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Should we re-think chain guides?

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3/30/2021 10:25 AM

So with the injury to Luca Shaw, I wanted to pose that thought. Can we engineer the guide system to prevent that from happening again? There has to be a protective measure that could prevent that from happening.

Where is Dave Weagle when the world needs him?
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Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm.

3/30/2021 11:27 AM

Sorry, but I'm not on the Gram. What happened to Luca Shaw?

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3/30/2021 11:32 AM

Big Bird wrote:

Sorry, but I'm not on the Gram. What happened to Luca Shaw?

His chain broke and then sucked into the front & gotlaunched off the bike at Windrock National. Out for a couple more weeks with a minor spine injury.

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Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm.

3/30/2021 11:09 PM

If his chain got "sucked" into the front wouldn't that mean he was pedaling? So the answer to your q bizutch is to stop pedaling! Just stop the bike. Not sure anything more than the little "warning" sticker they already have could be done to engineer.smile

On a side note, I've have a chain "jam up" in a chain guide during a race run. I pedaled to un jam it. Fortunately for me it worked and it was only on the Kamikaze fireroad.wink As for Luca, I don't know the exact details his chain guide situation but I know the feeling of trying to work out a mechanical during a race run. It's GO time!! Heal up Luca.

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3/31/2021 1:13 AM

Better to run more reliable chains? Luca's crash seems like a horribly unlucky combination of events (chain snaps, chain gets wrapped up in something, all this while doubling-doubling whoops).

What type of chains do they use in WC DH at the moment? I believe most riders run 7 speed DH specific groups, but is that with a 7, 10, 11, or 12 speed cog spacing in the cassette?

Back in the 9speed and 10speed days I used to snap chains relatively often. I have never snapped an 11sp chain (using x1 i.e. the cheapest sram one) on my enduro and ebike, and I don't replace them that frequently. Especially surprised that it has never blown up on the ebike from mid-climb re-attempts in Boost.

Apparently because the chains are narrower they are more reliable these day.

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3/31/2021 5:11 AM

Big Bird wrote:

Sorry, but I'm not on the Gram. What happened to Luca Shaw?

bizutch wrote:

His chain broke and then sucked into the front & gotlaunched off the bike at Windrock National. Out for a couple more ...more

I saw that clip.. nasty otb.

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3/31/2021 9:13 AM

To clarify, in moto the danger is the engine shutting off to lock the rear wheel & pitch you, not so much the chain.

But in DH, we moved to XC narrow wide rings & minimalist guides. I think we've gone too far.
There ought to be a front guide system that doesn't let chains drop into the cranks/sprocket/bottom bracket.
Whether that is some sort of encasement like the old MRP sandwich or in combination with a wider sprocket base or something. Chains shouldn't be able to jam into the front of a DH bike.

Chain guides are minimalist, have too many openings, sprockets can let the chain drop in between them and the BB. There is a better way, but I lack the engineering or ideas to come up with it.

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Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm.

3/31/2021 8:00 PM

Am I wrong in thinking he got something caught in the front tire? The a blurry vid of the crash is on the other site(injury article). And by looking at the pic of the chain guide here, it almost looks like it got ripped downward, not as if it were cased or had an impact. Anyone ever catch a broken chain in the front tire? Or did he hit the brake when his pedals locked up?

Curious to see what his derailleur looks like.

DW is probably designing a new susp platform or kicking it on a beach.

This is a freak accident. Cant see needing a fancy new design when 99% dont break(at least like that where it did) and many can ride without a guide thanks to the narrow wide chainring.

Finally, it's an MRP. The only 2 people I know that had an MRP constantly had issues with chains jamming in the top and replaced them(who knows if they were installed correctly).

Seems like you're jus anxious for the season to start already

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4/1/2021 5:22 AM

Erm, I think the topic is interesting, but the approach kinda unfair towards MRP and let's not act as if Dave Weagle is the holy savior of MTB chainguides. I have huge respect for the dude, but there are a lot of good products out there, I believe the chainguide has been refined to a point where there isn't much that you can do to it. But this is why I will follow this thread.

Regarding e.13 products, I have this to say:

Some 12-13 years ago, living in this corner of the world, I made sure both my DH bike and DJ hardtail had e.13 chainguides: LG1 on my Supreme DH WC-edition and SRS on my Spank Smoke. Until I had an issue. I'd like to add that both were very meticulously set up and working very well. We had this spot where there were 4 smallish stair sets with flats between them and next to the stairs there were banks for wheelchair access. One of the goals was to sprint from the top, bunnyhop and try to gap the flat into the bank/landing of the next set. We were at it and it was hella fun, until I got a random chain jam in the SRS mid sprint. It was one of the scariest spills I ever took and if I wasn't wearing a helmet, I'd probably be some place else now. We laughed it off, but I ditched the SRS immediately and soon the LG1 too and tried to avoid any e.13 guide for years. Of course, it's a stupid attitude, if you ask me now, and I have had decent experiences with e.13 guides since then. I'd have no issue running one right now.

Anyway, I have found chainguide happiness in the Straitline Silent Guide, after experimenting with a Gamut on the big bike. I still have the Silent Guide and find it one simple and amazing product.

I'm currently building a new 29” DH rig and I am tempted to do the no-guide way, as I've had zero issues with dropped chains on my enduro bikes since 4 years now.

I'm very sure most guides on the market right now are pretty reliable and well made.

Cheers,
Mx

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4/5/2021 7:07 PM

Maxipedia wrote:

Erm, I think the topic is interesting, but the approach kinda unfair towards MRP and let's not act as if Dave Weagle is the ...more

Have you thought about running a oneup top guide (minimal but effective, haven't heard of any chains getting sucked in) with a non-guide bashguard down below to protect the BB area?

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4/6/2021 7:17 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/6/2021 7:19 AM

It's not an issue exclusive to me. It's a DH issue I think we have skirted in exchange for lighter/minimalist design. Chains tend to catch/jam if broken somewhere in between the guide itself and the chainring.

Seems like there should be something built into the design that eliminates the gaps chains can lodge into is all I'm suggesting. It would have to be important to a designer, similar to why Leatt was started or why the Lotus Designs/Astral Buoyancy creator made the first lifesaving PFD's. They either lost a friend due to an unaddressed safety issue or witnessed/had a life changing injury.

That's usually the only thing to trigger major design re-innovation. But not much death or drowning going on in the front chainring jam category

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Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm.

4/6/2021 10:56 AM

There is nothing wrong with full chain guides used in DH (well, by most riders not hunting milligrams in all the wrong places at least), him crashing also didn´t have anything to do with chain guide, stop chains from snapping, that´s all that is required from this not happening. And chains not snapping belongs in the same bracket as not flatting tires, it´s not going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, the chain guide did too good of a job to keep the snapped chain on the bike long enough for it to get sucked into rear wheel.

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4/6/2021 2:42 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/6/2021 2:43 PM

Yeah, I fail to see what the problem is. When a chain snaps it's anyone's guess what happens next. Sometimes they drop out of the bike harmlessly, sometimes you go over the bars, sometimes they get sucked into the wheel. Sometimes you're Aaron Gwin and you win the race and sometimes you're Luca Shaw and you break your back.

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4/6/2021 4:04 PM

TEAMROBOT wrote:

Yeah, I fail to see what the problem is. When a chain snaps it's anyone's guess what happens next. Sometimes they drop out of ...more

So you agreed with me sarcastically but don't have a solution to the problem. Got it.

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Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm.

4/6/2021 9:54 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/6/2021 9:55 PM

What I'm saying is: I don't see how the chainguide caused the crash. I see how the chain caused the crash, I just don't see the link. What story are you suggesting:

a) Chainguide failure ===> causes broken chain ===> chain goes into front wheel and flips Luca OTB?
b) Chainguide failure ===> causes broken chain ===> chain goes into rear wheel and flips Luca OTB?
c) Chain breaks ===> chain gets sucked into chainguide ===> chainguide causes crash?
d) We all know chainguides R dumb ===> Luca gets hurt ===> thus chainguides R dumb?

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4/7/2021 4:42 AM

bermslapper69 wrote:

Have you thought about running a oneup top guide (minimal but effective, haven't heard of any chains getting sucked in) with a ...more

As I said, I ditched the SRS for a Straitline Silent Guide and was completely happy. These days my hardtail is singlespeed and I only have a chainguide on my DH bike. Straitline Silent Guide, of course. I'm building a new 29” DH bike and seriously don't consider a guide.

Mx

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4/7/2021 5:43 AM

bizutch wrote:

To clarify, in moto the danger is the engine shutting off to lock the rear wheel & pitch you, not so much the chain.

But ...more

We should find that guy who was making knock off MRP guides and selling them back in the late '90's at the Trail66 series, he might have a solution haha

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4/12/2021 11:23 AM

Eoin wrote:

Better to run more reliable chains? Luca's crash seems like a horribly unlucky combination of events (chain snaps, chain gets ...more

How many rings did you run in the front in the 9 and 10spd days when you had chain problems?

If I was a betting man, I'd say it was more than one. Front shifting is horrible for chain endurance as you shift by pulling the chain up by snagging the outer plate, effectively trying to open up the chain. With a 1x drivetrain you don't have that mechanism, which is part of the reason why chains are more durable on 11 and 12 speed drivetrains - because we removed the front derailleur. We added other problems (chain alignment and all), but it's still a net gain when looking at it from a system perspective (narrow-wide rings holding chains better, P-shaped derailleur cages, horizontal paralelogram movement, only one shifter which makes it less complicated to choose the right gear, etc.).

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5/4/2021 4:17 PM

TEAMROBOT wrote:

Yeah, I fail to see what the problem is. When a chain snaps it's anyone's guess what happens next. Sometimes they drop out of ...more

bizutch wrote:

So you agreed with me sarcastically but don't have a solution to the problem. Got it.

Yet your sig is "Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm." You must be irony-impaired.

He hit the nail on the head mate, you don't have a case here.

Praise be to our lord and saviour DW!

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5/4/2021 7:27 PM

madstace wrote:

Yet your sig is "Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm." You must be irony-impaired.

He hit the nail on ...more

So your ruling is final oh judge of the forums?

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Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm.

5/10/2021 9:20 AM

Whoa, late to the party on this one. But here's my two cents:

That guide, the G4 has been around since 2012 (first as the G3, "G4" just signified an upper guide update, we're actually onto the "G5" now) and is by far our least "minimalist" guide. It even predates narrow-wide rings. So have guides gotten too minimalist? Maybe (I certainly have my opinions), but this ain't the one.

Anyway, I don't think the guide design had anything to do with that crash and I don't think Luca or Doug E. Fresh do either. In fact, I just sent them more guides.

Believe me, I watch World Cups with baited breath wanting our athletes to crush it, but also scared shitless something freakish could go wrong with our products. I'm sure everyone that makes stuff raced at the highest levels can relate. You think it's easy watching a live Danny Hart run? But I think it's fair to say they've proven pretty dang reliable.

But, to the point you were trying to make, I LOVED our last "System" style guide (one with plates and rollers), the S4. But it didn't sell very well, as the market was really keen on the guide format of our "G" series guides. I honestly think it had a lot to do with people wanting to show off colorful, anodized rings, as well as other aesthetic reasons more than a preference for one's performance over the other. I ran the S4 Carbon for DH until it was discontinued. I loved how silent and easy to setup it was.

Circa 2011?
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That said, there are a lot of advantages to the integrated skid design (G5/G5, SXg, AMg, etc.). The biggest is that they help you maintain momentum over obstacles if you make contact, whereas crank-mounted bashguards tend to get hung up AND give that feedback/force through the cranks.

Would love to get anyones feedback on guide design. We're working on some pretty rad news stuff, but I gotta keep that quiet for awhile.







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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

5/10/2021 10:31 AM

Are there any thoughts of making the bash integrated into the frames more? Have the bash plate wider, on stronger tabs, etc. It would wreak havoc with some suspension designs and it would most likely be frame specific though...

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5/10/2021 11:09 AM

NoahColorado wrote:

Whoa, late to the party on this one. But here's my two cents:

That guide, the G4 has been around since 2012 (first as the G3, ...more

Awesome to hear from you. I looked up the System Guide to see what you were referring to.
This one: https://cambriabike.com/products/mrp-system-3-piece-chain-guide

So that guide is more safe in regards to chains than all of the ones on market that have the plastic "box" to encase the chain in a lot of scenarios. The bash ring is a better way to do it in my opinion. Sure, World Cuppers and gram counters want the shark fin underneath and to brag on how "narrow wide" chains have changed the world.

And I'm not blaming MRP for any failure or injury probability. The whole industry tried out the shark fin and like you said, the consumer jumped on it, but to me for the cool factor. Heck, a lot of DH shoes still run exposed laces & shark fin bash guards do nothing to keep a shoe lace or velcro strap from sucking into the chain like it was a 1982 GT bmx bike.

To me, a synthetic bash ring on both sides of a narrow wide chainring is still the most secure & safest way to guide a MTB chain. I feel like the chain should be sandwiched to keep it from being able to wrap around anything.

My Demo 29 Expert has an MRP on it which I've bent the BB ISCG mounted bash on multiple times in a short period of ownership (no fault of MRP). Just seems like a redesign to a more bomber way to trap, guide and protect is needed on DH bikes.

Getting the market to buy into "this guide finishes races" when designing a stouter guide/bash system would be a good thing

But like you said, consumers...consume. They don't win World Cups though.

What it boils down to is if you said to a World Cup pro "Hey, we want you to run this new jam-proof, unbendable, completely bashable chainguide on the circuit", would they say no?

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Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm.

5/10/2021 11:20 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/10/2021 11:21 AM

Primoz wrote:

Are there any thoughts of making the bash integrated into the frames more? Have the bash plate wider, on stronger tabs, etc. ...more

It feels like frame makers should have integrated an encapsulating bash/guide system a long time ago.

If you bought a Kawasaki,or Honda you wouldn't expect to see the guide being something not in house.

But then again, mountain bike frame manufacturers still think 20 years later it's perfectly acceptable to let the chain smash your alloy chainstay and seatstay with abandon off the factory floor

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Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm.

5/10/2021 11:46 AM

Well motorbikes are much more integrated when it comes to other components as well, we are somewhat lucky in this regard, we can mix and match to our hearts content.

As for double bash rings to guide a chain, you often don't have the space to do it on the inside on many modern bikes with the packaging and all. Plus direct mount chainrings, etc.

Plus, while the bashring probably is a better solution than a taco bash mounted to the ISCG tabs load bearing wise, putting a high impact load through those bearings also doesn't seem as the best idea.

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5/10/2021 12:02 PM

Primoz wrote:

Well motorbikes are much more integrated when it comes to other components as well, we are somewhat lucky in this regard, we ...more

I'm thinking more of an outer bash and then a BB mounted 3/4 moon bash that gives the chain no place to jam between bash & frame.

If you told an engineer in another industry that he had to design a bike from the ground up that you would slam into boulders at 30mph and his goal was to ensure the bike, chain and sprocket took NO performance hampering damage, don't you think we'd see a completely different frame & product design?

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Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm.

5/10/2021 2:20 PM

But that moon bash gives the chance for the chain to jam between it and the chainring...

Bikes would probably be quite a bit different, yeah. But it is a bit on us consumers not buying better, but "worse looking" products and burying them.

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5/10/2021 2:35 PM

Maxipedia wrote:

Erm, I think the topic is interesting, but the approach kinda unfair towards MRP and let's not act as if Dave Weagle is the ...more

bermslapper69 wrote:

Have you thought about running a oneup top guide (minimal but effective, haven't heard of any chains getting sucked in) with a ...more

Maxipedia wrote:

As I said, I ditched the SRS for a Straitline Silent Guide and was completely happy. These days my hardtail is singlespeed and ...more

Agree with MX. The Straightline, Gamut, and any other chain guide that employed full coverage around the chainring (usually by way of mounting to the chain ring bolts) gave good chain drop protection. We won't see these much now that DM chainrings are the standard, but there is better alternative. The Garbaruk ring has a REALLY tall tooth profile making it impossible (?) to drop a chain. I logged thousands of miles on an HD4 with no drops on all kinds of terrain. Not sure if anyone is making rings with a tooth profile like that.

Also.....breaking a chain is not evidence of a chainguide failure.

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5/11/2021 10:46 AM

reseRved wrote:

Agree with MX. The Straightline, Gamut, and any other chain guide that employed full coverage around the chainring (usually by ...more

Never said the chain guide broke the chain. Didn't mean to imply such if so.

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Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm.