Chain guide for trail riding?

Hi Lee,
I have a Giant reign that I use for trail riding, light downhill (medium sized jumps up to 6′) and really rocky trails. I’m already running a 2×9 system (24/36) with a bash guard but no chain guide. My question is: Is it a good idea to use a chain guide for the kind of riding I do or are chain guides primarily for gravity riding? Some days, I do 25 milers all on single track. So, I don’t want a lot of resistance. Do these things cause restistance or do you barely notice it? I was thinking about the E13 DRS. Please let me know your thoughts on this.

Hey Walt,

Riding the very dialed 2007 Enduro Pro Carbon with Gamut Dual Ring guide. My new Enduro has the same guide.

YES! Chain guides are essential for rough/aggressive trail riding.

My Enduro and Stumpjumper see a mix of road, pump track, dirt jumps, singletrack and super-gnar. I tried running a triple on my Stumpy, but I could not keep the chain on. I now have dual ring guides on both bikes.

Blatant plug: I have been running Gamut Dual Ring guides since they were prototypes. Gamuts are easy to set up, and I’ve never had a problem. The E13 DRS seems like a fine guide.

Resistance: I don’t notice any added resistance with my setup. The guide might make noise, but, to tell you the truth, I don’t remember (which is a great sign). Anyway: If you’re climbing at 300 watts or sprinting at 1,000 watts, the drag of a guide roller is insignificant.

No big ring: Do you need a big ring? Unless you’re racing XC, probably not. My mountain bike rides are all up or down. I don’t climb in the big ring. If I’m descending, I’m spinning fast or pumping. A 36×11 is plenty gear.

Do it: If you’re already running a 2×9, I see no downside to running a dual-ring guide. The guide will eliminate that “where is my chain?” worry, which frees more brainpower for braaap!

Have fun.

— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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14 replies
  1. Chris says:

    If you already have a bashguard, them I would stray away from the E13. I have had it and it is a good CG, but the roller will seize up over time and the chain will just eat it away. I have the Blackspire Stinger now and the roller actully runs with the bashguard, making it roll. It is also a lot cheaper the the DRS. I only dropped a few chains with the Stinger and only because my FD was out of adjustment. I say the the BS Stinger. I LOVE mine.

  2. Rob says:

    running the e-13 dual guide for the last 3-4yrs with no issues at all. Great system, other then set-up a bit of a b!tch.

  3. Chris says:

    I ran mine for about 4 years as well, it was a pain to set up but mot that bad. Then the roller seized and got shewed to and the I got the Stinger. The stinger is VERY simple and lighter than the E-13. wait a minute, you said you have a Reign. As do I, the DRS will not work with the Reign because it does not clear the lower link. also a resion I went with the Stinger.

  4. Don says:

    I have been runnig the black spire stinger and has worked great for over the last 3 years. And yes, I also have a Reign..hope this helps.

  5. mykel says:

    Running a Black Spire Stinger on my Knolly Delirium as well. Started with a DRS, on my old Delirium-T, nice piece but a bit big and heavy. Good for its time period. Switched to the Stinger last summer, then moved it to the new bike this spring. I just put a stinger on a bike I just built for a buddy, as well I’m picking one up for my sons RM Slayer.
    Light, simple and it works like it says on the tin.


  6. daniel says:

    I had to do fair amount of custom grinding to fit a E-13 DRS on a customers 06 Reign 2. I suggest taking a look at the MRP chain guides. Very simple and effective.

  7. Tony says:

    In fairness, with regard to wear and tear, the drs roller lasted 4 years before the roller needed replacing on my Santa Cruz blur LT. That’s not bad considering how much abuse the drivetrain gets…

    For 25 bucks u get a new roller assembly and ur golden!

  8. tony says:

    did you say “give me a trail”?
    heck, most people i know either “take” an illegal trail or “make” their own renegade trails. (norcal…need I say more?).

    but back to tech talk…LOL 😉

  9. Hank says:

    “My question is: Is it a good idea to use a chain guide for the kind of riding I do or are chain guides primarily for gravity riding”

    Sorry if I sound like a complainer, but I could not resist.
    Why do you need to ask this question?
    Either you have issue dropping your chain or not. If so, use a guide.

  10. Eric says:

    Not to be ill tempered, but I’m with Hank on this one. If you’re dropping chains, get a guide. If you’re not then don’t stress on it. Coincidentally, I ran a 24/36/bash on a Reign for years without a problem. A helpful tip is to adjust the front der cable tension so that the der cage almost rubs on the 36t ring when climbing in the big cog out back. This gives the chain almost no chance of falling to the inside unless you backpedal!

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