Since going 1× on my gravel bike, I’ve had a couple of instances of dropping my chain on quick and bumpy descents. Pelting down a forest road at 50+ km/h, this was quite scary. It was also a bit surprising because the combination of equipment on the bike is supposed eliminate or heavily reduce the chances of dropping the chain:
- Shimano RD-RX800 clutch rear derailleur
- e*thirteen XCX Plus 9–39 11-speed cassette
- Race Face 32-tooth narrow-wide chain ring
The chain dropping only happened in the 9-tooth cog, which led me to think this might be caused by a lack of chain tension combined with the e*thirteen cassette. I got in touch with the e*thirteen support team and received a really great response, pointing out a number of scenarios and ideas for solving this issue: increasing the B screw tension, shortening the chain by a couple of links, or adding a chain guide.
Since I a) didn’t want to mess with the B screw too much so as not to degrade shifting performance, b) I sized the chain properly, and c) a chain guide is also out of the question because it would completely ruin – Ruin! I say! – the clean aesthetics of the bike, I looked for a different solution and I think I found it in a Garbaruk chainring.
Garbaruk builds these chainrings with 40% taller teeth and an overall longer tooth profile, as the two photos below show well, I think:
The overall fit of the chain on the chainring is also much tighter and the effect of this has been very positive.
Since mounting the Garbaruk chainring, I have yet to drop the chain, no matter the situation. I hope it’s going to stay that way and I’m curious how quickly the chainring is going to wear down.