Not certain if this is worthy of it's own Thread, but whatever.
I went against my long standing rule to not buy first production designs and got a new Tracer VP a few weeks ago. The bike as a whole has been decent, but I'm severly disappointed about the lack of room to run a decent chainguide. E.13 DRS was less than adequate and the Black Spire Stinger worked just so-so if I was pushing the larger cogs on the cassette. Due to a low chainstay coupled with the low hanging VPP lower linkage, there really isn't any space to allow for a guide to be rotated back around far enough to put any tension on the chain.
This is the max rotation allowable on the Stinger. Any further rotation and the pulley bolt hits the lower VPP linkage.
Design flaw? Or just my stupidity? Haven't figured that one out yet, but I'm not too happy.
So rather than cry about it, like I normally would I decided to give it another go but get all Adam Craig and Ross Schnell on the bike-two of the proponents of this guide.
I give you the new MRP X.1
Obviously, there is no lower pulley or even a lower section of boomerang to hang a lower pulley. Well, because the Tracer frame doesn't allow for it.
The good news is the fit is near spot on with the one spacer included putting the chainline at 50mm. I had to bend the backplate back just a hair to keep it from rubbing hard in the easy gears, but other than that it just went on with ease.
The instructions are pretty straight forward and it comes with spacers if you want to use normal chainring bolts. I was lucky enough to have a set of new Sinz BMX chainring bolts and used those in lieu of the spacers.
And before I even took a pedal stroke, I realized that this experiment was going to suck balls for first bit so in single speeder tradition I swapped out the 711mm Sunline V-ones for a pair of 2010 Race Face Atlas FR low riser bars coming in a 31 inches wide which provide a phenominal amount of leverage and
place the entirety of your hand in harms way on tight tree sections
. I also bumped up the low speed compression on the Fox 36 to calm the front end down when grinding out of the saddle.
The obvious difference from the previous set up is the lack of a granny gear. Normally I run either a 22/38 or a 22/36, but decided to bump it down to a 34 ring for my first few rides up in Park City, UT.
If you're not used to a 1x9 setup on a 6inch travel bike it is going to suck at first. And suck hard. My first ride was a 15 miler from Park City over to Deer Valley with a fine 10 miles of sustained climbing. I don't think I dropped the 'F'-bomb more on a ride than on that one. By the time I was done, my legs were gone.
After a couple of rides the body just starts to adjust and adapt to the gear and today I finished one of the harder, in terms of sheer elevation gain vs. short distance, rides in Park City. It still sucked, but sucked a lot less and surprisingly I was usually out in front of those who could kick it down into a granny gear and rest a bit including another friend on a similar Tracer VP (sans the X.1) who also races. Without that luxury, you have to have momentum and speed on your side which translates into you going faster than your friends.
Anyway, there's another option out there. You can read more about the device and another person's perspective on Velosnooze's website here