Cyclocross - drop chain - chain catcher?

Hi all,

Did my first cx season last year and got my butt handed to me but loved it!

Big problem with dropping chain (always to inside). Worst race it happened 3 times although did occur less as season went on and more experience.

Never once dropped chain in the road (Never have mtb) so…

How can I stop this happening? Nobody else seemed to have such as issues as frequently!

Also was looking at getting a chain catcher - something like a dog fang (k edge ones are silly money!). These any good? Just worried that if install one and still chain with one installed…will never get it back on!

Any advice from experienced cx riders would be appreciated!

my CX bike came with a chain catcher installed, I had previously used a cheapo hybrid bike I built up to be a CX bike and I had an inner chain drop.

The only inner chain drop I had this past year (in 16 races I did) happened when I got crashed in a race, can’t remember how much of a pain it was to get it back on, and I eventually flatted in the same race to end my day

I had my chain drop on the outside, oddly enough, in the last race of the season. I haven’t done any tuning up (and obviously a chain catcher wouldn’t help there) so I don’t really know why that happened, and I was actually trying to shift down when it happened

So my n=1 experience has been good I suppose!

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It depends how the chain drops off the inside, generally this happens in CX off the bottom of the chainring during rough terrain or a crash due to lower cage tension on the bottom run of the chain with a 2x RD. A chain catcher won’t help with that. Even if its falling off of the top half of the chain, you want a chain catcher that is beefy enough that the chain won’t squeeze past the gap between the small chainring and the catcher, the dogfang and braze on K-edge design have a tendancy to move if the chain is forced past the chainring in the case of a drop. You want the k-edge XL version or the N-stop chain catcher if you have a round seat tube.

The other option is to go to 1X with a clutched RD or if you want to stay 2X and running 11 speed shimano you can purchase the RX800 clutched RD.
The final option is to increase the derailleur pulley tension if you have shimano by moving the spring mount point

That’s great. Those are the main circumstances when my chain drops.

I looked at k edge one but just can’t bring myself to pay over £50 for a chain catcher! Do you have a link to the other one (N stop?)

Running Sram 2x10 speed and serious budget so can’t change much I’m afraid! Maybe see if I can shorten chain by one link - would that increase tension? Generally I seem to be in large gear at front and near bottom (low gear) at back. Not sure how to stop the cross chaining
Surely if the dog fang is close to inner ring then chain can’t fall off…can it? Am I missing something ( sure i am!!)

Maybe I’m getting

If running sram 10 speed you can get one of these

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The problem with the dog fang is that its plastic. If the chain falls off and you catch it right away it might not squeeze past, but if the chain jams into it, the fang will either rotate or deform and let the chain past, then it becomes hard to impossible to pull it back out. Had this happen my first year racing and couldn’t pull it out. Had to shoulder the bike and run the last half lap

That’s what I’m most worried about…reduces chances of it dropping…but if it does then race over basically!

That’s great. As that is a mtb mech, would it work with Sram Apex though (sorry - I know nothing about Sram really or mtb!!!)

yea sram uses “exact actuation” ie a 1:1 cable pull ratio across their 10/11 speed line IIRC. I run sram 1x on the CX bike but shimano on everything else so I’m not much help on the specifics

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Great. Would a better front derailaleur make a difference? Cheap Microshift one on at moment- worth upgrading (Would Shimano work with old 2014 apex shifters I wonder…?)

No most likely not. Its less of an issue than you’re making it out to be especially if you’re newer to CX. As you progress it will happen less and less. What chainring sizes are you running? I do find that it helps if you can be on the big ring more often as there will be more tension on the chain.

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