Hey all, how's it going? I'm running a single front chainring this year, and after my experience last night, I'm realizing that I really, really need a method to keep the chain on the front chainring. So speak up, Cowbellers! Let us know what you do to if you race with only 9 or 10 speeds!
Do you know why and when you drop the chain? I used to have lots of trouble with this, and tried 2 different chain guards, which didn't help at all. In fact there were several times that the chain fell off and got tangled up in the chainkeeper, which cost me 30 to 60 seconds each time to free from that d**m thing. I've spoken with other crossers who had the same experience.
After a time I realized that I never lost the chain during a shift - it was mostly when I set the bike down roughtly, or sometimes on very rough terrain. In both cases the chain was falling off of the bottom of the chainwheel. That's NOT what chainwatchers prevent. That's why I ask if you know how, why and when you have this issue.
I realized that I had a chain that was long enought to work in my big/big combo, but I never used that during cross. I had a 36/48 at the time. Just too much slack in the chain much of the time.
Now I run a 1 by 8 with a 42 on the front. The crank still has a 48 tooth on it, and the front derailler, but I don't have a control to move it. No other chain guard. Haven't dropped a chain now in two years. It also helped to concentrate on setting the bike down smoothly. O wait - I dropped a chain last week! On my last lap I didn't lift the rear wheel quite enough over a barrier and the wheel hit that hard, and that did knock it off.
Hope this helps someone - not all dropped chains drop from the top.
If you don't want to go to the expense of an inner watcher and an outer guard, I'd recommend using an old front derailer with the H/L dialed tightened down to the desired position. You will also want to position it a skosh lower than if it were operational.
Also, make sure your short a chain is a short as possible.
That's what I did when I tried a 1x8 on my mtb. I had to get a longer screw for the inner limit. I tried both the N-stop and the Third Eye Chain watcher. The N-stop worked pretty well, the Third Eye not so much.
Second on the N-Gear - it's super adjustable and overall a great design for only $10. Team that up with a BBG bash guard/chain guide for $12 and you have a light, reliable and very inexpensive setup...like a 3rd of what the K-Edge costs ($65).
Has anyone figured out how to make any of these options work on a Crux? For some reason Specialized made the seat tube square so I can't use anything that clamps on. I have the K-Edge single ring catcher but no way of mounting it currently. I'm thinking that I might need to put a piece of aluminum on the front derailleur mount that extends down so that I can get the chain keeper low enough. I'm using a 39x16 SS setup and after dropping my chain 3x yesterday I NEED to get this sorted out.