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  1. #1
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    Paul Chain Keeper Reviews

    How's this piece holding up for everyone? Any issues?
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    Just like I have found with other chain keepers I have used, you have to make sure it is set up exactly right. It can be touchy if it is a bit off.

    I dropped my chain 5 times during a race recently. Cost me a high finish as I was in much better shape then the 4 people that finished in front of me. Pissed me off and I'm now going to drop the 1X9 concept and move to a 2X9. I think this new setup will be faster for me which is part of the reason for the change.

    Now if your not racing, this chain keeper can work pretty well. I have been pleased overall as it has cut down on my chain drops for sure. In fact, before the race mentioned above, I hadn't dropped my chain in quite a while. If I wasn't in a race, I would have stopped and re-adjusted the chain keeper and probably been fine the rest of the day.

    I had to shave mine down a bit with a dremel to get it to not hit my cranks. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning.
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  3. #3
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    No problems with chain dropping at all with mine. The only issue I think they should address is the bolts. They should switch them around so the bolt heads are on the back side. It was pretty difficult to tighten the bolts because the down tube of my bike flares where it meets the bottom bracket. I had to cut a 5mm allen down a bit to fit it in the area.

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    I agree about the bolts being hard to access. I have a similar problem with my bike. My normal allens don't do a good job of getting to the bolts for the fine tuning. I have to use my CB multitool as it is the only allen I have that is short enough.
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    I have a couple of bikes with them and I like them. They are a PITA to install, though.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion
    I have a couple of bikes with them and I like them. They are a PITA to install, though.
    For the same reason as the others have mentioned (bolt positioning)?

  7. #7
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    I sent Paul Comp an email linking to this thread. Maybe they'll re-evaluate their bolt placement. It also seems they have a new BB-mounted model. Probably old news for you all, but I hadn't seen it.
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    I've not been riding mine very long, but I've had no dropped chains so far. I'll say that it will work a lot better with a spiderless or one ring specific crank rather than a repurposed 3sp crank. The spider for the big ring prevents the keeper from sitting down as far as it could. Still, the chain is completely enveloped by the device. I like it.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  9. #9
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    Another positive here. It won't fit snugly over the chain if you're running a spidered 32t ring, but it still keeps the chain on there. Bolt access is limited but possible. It requires precise adjustment initially but you can pretty much forget about it after that.

    I saw another thread where someone said all these devices are unnecessary since you can reposition the spring locator in the rear der and get enough chain tension to prevent drops. I might try that next time I run 1xN.

  10. #10
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    I have been using one of these for about 2 months now without a single problem.



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    I have a Paul on a 2010 Fisher Cobia. I am running a 32 up front. As stated the guide does not go all the way down due to the spider bolts. I did not have any issues getting the Paul on. I am going to go with a 34 up front when I get a 10 speed cassette. With the 34 the spider bolts will be less of an issue. I have not dropped a chain yet. I rode for a week without any guide when I first setup the 1x9 and did not have any drops then either. I do like the Paul and would consider the MRP as well. I have heard good things with both. It seems to me that racers prefer the MRP.
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  12. #12
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    I've been using a Chain Keeper for a couple months with mixed results. It took a lot of tweaking to get it initially aligned. It then worked flawlessly for several weeks (including a three-hour mud-bath XC race), and recently started causing problems again.

    I think the issues all stem from the mounting bolts. On my frame the bolts are nearly impossible to access and very difficult to properly torque. I have more impressions and photos on my blog.
    Dave
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  13. #13
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    From Paul...

    Thanks for that. Good to know. It’s been a struggle trying to get them to fit all the different kinds of frames these days. I initially designed it for my steel ‘cross bikes, but then it caught on big time. We’re slowly adapting and have some real good solutions coming out soon.





    Have a good ride,

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    I ran a Paul Chainkeeper on my Vassago and then on my Fargo. It worked beautifully on each bike once it was set-up correctly. Never dropped a chain through the rough, even using a long cage rear der with a little longer than needed chain. There are lots of adjustment a person needs to consider though when setting them up thats for sure. The guide has to be the right height vertically, and also needs to be tilted properly to cover the increase in the chain rise on the larger rear cogs. The guide obviously has to be extended the right distance out for proper chainring\chainline, but I always found that the guide itself had to be angled slightly to properly cover the entire range of cogs in the back without rubbing on the inside of the guide. That may have been an issue with my chainline being slightly off center perhaps. Once set though I never had an issue. A very nicely built part with a nice understated look.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris1911
    I have been using one of these for about 2 months now without a single problem.


    MRP has better design than Paul Chainkeeper at least for MTB. Jut setup and forget. It keeps a chain in the right direction when Paul Chainkeeper just prevents a chain from poping up. I had PC and my chain jammed few times on bumps and logs (once it caused disconnecting SRAM link). I have MRP now and it runs perfectly with absolutely zero adjustments.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex_k
    MRP has better design than Paul Chainkeeper at least for MTB. Jut setup and forget. It keeps a chain in the right direction when Paul Chainkeeper just prevents a chain from poping up. I had PC and my chain jammed few times on bumps and logs (once it caused disconnecting SRAM link). I have MRP now and it runs perfectly with absolutely zero adjustments.
    Some of the local guys have been using the MRP with great results. I have also been checking out the e.13 xcx guide as well and they both seem to be good performers and look well made. These alternative options to the Paul chainkeeper look like something off of a downhill bike though, and rightly so as that is the core focus of both of those manufacturers. I know this is popular with some folks but for me personally its a downside and I think that is one reason that the Paul chain keeper has been popular with XC riders who like the clean understated look of the Paul guide for their XC rides. No hate for the MRP (or e.13 for that matter) here, just a counterpoint as to why some folks would prefer the Pauls over the MRP.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by N10S
    ...These alternative options to the Paul chainkeeper look like something off of a downhill bike though...
    I looked at the MRP as well, but I suppose I'm vain because I didn't like the look and wanted something a bit more subtle.

    Short Update: On my weekly night ride yesterday I managed to bump the Chain Keeper while carrying the bike through a few fallen trees. The bump knocked the Chain Keeper out of alignment, and I spent much of the remainder of the ride trying to adjust it. I finally just gave up and set it so that it wouldn't rub in the small cog, and that is where it still is.

    I have an enduro race coming up in a couple weeks and I'll let you know how it goes.
    Dave
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  18. #18
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    Love mine, but setup is finicky.

    Once you take the time to do it right, there is no rub or added friction. Never had a single problem with it.

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    Last edited by detroitmike; 04-20-2011 at 07:23 PM.

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    I reccently switch to a 1x9 and have decided to go with the paul chainkeeper for my XC racing use but haven't "really" got to test it out completely yet , I have noticed that when I was doing a road ride test today I jammed the chain twice in a 30 mile period just shifting from the 13t cog to the 11t cog so I ended up taking more links out the chain to see if it'll fix that.
    As for the trails , I rode my home town course pretty fast and no problems at all probably because I was riding from the center cogs up , pretty rough and rooty stuff too.
    Well I,m going to put it to the test tomorrow @ Balm Boyette Fl. and see what the deal is .
    I'm really fond of the low profile and sleek design but what is looks if it doesn't function well, Right?
    I also got a MRP 1x if it dissapionts me tomorrow . I haven't tried that one either but I will sooner or later.

    THIS BIKING THING IS DANGEROULY ADDICTIVE!!!
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  21. #21
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    Well here's the updates from Boyette and the Paul chain keeper review, I did extensive testing and the Paul chain keeper did pretty good on the smooth and flats but when it comes to the bumpy, rooty areas
    and trying to go fast really don't mix well, the chain tends to jump over the chainring right before the guide block and gets wedge between the guide block and the chainring knocking the guide out of whack or bending and breaking teeth on the ring , Luckily I wasn't cranking down when this happened .
    I see this guide block for more of a commuter/ NoN Agressive riding for mountain bikes , to bad it doesn't perform as good as it looks because the looks are killer.
    I see it good for road 1x9 or as a security for single speeds but for XC applications ecspecially racing is
    Selling mine, anybody wants

  22. #22
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    I used my Paul Chainkeeper on several different bikes and can assure you that it wasn't on commuter trails. Granted the singletrack around the St.Louis isn't as rough as the ones I have ridden out west, but there are plenty of rocks and roots to contend with and my bikes get hammered a lot. The Paul chain keeper was only ever used on a rigid 29er which really adds to the beating. My experience with the chainkeeper was that I had to make a few adjustments to keep the chain from rubbing, but I never dropped a chain or had a chain jam. I used mine with a middleburn RS7 and uno ring and later with an old school race face LP with Salsa 32 T ring. No issues. My buddy bought one and he has had similar issues to the ones you describe. He is running a 952 XTR crank w/single ring and I have been with him on several occassions when his has come off and jammed. I ended-up selling my last chainkeeper with my last bike and am now running a parts bin Ngear which tends to hop off to the outside when shifting to a smaller cog whicle hitting the rough stuff. Too much chain and no outer guide to keep it in place.

    What size is your Pauls clamp?

  23. #23
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    Its a 31.8mm clamp dia. and looks brand spanking new, rode on it twice with less than 50miles
    PM me an offer and we'll barter the price

  24. #24
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    I've set up several of them on CX bikes and all have been great. The one thing they need to change or at least make an option is a higher mount. If they would put the clamp above the guide it would work better on carbon bikes that have oversized BB joints. Running a small-ish ring on a carbon bike it's impossible to get it as low as I'd like to see it.

  25. #25
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    You can get an extension now that allows you to mount the clamp up high.

    Paul Component Engineering - Chain Keeper

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Paul Chain Keeper Reviews-moto-trail-002.jpg  


  27. #27
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    Well here's the updates from Boyette and the Paul chain keeper review, I did extensive testing and the Paul chain keeper did pretty good on the smooth and flats but when it comes to the bumpy, rooty areas
    and trying to go fast really don't mix well, the chain tends to jump over the chainring right before the guide block and gets wedge between the guide block and the chainring knocking the guide out of whack or bending and breaking teeth on the ring , Luckily I wasn't cranking down when this happened .
    I see this guide block for more of a commuter/ NoN Agressive riding for mountain bikes , to bad it doesn't perform as good as it looks because the looks are killer.
    I see it good for road 1x9 or as a security for single speeds but for XC applications ecspecially racing is
    I had the exact same experience and ended up selling it.

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    Although I have only a couple of rides in with it, I have found it to work flawlessly so far. I do have the bike setup with a short cage rear derailleur, single speed chainring, 10 speed cassette, and a fairly short chain. My frame is steel so I have also found setup to be not as difficult as some describe because of the smaller diameter tubing with the steel frame. I do have standard 104 BCD spider type cranks so I can't get the guide down as close to the chain as I would like due to clearance with the crank spider, but I figure if I ever have issues with the chain jumping I could remove some material from the guide in order to position it lower. I did angle the guide piece slightly forward in order to get the front of the guide a bit closer to the chain ring. I will say the clean looks of the piece might have influenced me to try this device over some of the other ones out there but if it continues to work like it has so far I will be more than happy.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 251 View Post

    I've been using a Chain Keeper for a couple months with mixed results. It took a lot of tweaking to get it initially aligned. It then worked flawlessly for several weeks (including a three-hour mud-bath XC race), and recently started causing problems again.

    I think the issues all stem from the mounting bolts. On my frame the bolts are nearly impossible to access and very difficult to properly torque. I have more impressions and photos on my blog.
    Hi, i haven't used the Paul unit yet, but from your picture i'm wonder if you could use longer bolts and thread them in reversed, and then use a washer and stop nut on the side that is hard to access?

    That way you have clear access to the allen bolt's head.

    Worth a shot if i was setting one up.

  30. #30
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    I have two of them and will be purchasing a third soon. I have one on a rigid Gary Fisher 1x9 setup and another on a full suspension KHS 1x9 setup. I just picked up an Orbea Alma with 2x10 setup and will be converting over to a 1x10 with the Paul Chain Keeper on that as well...

    I've not thrown a chain since I installed them on the other two bikes... it's an excellent piece in my opinion.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. ~ Albert Einstein

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejeweler View Post
    Hi, i haven't used the Paul unit yet, but from your picture i'm wonder if you could use longer bolts and thread them in reversed, and then use a washer and stop nut on the side that is hard to access?

    That way you have clear access to the allen bolt's head.

    Worth a shot if i was setting one up.
    That could work, but I found that a ball-head allen wrench does the trick. The torque doesn't have to be too high, so the ball-head is alright.

    In the two years since I posted the initial impressions, the chain keeper has been great-- I don't remember the last time I had to touch it. The best change I made was since then was to swap the Shimano ring for a real SS ring. The drivetrain has been perfect ever since. I think back-pedalling with a ramped multi-speed ring was the cause of many of the initial problems.

    Dave
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  32. #32
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    I put one on my wife's bike and few months ago. Setup took a bit of trial and error but once it was set, it has been good. I do like the idea in another post of the Pauls modified to work with a bash ring.

  33. #33
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    I modifed the Paul keeper to work with a BBG bashguard, and am going to remove it and go to a bashwich like I had on my other bike. Have had more chain issues in the last month than in 5 years with the bashwich (never lost a chain in 5 years - have had issues the last 3 times we rode with the keeper).
    When the chain bounces it gets wedged between the keeper and the chainring, and either gets jammed or you have to backpedal and hope it did not get too far off the ring. When this happens, the keeper spins on the frame, or spins in the bracket, and you are stooged for the rest of the day, since they are hard to get in the right place. I have been keeping a special allen wrench in my pocket for these occurences, because you sure can't get a multi-tool on those bolts to adjust anything. I have not looked yet, but the chain/chainring is now making a constant clicking - I think the chainoffs have bent a tooth or a section of the chain.
    I originally tried it because I was not sure if I had clearance for the inner bashguard of the bashwich, but I think if I mill some of the inner chainring mounting pads off, I can clear the frame with the inner guard and position it in place to retain the chain.
    All that being said, one of the trails we ride is pretty smooth, and I have not had as much trouble there, but if you ride a rough, rooty trail, forget about it.

  34. #34
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    Has anyone tried the clamp-on on a carbon frame? or too risky?

    I have the BB mount Chain Keeper - There doesn't seem to be enough room for me to run the chain keeper in either position.
    My BB area on my carbon bike is quite bulky, on a 73mm BB there is no clearance left for spacers, it becomes the only spacer.

    When mounted the only way it fits (bolts facing the crank, not the frame) the bolts hit the crank.
    I can't mount it backwards, the jog in the bracket hits the frame. BSA threaded areas are flush with carbon.

    I have the ability to make a new BB bracket from scratch on my milling machine, but if the clamp-on one is safe it seems like alot of work to re-invent something.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by roobydoo View Post
    Has anyone tried the clamp-on on a carbon frame? or too risky?

    I have the BB mount Chain Keeper - There doesn't seem to be enough room for me to run the chain keeper in either position.
    My BB area on my carbon bike is quite bulky, on a 73mm BB there is no clearance left for spacers, it becomes the only spacer.

    When mounted the only way it fits (bolts facing the crank, not the frame) the bolts hit the crank.
    I can't mount it backwards, the jog in the bracket hits the frame. BSA threaded areas are flush with carbon.

    I have the ability to make a new BB bracket from scratch on my milling machine, but if the clamp-on one is safe it seems like alot of work to re-invent something.
    I think it's completely safe to install on a carbon bike. However on some frame it's hard to get it low enough. With the big BB junctions that are on most carbon bikes these days it limits how low you can get the clamp. If your also running a small-ish chain ring it can be a deal breaker. It would be nice if they could do a high and low mount clamp. If you could put the clamp above the guide it would make the difference for carbon bikes.

  36. #36
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    Mine was nothing but problems and its a real pain to set-up and adjust. I now have the E13 one and it works perfectly. Its easy to set-up and adjust, I am bummed that I ever wasted money on the Paul's.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychler View Post
    Mine was nothing but problems and its a real pain to set-up and adjust. I now have the E13 one and it works perfectly. Its easy to set-up and adjust, I am bummed that I ever wasted money on the Paul's.
    I second this. started with the Pauls, here are my issues with it. First and foremost is the open cage design, no matter how tite you get the Pauls, it will eventually shift and you will either drop the chain best case or get an ugly case of chain suck/stuck between the CR and keeper. This happened a few times before I ponied up for the e13. The e13 cage is bomb proof.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychler View Post
    Mine was nothing but problems and its a real pain to set-up and adjust. I now have the E13 one and it works perfectly. Its easy to set-up and adjust, I am bummed that I ever wasted money on the Paul's.
    Yep. The one I had back when this thread started is long gone. Such a pain in the ass to adjust with the way the bolts were situated. I was able to sell it on ebay and got back more than half what i paid. Using an mrp on the current bike.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem1 View Post
    I second this. started with the Pauls, here are my issues with it. First and foremost is the open cage design, no matter how tite you get the Pauls, it will eventually shift and you will either drop the chain best case or get an ugly case of chain suck/stuck between the CR and keeper. This happened a few times before I ponied up for the e13. The e13 cage is bomb proof.
    Well, one of the mistakes people make with these top guides is that you have to have the inside "ceiling" of the guide down over the chain as far as you can. If the inside of the guide is literally right on top of the chain then there's almost no way it can jump up enough to wedge itself in there. If theres more than half the chains thickness it's too high. I set mine with only the slightest gap... probably 2mm.

    This becomes difficult if you're using a 32t or 30t on a crank with arms. On my mrp I've relieved some of the plastic so that I can get the guide real low and the crank arm tabs still clear. You can cut some off the outside vertical part of the paul and accomplish the same thing.

    Using a few pics from this page -

    too high


    too high


    this guy gets it

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    Well, one of the mistakes people make with these top guides is that you have to have the inside "ceiling" of the guide down over the chain as far as you can. If the inside of the guide is literally right on top of the chain then there's almost no way it can jump up enough to wedge itself in there. If theres more than half the chains thickness it's too high. I set mine with only the slightest gap... probably 2mm.

    This becomes difficult if you're using a 32t or 30t on a crank with arms. On my mrp I've relieved some of the plastic so that I can get the guide real low and the crank arm tabs still clear. You can cut some off the outside vertical part of the paul and accomplish the same thing.

    Using a few pics from this page -

    too high


    too high


    this guy gets it
    I understand this, but as per my original post, the clamp design on the pauls is lacking and will come loose and shift causing these issues. You can stay diligent, retorqueing frequently or just go e13 and be done with it

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