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  1. #1
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    Chain Suck with E13 Cranks

    Has anyone else out there had any chain suck issues with their E13 cranks? As a shop we have 3 people - including myself on them - and we all have chain suck problems on the same rides. The people with the Truvativ crank and Mr Whirly cranks are not having the same problems. We keep cleaning the chains and lube the chains after every ride... but it is getting to be alot of work. Has anyone tried different rings? or has anyone found a solution?

    I like everything about the cranks except for the chain suck issues and the fact that maybe every 5-8 rides I have to pull the BB and regrease it because of grit and contamination. I talked to someone at E13 a while back and they said there is a new BB coming out - does anyone know if it is out yet?

    thanks for any info you all might have

  2. #2
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    Mine have been running fine with no chainsuck. I have a good chainline since I moved the cassette out 5mm to avoid tire rub. I have a couple hundred miles on the cranks at least and not one instance of suck. Maybe it's your chain?
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  3. #3
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    I am running all 3 spacers on the drive side. I am going to move one over to the non drive side and see if that improves my chain line. My chain, cassette and crank were all new when i built the bike up. I tried a new chain 2 weeks ago and had the same problem on the 1st ride with that chain.... so I am thinking it is either a chain line issue or a chain ring issue.....

  4. #4
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    No chainsuck issues on my E13 equipped Mukluk 2. I run BFLs, so the cassette is down 1 gear, and spaced over. Pics and detail here.

  5. #5
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    I had it happen once, in the big ring while downshifting.

    I've got hundred of miles in. We'll see if it happens again.

  6. #6
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    None here.
    What lube do you use?

  7. #7
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    are you using a 10sp chain on 9sp chain rings? I've heard it can contribute to chain suck. I rode all of 2011 on my mtb with a 9 speed drivetrain and a 10sp chain with no issues though.

  8. #8
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    I'm pretty certain E13 recommends to not run 3 spacers on the drive side - should be 2 on the drive and one on the non-drive. I'm running a spacer next to the shell and then the E-type derailleur on the outside, and one spacer with one or two of the thin/ wavy washers on the ND side. So far it's been good, but I was a little concerned about the rather limited seal on the bearings - curious if anyone knows more about the allegedly new BB ?
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  9. #9
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    I had some minor issues on my 2011 Mukluk 2 on a dry sand beach ride, but none lately. I'd also be interested in the BB improvements should there be any.

  10. #10
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    I had real bad chain suck for one ride in really sloppy slush / mud conditions that really ate up the paint on my chain stay. But changed my lube from a wax based to an oil based and haven't had the problem since in some sloppier riding days.

  11. #11
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    Muk2 with the 3 spacers on drive side, and no 22 tooth ring, only the 32 and a bash guard. And it has chain suck when it gets muddy and snowy, so it may have to do with the ramps on the e13 chainring, or the KMC chain. Buddy has one too, same issues.

  12. #12
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    Happened Once

    I had that problem 15 minutes into a ride on a just-built bike. I assumed it was a bad shift, and the problem didn't re-occur. Good thing I had a 9 speed SRAM chain with a Powerlink.

  13. #13
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    I had this..

    I have this on my Fatback with the e13 set-up. It was from the middle ring to the chain stay (with out me attempting to shift).

    I finally changed the chain and while the chain was off, I scrubbed and check the chain rings - even sanded a couple of them.
    Hasn't happened since I've done all of that, but maybe have 70 - 100 miles only on them since.

    If it starts up again, I'm going to change out the chain ring,

    Also - interested in a new BB from them as well.
    "To Name me, is to label me." -
    Michi or Dick Van Patton

  14. #14
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    Is KMC chain the issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devine Intervention View Post
    I had that problem 15 minutes into a ride on a just-built bike. I assumed it was a bad shift, and the problem didn't re-occur. Good thing I had a 9 speed SRAM chain with a Powerlink.
    From what I can tell, the KMC Z99 chain they use is a low end chain. I can't even find it online to confirm the price. With the SRAM chain (971 or 991 are my usual XC chains) is anyone having that problem?

  15. #15
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    We have tried a bunch of different lubes at our shop on employee bikes and our demo fleet. Squirt seems to be the best combination of being a protector and durable lube. It is a wax based lube though.

    I have been using a SRAM 971 chain. None of us with the e13 have had any issues with chain suck in the big ring - only the middle and 22.

    I just pulled my BB again and found my non drive side bearings to be nearly seized up.... i just repacked it with grease last week - so it lasted me 2 rides. It got me thinking though about replacing the existing bearings with Phil Wood press fit 30 bearings. It looks like the outer diameter is the same as the e13 bb uses.... has anyone tried replacing their e13 bearings? i will call e13 today and see if i can get more info on the release date of their new BB.

  16. #16
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    Ive got a Muk2 with 3 drive side spacers, a full 9 speed cassette, and all 3 chainrings. Ive had suck a few times in the middle ring, but only when the chain is really mucked up with mud, seriously sticky mud that sticks to the tires and then coats the chain. I think that KMC chain is a POS though, I lube and clean regularly with blue RocknRoll and Ive had 3 links seize tight in only 220 miles.

  17. #17
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    I've heard of a few problems with the chain rings on the E 13's. I never did but I know Pete B. from Speedway had problems and was talking about it.

  18. #18
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    I have experienced chain suck one day and it was during a race. The conditions were really muddy and soft, so the only thing I could think of is the chain was stiff from all of the dirt. The race was a team event were I shared my bike with three other riders. I was the first person to ride the loop from my team, the next three time that I made the loop I would hear an awful sound, I thought it was dirt in the BB. But it was during my last loop that I realized what was making that awful noise. I have a Ti mukluk and only use the middle, 32T, chainring of my e13 crank and have 9-speed cassette. I followed the installation instructions for the crank, so I have two spacers on the drive side and one on the non-drive side. Bike is sitting until I have time to do a thorough cleaning and I have more brake pads. Sand and mud is hell on brakes.

  19. #19
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    Hey Guys,
    Chris here from e*thirteen. Stoked to see such a constructive discussion on a forum. Great stuff!

    Just a couple of pointers if you are experiencing chainsuck:

    1. Make sure that the crank is set up with the proper chainline as this can impact the possibility of chainsuck. If your bike is a 68mm BSA shell: 2 of the 2.5mm spacers on the drive side and 1 on the non drive side. If a 73mm BSA shell: Just 1 on the drive side. A few mm really does make a difference when it comes to chainline and chainsuck.

    2. We have found that Shimano chains are less likely to chainsuck when compared with SRAM. According to our engineers, this is due to SRAM using more clearance between the pins and bushings than Shimano which means the chain can flex more side to side. This helps with upshifts, but is bad for chainsuck.

    3. If you are running your crank set up as a SS. Be sure that you are running a non ramped and pinned ring. We offer our Guiderings is 7 different colors and sizes from 32-40 in 1 tooth increments.

    4. If you, or your shop is having a tough time solving your chainsuck (or any other issue related to our products) give us a call. We can work through the problem with you and hearing about any issues you are having is important feedback for us. Our office number is 800.801.9936. You can also drop us a line via email at info@bythehive.com

    Hopefully that helps a bit. Give us a ring or fire off an email if you have more questions or need some additional info.

    Cheers,

    Chris

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perigeum Development View Post
    Hey Guys,
    Chris here from e*thirteen. Stoked to see such a constructive discussion on a forum. Great stuff!
    Totally awesome to have a company come on and provide thoughts. <Golf clap>

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perigeum Development View Post
    Hey Guys,
    Chris here from e*thirteen. Stoked to see such a constructive discussion on a forum. Great stuff!

    Just a couple of pointers if you are experiencing chainsuck:

    1. Make sure that the crank is set up with the proper chainline as this can impact the possibility of chainsuck. If your bike is a 68mm BSA shell: 2 of the 2.5mm spacers on the drive side and 1 on the non drive side. If a 73mm BSA shell: Just 1 on the drive side. A few mm really does make a difference when it comes to chainline and chainsuck.


    Chris
    Cool you are here but you should realize this is the fat bike forum 100mm bb all the way!

  22. #22
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    Darn...I looked right past that! How in the world....? Complete brainfart.

    So yes, for 100mm shell, 2 of the 2.5mm BB spacers on the drive and 1 on the non-drive.

    Thanks for catching that Bdundee!

    CC

  23. #23
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    Perigeum Development:

    My stock Muk 2 came with all three spacers on the drive side. It is working just fine for me, but is this not recommended? If I leave it this way, am I going to hurt something or should I switch it to 1 non, 2 drive.

    No chain suck issues here, although the stock chain on the muk 2, does seem a little rough. Have to keep it very lubed for it to sound smooth.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Insainio View Post
    Perigeum Development:

    My stock Muk 2 came with all three spacers on the drive side. It is working just fine for me, but is this not recommended? If I leave it this way, am I going to hurt something or should I switch it to 1 non, 2 drive.
    I know of people run them like this but they are not centered with the frame and there is very little thread left in the bb. I set one up just to see how much clearance I would gain with a bfl and there is no way I would've rode the bike like that. Just my 2 cents.

  25. #25
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    Insainio,
    Let me check with Salsa if there is a reason I'm not aware of that those were assembled w/3 on the drive side. It is possible that it was done for chain/tire clearance when you are in the 22t chainring and largest cog in the back. As I know things have started getting tight there with some of the new larger tires. Ill have to get back to you on this one.

    Within reason, you won't hurt anything running it that way as long as your ND crank has plenty of clearance on the stays. There is some concern about thread engagement when you run 3 spacers on one side however, so if you are riding really aggressively (drops/jumps/hard impacts) it would probably be worth correcting. Even with a 2.5mm shift outboard it is still possible that everything works fine and shifts correctly. Since chainsuck can be caused by lots of different things, when we are trying to diagnose that problem, chainline is one of the things to check.


    Back at ya with some info soon.

    CC

  26. #26
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    I should add, using a shimano chain and finish line dry teflon lube. No issues.

    On a side note, anyone using the plastic dust shield things on either side of the bb? I must have forgot to put them on, and my bearings and grease look new. Friend of mine has the same cranks on his regular bike with the plastic pieces in place. His bearings were rusted and looked horrible. Almost seems that mud and water can
    wick in behind and cause issues??
    Last edited by Shark; 02-08-2012 at 06:20 PM.

  27. #27
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    If i am running my fatbike in a 1x9, will a chainguide help with chain suck or will it only add the problem because there are more places for mud to get stuck in? If a chainguide would help what would be the best, e13 srs+ for example?

  28. #28
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    I have Muk 2...came with a KMC chain and 3 spacers on the drive side.
    Zero problems with chain suck.
    I have since moved 1 of the spacers and still have good tire clearance.
    I did have suck problems on my 29er with a SRAM chain. Swapped to a shimano and the problem was solved.

  29. #29
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    That is interesting that a Shimano chain would make that big of a difference... but Chris's explanation makes sense, I will try that next.

    The reason shops are setting the e13 cranks up with 3 spacers on the drive side is completely for tire clearance issues. We had a few customers complain that they were getting tire rub... so we called Salsa and they suggested using all 3 on the drive side. It does work.... but that extra spacer stretches the limits of the front derailleur to reach the big ring - which might not be a big deal for many....

    I did call e13 yesterday about the redesigned BB. They have them in stock but QBP is out of stock. It sounds like the seal is better on the new version - but the biggie is that they are using angular contact bearings - which will help alot with wear and should help if you are having problems with your BB seizing - like me. They are also coming out with a version that will have silicon nitride on the outer seals. I ordered a couple of the new BB's to try out on some bikes here.... so i will report back on what kind of results i get with the BB and a Shimano chain.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatty In Hamilton View Post
    That is interesting that a Shimano chain would make that big of a difference... but Chris's explanation makes sense, I will try that next.

    The reason shops are setting the e13 cranks up with 3 spacers on the drive side is completely for tire clearance issues. We had a few customers complain that they were getting tire rub... so we called Salsa and they suggested using all 3 on the drive side. It does work.... but that extra spacer stretches the limits of the front derailleur to reach the big ring - which might not be a big deal for many....

    I did call e13 yesterday about the redesigned BB. They have them in stock but QBP is out of stock. It sounds like the seal is better on the new version - but the biggie is that they are using angular contact bearings - which will help alot with wear and should help if you are having problems with your BB seizing - like me. They are also coming out with a version that will have silicon nitride on the outer seals. I ordered a couple of the new BB's to try out on some bikes here.... so i will report back on what kind of results i get with the BB and a Shimano chain.
    I think the preferred option is to truncate the cassette rather than push the limits on the crank and BB interface - also has the benefit of improving the overall chainline for the majority of the gearing used for snowbiking.

    Any word if the existing crankset owners might get some kind of trade-in/exchange deal on the BB upgrade? I was really surprised when I saw how flimsy the outer seals were on the BB cups - seemed like a real leaky trap for water and grime and totally inconsistent with the rest of the top notch design of the cranks and spindles. I would at least expect the bearing covers to thread on over the cup rather then just snapping on.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  31. #31
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    I think the E 13s are great cranks, but the mid chain ring isn't so hot or at least is wasn't last year.


    If anyone buys E-13s from me I recommend replacing the mid ring right from the get go. So many factors go into chain suck, but I'm convinced the mid ring on these cranks is the source of many people's problems.

  32. #32
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    I wish I received that recommendation when I bought them last week- I just got them yesterday, and they look beautiful, but ya'll are worrying me with the chain suck stuff. Even more scary is the BB issues. I hope this isn't a Chinese quality at Chris King prices kind of thing.
    Last edited by deuxdiesel; 02-09-2012 at 01:38 PM. Reason: spelling

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbasinger View Post
    I think the E 13s are great cranks, but the mid chain ring isn't so hot or at least is wasn't last year.


    If anyone buys E-13s from me I recommend replacing the mid ring right from the get go. So many factors go into chain suck, but I'm convinced the mid ring on these cranks is the source of many people's problems.
    What middle ring do you like.

  34. #34
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    The stock chain rings have a high degree of texture (bead blast?) on the teeth- I wonder if that has anything to do with the problems? The tooth profile does not seem unusual.

  35. #35
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    Hi Guys,
    Back with some info: Salsa installed the 3 spacers on the drive-side intentionally to increase chain/tire clearance when in the small ring and large cog.

    If you are having creaking or chainsuck issues and have 3 spacers on your drive side, this is probably the first thing I would correct.

    If you are having chainsuck issues and your crankset is installed correctly per our instructions, I would recommend covering the points I listed in my earlier posting. If your still having trouble after that, give us a ring or drop us an email and we can cover a few other possibilities.

    Cheers,

    Chris

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkaber View Post
    What middle ring do you like.
    Shimano, Truvative, Raceface... Not entirely sure which ones mate up best with the E 13s since I haven't actually used anything other than their rings.

    I ran a full season the first year I had Hive cranks before they made some chainring changes with no problems. Susitna, AH 135, Ultrasport, Whitemountains and 5 more months into the following winter season. Changed out my full drivetrain about a month before last years Ultrasport and started to experience symptoms I associate with a mid ring wearing out very soon after. Within a few 100 miles I was getting the beginnings of chain suck in ideal clean conditions and terrible chainsuck in any grit.

    Since then I've been on summer bikes and now I'm running a different crank so I haven't really touched the Hives recently.

    I just figured it was fluke or they would get it fixed by this year, but since Iíve heard a number of complaints I think it's a safe bet to stick another $30-$40 ring on there. Pretty sweet cranks so I wouldnít hesitate to do it if I was running them until they make the rings harder or fix the anno or whatever the problem is.

  37. #37
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    Sorry to bump this but im getting chain suck quite frequently and looking for a good aftermarket chain ring set to solve this issue. my chain suck issue happens all the damn time. it might be that my crankset is 2 years old and the rings are wearing or it could be that the logs im jumping over but it's annoying to have to jump off the bike and put the chainring back on. Happens almost every ride. Also looking for a replacement bottom bracket for the noisy crap that came with this crankset.

  38. #38
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    Chain Suck with E13 Cranks

    My buddy had premature chain suck issues on his e13 crank as well. I believe he replaced with an SLX ring. Truvativ would work nicely too, I'm sure.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    -Chris

  39. #39
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    I've had pretty good luck with my XCX cranks. I converted mine to 2x and used RF Turbine rings (22/32). I also got 2 solid years out of the BB with minimal maintenance. It's crucial to set up the pre-load according to the instructions. Also, the new bearings are supposed to be an improvement over the originals, and they now offer a higher end model with TiNi coated bearing races.

  40. #40
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    Since this has been bumped...
    I run an Andersen machine ss ring on mine, zero chain suck.
    I did finally manage to kill the stock BB bearings after a muddy 77 mile ride.

    I installed new enduro bearings into the bb cups and all is well, great $26 fix.

  41. #41
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    I had chain suck with my initial setup on my Borealis I'm taking to the South Pole. I changed the number of spacers on the drive side and it fixed it. I can't remember how many spacers on each side and my bike is currently in the bonded warehouse waiting to go to Antarctica so I can't look but I know I moved the chai rings closer to the frame to fix it.

  42. #42
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    i'm on a 9zero7 170mm rear. Running 2x9 w a sram 9sp chain. E13 will chainsuck on demand dropping from big to small on front under any kind of load at all. i have to soft pedal, i just assumed it was 9sp chain not playing well w 10sp rings but perhaps i'm wrong.
    i can make it work but sucks when friends try it and get chain wrap/suck.

  43. #43
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    Best way to deal with chainsuck is to replace the chainrings, cassette and chain all together. You should be able to find Shimano, Truvative, Raceface, or Salsa rings that will work with an E 13 crank if you want to try something other than E 13 rings.

    Chainsuck is usually caused by worn out or dirty parts. Mixing and matching old and new parts is a recipe for chainsuck. Really dirty conditions can cause chainsuck on a brand new drivetrain, but it usually goes away when things are cleaned off. Poor chainline and sometimes large shift pins combined with a less than perfect chainline can also create a problem. Usually its some combination of all these things.

    Derailleurs with the clutch design are pretty sweet for a number of reasons, but I think they help with chainsuck also because it takes more friction on the chainring/ chain to overcome the spring in the rear der.

  44. #44
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    ^^^^ this guy speaks the truth. Doesn't matter the crankset, worn out, dirty, or new/old parts makes for a recipe for chainsuck. I went well over 3k miles on my stock e13 middle ring before I started to notice the start of CS. Replace ring and chain, g2g! YMMV.

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