With the popularity of chain grabbing narrow-wide chain rings, chain guide design has been more focused on assisting in rather than preventing dropped chains in medium to extreme conditions. Because of this, they have become simpler and much lighter than some of the “systems” used just a few years ago.
77designz has what they say is the lightest adjustable ISCG chain guide available. This, as well as some beautifully done crash plates and a fender made on the coolest machine ever! Guide your way past the break and see just how many grams the device will add to your rig…
There are still some that believe that a narrow wide chain completely eliminates chains from dropping, but in some cases it simply isn’t true. Within a few seconds, the combination of several impacts shaking the chain and the rear suspension of longer travel bikes increasing and decreasing chain tension, (more so than a 4 inch travel XC bike). As it rapidly moves, there are a few rare moments where the chain can un-wrap itself off the ring, and it usually happens when it really counts. Narrow-wide rings do somewhat eliminate the need for a chain guide to “hug” the chain around the ring in a stranglehold of sorts, increasing drivetrain friction considerably, so the combination of a narrow-wide ring and a simple chain guide is plenty for most to get by on.
The guys at 77designz, Giacomo and Stefan (pictured above L to R), are long time friends that (really can) ride and started 77designz 8 years ago as side project. However, their product’s popularity in Germany rapidly grew and for the last year they have put a lot of effort into expanding their growth internationally.
Their Freesolo line of chain guides come in several variations covering the ISCG 05, 03, and E-type BB attachments as well as a direct mount option. The designs are easily adjustable and don’t require removal of the cranks for installation. Each guide comes with a set of spacers that allow you to fine tune the guide’s chain line spacing as well as internal width. All bottom bracket mounted Freesolo guides come in at a scant 20 grams including hardware and retail for about $51 USD (€46.95 Euro) and $61 USD (€56.95 Euro) for the direct mount which comes in at 31 grams.
They even make a spacer that simply snaps on to their Freesolo guide to fit XTR bottom brackets that retails for $7.50 (€6.95).
77designz also has an assortment of pretty stealthy “Crash Plates” that can be used along with thier Freesolo guides that come in 28t, 32t, and 34t sizes and come in an assortment of colors, (ISCG 05 only, but available in black for other standards in the same sizes). They retail for $38, (€34.95).
So yet another plastic fender with attached with zip-ties? Yup. But how it’s made it pretty darn cool. Giacomo’s friend who owns a printing company makes the fenders on a vintage Heidelberg printing machine. I mean, why not right? Check out the monster of yesteryear’s technology and a video of it in operation. And heck, check out his buddy’s print shop, they do some nice work as well.
Here is a video of the fenders being stamped out on this vintage Heidelberg printing machine! Embedding the link causes it to auto play and it’s not quiet, so we didn’t want you to get busted taking a Rumor break at work.