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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Bit of background: I love my Mach 5.7, but have always been disappointed by the lack of ISCG tabs and since it's a pressfit BB, you obviously can't even run a BB mount chainguide. When I'm really pinning it through rocky/rough sections, my chain will often fall off the rings in the front to the inside, requiring me to get off my bike and put it back on. On top of this, the chain has completely chewed through the paint in front of the chainstay protector right at the elbow (not good). Pivot's adapter only works for single ring setups (though I've heard a few people got it to work with doubles with some modification). I'd been hoping Pivot would offer a solution for 2 ring setups, but that never came to pass. I've just dealt with it because I love the bike so much.

I read about the Bionicon C Guide quite some time ago, and thought it would be a good idea, but didn't like the design all that much. The first generation design wouldn't work without under-chainstay cable routing if I recall correctly, and it looked like it could fall off the hook too easily. Now it seems they've perfected the design. When I read about the new version on Pinkbike, I remembered it and realized I needed to try it. I read all the reviews and watched the video. I thought, why not? What's $50 with a bike this expensive? Not that I'm a weight weenie (can tell from my build), but damn it's only 18 grams too.

Took it out on a fast, rocky ride where I typically always lose the chain, and wow. This thing does work. For such a simple device, the performance is awesome. Drivetrain is ninja quiet, and the chain stayed put the whole time. There's no friction or noise like I experienced with my e13 Heim 2 on another bike. It even made both front and rear shifts noticeably crisper and faster because of the increased tension on the chain. I didn't expect this, but it's an added bonus. Shifting also works much better when the suspension is fully active because the chain isn't bouncing all over the place. The price may seem steep to some for a little piece of metal and plastic, but it's definitely worth it for me. You could probably make something yourself for cheap, but it wouldn't work this well and it wouldn't look this good. On a bike this nice, why cheap out?

Paul, the US sales rep, was super easy to work with and his customer service was great. He answered all my questions and quickly changed the order for me when I ordered the wrong color. He also shipped it out super fast. I ordered directly from their website. Plastic tube replacements are $10 and according to Paul you can expect about a year out of one. You can rotate it 4 different ways as it wears to get the most life out of it if you're paying attention. Even plastic rollers on chainguides wear down and it's the same price as a new roller, so pretty comparable.

For those of you with ADD who can't read all that, here's their website link with their demo video and the link to the Pinkbike review.
Bionicon USA C-Guide Chainguide
Also, pictures.
 

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Hmm, maybe something to think about as part of my new build as well, throwing the chain is a pain in the ass. So, any downsides to this little gizmo that you can think of?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm, maybe something to think about as part of my new build as well, throwing the chain is a pain in the ass. So, any downsides to this little gizmo that you can think of?
Not yet, but I've only used it for 1 ride. Still, that ride was brutal, very fast with tons of baby head rocks. Like I said, I didn't notice any drag or any noise. It's pretty out of the way and protected from damage. I guess a zip tie could snap, but I bring extra zip ties with me in my hydration pack anyway. The ones they provide are pretty stout. There were early reports of the plastic tube that holds it on snapping (apparently they engineered it to break away too easily to protect the guide), but they've since beefed up that piece so it shouldn't be an issue. If it does break, it's easy to remove or refit on the trail with a simple 2mm Allen key. Initial impressions are great. We will see after a full season of riding in Colorado. I ride some pretty gnarly trails. There's a reason why I have that massive rubber on there. ;)
 

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Pity they're rare as rocking horse sh1t, looks like they're a few weeks away from getting more stock, even then I think I'll struggle to get one in the UK. Defo worth a look though, this may well be attached to my steed as soon as I can get one too. Cheers for the write up. Keep on postin about it as a longer term review ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I probably even have mine mounted too far back, but it still works perfectly. The chainstay starts to curve forward of that point, so I didn't want to mount it any further forward.

Found the email for the apparent UK Bionicon guy on their site. Try this email and see if he's got stock.
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wonder how that would work on the Firebird?
Seems like it will work just as well, if not better on the Firebird. I don't see why it wouldn't. It really should work well on any bike without elevated chainstays, as long as you're running at least a double up front. It doesn't make any accommodations for the top of the chain, but a well tuned front derailleur should take care of that. Single ring, I'd still run a traditional single guide obviously. But this is much simpler and lighter than traditional chainguides for double/triple setups. I haven't used it on a triple, so can't comment on that, but supposedly will work. I'm pretty amped if my chain dropping issues are in the past. Time will tell, but I'll update this post as I get more rides in with it. It worked really well on concrete stairs too, for what it's worth.
 

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Well, Paul got back to me fast and they had one black left.... so I bought it.

For my Nomad running 1X10, I'm using the XCX upper guide, no bash, and the XTR with the new damper built in. It's silent and has been flawless. LOVE IT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, Paul got back to me fast and they had one black left.... so I bought it.

For my Nomad running 1X10, I'm using the XCX upper guide, no bash, and the XTR with the new damper built in. It's silent and has been flawless. LOVE IT.
Yeah, I have a SRAM drivetrain and looking forward to trying their new Type 2 rear derailleur when it's out. Even if I mount one, I'm sure I'll still keep this on, cause... why not?

Let me know how your C Guide works on your Firebird. :thumbsup:
 

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Yeah, I'm interested in the Firebird application too. I'm too cheap to buy the frame specific MRP guide. I keep smacking my bb mounted guide, and have to rotate it back to it's optimal position. Won't f up the chainline. Lighter too. Seems like a deal to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I did not. You don't even need to break chain to fit either with this new design, which is nice. Super quick install. I'd still recommend removing all air from your shock and fully cycling your suspension if you're worried. This is the safest thing to do. I have no clue what your chain length is so can't say you'll be fine with just a guess. Looking forward to your impressions. :thumbsup:
 

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Looks as if it's the same type of design as the Specialized "DANGLER".....that comes on their newer models. I stole the "dangler" off of the wife's bike and modded it to fit mine, and it works well. I bought her a Gamut CG since she has ISCG mounts.


And no...the chain slides across just fine=hardly any friction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looks as if it's the same type of design as the Specialized "DANGLER".....that comes on their newer models. I stole the "dangler" off of the wife's bike and modded it to fit mine, and it works well. I bought her an Gamut CG since she has ISCG mounts.
Yeah, I hear the Specialized version has way more friction. That's just what I've heard. Can't confirm that myself. Awesome if it's working out for you. I really like the looks and function of the Bionicon one. :)
 

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Mine showed up Friday but I had a lot of stuff to do and didn't mount it on my frame yet. Very nice looking piece of equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Been getting some more use on mine and so far it's working flawlessly. Before my drivetrain was so much noisier and my chain would go from middle ring, to little ring, to off on any bumpy downhills. Now the chain is always where I left it and ready to start pedaling again whenever I put the power down.
 

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Just a warning for some of the others thinking about buying one - make sure you cycle the suspension. In some other thread - I think an IBIS one - a couple of people broke their mounting tube thingy because their chain was too short.

I still haven't tried mine yet. Been running the Stinger on the Firebird forever but might want to move it to my Nomad now - the XCX and Shadow+ derailleur with the damper was good this winter but now that it's drying out and I'm hitting everything faster it's starting to really bounce around and make noise. sigh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just a warning for some of the others thinking about buying one - make sure you cycle the suspension. In some other thread - I think an IBIS one - a couple of people broke their mounting tube thingy because their chain was too short.

I still haven't tried mine yet. Been running the Stinger on the Firebird forever but might want to move it to my Nomad now - the XCX and Shadow+ derailleur with the damper was good this winter but now that it's drying out and I'm hitting everything faster it's starting to really bounce around and make noise. sigh.
Yeah, I tried to mention this in post #13. Blatant had that problem on his new Pivot in the other thread. I think I'm fine because my chain might have been a bit on the long side anyway. I didn't even think about this before now but...last year I changed out from a 26-39 2x10 crankset to a 22-33-bash 3x10 setup. I remember not wanting to shorten the chain right away in case I wanted to go back. I never did though because Colorado Front Range has some massive climbs and my bad knees really appreciated the lower gearing. I think I forgot I could still shorten the chain a bit and never got around to it. That could be why I haven't had any issues with chain length. :p

I'd imagine the measure +2 link trick would still work with chain sizing provided your chain was ran through the guide when sizing the chain.

The good news is the plastic tube is actually designed to break before the more expensive metal component, similar to the way a derailleur hanger works.
 

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That looks like a good option. I had the same problem with the 5.7 and got a Shimano XTR Shadow Plus rear derailleur which also solved the problem. Bike ran much quieter and the chain never comes off (unless I forget to flick the switch to on after removing the rear wheel. think they are coming out in SLX level and SRAM are also making a similar one.

edit: Should have mentioned I have a 3 x 10 setup.
 
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