Trying a Garbaruk chainring to reduce chain drop

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:

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:

Race Face Cinch system 32-tooth chainring

Garbaruk 32-tooth chainring for Race Face Cinch

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.

Alex Hoffmann @mangochutney