrings now? and this looks expensive
if you’re running a bash, and you should, you just need something to stop the chain falling off inside. and maybe a roller at bottom, if you don’t have a clutch mech..
still running old front mech on my ht, got a superstar laser but never bothered fitting.. really heavy also :/Posted 5 years ago
The topic ‘Chain guides – top only type…..Why?’ is closed to new replies.