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  1. #1
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    Drivetrain for Paragon 29er

    i have a 2010 GF Paragon that i purchased used a few months ago. i love the bike with the exception of 1 thing....chain suck. the chainstay markings show me that the previous owner of the bike experienced the CS also. this issue just kinda spoils my ride experience too often and i have seen nothing in any forums to indicate it is a common occurance on the Paragon 29er or other GF models using the same frame. i have read numerous articles and postings about CS and have tried to remedy this in a number of ways. but it is still a case where i always have to 'think' about where and how i am going to make the shift between the 32 - 22 rings to keep everybody happy. i do not want to have to do that anymore. i just want to enjoy the ride.

    So if you have a GF Paragon and no chain suck, please tell me what component group or components you have and are happy with. i am not certain i will make a complete swap out of my current drivetrain components. but i'd at least like to investigate the options. So thank you in advance for any details you provide to me.

    btw, the chain and all components are kept clean after most rides. the chain is always clean and oiled, but not in excess. both the front and rear deraileurs are adjusted and operate pretty flawlessly. cranks are XTR M960 with Blackspire 44, 32, 22 rings. Rear casette is XT M770. chain is Shimano xtr dura ace CN-7701 9 speed chain. Hope BB with external bearings is set up with 1 spacer on the drive side( 73mm ).

  2. #2
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    If you are lucky, the culprit is easily found and fixed. On the other hand, there are a ton of variables to consider. Before you blindly start replacing parts based on someone else's experiences, give this link a FULL read. It is the most complete assessment of chain suck that I have found.

    J LEVY | BikeTechArticles | Chain-Suck : Its causes and mechanisms, How to avoid, prevent, and remedy
    Anyone who rides a bike is a friend of mine.
    My favorite bike is whatever I am riding.
    My favorite trail is where ever I am.
    Bikes and equipment are replaceable, friends and trails are not.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lew s lugnut View Post
    If you are lucky, the culprit is easily found and fixed. On the other hand, there are a ton of variables to consider. Before you blindly start replacing parts based on someone else's experiences, give this link a FULL read. It is the most complete assessment of chain suck that I have found.

    J LEVY | BikeTechArticles | Chain-Suck : Its causes and mechanisms, How to avoid, prevent, and remedy
    thank you for the reply and the link provided. i had read the article before and been guided by the advice given in it....but to no avail.

  4. #4
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    Ok then, aside from asking about what's new and what's possibly worn, or if we are assuming things are brand new, I would ditch the Black Spire rings and go Shimano. Not bashing Black Spire, they make good stuff, just trying to address your issue.

    I have seen a couple of cases where it literally came down to just using different lube/lubing correctly and often enough. Not suggesting to change anything there, just a reminder about how important chain lube is on a mtb and how much more quickly it gets deteriorated vs road bikes.

    Another thing that could be affecting your scenario is if the frame is really out of alignment. I have seen some CS issues with FS bikes where the rear end was not parallel with the front end causing more extreme angles of engagement/disengagement for the chain. I am guessing that this is not an issue with you, just another thing to consider in the big picture.
    Anyone who rides a bike is a friend of mine.
    My favorite bike is whatever I am riding.
    My favorite trail is where ever I am.
    Bikes and equipment are replaceable, friends and trails are not.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lew s lugnut View Post
    Ok then, aside from asking about what's new and what's possibly worn, or if we are assuming things are brand new, I would ditch the Black Spire rings and go Shimano. Not bashing Black Spire, they make good stuff, just trying to address your issue.

    I have seen a couple of cases where it literally came down to just using different lube/lubing correctly and often enough. Not suggesting to change anything there, just a reminder about how important chain lube is on a mtb and how much more quickly it gets deteriorated vs road bikes.
    ...
    thanks...your input is appreciated. the long version of what i have been doing is down below. for now, i am going to try using a different chain lube(s) and see what happens. also will try and be more aware of the gear combos it tends to occur in...thinking cross chaining(?) might be contributing.


    already gone the route of pairing new chain with new rings. first replaced the 32/22 rings with shimano at the same time i replaced the chain. when the CS still showed up, i replaced all rings with the Blackspire because i came across them for an excellent price. this was within the course of a month's time and i ride approx 35 miles a week. all riding in northern cal where there has been very little rain. so primarily dry conditions. but yes, the CS happens more frequently in the wet/damp conditions. those i can minimize by wiping everything clean while on the trail. been using Demonde Tech oil. i like the way it smells. lol. chain maintenance is something i am pretty consistent with. even cleaning inside the chain plates with q-tips after cleaning / soaking the chain in citrus degreaser. drop of oil on each roller...both top and bottom.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I know sometimes it isn't straight forward or easy to get rid of it.

    As far as lube, and avoiding too much banter, here is a quick suggestion for lube. Chain-L lube is my favorite-PERIOD. Even in dry N. Cal I think you may be surprised at how long it lasts, how little dirt it actually picks up and cleans easier than you would think.

    Over using degreaser or not allowing it to evaporate completely are the biggest problems I have seen most people doing.

    Hopefully this might help. I would be happy to talk more about Chain-L just reply.
    Anyone who rides a bike is a friend of mine.
    My favorite bike is whatever I am riding.
    My favorite trail is where ever I am.
    Bikes and equipment are replaceable, friends and trails are not.

  7. #7
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    thanks. i will add Chain-L to the list. i'd read reviews/ops about it before on here and on their website. mostly positive comments with only the usual nitpick debating over semantics and claimed historical inaccuracies.

  8. #8
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    I have 2010 Paragon, and I get CS too. I have kept my lube to a bare minimum and that helps but doesn't solve the problem. So far, because I am a fairly unskilled simple mt biker, the CS hasn't been too prevalent. I wish I could give more advice. Good luck and I'll be watching the thread.

  9. #9
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    I've got a 2011 Paragon and don't get any chain suck. I'm not too sure how much the design changed between the two years, but mine is the first of the Trek branded paragons which sucks because the GF graphics are much nicer.
    I use a sram XX crank set, PC1091R chain and an sram X0 rear mech, no issues at all.

  10. #10
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    I've had a couple of 08's and an 09 (same design as your 10) and they all got chainsuck. Now I have a Trek 11 Paragon, and in a year and a half not a single instance of chainsuck. This is all with stock cranks, etc.......

    Perhaps the design invites chainsuck?
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  11. #11
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    I have a 2010 Paragon and don't get too bad of issues with chainsuck. Only happened a few times. I have the stock X9 driveline all the way.

    I always degrease, dedirt, and relube the ENTIRE drivetrain every spring. I use Rock N Roll lube before every ride. I also carry a washcloth with me to wipe the chain down when I'm done for the day.

  12. #12
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    2011 Paragon with default components:

    Front Derailleur Shimano SLX
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X.9
    Crank Shimano M552, 44/32/22
    Cassette Shimano HG8110 12-36, 10 speed

    I've had zero chain suck with the Paragon. My 2005 Trek Fuel EX7 had some mild chain suck, that seems to have been fixed with a new middle chain ring and new chain.

  13. #13
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    I had some chainsuck issues with the stock drivetrain. Later I ditched the granny (never use it) and replaced the middle and big rings with Blackspire equivalents. Never had the problem again.
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