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Fragglepuss The Chaste
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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:eek: . 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.

Speculate on....
 

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So what exactly is the advantage of having only a top guide vs. a front derailleur? Seem to do the same thing besides that you can change gear with the derailleur. :confused:
In my experience a front derailleur + dual rings + bash keep the chain on pretty well. This is a setup that many here in the PNW run on their FR and trail bikes. Hardly any problems.
 

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Fragglepuss The Chaste
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
iRider said:
So what exactly is the advantage of having only a top guide vs. a front derailleur? Seem to do the same thing besides that you can change gear with the derailleur. :confused:
In my experience a front derailleur + dual rings + bash keep the chain on pretty well. This is a setup that many here in the PNW run on their FR and trail bikes. Hardly any problems.
No advantage other than it pushes you to run a bigger gear and hopefully get stronger/faster before your knees blow up on you. If you're set in your ways, I wouldn't worry too much about it and learn from the review/my experience.

If I followed what many ride in Utah I would be stuck with a ho-hum Specialized or a Trek hardtail, white egg looking helmet with a ball cap underneith, tennis shoes, a leaky Camelbak and no spare tubes or the means to fix a flat. Seems they have hardly any problems other than it's painful to look at them, they don't know trail etiquette and rely heavily on others when they're in trouble.

Nothing wrong with thinking outside the box and pushing yourself from time to time.
 

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Fragglepuss The Chaste
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Exposed and vulnerable chainrings are the new bashguards.

I think the real benefits to a chain guide like this comes not in it's performance but rather the satisfaction you get on group rides should you be able to hang or not.

According to the Velo News review you save about 300 grams over a traditional triple ring set up, including f. derailleur, shifter, cable, housing, etc.... Whatever. Sure, I guess that could be considered rotating weight. But on a 31lb bike (now somewhere in the 30lb mark with this setup) that's hardly going to be noticeable.

The biggest benefit I've noticed so far are the following:

1. I just think it looks good and clean. And it's just different compared to every other person I ride with.
2. It will force you to change your chain regularly rather than being the guy who runs the same drive train for 4 years. All that loose shale being kicked up to an exposed chain will force you to be more attentive to your junk.
3. Easier to clean the one and only chainring.
4. With no lower guide your chain will hit the deck more often and thus get dirtier faster. Which means cleaning your drivetrain more often. Wait, that actually kinda sucks. Oh well.
5. Adam Craig rips this set up so you know it's good. Perhaps I should also start running a full skin suit.
6. After a long grind you stop at the top for a rest and the rest of your posse' finally catches up and starts reminiscing about how hard the climb was. You have the right to look down at your retarded gearing, back up to them and then start in with the "you must be the biggest pu$$y in the world, etc, etc...."
7. After a long grind your friends stop at the top and you finally catch up after pushing up half of it. They start reminiscing about how hard the climb was. You have the right to look down at your retarding gearing, back up to them and then start in with the "you should try running this gearing, it's a b!tch. my thighs are on fire. my chain broke. you must be the biggest pu$$y in the world, etc, etc...."
8. Chicks dig it.
9. You can now relate and mingle with single speeders. Seriously though, I had a single speeder give me kudo's on the trail with this set up. No joke.
10. You'll probably be so spent after a ride that it will get you out of seeing some lame movie or a wedding with your girl friend and you have a legit excuse to just order pizza in.
11. You'll be forced to stand more often which means your garbage will go numb less.

Cons:
1. You'll need to keep a bottle of Sportlegs handy. And that stuff is not cheap.
 

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I would consider this setup on my 6.6. We don't really have much in the way of sustained climbing in this area, so I've just been using the middle ring for everything anyway. It would also be nice to have the shorter chain length, because on certain descents I find the chain contacts the rear tire if I don't go up to the large chainring.
 

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Fragglepuss The Chaste
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
bpnic said:
good thread.... as I'm also deciding which route to go.
Thanks.

It's definitely different and really challenging. I tried something similar 2 years ago on my Nomad and ran an E.13 SRS with a 36 ring towards the end of the season when my legs were used to crying out in pain. The biggest difference between running a guide like the SRS and something like this X.1 without the lower pulley is that you don't get any drag on the chain and it's 100% quiet. I guess I would venture to say that it's easier to pedal. Howvever, you don't get the added benefit of a bashguard.

Having said that, the X.1 guide portion is actually two pieces held together by two screws. My next experiment is to drop the outer section of the X.1 and see if a bashring will fit and complete the puzzle so to speak. The fit should work as I can space the bashguard towards the outside of the spider if need be with shims over the chainring bolts.
The only issue I can foresee is being able to secure the half section of the guide to the back plate and not have the bolt interfere with the bashguard. I'll have to find a thin flat top bolt to make this work as I'd want to get the bashguard to run as close to the outside of the guide as possible or else risk a dropped chain. Give me a few days on this and I'll see if I can get it to work.
 

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Homer's problem child
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I personally think this is gheyer than aids. :thumbsup: But then again I'm fat, slow and have already had 2 knee surgeries and could give half a crap about being fast UP the hill.

I had a hunch the VP2 lower links were going to be an issue when Mr. Intense kept posting Uzzi's and Tracers with no chain guides.

B
 

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I'm running the same MRP 1.X setup on my GF HiFiPro 29er. Really liking it!

But don't you lock on the propedal for your climbing - looks like you've got the RP23? I've reset my propedal on setting #3 and lock that out now, as well as my front fork (F29 RLC) for climbing.

Another Pro for this setup - shorter chain length makes the shifting feel "crisper" but that could just be in my head.
 

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My leg feels funny
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I'm thinking of trying the Race Face Atlas shift guide on my Uzzi (when I get it :)). I know Giant had a similar problem on the Reign X and the E.13 guides and have moved to the Race Face guide. They had to use the DRS e-type BB mount to overcome their issue but I believe it was more of a tab placement problem and not chainstay obstruction.

http://raceface.com/components/chainguides/74/

Edit: Just noticed this:

NOTE**NOT ISCG 05 COMPATIBLE
so maybe I won't be using it, probably can still mount it to the bb if I really wanted to.
 

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Fragglepuss The Chaste
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bortis Yelltzen said:
I personally think this is gheyer than aids. :thumbsup: But then again I'm fat, slow and have already had 2 knee surgeries and could give half a crap about being fast UP the hill.

I had a hunch the VP2 lower links were going to be an issue when Mr. Intense kept posting Uzzi's and Tracers with no chain guides.

B
Perhaps, but apparently on our ride yesterday Silver Fox was trying to nut up and run his 32 middle ring the entire ride. After the last nasty climb up to the yurt above the Mid-Mountain at Park City, he admitted that he had to drop it down into his granny gear and spin like a little b!tch. He didn't hear the end of it for the rest of the ride. That made all the lactic acid build up worth it.

I noticed the photo thing too. Seemed like there were a couple he posted right off with LG1's and the like and then they were replaced with dual rings and a bashguard only. Perhaps he meant the Tracer to not run a guide, but a having the exact same issue on a bike like the Uzzi is just a poor design flaw IMO. Like I mentioned, I got burned again buying a first production model bike. Reminds me of the good old days being an unwilling R&D mule for Rocky Mountain. Oh well. Other than that, the bike's fun to ride.
 

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Fragglepuss The Chaste
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
liqwid said:
I'm thinking of trying the Race Face Atlas shift guide on my Uzzi (when I get it :)). I know Giant had a similar problem on the Reign X and the E.13 guides and have moved to the Race Face guide. They had to use the DRS e-type BB mount to overcome their issue but I believe it was more of a tab placement problem and not chainstay obstruction.

https://raceface.com/components/chainguides/74/

Edit: Just noticed this:

so maybe I won't be using it, probably can still mount it to the bb if I really wanted to.
liqwid,

I briefly owned an '09 Reign X this spring. It has similar problems to the Tracer VP but I was still able to get a BS Stinger to work just fine. The problem with the Reign X was that the placement of the ISCG tabs didn't allow the boomerang to rotate far enough, not the swing arm. Add to that, the lower downtube bulge where the tube was split for the rear shock didn't allow for a e.13 DRS without grinding down the lip on the back of the boomerang.

Here's the example. I could have rotated the Stinger back a bit further, not certain why it's this far forward in these shots:


 

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Stoopid question; does the tracer have ISCG tabs? I'm using a blackspire stinger (the non-ISCG version) on my 6.6. The stinger clears the lower link and with a bit of care you can position it so you have some roller guidance, with the chain just clearing the chainstay when in the little ring. Seems to work alright.

Disclaimer: I've noticed that earlier lower links on the 6.6 required a bolt with just a set screw and no C-tab. The newer bolts appear to be slightly longer, which may interefere with the stinger's ability to be positioned adjacent to the link, as opposed to slightly lower (and much lamer).
 

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I already had my moments of quiet desperation for seeing the tracer as something it probably wasn't meant to be, see http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=526117

But the uzzi having the same useless design? Are all their trailbikes now aimed at the waterbottle/osteoporosis set? Can anyone with an uzzi please prove this wrong? Man, I was close to buying that bike...
 

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Fragglepuss The Chaste
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
SingleWhiteCaveman said:
Stoopid question; does the tracer have ISCG tabs?
They're shipping with ISCG tabs now. Mine did not come with the tabs and to be honest, unless I was running a Hammerschmidt they would just be dead weight. Pretty much as useless as the ISCG tabs on the '09 Reign X.
 

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Let me guess, you are riding a fixie around town in girls jeans too? ;) :D

Seriously, ride whatever makes you happy. But don't try to make up some 'benefits' that are not there. ;)

slcrockymountainrider said:
I think the real benefits to a chain guide like this comes not in it's performance but rather the satisfaction you get on group rides should you be able to hang or not.

According to the Velo News review you save about 300 grams over a traditional triple ring set up, including f. derailleur, shifter, cable, housing, etc.... Whatever. Sure, I guess that could be considered rotating weight. But on a 31lb bike (now somewhere in the 30lb mark with this setup) that's hardly going to be noticeable.

The biggest benefit I've noticed so far are the following:

1. I just think it looks good and clean. And it's just different compared to every other person I ride with.
2. It will force you to change your chain regularly rather than being the guy who runs the same drive train for 4 years. All that loose shale being kicked up to an exposed chain will force you to be more attentive to your junk.
3. Easier to clean the one and only chainring.
4. With no lower guide your chain will hit the deck more often and thus get dirtier faster. Which means cleaning your drivetrain more often. Wait, that actually kinda sucks. Oh well.
5. Adam Craig rips this set up so you know it's good. Perhaps I should also start running a full skin suit.
6. After a long grind you stop at the top for a rest and the rest of your posse' finally catches up and starts reminiscing about how hard the climb was. You have the right to look down at your retarded gearing, back up to them and then start in with the "you must be the biggest pu$$y in the world, etc, etc...."
7. After a long grind your friends stop at the top and you finally catch up after pushing up half of it. They start reminiscing about how hard the climb was. You have the right to look down at your retarding gearing, back up to them and then start in with the "you should try running this gearing, it's a b!tch. my thighs are on fire. my chain broke. you must be the biggest pu$$y in the world, etc, etc...."
8. Chicks dig it.
9. You can now relate and mingle with single speeders. Seriously though, I had a single speeder give me kudo's on the trail with this set up. No joke.
10. You'll probably be so spent after a ride that it will get you out of seeing some lame movie or a wedding with your girl friend and you have a legit excuse to just order pizza in.
11. You'll be forced to stand more often which means your garbage will go numb less.

Cons:
1. You'll need to keep a bottle of Sportlegs handy. And that stuff is not cheap.
 

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Fragglepuss The Chaste
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
iRider said:
Let me guess, you are riding a fixie around town in girls jeans too? ;) :D

Seriously, ride whatever makes you happy. But don't try to make up some 'benefits' that are not there. ;)
Apparently you missed the joke with that post. And the fact that this is just an observation.

Actually this is just the first step into converting the Tracer VP into a fixie as that was Intense's intention all along. The capris, Che Guevara hat, colorful Addidas soccer shoes, courier bag and bars the width of a small pen!s just come with the package.

Now go back and repeat the 1-8th grades.
 

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slcrockymountainrider said:
Apparently you missed the joke with that post. And the fact that this is just an observation.

Actually this is just the first step into converting the Tracer VP into a fixie as that was Intense's intention all along. The capris, Che Guevara hat, colorful Addidas soccer shoes, courier bag and bars the width of a small pen!s just come with the package.

Now go back and repeat the 1-8th grades.
Apparently you missed the ' ;) '.
 

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Fragglepuss The Chaste
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
iRider said:
Apparently you missed the ' ;) '.
Usually when dudes 'wink';) at me it means they want to get the skank off my hang down and I get really nervous. Throw in a double ;) wink and it takes it to a level way beyond a wet towel snap in the locker room or a pat on the butt. But according to Bortis this is 'gheyer than aids' so I guess it's all fitting.

However, I would venture to say that using a Slope Style with a 66 and flat pedals as your everyday trail bike is tentamount to butt piracy on the high seas. Right Bortis ;) ;) ;) ? Yep, that's a triple wink for you.

BTW: I cleaned Spiro to Mid Mountain yesterday afternoon with this set up. (No need for the cardio single speeder wierdo's to chime in. It was a pretty big accomplishement for me with 4.5 miles of retarded steep climbing with no break). If I'm able to get out Wednesday with you and mr. welcorn we'll have to have a race to the top of Puke Hill and see which set up is quicker. Sounds like an anal [email protected], sufferfest of a good time:madman: .
 

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Breaking parts
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No doubt a good post mountainrider. I wanted to run a single front with guard for lite DH ish rides. Pedaling is just too much.;) Not happy with the lack of guide options. I have an old drs that I may try but its not looking good. I was more concerned on this for Uzzi which is further pushing me away from that bike in its new form.
 
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