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learn me about chain guides

Discussion in 'The Shop' started by jacksonpt, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. jacksonpt Active Member

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    Thinking about going 1x9 on my yeti and would need a chain guide. I'd probably switch out my 22/34/bash for a single ring, something like a 26/bash. After looking at guides briefly online, seems some use pullies/rollers at both the top and bottom of the chain ring, some only on the bottom, some run the chain through a "channel" (similar to a derailleur) to hold/guide the chain...

    Pros and cons to them all? Reliability? Ease of setup? Is chain drag ever an issue?
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  2. Nick My name is Nick

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    All/most of the current batch of guides work well, but the issue you might run into is trying to get a good setup with that small of a chainring.
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  3. Jim Mac Active Member

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    Agreed, usually the minimum chain ring is 32. I'd also run a non ramped chain ring up front. I still run a 'classic' E-13 32 Special on my trail bike.
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  4. jacksonpt Active Member

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    Well crap. Any suggestions for a better way to go 1x9 with a smaller chainring?
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  5. Jim Mac Active Member

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    Not to be dense, but why would you go 26 up front?
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  6. IH8Rice I'm Mr. Negative! I Fail!

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  7. JustMtnB44 Member

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    E13 XCX works pretty well at keeping the chain on, and does not have a lower pulley so no extra drag to worry about. MRP Lopes SL takes the same concept but adds a lower pulley for extra chain retention, similar to the Micro posted above but without the taco bash guard. Definitely use a non ramped chainring up front.

    I've been using an XCX on my Spitfire, but sometimes the suspension action causes the chain to get stuck on the ISCG tabs, so I bought a Lopes SL guide to replace it (although I haven't actually installed it yet).

    I don't know how or why you would run a 26T up front. It's best to have the chain ring in the middle ring position for good chain line, but most cranks won't fit less than a 30 or 32 due to the bolt circle. You could buy a new SS crank though to make this work. With only a 26T, you will spin out very easily on any slight downhill grade, and will probably find that gets annoying very quickly. Honestly, if you think that you need less than a 30T ring up front, then maybe 1x9 isn't for you.
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  8. jacksonpt Active Member

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    As opposed to what? A 32? Just to keep the bike more fun for climbing.
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  9. jacksonpt Active Member

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    Why wouldn't 1x9 be for me? I don't pedal on downhill sections, so that's not a concern for me. I rarely use my middle ring, and never on my home trails where I ride 90% of the time.
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  10. Nick My name is Nick

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    Another solution here would be a 9-sp cassette with a 36t or 38t granny gear.
    You could run a front 32t with the guide of your choice and still spin up your steeper climbs.
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  11. jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    jackson, the problem with doing 1x9, as stated previously, with a chainring smaller than 32t is that it forces you to mount on the granny tabs, which will cause shifting issues on the bottom portion of your cassette; the chainring is biased towards the top of the gearing, and not centered. Centered is what you need when running 1x9. which on a set of triple cranks means mid ring position, and is limited to 32t. [edit] the tooth size is limited by the bcd of these tabs. i think there's a guy that makes like a 30t ring that will fit, but its something like $100. [/edit]

    fwiw on my trail bike i run a 32t ring in combination with a 12-36 cassette. It gives me enough range for all but the steepest/longest of climbs.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
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  12. kazlx Patches O'Houlihan

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    No idea what your terrain is like, but riding a 1x9 has gotten me in better shape. It forces you to muscle instead of spin. Like mentioned above, you are really limited to a 32 up front to keep the chain line correct. I run a 32x34 and works well for pretty much everything.
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  13. kickstand Well-Known Member

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    33tx11-34 here. Love it, would have gone 34t but didn't have one laying around.
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  14. jacksonpt Active Member

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    I could probably do a 32 up front with a different cassette... that might be an option.
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  15. jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    hey jackson, i *think* i have another 12-36 cassette in the parts bin. If you're interested shoot me a PM and I'll take a look.
    #15
  16. Jim Mac Active Member

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    Riding a 32 front and 11-32 range in the back did wonders for restoring the 'torque' I used to have when riding my BMX bike as a kid rather than the 'spin' I developed riding MTB.
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  17. kazlx Patches O'Houlihan

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    Word. Granny makes people lazy IMO. I feel much more in shape with only a middle ring. Makes you miserable at first, but you get used to it.
    #17
  18. CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    26t for a 1x9 seems excessively low geared. I ran 36t x 11-34 and though it was a tad too high (too lazy to get a different ring), the lowest I could see running was 32t up front. Even 34t would have made a lot of difference.
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  19. jacksonpt Active Member

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    If I want to actually become a better rider, I'll get out my rigid single speed.

    Gears and suspension are fun.
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  20. kazlx Patches O'Houlihan

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    I'm down in the low end on flats or slight declines with a 32 up front. I'm thinking about going to a 1x10 so I can run a 34 with a 12-36 instead of the 32.
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  21. jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    fwiw e13 makes odd size chainrings starting at 33t.
    #21