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DIY (or purchased) Fully Enclosed Chaincase Recommendations

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DIY (or purchased) Fully Enclosed Chaincase Recommendations

Old 03-26-15, 08:10 AM
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FastJake
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DIY (or purchased) Fully Enclosed Chaincase Recommendations

For the past year I've been riding fixed gear almost exclusively, especially for commuting. It's fun and the bike is very low maintenance. Except for yearly bearing overhaul the only thing I have to maintain is the chain. But riding ~200 miles per week the chain gets dirty very quickly, especially in Wisconsin's nasty winters, and I've already grown tired or cleaning and lubing it.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a fully enclosed chaincase that would effectively make my bike maintenance free? It could be DIY or purchased, I'm fine with spending money on it. My concerns are:

- Weight
- Robustness, meaning I don't want it flopping around, rattling, or breaking.
- Rear wheel removal when I get a flat
- Effectiveness at sealing out the elements
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Old 03-26-15, 09:55 AM
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Any dealer in your area that sells Dutch-type utility bikes? These often have a fully enclosed chain and could be a prototype for a DIY project or might be available as an aftermarket part. A Google search for "Bicycle chain Enclosures" got a few hits and some ideas including this BF thread from 2007: http://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-me...enclosure.html
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Old 03-26-15, 10:07 AM
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Hebie chainglider .. its low friction Plastic , German commuter bike stuff , for Shimano and of course Rohloff IGH ..

Chainguard CHAINGLIDER 350 - Hebie. Since 1868 made in Bielefeld, Germany.


Downside of the material chosen for low friction And for light Weight, is that sub zero it may get Brittle ..
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Old 03-26-15, 01:13 PM
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Yellow Jersey (formerly of Madison, now in Arlington just outside of Madison) often has chain cases (scroll down):



Spares and Accessories for Roadster Bicycles at Yellow Jersey Westwood Rims is another keyword!
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Old 03-26-15, 01:57 PM
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Jake, are you using a front fender with a mudflap? Once I added a mudflap to my front fender that extends to about 1.5" from the ground, it made a huge difference in the amount of crap that got thrown into the drivetrain from the front wheel. I've thought about adding some kind of chainguard to my fixed-gear, but with the front fender being so effective, I may just go for a minimal one over the top run of chain.

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Old 03-26-15, 02:54 PM
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Yes, I do have full fenders and a long mudflap on the front. The front fender is very effective but what seems to happen in wet conditions is that some of the spray bounces off the rear fender and gets re-sprayed all over the chain area. This happens to a lesser extent on the front, the victim there is the fork and occasionally my shoes.

I'm also considering some sort of half-butted solution like a chain guard since everything I've read about full chaincases make them seem like a major hassle. I posted this thread hoping for an easy answer: "do this!" But I don't think there is one. I'm open to ideas since any step in the right direction will reduce my chain-cleaning frequency.
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Old 03-26-15, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Yellow Jersey (formerly of Madison, now in Arlington just outside of Madison) often has chain cases
Thanks John. Yellow Jersey is my favorite bike shop and one of the only ones I frequent anymore. I saw those on their site but the metal ones like that look like awful rattle-traps. One of the things I like so much about fixed gear is the smooth, rattle-free operation. I may ask Mr. Muzi about them anyway the next time I go up there.
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Old 03-26-15, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Yellow Jersey (formerly of Madison, now in Arlington just outside of Madison) often has chain cases (scroll down):



Spares and Accessories for Roadster Bicycles at Yellow Jersey Westwood Rims is another keyword!

top 2 those closed on the back side as well? or just keep your pants and dresses out from the outside..

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Old 03-26-15, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
...
I'm also considering some sort of half-butted solution like a chain guard since everything I've read about full chaincases make them seem like a major hassle. ....
FYI

I had the same thought this weekend, and after some thought decided that DIY for the full enclosure would be too unweildy. I have a standard road double and 8-speed cassette, which is quite a bit to enclose.

So I settled on trying the simplest form, although half-assed as you mention. A cover for just the front half of the double ring. It actually worked really well, unobstrusive, good protection, until the flaw presented itself. One which I can't really fix on that particular design. An upshift, probably slight overshift, bumped the cover out just enough for the crank arm or my foot to catch the lip of the cover and peel it forward. Because of that possibility the cover can't stop at the DR cage - it has to extend around it and back. Even if you get everything with perfect tolerances, the chance of a cuff catching in that gap would be catastrophic. I guess that's why they're all designed that way. But that's a lot easier to implement with a single ring than a double or triple. I'm still mulling over whether it's worthwhile to even attempt.
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Old 03-26-15, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
FYI

I had the same thought this weekend, and after some thought decided that DIY for the full enclosure would be too unweildy. I have a standard road double and 8-speed cassette, which is quite a bit to enclose.

So I settled on trying the simplest form, although half-assed as you mention. A cover for just the front half of the double ring. It actually worked really well, unobstrusive, good protection, until the flaw presented itself. One which I can't really fix on that particular design. An upshift, probably slight overshift, bumped the cover out just enough for the crank arm or my foot to catch the lip of the cover and peel it forward. Because of that possibility the cover can't stop at the DR cage - it has to extend around it and back. Even if you get everything with perfect tolerances, the chance of a cuff catching in that gap would be catastrophic. I guess that's why they're all designed that way. But that's a lot easier to implement with a single ring than a double or triple. I'm still mulling over whether it's worthwhile to even attempt.
I would never attempt a chain case on a geared bike, but with my fixed gear I thought it might be worth a shot.
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Old 03-26-15, 11:40 PM
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Why not? Fabrication is ART? WE CAN DO IT!!!!!
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Old 03-27-15, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Yellow Jersey (formerly of Madison, now in Arlington just outside of Madison) often has chain cases (scroll down):



Spares and Accessories for Roadster Bicycles at Yellow Jersey Westwood Rims is another keyword!

Of all the chaincases available, these are the absolute worst you can choose. A pain to set up and the slightest rub will be amplified by the metal resonance-box.

The Hebie chainglider would be my choice. Lightweight, smooth (though not completely silent) , cheap. It does require you use certain chainring and cog sizes, 42/38 and 16-19, I believe. and only with a 3/32 " chain. 1/8 " will not work.

With the chainglider you can't see the chain and the noise does not increase with a chain that has gone more slack, so if your not into regular maintenance ( like tensioning the chain), you're not going to notice this until the chain falls off.
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Old 03-27-15, 04:50 PM
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Go for DIY ... A Router Bit cutting into Wood can make a 2 piece Mold, So you can fabricate one out of Fiberglas and Epoxy.


BTW as to above I like 3/32" Full bushing Chains , better than the same width in a Derailleur Chain wear longer
and the taller side plates keep it from falling off.

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Old 03-28-15, 06:48 PM
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For a one-off, can you create a polystyrene mold? You won't achieve the pressure but it is not structural.
By mkIII or IV, you should have the correct shape.
You can buy modern plastic Dutch ones
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Old 03-28-15, 07:30 PM
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For a one-off it seems like 3d printing would be the simplest solution. No messing with molds, just CAD it up and push make.
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Old 03-28-15, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
just CAD it up
is the hard part. When I am fabricating bits, I often don't have a full plan until I have prototyped in the workshop. CAD is illustrating what you have designed.
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Old 05-23-18, 07:34 PM
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Why not? Fabrication is ART?
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