Chain Guide for CX

So I’m looking to add a chain guide to my 2019 CruX because I’ve dropped the chain both to the inside and outside multiple times while racing (and just riding along). It is the completely stock Rival 1 setup so I’m not entirely sure why I’ve had these issues. It seems to occur when rapidly moving up or down the cassette.

I need a clamp based guide since there are no Braze-on tabs on the bike. Any good experiences out there? I see a few cheap ones from China on Amazon but they look like they would not hold up over time. Thanks

I’ve been very happy with the braze-on version of this:

I’m sure the clamp version is just as good.

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I’d look at your setup, a 1x rival with a narrow-wide chainring shouldn’t be dropping chains. Maybe the chain is too long, the rear mech out of alignment, or the BB wonky?

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@splash has a good point, my mtb (albeit one with 140mm and fat tyres) has never dropped her chain and that is over much rougher and/or worse conditioned surfaces.

If you do end up using one the Kinesis one looks good, tbh though all of the top only ones look pretty similar so pick the one that catches your colour scheme!

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That seems odd. Check a few things:

  1. Rear derailleur bolt where it connects to the bike. Is there slop laterally away from the bike frame? It should be tight against the bike.
  2. Is the rear cage bent? Are the jockey wheels bent/messed up?
  3. Chain, is the chain master link on correctly? Is the chain a directional chain going the right way? Is the chain bent sideways?
  4. Chank slop, does the crank move side to side or does the ring wobble?
  5. Is it happening in the larger cog in back or the small one (10-11t)? If at high speed, it’s likely the rear wheel turning the cassette still when you stop pedaling.

I haven’t had good lock with guides. They usually are either TOO stong and will break something they are meant to protect (WolfTooth above) or too weak and they explode.
Your bike has a few things going on 1) it doesn’t have a front deraileur mount nor chainguide mount. 2) You’ve likely got a 40-42t chainring. 3) You need a clamp-on chain guide. You probably need one bigger than 34.9mm for that bike. Check the diameter of the tube below the bottle cage bolts where it is round. I’d probably go with the Praxis one with and a deraileur clamp



Kedge , fouriers, mrp make one too. Steer away from over-kill and make sure you can get the chain off on, when needed.
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I find that after a seasons use, I’ll start dropping chains a lot. It’s because the chain and chain ring get worn out and everything gets a bit sloppy, thus the chain falls off easier.
I’ll often put a new chain and ring on mid cx season so that I can trust them in the big winter races.
Chain guides can help a bit but can be a nightmare when the chain gets stuck behind them. I’ve lost races due to this. I don’t use one now so if I do drop the chain I can get it back on in a flash.

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Thanks for all the insight.

@splash @firemunki I agree. I can’t remember a time I dropped my chain on my 1x mtn bike in 5 years.

I will look carefully over the bike to see if there are any issues that you highlighted @jfranci3. I only have about 1000 miles total on the bike and that is across 2 chains and cassettes.

Some more detail below.
Last CX season I had no issues. I did crash during the last race of the year and needed a new hanger and a rear wheel rebuild. I wonder if the derailleur is actually bent? It seems to shift fine.

After the season was over I threw on a longer chain and 11-42 cassette for the rest of the year to build a ‘gravel’ bike. Then this fall I swapped the 11-32 cassette back on WITHOUT changing the chain. I dropped the chain when descending a bumpy part of a course and shifting 3-4 times quickly down the cassette.

So I put the stock length chain back on with the 11-32 cassette bringing it back to full stock condition. I again dropped the chain to the inside during a race by shifting quickly up the cassette on the approach to a steep short climb.

Finally last week I was ‘riding along’ at speed on a dirt road and I shifted down to maybe the 12t and dropped the chain to the OUTSIDE which I don’t remember happening before.

I find chain guides more of a hinderance than a help.

The last time i dropped a chain in a race, i spent longer than i shouldve had to, wrestling it back past the chain guide to get it back on the chainring. It wouldve been a much easier and quicker fix if there was no chain guide.

Best of both worlds solution would be to have some sort of spring loaded guide that pivots vertically so that its easy to move out of the way if you need to remount the chain. Not sure if they exist though

I wouldn’t put one on my cx bike, it’s just an extra thing the mud/grass/leaves will clog up. I want as much clearance around the moving parts in my bike as possible.

Other people may ride in different conditions though, where that isn’t a concern.

By “stock-length” you don’t mean “full-length chain as purchased, new” do you? Or do you mean you counted the links as it came from the shop? or measured in actual length from the shop?

I wouldn’t use a guide. It’s another spot for mud and debris to accumulate. Plus if you drop your chain with that guard on there, getting the chain back on during the race is going to be a PITA. As others have said, examine the setup on your derailleur and chain length, and get a second opinion from a mechanic. I ran a sram 1x setup in cx for 3 years and never dropped the chain on that setup.

I mean what came on the bike from the shop as purchased. I haven’t counted the exact links but it looks to be about right.

I’d start with the chainring - still narrow/wide and still in good condition?
then RD tightly fastened?
Hanger is straight?
RD springs aren’t jammed with debris?
RD cage is straight?