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· Belltown Brazer
647 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently joined the 29er darkside (or is that seen the light?). I'm the fella that bought ArMtnbiker's black Sofa King. It is a sweet ride. I will post my impressions at a later date, when I can include some pictures of her in her new home.

Anyway, it came with the full 27 speed drivetrain. Being a single speeder fella, all those gears gave me the willies. But, I didn't want to go straight to the SS thing until I get a feel for the bike and what sort of gear I would like on it. So, I went to a 1X9 set up. I like the 1X9, and this bike could very well end up staying that way for the longer rides around here. Perhaps with some more beggin the SS Yo Eddy can be replaced by one of the GF Rigs.

Finally, my question: what do you guys do to keep the chain on the front ring? I took out a few links in the chain, and that helped a lot. I made up a ring out of lexan that bolts to the granny bosses, and that just about cures the problem. But, is there a more elegant solution in lieu of my home made deal?

Thanks for any tips.

East Hampton, CT

· Premium Member
7,591 Posts
Take out more links...

The bummer about 1x9 is that you have to add a lot of extraneous junk to keep the chain on, which reduces the simplicity and weight advantages. But if you take off the right amount of chain (if you had a 22/32/44 chainring set, that's quite a bit - more than "a couple links") you'll do better. Then you're pretty much stuck putting some kind of chainguide on the front - I've seen a lot of people use ground-down MRP plates, because they work well as bashrings too. A ground-down big chainring will work for the outer guide, and occasionally (if you've got a lot of clearance between chainrings and chainstay) for the inner guide too. Your Lexan solution sounds like a good one to me!


· The Duuude, man...
3,533 Posts
MDEnvEngr said:
I've recently joined the 29er darkside (or is that seen the light?). I'm the fella that bought ArMtnbiker's black Sofa King. It is a sweet ride.

Bob, East Hampton, CT
Bob, That was a SICK ride and a SCHWEET deal....I came dangerously close to buying it myself...AMBRK's a cool guy and you got the deal of a lifetime. Sofa Kings are very nice, but due to them being a small boutique brand, they don't bring the resale, hence your deal...but really, that's a $2500 or more bike....

I look forward to a ride report and new pic's....

· Derailleurless
9,119 Posts
I made some comments to the x-post over on the singlespeed board, but I'll add some more here.

Like walt mentions, the shorter the chain, the better. The "big-big" chain sizing rule applies to 1x9 drivetrains, too.

Another factor is your cassette spread: an 11x34 cassette will produce more chain slack in the smaller cogs than an 11x28 8 speed setup, for instance.

The shorter the derailleur cage, the better. I had good results with a medium cage, but there is no reason not to run a short cage length rear derailleur. The chain will have less leverage over the shorter "arm" with which to act against the tensioner spring, meaning better chain control and a better likelyhood of remaining in place in rough stuff.

Also, I've been lead to believe (but have never confirmed) that as you work your way up through the levels of rear derailleur (LX to XT to XTR, 105 to Ultegra to Dura-Ace) that the return spring tension is higher on the higher end stuff. I've tried to confirm this but never have been able to, but it may be why I had such good luck with my XTR-GS derailleur.

Of course you want your chainline to be correct, but I don't know if dead-centered on the cassette is better or slightly outside, cheating towards the smaller gears. But you definitely don't want a chainline that's too narrow (cheating towards the inside of being centered on the cassette).

And lastly, the non-profiled chainring to glue everything together. Spot, Blackspire, Salsa all are good options.

No guarantees though, and after all that you may still find yourself needing a chainguide. It just may have boiled down to dumb luck that I got away without one for so long!

· Registered
215 Posts

Very common setup for CX racing.

A Spot or other brand ring guard ($30) and a third eye / jump stop ($5-10) will solve the problem.

The 3rd eye or jompstop is a plastic gizmo that clamps around the seat tube similiar to a derailleur and fills the gap so your chain can't fall off.

· Recovering couch patato
13,971 Posts
Some people have made DIY chain retention systems that are just 30g and really simple once dialed in. The weight board's got all the good info.

It it's just about finding a good SS gear, consider a Shimano 105 13-23 cassette, it should be almost without gaps in toothcounts.
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