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Bike: 2018 Trek Slash 9.9 (X2 shock)
Hubs: Hope Pro4 (4 pawls, 44 tooth engagement - 8.2 degrees)
Cranks: Praxis 165mm
Drivetrain: SRAM GX with Garbaruk cogs
Ochain version: SRAM with 6 deg elastomers, 32t chainring

I was having trouble deciding whether or not to go with the 9 deg elastomers but went with the 6 deg instead. I was thinking my hubs aren't near the Hydra level so I decided to stay on the safe side and go with 6 deg to start.

Will post feedback here after a test ride over the weekend on a craggy DH track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have an Ochain on my Nicolai G1 and most recently on my Privateer 141. The effect is more noticeable on the 141 than the G1. Definitely smooths out the ride and quietens down the chain slap. Wouldn't want to ride without one now I've experienced the difference it has made.
Privateer bikes have so much anti-squat that I really think they would benefit from an Ochain and glad to hear your experiences jive with my theory. Hoping to get one for my 141 sometime soon.
 

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I put by 18T ratchets back in today for the fun of it. When I dropped the bike on the ground, I immediately noticed the pedals didn’t kick back. My 52T ratchets kick back and my pedals often hit my shins.
On the trail, the bike did feel smoother than normal today, could be the the lower engagement. I do have a very progressive YT jeffsy, so kickback is more pronounced.
 

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If you've got 9 degrees of play at the crank and you're geared 2.5:1 it's the equivalent of 22.5 degrees at the hub.
That would be 360/22.5 = 16 points of engagement.

So we've got some companies marketing 4 degrees engagement (finer is better) and we've got others marketing 22.5 degrees (looser is better). Who is right?
Is it all marketing BS that makes no difference and Shimano was right 30 years ago?
 

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If you've got 9 degrees of play at the crank and you're geared 2.5:1 it's the equivalent of 22.5 degrees at the hub.
That would be 360/22.5 = 16 points of engagement.

So we've got some companies marketing 4 degrees engagement (finer is better) and we've got others marketing 22.5 degrees (looser is better). Who is right?
Is it all marketing BS that makes no difference and Shimano was right 30 years ago?
Dammit, I am way too hung over for a riddle. Just give me the answer what is best.
 

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Dammit, now we've entered one of those paradox time loops.
 

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So I did my first runs using the Ochain last weekend (with the 6 degree elastomers) and I was very happy with the added grip on the chunky sections (it was drizzling on my very first run so there was some moisture on track). However, the feel wasn't THAT much different from a stock chainring, particularly on the slower sections with the bigger rocks. There was a lot less chainslap, definitely, so the bike was quieter. I rode with flat pedals and on Hope hubs, btw.

I will make a change to 9 degree elastomers and test again this weekend.
 

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So I did my first runs using the Ochain last weekend (with the 6 degree elastomers) and I was very happy with the added grip on the chunky sections (it was drizzling on my very first run so there was some moisture on track). However, the feel wasn't THAT much different from a stock chainring, particularly on the slower sections with the bigger rocks. There was a lot less chainslap, definitely, so the bike was quieter. I rode with flat pedals and on Hope hubs, btw.

I will make a change to 9 degree elastomers and test again this weekend.
What bike and how much travel? I'm interested but not sure for a 140mm travel HL frame with a coil shock.
 

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So I did my first runs using the Ochain last weekend (with the 6 degree elastomers) and I was very happy with the added grip on the chunky sections (it was drizzling on my very first run so there was some moisture on track). However, the feel wasn't THAT much different from a stock chainring, particularly on the slower sections with the bigger rocks. There was a lot less chainslap, definitely, so the bike was quieter. I rode with flat pedals and on Hope hubs, btw.

I will make a change to 9 degree elastomers and test again this weekend.
How did it add grip? More weight?
 

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I put by 18T ratchets back in today for the fun of it. When I dropped the bike on the ground, I immediately noticed the pedals didn’t kick back. My 52T ratchets kick back and my pedals often hit my shins.
On the trail, the bike did feel smoother than normal today, could be the the lower engagement. I do have a very progressive YT jeffsy, so kickback is more pronounced.
Im curious about doing this as I have my 18T ratchets still and want ti try Ochain but its $400


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The reasoning I have heard is consistency. With a lower engagement hub, you don't know where your hub is in its ratchet. Could be close to engagement, could be farther from engagement. O-chain is always consistent.

More grip could be a factor of "free-er" suspension movement, the purpose of this device. You are not fighting the pedal kickback, which allegedly gives the "chainless" feel.
 

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Here's Neko's writeup on his impression of the ochain.

 

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I think less engagement is better for downhill and more engagement is better for falt/uphill. O-Chain makes a lot of sense for World Cup DH. Anyone who regularly pedals over flat or uphill technical terrain can tell you that a high engagement hub is great for that sort of thing. But point the bike downhill and you see there are drawbacks to it.
 

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You can go read Downamics Instagram posts where he recently did testing on o-chain using DAQ. Pretty interesting and he also says it feels like the rear wheel tracks the ground better
How do you test chain engagement vs traction with DAQ?
 
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