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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my temporary solution to chain suck.

I say temp because I am waiting for a better time financially, to go out and get better chain rings. My LBS tells me to get new rings because factory aluminum ones tend be the major cause.



Rode this for a little over 300km ( wet, mud, snow, hills, etc... ) with no chain suck at all.

Has anyone else tried BBB chain rings? Would they eliminate the issue? Not a professional racer, love MTB-ing, got kids so no cash... ;)
 

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Some time way back, Bontrager devised a fancier version of your solution and it served the purpose very well, but like yours didn't address the underlying cause of chain suck.

In most cases, especially when riding in the wet is involved, chain suck is caused by internal friction within the chain. Water wicks into the chain carrying silt a d fine dirt particles. Eventually the water evaporated leaving the sediment behind. Eventually it accumulates enough to create friction within the chain. Not only will it increase chain wear, but it increases the force required to straighten the chain and pull it off the sprocket and you get chain suck.

Pull off the chain (hopefully it has a reusable connector) give it a long soak in mineral spirits with occasional agitation. Repeat in multiple rinse baths until the liquid stays clean. (you can save the solvent and reuse most of it after letting the dirt settle) Once the chain is truly clean, let dry at least overnight in a warm place. Since you ride in snow, I assume there's a furnace at home, that would be a good place.

Lube your clean chain with a decent wet oil lube. Unlike dry lubes, waxes, and solvent/oil mixes, oil will fill your chain, stay in there and keep water and it's silt out, thereby prevent chain suck.

BTW- badly worn rings can also cause chain suck, but since cleaning and oiling a chain is cheaper than new hardware, that's where to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After some more research, I am concluding that chain suck is common problem with the Cannondale F5 that I have. My MacGuyvering here lets me ride for now. However from what I read the most common suggestion is to upgrade to better chainrings.

What I have on there now is the stock aluminium truvativ base models that came with it.

I am going to go for the XT Shimano m770 its on sale from CRC for 150 or so.

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=20679

As for chain maintenance, I wash the bike with water and de-greaser each ride, towel off the wet areas, and when the chain is truly dry I re-apply a heavy chain lubricant. Except for the chain stay area the bike looks brand new even after 2000km of riding last year. So I know it is not a maintenance issue.

Last Sunday, my solution above worked quite well and I was riding some of the wettest muddiest crazy stuff ever... Might even put a few more zip ties on there just for extra measure.
 

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The Punk Hucker
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I have this fix permanently on my bike. In heavy mud conditions, during races, it has saved me multiple times. This fix is a good permanent solution, although, in your case, I would use some red electrical tape instead of duct tape.
 

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Retro Grouch
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There is one chainsuck remedy that works everytime; switch to a double chain ring. Chainsuck is only possible with triple chainrings, switch a MTB compact and you'll never have to worry again. BTW, I have Bonty with it's anti-chainsuck device. It worked until it failed, which severally bent the middle chainring and required I disassemble the device to free the chain.
 

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aka brad said:
There is one chainsuck remedy that works everytime; switch to a double chain ring. Chainsuck is only possible with triple chainrings, switch a MTB compact and you'll never have to worry again.

What magical difference does the number of chainrings make
? I understand that your situation improved when you replaced the crankset, but that might have just as easily replaced it with a new triple, or simply replaced the rings.

Chainsuck has three primary causes, worn or hooked chainrings, twisted or otherwise damaged chain links, or high internal friction within the chain from poor lube or dirt.

Either of these, alone or combined with others raises the force needed to unspool the chain from the sprocket. When that force exceeds the tension in the lower loop you get chainsuck.
 

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PissedOffCil said:
How so? I have a double that chain sucks at times... Chain suck has nothing to do with the number of rings.
While technically you are right, the real issue is the granny chainring; from Chain-Suck : in a NUTSHELL"It (chainsuck) occurs most frequently with small chain-rings (granny-rings) of triple-ring mountain bikes." Admittedly I was overstating "chainsuck is only possible with triple chainrings," however chainsuck is also almost always the result of a worn chainring and a small granny gear, with the same useage, will wear much faster than a larger chainrings. So it's not the number of chainrings, but the nature of how a triple chainring cranks wears.

Small chain-rings have high chain loads due to the pedal arm's high leverage ratio. They also have fewer teeth to carry the load ; thus each individual tooth carries a high load and there is a tendency for some load to be carried even by the bottom teeth. High tooth loading also leads to higher tooth wear. For these reasons, small granny-rings are more vulnerable to chain-suck than larger rings.
 

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monolith said:
I was getting chain suck on 4 week old sram XX this time last year - and that was with a 1x10 setup running a 32T ring. Hope this helps.
Sounds like a personal problem to me..No really, there are the usual suspects with chain suck and then there is a SRAM XX that suck. According the the above site, Chain-Suck: in a NUTSHELL

.teeth on adjacent rings are positioned to favour a match for the length of transferring chain, and also to coincide with low loading in the crank cycle BUT ... some makes of crank/chain-rings are more successful at achieving all this than others (for example, Shimano tends to be good at this aspect), and some tooth ratios of adjacent rings tend to be better than others (for example, 22t-32t is usually without this problem, while 24t-36t gives more problems).

This form of mismatch does not necessarily require any significant tooth wear ; wear can improve matters or make it worse. When chain-rings are new, 2-ring suck can affect them if the rotational alignment of teeth is unfavourable, because this factor alone can cause a "chain-bridge" and loading of bottom teeth .


All this talk of chain suck has given be a headache. Thank goodness I ride a singlespeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Wow!

Thanks for the follow ups! Where does one begin? Being a severe chain suck sufferer myself for the last two weeks, I have done much much much reading on the subject.

I have gone from Sheldon Brown, to Chain Suck in a nutshell, to this forum, to Dutch and Belgian MTB forums, and asking die MTB'rs in the club I am in. Here is what I conclude:

Keep It Stupid Simple ( KISS )

1) Chain suck happens to people whom ride their bikes in Mud and Icky ( Belgium = Mud ). Regardless of chain lube, chainrings. Its a fact of life and you should never assume that just because you have a 400 Euro crankset or super graphite NASA approved chain lube that it will not happen. If you own an MTB and don't ride in the Mud and Icky, then why do you own an MTB?

2) Some mountain bikes have a geometry ( accidental and/or intentional ) in the frame the prevents chain suck
a) a gap between the chain rings and the frame that is so small that nothing can fit in there.
b) a geometry that for whatever reasons naturally closes off possibilities
c) a gap so large that a chain gets up in there but never gets lodged in
d) Some rear swing arm fancy bikes, no gap at all...
e) Most Single/Double chainring setups ( thanks for the suggestion above )

3) Since chain suck is a natural mud induced occurrence it is best to always have something to ensure that you don't suffer from it if you have a bike that can suffer from it.

-- The most common way that I saw was basically closing off the gap using a combination of tape ( duck, duct, electrical, etc... ) and plastic zip ties. Closing off the gap is easier than reshaping your frame to make the gap bigger.

-- There are devices available, the metal plates are not recommended and can actually do more harm than good., however this device if I could get I would love to try it.
http://www.mbaction.com/ME2/dirmod....0&tier=3&nid=0C889484DC8C41B18BC1110338EBF79A
( any users out there? )

Here is the photo of my solution again, the previous photo was moved: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/3sCPxEo-QZsNG3igDliY6g?feat=directlink

Again thanks to everyone for taking part. I have learned so much about this horrible affliction that many people suffer from and I hope by sharing my experience others may benefit.

I hope that other who are suffering please share your photos here. I think it can be really beneficial.
 

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A couple of things to mention... On my niner rip 9 I was constantly fighting chain suck... Then I replaced my chain, front der, and chainrings. Magically, chain suck went away! My buddy actually sawed his frame almost in half during a race that was the muddiest I have seen in 10 years of riding! This was on a cannondale f5 as the op said he was riding. C-dale was really cool on the frame replacement and he now runs something similar to the above c-suck protector and has had zero issues since! Good luck!
 
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