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  1. #1
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    How do I stop chain suck on a Gary Fisher?

    I just bought an 06 Gary Fisher Cake 1 DLX and I have occasional chain suck, which I hear is a common problem on Fisher bikes? I've heard something about putting plastic cable ties "somewhere?" to stop the problem. Can anyone give me suggestions on how to stop chain suck? I would love to see pictures of the cable ties, etc.

    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    usually cranky
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    ive never heard of stopping chain suck with cable ties. its a feature of the suspension design/ your peddaling technique.

  3. #3
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    have you looked in the gary fisher forums further down, better chance of getting an answer or advice there than in here.
    though I had the same bike as you until someone stole it, keeping the chain clean is one way to prevent chain suck

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madison Bike Rider
    I just bought an 06 Gary Fisher Cake 1 DLX and I have occasional chain suck, which I hear is a common problem on Fisher bikes? I've heard something about putting plastic cable ties "somewhere?" to stop the problem. Can anyone give me suggestions on how to stop chain suck? I would love to see pictures of the cable ties, etc.

    Thanks!!!
    Chain suck is generally caused by worn chainrings and/or chain, lack of lube, and/or a dirty drivetrain, not the frame design. The chain can jam in the frame as a result of chain suck.

    Devices can be added to reduce the jamming, but it is best to fix the cause.
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  5. #5
    usually cranky
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Chain suck is generally caused by worn chainrings and/or chain, lack of lube, and/or a dirty drivetrain, not the frame design. The chain can jam in the frame as a result of chain suck.
    right. scratch my original post, i was thinking of pedal feedback.

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone for the info. I hear that using a small stainless chainring will help stop chain suck (I guess because it's harder and less likely to get scuffed up, etc.). Should I consider that option when replacing?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madison Bike Rider
    Thanks everyone for the info. I hear that using a small stainless chainring will help stop chain suck (I guess because it's harder and less likely to get scuffed up, etc.). Should I consider that option when replacing?

    Chain suck is usually caused by stiff links in the chain....either stiff from heavy lube. no lube, or mud and dirt.

    I would first clean and lube the chain, and check the chain for wear.

    Replace the chain if it is worn.

    Look at the chain rings are they shark toothed (worn) if so it probably means a new drive train....

    Rings cassette and chain.

  8. #8
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madison Bike Rider
    Thanks everyone for the info. I hear that using a small stainless chainring will help stop chain suck (I guess because it's harder and less likely to get scuffed up, etc.). Should I consider that option when replacing?
    Yes, a stainless ring can help. Aluminum rings wear more quickly and can get burrs on the teeth easily, which promote chain suck.
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  9. #9
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    I think there is a lot of talk on this forum about chain suck for various bikes.

    For someone to say it is cause by a dirty chain, rings, lack of lube... etc... Doesn't understand that the only people who probably would take the time to register on this forum and ask a question probably already care enough about their bikes to make sure that this stuff is not the cause.

    In my case I am certain that it is caused by the lack luster wal-mart crank set and chain rings that Cannondale decided to put on their F5 mtb. In any case here is what I have done. Once I get a new crankset and chainrings I will undo the fix and see but for now this works.

    Take a plastic tie strap or maybe three, put it around the frame bar at the location where the chain would get sucked up. Pull the tie straps closed and tight. Slide and test the location with the chain by hand to ensure that a chain can't fit in between there any more. Tighten more and cut the excess plastic tie strap off. Go riding and forget about it until you get new chain rings.

    I also used a "Wadding" of duct tape and that worked good too but having duct on your bike doesn't look so great. Nor does have a plastic tie but no one will see it. You can probably get ties in the same color as the frame!

    From what I see and read, I believe #1 cause of chainsuck is just low/entry level chainrings, they get freyed, bent, etc... and they just won't let go of the chain properly. The plastic tie may not stop the cause, but they will stop the effect and that sure beats having a frame looking like a mechanical pitbull went to town on it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownrl
    I think there is a lot of talk on this forum about chain suck for various bikes.

    For someone to say it is cause by a dirty chain, rings, lack of lube... etc... Doesn't understand that the only people who probably would take the time to register on this forum and ask a question probably already care enough about their bikes to make sure that this stuff is not the cause.

    In my case I am certain that it is caused by the lack luster wal-mart crank set and chain rings that Cannondale decided to put on their F5 mtb. In any case here is what I have done. Once I get a new crankset and chainrings I will undo the fix and see but for now this works.

    Take a plastic tie strap or maybe three, put it around the frame bar at the location where the chain would get sucked up. Pull the tie straps closed and tight. Slide and test the location with the chain by hand to ensure that a chain can't fit in between there any more. Tighten more and cut the excess plastic tie strap off. Go riding and forget about it until you get new chain rings.

    I also used a "Wadding" of duct tape and that worked good too but having duct on your bike doesn't look so great. Nor does have a plastic tie but no one will see it. You can probably get ties in the same color as the frame!

    From what I see and read, I believe #1 cause of chainsuck is just low/entry level chainrings, they get freyed, bent, etc... and they just won't let go of the chain properly. The plastic tie may not stop the cause, but they will stop the effect and that sure beats having a frame looking like a mechanical pitbull went to town on it.
    First, poor quality rings can cause chain suck and are included with "dirty chain, rings, lack of lube..." You should always try the simple and oblivious things before making wholesale component changes, or installing a patch for the symptoms.

    Second, nobody except you has mentioned Cannondale in this thread. Whatever C'Dale is doing has zero affect on chain suck on other bikes.
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  11. #11
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    Good job!

    Thanks guys! I have just put the plastic ties around the frame as you suggested. And yes, my bike is clean and my chain is lubed with high quality LBS chain lube. My chain rings and cassette have maybe 25% wear. If you search the web, for some reason Gary Fisher bikes are great but they have chain suck (and mine has a full Shimano XT crankset/cassette, etc.).

    I think I will go ahead and replace everything and move this cassette to my spare wheel, and move this XT chainset to my Trek Liquid, which is starting to show some wear at the BB with the Bontrager crankset. While it's off, I'll buff the chain rings and do a real close inspection to see if I can find the problem.

    Thanks again everyone for taking the time to offer advice and to respond.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownrl
    I think there is a lot of talk on this forum about chain suck for various bikes.

    For someone to say it is cause by a dirty chain, rings, lack of lube... etc... Doesn't understand that the only people who probably would take the time to register on this forum and ask a question probably already care enough about their bikes to make sure that this stuff is not the cause....
    I totally agree with both of these points. If everybody is saying something it must be true. Also, if someone is taking the time to post here with a question about bike maintanence, they certainly already know the answer to their own question.

    Ever hear of Occam's back brush? "The most complicated solution is the answer to the question for which you already know the answer." That is pretty much how I approach all of the bike maintenance issues I don't know, yet do know, how to tackle.

  13. #13
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    Sorry for trying to help shiggy. So I guess I don't need to post the photos of how I completely eliminated this problem...?

  14. #14
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    No? I would like to see your set up. Please post the picture.

  15. #15
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    I'll throw it in there that some bikes are just designed so that chain suck is much, much more prevalent: salsa el kaboing + big mama. GF could just have a similar issue? although with the salsa's, it is due to a weld area on the chainstay that protrudes very far into the chain line and grabs the chain as it goes thru the suspension stroke when in the small ring.

  16. #16
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    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink

    This is my attempt for the time being to stop the result, the cause as stated above is my chain rings ( factory default aluminum, truvativ... )

    Plastic Ties and some duct tape. I use the tie ends to block up where possible chain suck could occur.

    Did 6 rides with this in crazy winter conditions no issues yet. Will get new chain rings later.

  17. #17
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    mnigro, I totally agree some brands just never get it. My other unknown craig's list special bike has so much clearance between the frame and the chain rings that it would be impossible to get a chain stuck in there. So while it may be happening I never notice...

  18. #18
    human dehumidifier
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    As mnigro said, on some frames it's a feature, not a bug.
    When you get older, much of your hate comes from knowledge and experience, which is why really old people hate everyone

  19. #19
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    Good job!

    I put the cable ties on and rode today and it was perfect. I don't know if that's the best fix, but the bike was great. Thanks again for the photo brownrl. That's exactly where I put mine as well.

  20. #20
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    My current bike is the 2007 HIFI Deluxe and I never experience chain suck.

    I clean everything that has moving parts every month, disassembling to clean more than a sponge or rag's cleaning capability. Chemistry is important to temperatures so the grease and oil will vary throughout the year.

  21. #21
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    I have an 08 HiFi and never had chainsuck, but I have a Raleigh 29er that has had the problem. Gonna try the tie-wrap idea.

  22. #22
    usually cranky
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownrl

    For someone to say it is cause by a dirty chain, rings, lack of lube... etc... Doesn't understand that the only people who probably would take the time to register on this forum and ask a question probably already care enough about their bikes to make sure that this stuff is not the cause.

    In my case I am certain that it is caused by the lack luster wal-mart crank set and chain rings that Cannondale decided to put on their F5 mtb. In any case here is what I have done. Once I get a new crankset and chainrings I will undo the fix and see but for now this works.
    as shiggy said all that is pretty much the same.

  23. #23
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    Anyone have a picture of the zip ties in action?

  24. #24
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    Yep, I had a 04 Cake 3, 02 Tassahara, and my wife had a 02 Sugar 4. Chain suck is an issue with the Fisher bikes around that era. The cable ties definitely help (make sure you get the thickest ones you can find) and place them as close to where the big ring nears the chainstay. Keeping your chain as clean as possible helps, but that's about it.

    New parts do not always correct design flaws.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  25. #25
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    You'll need super thick zip ties(1/4"). Zip 2-3 ties to the part where the chain gets stuck on the chainstay and simply leave long, 1/2" tabs protruding off the zip tie ends. These tabs are whats gonna "push" the chain back on its intended path, once they try to bunch up on the chainstay. I believe some pre-2001 Gary Fishers used a metal plate, screwed to the bottom of the drive-side chainstay, with two notches to prevent chainsuck.

    I made myself a chainstay guard, using metal roof flashing, pounded to shape with mallet and bonded to the frame with Shoe Goo. Works just like OEM:



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