by Kevin Shiramizu
Any product that can stick another nail in the coffin of the obsolete front derailleur is worth a look - it's the single worst part of any bike that has one. But now with XX1 and its slow trickle down the price range, are chainguides soon to be obsolete?
No. Don’t be crazy.
What Gamut has done for years now is make simple, light weight, and great working chainguides, and they will continue to do so well into the future despite whatever hot new jillion dollar integrated chain/chainring/16-speed system comes out down the road because mountain biking (at least the way I ride) is about smashing over bumps, rocks, and logs. Plus, I can’t be alone here in saying a bike without a chainguide doesn’t look finished. It looks like you’re still waiting for parts to finish your build, right? Enter the P20s, one of Gamut's latest creations.
P20s Chainguide Highlights
- Redesigned 104-4 bolt pattern, 3/8" (9.5mm) Polycarbonate Bash Guard
- Single Ring - 32, 33, or 34-teeth
- ISCG, ISCG-05, BB Mount
- Proprietary O-Ring Guide
- Black, White, Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow Color Options
- Weight: 162 to 177 grams
- MSRP $139.99
Highlights of this Gamut guide include its light weight, quality construction, sharp looks, and the superb customer service you get from a passionate small business.
On The Trail
"Good design, when done well, becomes invisible."
The best part of running this guide is the fact that you are never going to notice it. When you’re done setting it up with the supplied spacers and bolting everything on, the guide just shuts up and does its job. When I say it shuts up, I mean it really doesn’t let out a peep. Gamut took their already simple design and removed the bottom roller, the one moving part, and replaced it with a static rubber o-ring that your chain silently glides over. There is no noise from this guide at all, so the only time you’re ever going to be aware of its presence is when you take a step back off your bike to admire how good it looks.
Actually that’s a lie. You’ll notice the guide when it’s protecting your really overpriced chain and chainring. Maybe it’s my Japanese genetics that come out to play, but I can’t resist the opportunity to karate-chop logs in half when they are laid out across the trail. I would show a photo of the bashring, but I don’t have a microscope hooked up to a camera to show you the tiny scuff taken on during what could have been a financially catastrophic crash in my latest attempt at lumberjacking.
Things That Could Be Improved
I’m not entirely sure how you could simplify this guide any further. If there’s an accurate earthly representation of the Platonic chainguide, this is it. The rubber o-ring is new and I’m not sure how long it will last, but considering the replacement cost is less than a slice of cheese on your burger and is just as easy to install, I’ll be quite happy to handle that periodic task.
What's The Bottom Line?
I’ve pedaled this guide around for hundreds of silent miles with no dropped chains, skipped links, or smashed drivetrain parts. The bottom line is that this thing works, and it does so at a fair price considering the years of service it will give you. Plus it will make your bike look better, and you’ll totally ride like Greg Minnaar, guaranteed.
Visit www.gamutusa.com for more details.
About The Reviewer
Kevin Shiramizu has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years. During that time he accumulated multiple state championships in Colorado for XC and trials riding, a junior national champ title in trials, and went to Worlds to get his ass kicked by euros in 2003. His riding favors flat corners and sneaky lines. After a doozy of a head injury, he hung up the downhill bike for good in early 2010 and now foolishly rides a very capable trail bike with less protection and crashes just as hard as ever. He likes rough, technical trails at high elevation, but usually settles for dry, dusty, and blown out. He spent 5 good years of his youth working in bike shops and pitched in efforts over the years with Decline, LitterMag, Dirt, and VitalMTB. He also helped develop frames and tires during his time as a guy who occasionally gets paid to ride his bike in a fancy way in front of big crowds of people.