Chain suck nightmare

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  • Chain suck nightmare
  • ndthornton

    Here goes….

    I had been experiencing chain suck in the granny ring with the following setup >

    Cotic Soda
    Race Face Evolve Chainset (22T granny)
    Hope BB
    Shimano XT chain
    Shimano XT cassette
    shimano XT M750 rear mech long cage (older style)

    After about 1 year of riding this setup I started getting chain suck regularly – cranks completely jamming up and nearly throwing me off on a regular basis. I checked for bent or worn teeth and chain growth but hardly anything worth talking about. anyway I assumed it must be this so I replaced the chainset and chain to Shimano XT double and bash (22,36). the cassette is fine so didn’t replace.

    On the first ride out – More chainsuck – what is going on??????????

    I have a Norco Six which now has exactly the same setup except for a slightly newer style XT M770 rear mech (medium cage) and have never experienced chain suck.

    Are my cranks mis-aligned?? – I have 2 drive side spacers and 1 non drive side spacer on the hope BB for a 68mm BB shell.

    Please help – I am at a loss


    check your freewheel is okay too.

    Premier Icon kelvin

    Replace all your drivetrain at the same time, new rings and cassette and chain.

    Don’t even think about not swapping your chain when you do the rings – total false economy. Change the chain quick before it knackers your new chainrings. If you can afford it do the cassette too, you might find the new chain slips all over your old cassette.


    IMHO cassette wear doesnt cause it. Its the chain not releasing from the bottom side of your driving chain ring.

    cheap fix that always works for me is v good winter lube.

    are all your chainring bolts tight?

    check alignment of your chainset to the teeth on the cassette with a straightedge. I hope the BB isnt missaligned being a soda! might be pricey to fix.

    Premier Icon PolisherMan

    I had horrendous CS on my Hustler. Read up on every theory and changed/fettled the drivechain. One day went to LBS for a granny ring. No 22t in stock, so I bought a 24t middleburn. 2 months of filthy pennine grit… no CSuck. Bigger radius? Who knows.


    My chain suck was caused by old inner/outer shifter cabling.


    i experienced nasty chainsuck when i went to a 2×9 drive, swiftly changed back to 3×9, hey presto no CS!


    I have replaced the chain and chainset – just not the cassette. Cassettes are made of Steel not aluminium so logic (and experience) dictates that they should wear more slowly. Also worn cassettes dont cause chain suck.

    As for trying different chain rings – I have allready done this once and now have the same setup as my other non-chain-suck prone bike.

    It cant be the freewheel as chain suck always occurs when peddling (not free wheeling)

    It must be something to do with the BB – I have just remembered that my problems didn’t appear until after I upgraded from XT to hope –
    In the words of Sherlock Homes – once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains no matter how inprobable must be the truth


    It cannot be anything to do with the BB – chain suck can only occur as an interaction between the chaining and the chain.

    I had a real problems with chainsuck on my Cotic Soul, changed the inner ring and it solved it, the old one looked OK but it must have just been one tooth that was picking the chain up.


    But this ring is brand new!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and not cheap crap – XT

    Premier Icon Paceman

    It would usually be worn chainrings as you say. If you’ve replaced them, the bolts are tight and the chain is also new, then it can only be excessive mud/grit, either causing the chain to catch on the chainring teeth, or maybe causing the shifter cable to move??

    Make sure your chain is lubed properly, and even give it a clean with a bottle of water and relube mid-ride if need be.

    Can be a nightmare to sort, you have my sympathy.


    What size BB shell and how many spacers have you got on each of the cups?

    Premier Icon Squirrel

    I started getting terminal chainsuck as soon as I changed to Finish Line “Wet” Lube: it makes treakle look runny. Changed back to White Lightning “Wet” and problem solved 😀

    If all is new then it must be an alignment issue.

    Check the front mech adjuster screw. Is it moving far enough inwards for the ring to clear the SIDES of the chain links? (If not,that would certainly cause the jamming.)

    Either adjust to clear properly, or, remove or add a spacer on the drive side clear whichever side is catching.


    63mm – 2 drive side – 1 non drive side


    One of my frames chainsucks all the time – I have tried 3 different drives – drives which work without issues on the other frames I have.

    I have even gone for a ride with the drive on one bike – no chainsuck, swapped it to problem frame, riding problem frame next day – chainsuck. Fiddled around with BB spacers, didn’t sort. After 3 years of various attempts to sort I have come to the conclusion it is an alignment issue with the frame and can’t be solved

    I’m now riding that frame 1×9.

    MTB Rob

    mmm chain suck always a hard one to track down, you replaced the chain and rings which is always a good start.

    Do you get chain suck when changing gears at the front or when you in a ring and it just happens.

    If it changing gear is the chain getting the stuck at the same place on the ring? might be worth puting a file to that area removing any burrs and maybe taking the edge off the BACK of the tooth,

    If it is when just riding along in the same ring, I would check the chain for any stiff links or twisted links and as tyou said you check the for any bent teeth on the ring, again might be worth checking for a burrs etc.

    Oh also check chain length, big big + 2 links is a ver good guide (plus it doesn’t rip you mech off when you shift big big)

    Mark N

    I have seen chain suck caused by an incorrectly fitted rear mech. When it had been bolted to the mech hanger it was not rotated back far enough. This caused the chain not to be sufficiently tensioned.

    Premier Icon Paceman

    Some lubes attract more grit, maybe switch to a thinner teflon-based lube and apply more often??

    Ans as Rob said, a stiff chain link can also cause problems.


    How about trying a shorter cage mech if you’re running a double. It’ll give you more tension as less leverage effect.

    Counter-intuitively perhaps, but a stinger might also be worth trying in an effort to regulate the point and angle at which the chain leaves the chainring.

    [edit] +1 for a non-treacle lube [/edit]


    Have always had big problems with chain suck on my soul too.

    Always when changing at the front from small to middle (I’m running 2×9) . Changing lube makes the biggest difference and improvements, but I still get suckky moments on winter / wet rides. I have changed chains/rings which imrpoved things but didn’t get rid of it. I now know that I have to change very carefully / stop pressure on pedalling when changing up on the front, otherwise I know what to expect.

    Premier Icon zippykona

    I once had this on a bike and I swapped EVERYTHING from a bike that didn’t suck. It still did it.
    Some bikes are possessed by evil suck demons.


    Possibly check the rear mech jockey wheens turn smoothly too.

    Ramsey Neil

    Googling Cotic Soda BB width the answer came up with a 73mm bb shell so you need to take one spacer off on each side and see if that cures it .


    Not read all of the thread in depth, but have you tried a steel granny ring (Deore etc?) I’ve found aluminium rings can be quite ‘grabby’ and never had chainsuck issues since changing to a steel granny. Lasts longer too!


    Thanks for all the help
    I will continue fettling



    If you want a steel granny, I have several 4-bolt 64mm BCD to chose from:

    22T Truvativ or Shimano £6 posted

    24T Shimano £7 posted

    26T Shimano £7 posted

    All 3 for £18 posted

    All are new or as-new and will last for years.

    Some may require a bit of grinding to fit your cranks with external BB as they have extended tabs to prevent the chain being trapped by the BB shell.

    Mail me if interested.

    Premier Icon kelvin

    Has someone already mentioned chainlength?

    Is your chain flapping? Shorten chain to the minimum and increase deraillier tension.

    Is it immediately after free-wheeling? Check for a sticky freehub.

    Hope you solve it

    A James

    Na, it’s because the chain pivots do not free in time to release from the teeth. The cause is lubrication of the chain and it’s cleanliness , had it with a new bike… Sometimes the tolerances in the chaine links is out just a minuscule amount. Solution … Take your chain off, clean it in turps, oil it with Wd40 (I know it’s usually pants but you don’t want any stickiness in there) and then keep ridding. As the chain wares and the tolerances even it will stop. Set ups and mechs are all a mythe! Honest.

    On an unrelated note, if you want true chain harmony run 2 chains with a powe link and swap them every other ride, do it from new and you will save a fortune a d have that new chain feel all the time, it takes 2 mins!


    Chainline problem? I found fettling the BB spacers with some half thickness ones cured my problem. Coul also be a tired rear mech due to lack of tension in the chain.


    Premier Icon jonke

    I tend to have less issue with simple chainrings than the shimano ones with all the ramps and pins. i’ve had good experiences with blackspire.

    Premier Icon Bushwacked

    What lube you using – might need a thicker / thinner one or just more of it.

    Plus does the chain have any links which aren’t moving as freely (Chain could be stiff and sticking to the curvature of the ring leading it to not dropping off and causing chain suck)

    Premier Icon billyboy

    Ask Brant!!!!!!!!

    Premier Icon Trekster

    Bushwacked – Member
    What lube you using – might need a thicker / thinner one or just more of it.

    Possibly this. I have stopped using finishline and on last nights ride I had no suck issues. Using the stuff that comes in the green bottle or as a spray?

    Solution … Take your chain off, clean it in turps, oil it with Wd40 (I know it’s usually pants but you don’t want any stickiness in there) and then keep ridding.

    Could be this.
    New chains come all greased up and quite tacky. Need cleaning before oiling.

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