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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So on the third ride of my brand new RIP 9 (which I spent several months buying parts and slowly building it up), the front chainring I selected (expensive, and will for now will remain nameless in hopes of getting reimbursed) completely came apart, the bashguard totally bent over and the chain came off and cosmetically damaged my new cranks. I am sickened.

So now I have to replace my front ring and bash. Again, this is a 1x9 setup so what I'm wondering is...if I get a chainring that is not ramped, will it still work with a 9 speed chain? Obviously I won't be shifting up front so ramped teeth are unnecessary. I'm just not sure if it work well with the chain. My assumption is that it will be fine, but I wanted to check here first.

This is the ring I'm thinking of getting.

And I also like the look of this bashguard by Straitline and was wondering if anyone has any experience with Straitline products? I guess I'm most concerned with its durability.

Any recommendations on either the chainring or bash? Are these good choices?

Thanks a ton for any advice you can offer.
 

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You're always getting a plain chainring for a 1x9 bike. It isn't the ramps that cause problems since they're below the tooth line so don't ever touch the chain. The problem is the shifting gates, or cut down teeth, on typical 2x- & 3x- outer chainrings. These increase the chance of the chain overrunning off the side of the ring when feeding from the extreme angles.

Before you simply replace the ring, try to figure out what when wrong and caused the other to fail. From a functional standpoint a chainring always acts as if it were alone, drawing no added support from it's neighbors, so the old ring shouldn't have failed simply as a result of being in a 1x9 setup. Could it be that a chainring bolt fell out, leaving a section unsupported?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies guys. Just so you can see what happened, I'm posting a few pics here, though I'll let you guess for now what chainring this is (still waiting for a response from the manufacturer). There were no bolts that fell out. As I mentioned, I probably should have been in one or two gears down, but the chain should have broken before this ever happened. As you can see from the pics, the outer bash guard, which is thin aluminum and most likely the culprit, entirely bent over like a piece of rubber.


 

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It's hard to be sure what happened, but here's a possibility.

The chain derailed while under high tension & jammed between the ring and bashguard, prying them apart as it got drawn down. Without the bash guard the chain would simply have popped clear, but the bashguard trapped it causing the damage.

As to why it came off, any number of reasons, but if the ring has a shifting gate I'd rank it as the likely suspect. Otherwise it could have a damaged chain link, or a jolt starting the process. After all mtb chains falling off isn't all that rare.

Hope your luck improves with the next chainring.
 

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I dont think you are going to have much luck with the mfg as far as warrany, as it is not a fault of the ring. I understand you just spent lots of money, and just got the bike built up, (and I dont know who makes a ring with a built in sandwich guides...goofy IMO) but based on the pictures, nothing having to do with the ring assembly failed. This is seemingly a part that is geared toward light weight and looks, rather than function and durability (based on your pics, it looks like the 'guides' are build to keep your pants clean and that is about it).

The chain is kept on the rings in large part by rear derailleur spring tension. Generally chain dearailment is some combo of several things. Chain alignment, chain tension, and proper tools to keep the chain feeding correctly (chainnguide) given the particular use.

You have no guide what so ever, so my strong guess is that something is a little off with tension or alignment (looks like those rings offset the chainline a touch) such that frame movement, or bumps, or both, allowed the chain to be come slack and feed off the ring. Like FB, I would assume that the spacing between the ring and 'guide' is such that the chain fell down between them, and the rest is history. It may not be designed well, but that does not make your issue a mfg defect.

Simple bomb proof fix is pretty simple:
-SIMPLE Non-ramped ring (does not neet to be steel as you linked, but that will work. The more simple the better)

-Good bash based on your needs and use (thick, thin, aluminum, composite, etc) (I like BBG)

-Recheck chain length, derailleur length and tension based on gear spread and frame movement

-Check and see if your new freehub (king maybe?) is stiff and causing slack chain on the upper run (pretty common in brand new hubs as the seals are new, and drag)

-lastly, if you need, add a guide of some sort if you are riding/pedaling through rough enough terrain to knock the chain off the rings (look at e-13 XCX, or blackspire stinger or similar).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry 'bout the big pics. I had posted them large for the manufacturer to see and have since resized them. He has agreed to refund me the full price of the ring, so that is good news, though I still have nicked up cranks.

So I was looking more closely at the Surly chainring and it recommends only using an 8-speed chain for the 32T. Surly says only the 38T and up will work with 9 speed chains, so I guess I've gotta find something else that will work.

Any recommendations?
 

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Are you specifically looking for steel????

There are a bunch of high quality aluminum rings that would work great....e-13, blackspire, gamut, raceface....

Again, you need to figure out the cause of the chain derailment and how to prevent it again, The chainring you have did not cause the derailment...and no 'other' chainring will prevent it from happening again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
At this point I want the most durable, which it sounds like steel is the best way to go. I emailed Surly and they already got back to me saying that any 32T ring Universal Cycles sells is now compatible with a 9-speed chain, so that is good news.

Now I'm wondering if I can go with an outer bash and an inner plate (the Straitline method) or if I need to use the Stinger chain guide as recommended. I'd prefer to use the two Straitline pieces, though I realize the outer bash isn't meant to keep the chain from moving to the outside. If that's the case, is the stinger the only way to go? I'm really confused and want the best option.

Regarding the failure, I'm sure it was a combination of me not being in the proper gear (I got forced off the trail going uphill into ruts and rocks by a hiker who wouldn't move, and I tried to power my way through it as if I was on my singlespeed), and the very flimsy chainguide. Otherwise I don't know what else it could be. Everything was shifting fine up until that point.
Here are pics of it prior to being demolished:
http://gallery.me.com/cinemachine#100265&view=grid&bgcolor=black&sel=5

EDIT: Ah, just discovered this chainguide from e-thirteen. It should work, no?
 

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I highly recommend the E13 guide ring. No ramps or pins, mad light and available in many sizes. Also instead of the sandwich style chain guide like what you are running, I would suggest getting one of the new E13 LG1+ guides. Also really light, really strong, and your chain isn't going to go anywhere.

I am running that exact setup on one of my xc race bikes this year, also this setup on my slalom and dh bikes.

Matt

(no I do not work for E13)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank Matt! Sounds like a great solution. Only problem is I'll have to wait for the new LS1+ to ship later this month as I don't want to get the older / heavier version. Guess it's back to riding my hardtail SS for now.

Also, I like that they have a variety of colors available for their chain guides, but can only find them in the standard silver. I've emailed e13 to see if they'll be making them more widely available.

Almost forgot to ask...how can I find out what ISCG standard the RIP 9 has? I've looked at some of their technical docs but can't find the answer. I'm assuming it's the 05 version but need to know for sure.
 

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cinemachine said:
Thank Matt! Sounds like a great solution. Only problem is I'll have to wait for the new LS1+ to ship later this month as I don't want to get the older / heavier version. Guess it's back to riding my hardtail SS for now.

Also, I like that they have a variety of colors available for their chain guides, but can only find them in the standard silver. I've emailed e13 to see if they'll be making them more widely available.

Almost forgot to ask...how can I find out what ISCG standard the RIP 9 has? I've looked at some of their technical docs but can't find the answer. I'm assuming it's the 05 version but need to know for sure.
It looks like the RIP 9 does not have ISCG mounts at all according to the pics on the niner site (the WFO does). This does not mean that you cannot run a guide, as just about any guide will have some way of mounting (sandwiched) between the BB cup and BB shell (frame). There might be a little issue with that pivot just in front of the BB shell. I would get in touch with niner and ask them about chainguide instalation...what they have got to fit, what not.
The guys at e-13 are also VERY helpful and have personally fit a LOT of bikes ( [email protected] ). Phillip posts here to help people a lot, and he/they may have experience fitting something to the 9.

As for guides:

there are guides that only guide the chain as it enters the ring from the top (like the e-13 XCX) that are designed for single front ring/XC use usually without a bash guard (not sure if the XCX will take a bash). Because of the lack of bottom guide, you could derail a chain while backpedaling......

guides that only guide the chain as it exits the ring at the bottom (blackspire stinger, e-13 DRS, etc) that are allow two front rings, and for the most part, require (designed for) a front derailleur or (some sort of chain keeper) to help keep the chain where it should be. These guides are generally used on anything from AM to full of FR riding with a 2 X 9 set-up and are run with a bash guard 99% of the time....

and guides the guide the chain on both the top and bottom of the ring (e-13 srs, e-13 lg1, gamut, etc) that are usually designed for single ring DH type use and when set-up correctly essentially lock the chain on the ring. Many require you to semi-disassemble the guide to get the chain off. These offer the most chain control, but are usually pretty overbuilt for XC/trail use (although they are being made lighter and lighter recently).

The more known guide companies are e-13, gamut, mrp, and blackspire although there are many more smaller mfg.

As you have found out, two sandwiched plates do not always provide the chain control that you may need. This design does not in any way limit chain movement up off of the ring. Something like the XCX encloses the chain completely, preventing the chain from being able to freely move in any axis. The two plate design is a thow back to old MRP guides that used two plates AND a roller at the top and bottom to completely constrain the chain.

Not to sound like a broken record, but I still think there is something more to this (and I could very well be wrong..but 30+ years of bike racing/riding/building makes me suspicious). There are MANY MANY people running completely nude single rings (no guide, no bash) without problems, and in the most simple explaination, the top run of chain should not be slack enough to allow such derailment... you cannot cross chain with a 1 X 9 so the particular gear should not really matter (ei no combo is 'wrong' like on a 3 X 9 combo)....

EDIT I just found the mfg of the ring (via another post of yours :D ), and after looking over the ring, IMO there are some potential issues that do center around the design of the ring that could result in an 'incorrect' set-up and potentially lead toward you results. The ring mounts to the INNER tabs. The mfg completely ignores the issue of chainline and does not even mention if, how, or how much the ring may be offset to correct for the overtly inboard mounting. Futher, it looks (now that I know what I am looking at) like you have added washers (per the mfg vague instructions) to even further shift the ring inboard.
So from what I can now see, the design of this ring makes it so you are essentially cross-chained ALL of the time. With this design, a little imperfection, wobble, or burr in the outer surface of the 'bash plate' could easily grab the chain and cause it to climb up, out, and off the chainring while in a smaller cog (sound familiar?) I am actually a little dumbfounded that they mount the ring like this and don't make any mention or correction for the modified chainline....Very poor IMO.
 

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davep just threw down some great info, here's a little more that may help.

I have both the lg1+ (the new one) and the xcx guide. In the past I have used the n-gear jump stop with a bash guard, and have tried using nothing at all.

Here are my thoughts and experiences of each.
lg1+ the most fool proof option out there. Integrated "taco" style bash guard, the newer versions aren't quite as indestructible as the last generation, but durability is still fantastic. I have this guide, on a few of my bikes, setup is pretty easy, the adapter plate is sandwiched between the frame and bottom bracket and washers are used to center it over your chain ring. Definitely the most fool proof of plans

The XCX. I have this guide on my 18lb xc hardtail, Its really light (50 grams) and adjustable for pretty much any size chain ring like the lg1. With the XCX you can't run a bashguard because it will interfere with the top plastic. I have been using this guide in New England with a 36 tooth guide ring, and have hit it on logs a few times, haven't bent the chain ring or broken chain links. (I'm under 150 and pretty smooth) Another minor issue is that while back pedaling in the extremes of the cassette if your chain line isn't perfect it will come off the bottom. I have only run into this problem a few times when I'm riding backwards in the driveway practicing street.

The N-Gear and bash guard method. Also pretty fool proof, but in high speed technical riding the chain will occasionally jump over the bashguard or the jump stop. This happens more often on full suspension bikes. Also this won't work on many full suspension frames as there are pivots in the way.

And lastly (and the least as it works out) when I tried using nothing but the no ramp no pin chin ring I lost the chain too many times to count whenever I was riding anything remotely rocky or technical (we have a lot of that in Western MA) I would hesitate to even try this on a road bike.

With each setup everything was installed according to spec, I used truvativ, shimano external bearing and octalink, and race face external and isis, and middleburn cranks. I like to run my chains as short as physically possible to reduce chain slap, I run mid or short cage derailleurs, and have used both sram and shimano drivetrains. Middleburn cranks required some additional washers to space the chin ring inward about 2mm or a road bottom bracket.

jeeze thats a lot of bike parts, and way too much typing
Hope I was able to help you out.
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks guys for the great explanation of the various chain guides. Since this is my first 1x9 setup, I have a lot to learn and everything you typed helps. After digesting it all, I think I will go with Matt's advice and get the 2010 version of the e13 LS1+ when it ships later this month since it has guides on both top and bottom. I'm anxious to give it a go but I'll have to wait patiently.

RE: my previous ring, I was hesitant to publicly post who the mfg was as I didn't want to bad mouth his product, although I do think people considering purchasing this ring should be aware of its "issues." I really didn't think my incident was a result of poor tension, as I use a short cage rear derailleur and the tension was really snug.

Thanks again.
 
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