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  1. #1
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    Why the chain guide?

    Dont know if this is the wrong forum for this or not.

    I have a new Trance SX. It comes with a 1 x 10 drivetrain and a chainguide. 34 tooth upfront and 11x36 rear.

    Looking at the Advance SX it is running a new 1x 11. But no chain guide. 32 upfront and 10x42 in the rear.

    My understanding of the guide concept is that a certain amount of takeup or spring is required in the drivetrain due to the slack chain getting longer and shorter depending on gear selection. This leads to chainslap which can lead to the chain stepping off the sprocket. The chain guide eliminates this issue.

    So how does the setup on the Advanced work? I would think the larger spread in the rear gears would lead to more variation in chain length/tension and more prone to derail. Or is that bike so weight biased that the guide is omitted for grams?

    More to the point, can i dump my guide and to what fault?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Why the chain guide?

    I would suggest you read up on XX1 & how it works.

    A quick summary is the rear uses a clutched rear derailer that only moves in a horizontal plane & a front chain ring that has narrow/wide teeth which holds the chain much better than conventional chain rings.

    You can dump your guide if you have a rear derailer with a clutch & front chain ring that has teeth that are narrow/wide. I have this setup & it is almost fool proof. I drop the chain on rare occasion but my drivetrain has a ton of mileage.


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  3. #3
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    For average to intermediate terrain they work like a charm but for more extreme terrain like techy descends not full proof,did a Super D last weekend and several friends who use XX1 had chain drop issues,and a close riding friend of mine tried the Race Face Narrow Wide had to many dropped chains now uses a guide...so not really race worthy but very nice for those who ride for fun only.

  4. #4
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    A lot of it has to do with frame design as well. I ride a RM slayer and they have almost zero chain growth throughout the entire travel and it is apparent when you let air out of suspension and fully compress (it was also a big selling point for me when doing my research). I had dropped chain plenty of times using 2x10 with non-clutch x9. Since going 1x10 and adding narrow wide with short cage x9 I haven't dropped a chain or even came close. Went out to highland once this year and other than that its a 4-5 days a week of medium sized (7ft) drops to flat, roots everywhere, high speed rock gardens, horrible landings, crashes, poor technique, really aggressive shifting... I literally try to drop the chain and can't.

    i have my upper pulley set so that it is as close to cassette as possible, also chain is as short as possible without putting too much strain on derailleur.

  5. #5
    dwt
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    Running Wolf Tooth 30T direct mount XX1 style ring on X9 spline crank; 11-40 ten speed cassette (SRAM 1070 + General Lee Adapter); X0 Type 2 mech, KMC chain with quick link, on 2010 Jamis 650B2 which I ride fairly hard in terrain suitable for 130mm travel. No chain issues whatsoever. With the tiny 30T ring, do not use or need bash. I think XX1 renders chain guides obsolete for most applications, meaning non racing/ non extreme. I'm glad. Had a guide on my 1X9 hardtail 27.5" conversion, but the chain had a tendency to get caught in the guide, requiring removal of either chain or guide to fix. Huge PITA. Run bashwhich on that now. For my needs no question that XX1 tooth pattern plus clutch mech the way to go. I'm very satisfied with and a huge supporter of Wolf Tooth Components.

    1X is for taking stuff OFF your bike to make it simpler and lighter, NOT for adding stuff back ON.
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  6. #6
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    First, comparing the two bikes, you're comparing apples to oranges with the Shimano 1x10 (which NEEDS the chain guide) and the SRAM XX1/X01 which doesn't NEED a chain guide, although some people find them helpful. In reality, keeping the clutch adjusted on the RD should take care of any drop issues with SRAM system, while I personally wouldn't own a bike that used the Shimano system, unless I replaced with the SRAM system.

  7. #7
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    Why the chain guide?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    First, comparing the two bikes, you're comparing apples to oranges with the Shimano 1x10 (which NEEDS the chain guide) and the SRAM XX1/X01 which doesn't NEED a chain guide, although some people find them helpful. In reality, keeping the clutch adjusted on the RD should take care of any drop issues with SRAM system, while I personally wouldn't own a bike that used the Shimano system, unless I replaced with the SRAM system.
    I've been riding a Shimano 1x10 setup with a RF narrow/wide ring without a chain guide for awhile now. I've had one dropped chain.
    I know several other people with the same setup that don't have chain guides as well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredjekyll View Post
    Went out to highland once this year and other than that its a 4-5 days a week of medium sized (7ft) drops to flat.
    .
    Remind me never to buy a bike off you if you consider a 7ft huck to flat medium sized.
    After 5 solid days of treatment like that I would think that a dropped chain would be the very least of your maintenance issues

  9. #9
    cowbell
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    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    Shimano 1x10 setup with a RF narrow/wide ring
    Well that's the key isn't it? The bike he's talking about doesn't come with the R/F Wide/Narrow ring, it comes with the Zee ring Shimano considers adequate. The Wide/Narrow design is based on the design that SRAM uses, so now you have a clutch RD and SRAM style ring. You just like the granny that you'd have with the SRAM 1x11.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffgre_6163 View Post
    Remind me never to buy a bike off you if you consider a 7ft huck to flat medium sized.
    After 5 solid days of treatment like that I would think that a dropped chain would be the very least of your maintenance issues
    Been on 97 rides for a total of 630 miles this year and the most intensive maintenance I have done is rotor truing/replacing rotors.

    I am very picky about my bike and like to keep it fresh.

    I take apart my frame at least once every two weeks and clean/lube everything and retorque to proper specs. I also clean fork and shock very often and cycle them through full travel often.

    As for wheels, I'm 180 geared up and I have had relatively minimal issues with wheels needing to be trued. Running a really beefy custom FR600 on a hope pro 2 on the back and it is a BEAST. Running straight as an arrow since day one and I have had some really miserable landings.

    Lastly, I would guess I have over a pound of protective material added onto my frame. Csixx guard on chainstay.. very thick adhesive rubber on the bottom tube and sides of the frame.. helicopter tape literally everywhere... all over the fork, all over the logo on my frame, essentially everywhere.

    If I didn't have the protective material and wasn't careful, I would completely agree wtih you about not wanting to buy a bike from me.. but my slayer is in extremely good condition, a lot better than bikes that I see selling for a nice chunk of change, not that I would ever sell it.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the responses.
    So.... it sounds like I may be able to get away with one of the Narrow/Wide chain rings out there.
    The SLX Shadow plus RD on my bike comes with a switch that they claim works as a clutch/tensioner. Not sure how this works in comparison the SRAM system. If it does work the same it would seam a simple chain ring swap.
    Or.. does the narrow/wide ring need to work with a special chain? I see chain for sale for use with 9, 10 or 11 speed then I see 11 speed specific.
    Would I need a special cassette?
    It all seams odd that Giant would go with a chain guide if they could have just gone with a different ring.

  12. #12
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    Why the chain guide?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scubae View Post
    Thanks for all the responses.
    So.... it sounds like I may be able to get away with one of the Narrow/Wide chain rings out there.
    The SLX Shadow plus RD on my bike comes with a switch that they claim works as a clutch/tensioner. Not sure how this works in comparison the SRAM system. If it does work the same it would seam a simple chain ring swap.
    Or.. does the narrow/wide ring need to work with a special chain? I see chain for sale for use with 9, 10 or 11 speed then I see 11 speed specific.
    Would I need a special cassette?
    It all seams odd that Giant would go with a chain guide if they could have just gone with a different ring.
    All you need is the new ring. The RD, cassette, and chain you have are fine.

  13. #13
    dwt
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    Why the chain guide?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scubae View Post
    Thanks for all the responses.
    So.... it sounds like I may be able to get away with one of the Narrow/Wide chain rings out there.
    The SLX Shadow plus RD on my bike comes with a switch that they claim works as a clutch/tensioner. Not sure how this works in comparison the SRAM system. If it does work the same it would seam a simple chain ring swap.
    Or.. does the narrow/wide ring need to work with a special chain? I see chain for sale for use with 9, 10 or 11 speed then I see 11 speed specific.
    Would I need a special cassette?
    It all seams odd that Giant would go with a chain guide if they could have just gone with a different ring.
    As stated you are set for 10 speed. You only need 11speed chain, mech and shifter if you want 11 speed. According to their FAQ, WTC chainrings are compatible with 9,10 and 11 speed chains.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  14. #14
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    Thanks again for the good info.
    One last question, how many links should come off the chain to make up for the added path length with the chain guide?
    I may also order a 32 (stock is 34) for places like MOAB. I would think I would have to remove links with the small ring and no guide?
    Thanks again!

  15. #15
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    I don't know what the guide path adds to the length of the chain. I'd recommend using a standard chain install procedure to check the length of the chain without the guide in place and adjust from there. If I were going to make an off the cuff guess for my own purposes, a single link.

  16. #16
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    Why not just run the chainguide and be done with it? While I don't currently run a 1x system, I know several people who do( mostly XX1) and they run a chainguide, as I would also for that added security. If you drop a chain on a bike with a front derailluer, you can shift the chain back on, if you drop it on a 1x, you have to stop to put it back on, that is why I believe that some bikes and riders run chainguides.

  17. #17
    dwt
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    Why the chain guide?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    Why not just run the chainguide and be done with it? While I don't currently run a 1x system, I know several people who do( mostly XX1) and they run a chainguide, as I would also for that added security. If you drop a chain on a bike with a front derailluer, you can shift the chain back on, if you drop it on a 1x, you have to stop to put it back on, that is why I believe that some bikes and riders run chainguides.
    But a chain can come off and get stuck in some guides, which requires removal of the guide to unravel. Now that's a PITA, trail side, I can tell you from experience. With XX1 narrow wide tooth pattern chainrings, especially when paired with clutch mechs, a guide is not a necessary part to hold a chain on. Intense freeride and DH riders may want "added security" due to the forces they are dealing with. But since the whole idea of 1X is taking stuff off your bike, making it lighter and simpler, most other riders can avoid the hassle, expense and counter production of adding parts back on by using XX1 style chainrings and clutch mechs. Read through the forums on this. Story after story of all kinds of hard riding with no chain loss. I've ridden my 1X10 all summer with no hint if a dropped chain. I ride in rocky terrain hard enough to burp tubeless tires; once even had my bar move in the stem clamp on a landing. But Wolf Tooth ring and SRAM Type 2 mech hold chain secure always. Some folks have same result with XX1 style rings and regular mech.
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  18. #18
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    ^^^ That. A chain guide is mostly just a hack for systems that are hacks. In my opinion, a chain that wants to come off is going to, guide or no. Takes 10 seconds to put a chain back on without the guide, 10 minutes with it. Lighter without the guide. Less noise without the guide. So set the system up right and ditch the guide.

  19. #19
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    I understand the whole premise behind how and why XX1 was designed, personally think it's an awesome group, next bike will be running it. I can't talk from personal experience of course, and those that use it, I take their word, but some of the local riders use, maybe not a chain guide, but more of a chain catcher for just a little added security on their race bikes.

  20. #20
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    Why the chain guide?-_dsc0025.jpg
    Thats why.

    To be fair there were no questions in getting a warranty replacement but it is really noisy while I am waiting for the new one. An it makes me worry about future durability.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Why the chain guide?-_dsc0025.jpg  


  21. #21
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    That guide looks pretty obtrusive, the one on my friends bikes are top mounted, no roller and does not drag against the chain.

  22. #22
    dwt
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    Why the chain guide?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    ^^^ That. A chain guide is mostly just a hack for systems that are hacks. In my opinion, a chain that wants to come off is going to, guide or no. Takes 10 seconds to put a chain back on without the guide, 10 minutes with it. Lighter without the guide. Less noise without the guide. So set the system up right and ditch the guide.
    That's correct if you're setting up a new bike. I have an older HT set up 1X9. It has regular front ring and mech. No way will the chain stay on for any sort of hard riding, without a retention device of some sort. Replacing the entire drivetrain not an economic option. So I tried seat tube mount top of ring guide. It was much better than nothing, but occasionally the chain would pop off and get wedged into the guide. The fix required removing the device, putting chain back on and then reinstalling the guide. Clearly unacceptable. My frame and drive side chainstay permitted use of a bashwhich, which is 100% effective in retaining chain. Downside is 3 parts weighing close to triple chainring.

    So for any new set up, 1X10 or 1X11 with narrow wide chainring and clutch mech an no chain retention is undoubtedly the best bet. 1X10 can be installed on a tighter budget than 1X11, though with gear losses on both high and low ends. No need of special hub or free hub body.
    Only hedge in favor of retention parts might be certain racers, XC, DH, or Enduro, who can't afford any chain drop at all. Let them install a guide as insurance if they insist. Note that reigning WC XC Champ races with XX1 with no guide. If he doesn't use or need one, chances are you don't either.

    Last edited by dwt; 10-15-2013 at 07:19 PM.
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  23. #23
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    Just a follow up, went with a RaceFace narrow wide, no issues at all and much quieter.
    Also much cleaner.

  24. #24
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    Good to hear!

  25. #25
    dwt
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    Why the chain guide?

    Another follow up. After riding all summer with no issues, I dropped my chain today. Conditions were wet with thick northeastern mud coating my chain, chainring and cassette. Lost my front wheel in the muck and front end drifted into a tree with bike laid over drive side up. Chain fell to inside. Crash in the mud the sort of extreme condition it took. Now I see why racers continue to use guides as insurance.
    Last edited by dwt; 11-11-2013 at 12:23 PM.
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