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Paul Chain Keeper or narrow/wide chainring? 1x11 setup

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Paul Chain Keeper or narrow/wide chainring? 1x11 setup

Old 04-30-18, 12:21 PM
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Hoopdriver
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Paul Chain Keeper or narrow/wide chainring? 1x11 setup

Close to 1000 miles on my 1x11 setup with nary a problem. I had heard that rough terrain could cause a chain drop; however since most of my riding is on smooth roads I was not concerned. Well, last weekend at the end of a ride, my chain said adios to the ring and, what's more, wrapped itself around the crank in a way that I needed to break the chain to unravel. I carry a tool and extra pins so just a bit (actually a lot) of inconvenience, but I don't want it to happen again.

While shopping on line for a chain keeper, I found the one made by Paul Engineering - looks great and I was ready to order when I discovered references to narrow/wide chain rings, which I had not heard of. I've read other posts here that say mostly positive but some negative things about both products. The Paul Chain Keeper is expensive and not too pretty so if the N/W rings work as well as reported I'd rather go that way. OTOH, if the rings are just a gimmick and are only a marginal improvement, perhaps the Chain Keeper is the ticket.

Any real world observations would be great, especially from someone with actual experience with both?
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Old 04-30-18, 01:11 PM
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My hybird is a 1x9 with a Race Face N/W ring and I haven't dropped any chains. If you are going off road more I might even consider both for extra security but on the road a good N/W chainring will work nicely. If you want to keep it MUSA Wolf Tooth Components makes an excellent one.

I will also say I have a All City Cross Wizard chainring guard on the bike but mostly to keep my pants and legs clean.
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Old 04-30-18, 01:21 PM
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Got a proper chain length for a 1X? With a single speed chain ring or a NW one, you will not need a chain keeper. Got a clutch derailieur?
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Old 04-30-18, 01:33 PM
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I know you are just asking about those two things, but I will also add another suggestion: One cheap and (in my experience) highly effective solution has been to run a bash ring on the outside of the single ring, and an N-gear Jumpstop on the inside. I ran this on a 1x9 hardtail for years on legit, sometime very rough, singletrack and never dropped a chain. This was without a clutch style derailleur or N/W chainring.

This is of course assuming you can mount a bash ring. I don't know what your current crank/ring configuration is.

For cheap bash rings in every size imaginable (and made in the USA) check out BBG Bashguards. Most can be had for around $20 shipped.
Just Google Ngear Jumpstop to find it for sale.They generally run around $13.

Here is a pic of my Karate Monkey with that setup.
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Old 04-30-18, 01:37 PM
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I have belt, suspenders, and... another belt, I guess. Clutched derailleur, RaceFace narrow-wide, and a Paul chain keeper. Of the 3, only the chain keeper is superfluous-- it has carried over from my original 10-speed 1X conversion, with a std. chainring. But it is good lookin'. I've never seen a reason to take it off. Not hurting anything.

But I strongly recommend a narrow-wide. USA-made are good and cheap, RaceFace, Praxis, or SRAM are also excellent, just not as cheap.
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Old 04-30-18, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
My hybird is a 1x9 with a Race Face N/W ring and I haven't dropped any chains. If you are going off road more I might even consider both for extra security but on the road a good N/W chainring will work nicely. If you want to keep it MUSA Wolf Tooth Components makes an excellent one.
Thanks. Been looking at the RaceFace and Wolf Tooth and I hear that Surly make a stainless steel one as well

Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Got a proper chain length for a 1X? With a single speed chain ring or a NW one, you will not need a chain keeper. Got a clutch derailieur?
Yep, chain is the right length. Using an inner ring as a single. Are there purpose made SS rings that work with 11sp chains? Other than the N/W ones that is. No clutch mech. Bike is a 90's Bianchi Eros that I converted to 650b. Was going to install a double up front, but I couldn't find a set that met my criteria (half-step: something like a 50/48, looked good on a vintage bike, and worked with an 11 sp rear.). Went single up front and couldn't be happier.

Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I know you are just asking about those two things, but I will also add another suggestion: One cheap and (in my experience) highly effective solution has been to run a bash ring on the outside of the single ring, and an N-gear Jumpstop on the inside. I ran this on a 1x9 hardtail for years on legit, sometime very rough, singletrack and never dropped a chain. This was without a clutch style derailleur or N/W chainring.
I gave some thought to milling the teeth off a spare outer ring for a bash guard but decided that it was too much work. I like your set up. Also like that you reminded me of dinners at my grandparents.

Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I have belt, suspenders, and... another belt, I guess. Clutched derailleur, RaceFace narrow-wide, and a Paul chain keeper. Of the 3, only the chain keeper is superfluous-- it has carried over from my original 10-speed 1X conversion, with a std. chainring. But it is good lookin'. I've never seen a reason to take it off. Not hurting anything.

But I strongly recommend a narrow-wide. USA-made are good and cheap, RaceFace, Praxis, or SRAM are also excellent, just not as cheap.
Thanks. Pretty much decided to drop the Paul purchase and go narrow/wide. Since I had been wanting to get a larger chain ring anyway it makes more sense to divert money spent on the keeper to a N/W ring.

Thanks to all.
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Old 04-30-18, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoopdriver View Post
Thanks. Been looking at the RaceFace and Wolf Tooth and I hear that Surly make a stainless steel one as well

Thanks. Pretty much decided to drop the Paul purchase and go narrow/wide. Since I had been wanting to get a larger chain ring anyway it makes more sense to divert money spent on the keeper to a N/W ring.

Thanks to all.
I used the Surly one previously and decided to upgrade in my move to 9 speed from a 1x7. I would have happily gone Wolf Tooth on any other bike but this bike has a price limit per part and the Wolf Tooth would have gone slightly above that. The RD is a mid 90s XT derailleur (so no clutch) in case you were curious.
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Old 04-30-18, 06:06 PM
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I have two 1x bikes with NW rings, one with a clutch rear derailleur (the other with a stiff as hell spring), and both with no chain keeper. I have never dropped a chain with these on either bike.
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Old 05-01-18, 03:37 AM
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Go with a NW chainring and a clutch rear. run that system and when you drop the chain more then once in a ride then replace the chainring.. Dropping off a NW usually indicates a badly worn ring .
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