Superfly/XX Cranks=Chainsuck?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Superfly/XX Cranks=Chainsuck?

    I installed a new XX 28/42, 155mm Q crankset and brand new KMC X-10SL chain on my Superfly frame a couple of months ago (I am running this with a Dura-Ace front derailer and XO 9 spd rear setup with gripshifters front and rear). Very little clearance between the big chainring and the metal protective plate on the chainstay (3mm).
    On the first ride in slightly wet conditions I experienced some chainsuck type issues. I thought it might be explained by poor shifting technique, as I have been running 1x9 for awhile, so I made a mental note to watch shifting under load.
    The next day (second ride on crankset), I raced a CX race in slightly damp conditions. Shifting from the small front ring to the big, the chain sucked up from underneath through the 3mm space between the big chainring and the chainstay. A violent backpedal to force it back through this space bent a link and caused serious shifting issues for the rest of the race. This wasn't the experience I had hoped to have with XX's "superior shifting under load and race conditions".
    I put the bike up for awhile and rode my EMD 9 with 4 bolt ISIS Turbine cranks setup with a plain old 26/38 DIY 2x9 setup. No issues here in lots of muddy conditions.
    Last weekend I pulled the Superfly out for a training ride/race. I replaced the bent KMC chain with a SRAM 1090R chain and checked the small chainring for signs of bent or irregular teeth. Lots of lube and still the chainsuck issues.
    The problem occurs sometimes when I am shifting from the small to the big ring, and not even under load. The chain sticks to the underside of the small ring for long enough that the chain sucks up to hit the chainstay. When it hits the chainstay, the chain pushes out toward the big chainring and gets picked up by the pin on the inside of the big chainring, which forces it through the space between this big chainring and the metal chainstay protector plate. This causes a complete stop at the least, if not a damaged chain when I try to force it back through this small space. I could disconnect the quick-link and work the chain through if I had plenty of time, but I intend to race this bike!
    Anyone with similar experiences? I know the Fisher guys are running this crankset with the same frame. Are they using a 28/42 with the 155mm q factor? I guess using the 26/39 with the 165 q factor would give more space between the chainring and chainstay, but it seems that is not addressing the fundamental issue of the chain sucking in the first place.
    This problem has been present on all five days I have ridden this crankset and I think I will be going back to a single front ring if I cannot solve it. Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    expect 10 speed set up to be much more tricky ...

    XTR 2011 will be again 8-speed - picking up all the frustrated XX riders.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnapmaster
    I installed a new XX 28/42, 155mm Q crankset and brand new KMC X-10SL chain on my Superfly frame a couple of months ago (I am running this with a Dura-Ace front derailer and XO 9 spd rear setup with gripshifters front and rear). Very little clearance between the big chainring and the metal protective plate on the chainstay (3mm).
    On the first ride in slightly wet conditions I experienced some chainsuck type issues. I thought it might be explained by poor shifting technique, as I have been running 1x9 for awhile, so I made a mental note to watch shifting under load.
    The next day (second ride on crankset), I raced a CX race in slightly damp conditions. Shifting from the small front ring to the big, the chain sucked up from underneath through the 3mm space between the big chainring and the chainstay. A violent backpedal to force it back through this space bent a link and caused serious shifting issues for the rest of the race. This wasn't the experience I had hoped to have with XX's "superior shifting under load and race conditions".
    I put the bike up for awhile and rode my EMD 9 with 4 bolt ISIS Turbine cranks setup with a plain old 26/38 DIY 2x9 setup. No issues here in lots of muddy conditions.
    Last weekend I pulled the Superfly out for a training ride/race. I replaced the bent KMC chain with a SRAM 1090R chain and checked the small chainring for signs of bent or irregular teeth. Lots of lube and still the chainsuck issues.
    The problem occurs sometimes when I am shifting from the small to the big ring, and not even under load. The chain sticks to the underside of the small ring for long enough that the chain sucks up to hit the chainstay. When it hits the chainstay, the chain pushes out toward the big chainring and gets picked up by the pin on the inside of the big chainring, which forces it through the space between this big chainring and the metal chainstay protector plate. This causes a complete stop at the least, if not a damaged chain when I try to force it back through this small space. I could disconnect the quick-link and work the chain through if I had plenty of time, but I intend to race this bike!
    Anyone with similar experiences? I know the Fisher guys are running this crankset with the same frame. Are they using a 28/42 with the 155mm q factor? I guess using the 26/39 with the 165 q factor would give more space between the chainring and chainstay, but it seems that is not addressing the fundamental issue of the chain sucking in the first place.
    This problem has been present on all five days I have ridden this crankset and I think I will be going back to a single front ring if I cannot solve it. Any ideas?
    Use a good wet chain lube.

    Would also use a SRAM 10-speed chain.

    The frame (any frame) does not cause chain suck. Frame design can lead to the chain jamming between chainring and chainstay once chain suck happens.
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  4. #4
    jms
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    Chainline?

    Maybe the chainline? Sounds like the chain is running at too acute an angle over the chainrings. Can you adjust the rings further inboard/outboard by changing spacers @ the BB cups. If it's like the Truvativ stuff, putting a spacer on the non drive side moves the chainring side inboard. If that doesn't work, try spacing the crankset out the opposite direction.

    Hope it works out for you, it sucks to make that kind of investment and have the shifting issues you're describing.

  5. #5
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    Could it be the 9/10sp combo. These parts haven't played well on cross bikes that i have set up w/ 9sp and crank w/ 10sp rings. I imagine that the chain be it 9sp to the 10sp front rings or the 10sp to cassette is causing the problem. On the cross bike, the chain would always rub on the crank due to the narrower rings. The angle the chain is picking up and leaving the teeth may be your issue. Just my 4 beer theory.
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  6. #6
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    probably not relevant ..but might be of help?

    went 2x9 on my trailbike about 4 weeks ago, the chain i had lined up to use was the same - 2010 KMC X10 SL TiN - but had problems with up/down shifts that were not as slick or as predictable as expected

    so after 30 miles of struggling and worrying about suck, i swapped the chain for a spare new 09 KMC X9 SL TiN - shifting is now perfect & 150 miles on is even better

    usually prep chains by soaking in a petrol/oil mix, dry, then saturate with Rock 'N Roll Extreme lube before a thorough wiping down (perhaps its a good thing i'm a non smoker!)

    was 3x9 with an 09 KMC X10 SL TiN before so had expected similar performance (not)

    ......edit for typo.......
    Last edited by culturesponge; 02-05-2010 at 06:55 PM.

  7. #7
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    The XX crank being based on a 10sp system is more than likely going to cause issues when run with a 9sp drivetrain. Did you have suck issues before the XX crank or if the XX was on this build from new, can you sub a 9sp crank/chain and see if you still have the issue?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikewrench
    The XX crank being based on a 10sp system is more than likely going to cause issues when run with a 9sp drivetrain.
    I don't get how it would make a difference. The rear could care less what the front is. The rear could be 7/8/9/10 speed and it shouldn't be a factor for chain suck.

    I think other riders were having chain suck problems. I don't recall the solution. I'll find out soon enough myself. SRAM explicitly says to use SRAM chains............but I'm pretty sure that is marketing.

  9. #9
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    It would care if the chain is too narrow or too wide. All I'm saying is it makes sense to run full XX 10 sp or XO 9sp.
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  10. #10
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    I am talking about how the chains are being picked up by the rings.
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  11. #11
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    10s chains, in terms of both lifespan and shifting quality, rank in this order, in my opinion:

    1) Campy
    2) Shimano
    3) KMC
    4) SRAM

    And, I've used Campy chains on Campy (1 season), Shimano (2 seasons) and SRAM drivetrains (2 seasons). Works well on all.

    In short, do yourself a favor, and get one of these:

    http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=L5056

    Free shipping to the US.

  12. #12
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    Anyone experiencing this?

    I guess I'm fishing for someone who has had this particular problem. Probably lots of Superfly riders trying XX.
    To answer some responses:

    Chainline is slightly outboard of dead center, and there is no way to get it farther in. I am working with a 73mm shell and there is no way to add or remove spacers. lf anything, I would think that I would want to move it farther out to solve this problem, but that would worsen my chainline for wear and other issues. Not an option anyway.

    As I said in my post, I had this issue originally with a KMC X-10SL chain and I still had the problem when I switched to the suggested SRAM 10 speed chain.

    I degreased the new chain and lubricated it with tri-flow wet lube.

    Again, I am using the proper chain for the crankset. I don't see how the rear cassette or derailer would affect this situation. There could be an argument made for the Dura-Ace double front derailer (7800) being the problem, but it seems to be more of a small chainring release problem.

    I guess this falls under the mysterious "chain suck" problem and might be solved by trying different rings and/or a slightly different position. I think I might go with the 165mm q-factor 26/39 crankset, or just go back to a single front ring and get the 10 speed rear 11-36 setup.

    I did put a call into SRAM dealer tech support today. A very polite woman took down all the minute details of my setup and my problem and said she would get back to me on Monday. I don't hold much hope in a diagnosis over the phone or the internet, but it is worth a try to see if anyone else has had the problem and fixed it. Maybe Matt-O has some experience with these frames and this crankset?

  13. #13
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    I would try a MTB front derailleur. I am using XX 26-39 chainrings 2x9 on my S-Works cranks with an SLX front derailleur and the shifting is excellent.

  14. #14
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    I would try the XX front der. and SRAM chain. Dump the Dura Ace.
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  15. #15
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    Dont think it is an actual chain problem, KMC makes most other chains out there (SRAM). I would think it to be either the actual teeth on the chainrings or chainline. It is a very good possibility that the spacing on the XX chaingrings (between teeth not between rings) is different length or spaced. The new Dura Ace 7900 cranks are spaced different then the 7800 and initially caused many problems without using the correct chain and cassette. I would recommend either using a complete XX set up or use the FSA 386 crank to run it a double. Also check to see if the chainline is too extreme causing the chain to cross the ring and being picked up (probably not, but worth to check) I would guess it to be a compability issue and it would not be a first for a company to make you buy and entire group by making some small changes were the other models will not work.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hellocook
    expect 10 speed set up to be much more tricky ...

    XTR 2011 will be again 8-speed - picking up all the frustrated XX riders.
    2011 XTR will be 10-speed in the back (11/32-11/36) with a double or triple ring option up front. The triple will be a 24/32/42 and the double will have at least 4 different options.

  17. #17
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    Road a GF Sugar Race for years. Originally notable for chain suck but I never had the problem. I shortened my chain by one link and ran SRAM XO, 990 chain, and grip shift.
    Unicoi29

  18. #18
    CB2
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    I would check the chainrings for damage, burrs, or some sort of manufacturing anomaly. I've have to take a file to chainrings in the past to cure chainsuck.
    I also remember if I ran my chain a link short (1 link too short to cross-chain big to big), the extra tension would help prevent chainsuck.
    But I found an even better solution for chainsuck.

  19. #19
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    OP, when you went to a 2x9 setup, did you swap your rear derailleur for a med. cage?

    And I agree with CB2, check your rings for burrs or anomalies, and make sure your front derailleur is positioned correctly. If the problem continues, see if SRAM will exchange your small ring.
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  20. #20
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    I don't think SRAM will exchange either ring until he runs it with an approved front der. Pretty sure it wan't designed to work with a Dura Ace front der.
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    you're lucky enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bholwell
    And I agree with CB2, check your rings for burrs or anomalies, and make sure your front derailleur is positioned correctly. If the problem continues, see if SRAM will exchange your small ring.
    x2

  22. #22
    I don't huck.
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    Hmmm...I have not had one chainsuck issue over 30 hours of riding, some in wet and snowy conditions. XX crank on stock Epic Marathon.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by azjonboy
    I don't think SRAM will exchange either ring until he runs it with an approved front der. Pretty sure it wan't designed to work with a Dura Ace front der.

    Just wondering - XX FD is the least expensive part of the kit - why not use it?

    I am considering XX drivetrain for my Superfly HT also, with the rings OP is using. I am interested in OP's progress, because I do not want any chain suck on this frame. That's a recipe for carbon disaster.

    Think if I do it I will adopt the XX as a designed system.
    Last edited by Moval49er; 02-06-2010 at 02:03 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bholwell
    OP, when you went to a 2x9 setup, did you swap your rear derailleur for a med. cage?
    Yep, this is important, you have to run a derailleur with a cage that has a stiff spring.

    When you are going form the little ring to the big one, this means that you are on a little cog in the rear. So this is the case when you have the less tension on your chain. And it gets stuck.

    When going from the big ring to the little one, the chain as much more tension because you are in a big - big combo.

    So remove some links on your chain if you can, and use the stiffer spring you can on the cage of your rear derailleur.

    You will see, XX shifting upfront is impressive.
    Hope this helps.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moval49er
    Just wondering - XX FD is the least expensive part of the kit - why not use it?

    I

    Weight and sometimes whatever's in your parts bin. I personally don't have Dura-ace parts lying around, but some people might.

    I'll be running my XX crank with a Force derailleur (cheaper and lighter).

  26. #26
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    Not my first rodeo

    I've got a lot of experience running 1x9 and 2x9 setups. I have used granny and middle rings, middle and big rings, short and medium cages, 9 spd with 10 spd parts. I have never had these issues with brand new rings and chain.
    This particular bike uses a medium cage XO rear derailer. I may try a short cage to see if it helps, but the recommended XX derailer is a medium cage so my XO should be fine.
    Many posts blame this on the front derailer. I like using a Dura-Ace double front derailer for shifting on my mountain bike, as it has worked well for me in the past and weighs only 80 grams (I made trick modifications to my Superfly to run bottom pull). I would imagine that the XX front derailer would shift a little more crisply, but would that fix the chainsuck issue I am having? I guess, due to my positive experience mixing parts that "shouldn't work well together", I would like a little more evidence before buying the XX front derailer to fix this. If SRAM support insists this is the problem, I might try it.
    I did check the small ring for any burrs or irregularities and filed a little. This didn't fix it. I pulled the big ring off today and the pins are pretty sharp, so I may file just a little of the edge off. It still seems to be an issue of the chain sticking to the small ring. The big ring is doing its job by picking the chain up, only sometimes it's doing it on the bottom, not the top.
    I know that certain groups of components are designed to work together, but It isn't like I'm trying to force inherentlyl incompatible parts to do the job.
    I would like to hear from anyone who has experience running an XX crankset on a Superfly frame, especially the 28/42 155Q model.
    I guess I hoped this XX front crankset would work as well or better than ISIS and square taper double mountain cranksets I have cobbled together in the past. So far that is not the case, but I am trying to give it another chance.
    Thanks for the suggestions so far.

  27. #27
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    chainsuck

    I would put that bike on the workstand and look at the chainrings turning the cranks and shifting, look from above as if you were sitting on the bike and also from the non drive side. See if you can spot where the chain is hangig up. Look for bent teeth, bent chainrings, bent spider. If everything looks good there, look closely at the chainring ramps, file anything that looks like it would cause the chain to hang up. Meassure the chainline to make sure its good. The last thing I can tell you is to take a flat file and place it on top of the inner ring teeth and turn the cranks about 15 or 20 revolutions. The idea is to take some of the sharpness from the top of the teeth. Make sure your chain is in perfect condition and don't run it overlubed. Your chain should look dry when properly lubed.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnapmaster
    This particular bike uses a medium cage XO rear derailer. I may try a short cage to see if it helps, but the recommended XX derailer is a medium cage so my XO should be fine.

    I think the XX RD is actual a Medium-Long cage. It's 93mm long. They list it as medium, although I've seen it listed as Long in the past. I believe it is longer than the X0/X0 medium cage. I really don't think that is your issues, but I thought I would just point that out.

  29. #29
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    I put XX on a Big Mama, 42/28. The big ring was hitting my swing arm. To fix this I added both BB spacers to the drive side, even though 73 mm BB, and tightened everything up. Everything is tight, plenty of clearance and I don't notice what may be any off set in the crank. Never had any issues you speak of. I am running XX FD.

  30. #30
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    I'll also second (or third) the chain tension issue. I would imagine that when you shift from small ring to large, you are already part of the way down the cassette, and the chain tension is fairly low. I always like to set chain length so that it will JUST make the distance around large-large, and no more. Sometimes I will even adjust the B tension (if applicable) accordingly. Large-large is a gear that you really likely won't ride in - or if so, much - but you should be able to get into it without damaging things. Shorter cage, minimum links, unless you have a damaged tooth or teeth or some other issue (that it sounds like you have looked for) should cure this.
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  31. #31
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    Not sure if this is relevant since I don't have a Superfly. I recently upgraded my IF 29er from 1x9 to XX 2x9. Sean at Bethel Cycle in Bethel CT. put the bike together for me. We used a SRAM XX 39/26 crankset with ceramic Mega Exo bottom bracket. For front shifting we used a pretty beat up XTR 970 front der. and a brand new X.O gripshift. For rear shifting I am still using my XTR 9 speed shifter and XTR rear der. I am using a 9 speed XTR chain and everything is working great together. I was sold on 1x9 and was using a 36 front ring, but I have to admit that the 26 bail out gear is nice. I don't see myself going back to 1x9. Not sure why you have issues on the Superfly but from my experience mixing SRAM/Shimano/9 speed/10 speed is working so far. Good luck.

  32. #32
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    chainsuck

    In the 20 years I've been working on mountain bikes never have I seen a chainsuck problem relate to anything other than a chainline problem or bent chain, damaged chainrings or a bent spider . From what I've seen, the problem is always at the front end of the drivetrain. Have a good bicycle mechanic take a look at it if you can't troubleshoot it yourself.

  33. #33
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    Problem solved?

    Well, after doing a couple of races with a 1x10 setup, I decided to try the 2x9 again with the 26/39 XX rings. I removed the 28/42 rings and installed the 26/39 on the same 156q XX crankset. I am using a SRAM 10 speed chain (though I think the KMC 10 speed would work just as well) and a Dura-ace double front derailer with gripshifter.
    So far, no chainsuck problems. I did a hard ride with some serious mud yesterday and didn't have the same problems I was having with the 28/42 setup.
    I guess that little increase in clearance between the chainstay and the rings did the trick?
    I gave the old rings to a friend who will run them on an S-Works spider for XX chainrings. If he has a problem, I will know that it was specific to that pair of rings.
    I'm looking forward to running a 2x9 with the new 9 speed SRAM 11-32 cassette modeled after the XX cassette (175g), which will be available in May.

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