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chain cases vs waxed chains w/ discs

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chain cases vs waxed chains w/ discs

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Old 10-15-07, 03:26 PM
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makeinu
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chain cases vs waxed chains w/ discs

My bicycle is in bad need of something to protect my trousers. I originally thought that a chain case was the solution, but fitting an after market chain case is too much of a compromise.

So I thought that I might try to just make my chain cleaner. A few months ago I cleaned the chain off and dipped it in some melted wax. Since then it's been as clean as the rest of the bike and I haven't noticed any discernible loss of efficiency nor have I noticed any squeaking. This solves the stained trousers problem, but I still need to tackle the ripped trousers problem.

I figure that some kind of chain guard/chain disc should be sufficient to keep my trousers from getting caught, but I'm kind of confused about my options. What's the difference between BMX bashguards, kool stop chain discs, and other kinds of chain guards?
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Old 10-15-07, 09:47 PM
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Why dont you just wrap your pants around your leg and use a rubber band or a commercially made pant holder. They cost about $1.50.

Just yesterday evening I rode 10 miles in nice slacks and a shirt and tie with no problems. I realize that some people can get chain grease on their leg no matter what they do. I have a friend who can ride 5 miles and will have grease from her toes to her face. Go figure.
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Old 10-16-07, 03:21 AM
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Geek straps do it for me.

Although, true to form, I went with the high-end ones for $3.00 each. I liked the reflective stuff.

FWIW, my old hybrid came with a plastic chain guard. While better than nothing, it certainly isn't a cure. Geek straps are the only thing that works 100% effectively, 100% of the time.

Unless you're an under-25 hipster. Then you can get away with rolling up your pantleg. Or wearing knickers.
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Old 10-16-07, 04:06 AM
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What makes an aftermarket chain case "too much of a compromise"?
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Old 10-16-07, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
Why dont you just wrap your pants around your leg and use a rubber band or a commercially made pant holder. They cost about $1.50.
There are many reasons not to do this such as:
-I don't always wear tight fitting clothing. Rubber bands don't help with frayed jeans, skirts, etc. In fact, trying to use rubber bands with these types of clothing can be deadly.
-With regards to grease and dirt, my bike is a folding bike. So pants legs are not only the part of my clothing that might come into contact with the chain.
-Adjusting my pant leg every time I hop on/off the bike is a hassle. My bike is my main mode of transportation. Finding a permanent solution will save me a lot of time in the long run.

Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
What makes an aftermarket chain case "too much of a compromise"?
Most aftermarket chain cases will not fit most bikes. That leaves the Hebie Chainglider and a handful of others. These have the following disadvantages compared to using a clean chain to protect from stains and a chainring guard to protect from snags:
-You have to compromise on gearing because chain cases are limited to certain cog/chainring sizes.
-The end result is more fragile. Many chainring guards are designed to primarily make the bike more bash proof. Chaincases, on the other hand, are just one more thing to break and/or become misaligned.
-A full chaincase weighs more than just a chainring guard.
-Chaincases are harder to get which means the selection is more limited and more expensive.

The only advantage an aftermarket chaincase has is that it probably extends chain life by keeping dirt off the chain. Some say that it's also more efficient since you can use a lubricant superior to wax (such as oil/grease) while maintaining a clean drive train. However, any gains in efficiency from using a superior lubricant are probably lost by the chain rubbing the case.

To be completely honest, the show stopper for me is the limited gearing selection imposed by aftermarket chaincases.
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Old 10-16-07, 10:05 AM
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Now see? Had you explained yourself fully in your first post, none of us would have wasted our time and yours by offering suggestions you had already rejected.

Further, your original post restricted itself to trousers with no mention of skirts and purposely frayed jeans. Here I innocently thought you were trying to keep your pants from getting frayed. Who knew you were trying to maintain a precise level of fraying?

Had any of these three--folder, skirt, intentionally ripped garments--been mentioned even in passing in your your first post, I certainly would have seen that my experience has no bearing on your question.

Since your ride a folder, why not ask in the the Folding Bikes forum? Surely their experiences will be closer to your own.

And don't forget to explain yourself fully.

Last edited by tsl; 10-16-07 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 10-16-07, 10:40 AM
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My solution was to buy a '62 Raleigh Sports for commuting. Now no more chain grease. As far as the gearing compromise, I find that with a 20 tooth cog, 3 speeds works just fine for me.

If you are in to folders, why not try a Raleigh twenty?
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Old 10-16-07, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
Now see? Had you explained yourself fully in your first post, none of us would have wasted our time and yours by offering suggestions you had already rejected.

Further, your original post restricted itself to trousers with no mention of skirts and purposely frayed jeans. Here I innocently thought you were trying to keep your pants from getting frayed. Who knew you were trying to maintain a precise level of fraying?

Had any of these three--folder, skirt, intentionally ripped garments--been mentioned even in passing in your your first post, I certainly would have seen that my experience has no bearing on your question.

Since your ride a folder, why not ask in the the Folding Bikes forum? Surely their experiences will be closer to your own.

And don't forget to explain yourself fully.
Sorry if I wasted your time. However, in my defense, the only matter on which I specifically requested input was chainring guards.

In the past, I have posted about this in the folding bike forum, but, as you can see, only one of the bullets in my previous post was about folding bikes and I believe I've already solved this issue by lubricating with hot wax instead of grease. The remaining bullets are, in my opinion, primarily utility cycling issues.

To be completely clear. The question to which I'm trying to find an answer is: How can I cycle in all types of clothing without limiting gearing choices, without wasting time banding up loose clothing, and without buying a whole new bike (or spending enough to buy a whole new bike)?
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Old 10-16-07, 11:30 AM
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Aftermarket chaincases are hard to find , you may be better off making your own if you can get access to a workshop . There are a couple of materials that may work such as glass fibre/epoxy, correx (corrugated plastic sheet), and dutch style fabric-over-metal frame. With a DIY job you can make exactly the right size and arrange the mounting with fewer compromises and permit rear wheel removal.
You can mould glass fibre over a lump polystyrene or wood carved into the shape you want.
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Old 10-16-07, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
Aftermarket chaincases are hard to find , you may be better off making your own if you can get access to a workshop . There are a couple of materials that may work such as glass fibre/epoxy, correx (corrugated plastic sheet), and dutch style fabric-over-metal frame. With a DIY job you can make exactly the right size and arrange the mounting with fewer compromises and permit rear wheel removal.
You can mould glass fibre over a lump polystyrene or wood carved into the shape you want.
Yeah, problem is I don't have access to a workshop and I wouldn't really know how what to do if I did have access.
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Old 10-16-07, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
There are many reasons not to do this such as:
-I don't always wear tight fitting clothing. Rubber bands don't help with frayed jeans, skirts, etc. In fact, trying to use rubber bands with these types of clothing can be deadly.
-With regards to grease and dirt, my bike is a folding bike. So pants legs are not only the part of my clothing that might come into contact with the chain.
-Adjusting my pant leg every time I hop on/off the bike is a hassle. My bike is my main mode of transportation. Finding a permanent solution will save me a lot of time in the long run.



Most aftermarket chain cases will not fit most bikes. That leaves the Hebie Chainglider and a handful of others. These have the following disadvantages compared to using a clean chain to protect from stains and a chainring guard to protect from snags:
-You have to compromise on gearing because chain cases are limited to certain cog/chainring sizes.
-The end result is more fragile. Many chainring guards are designed to primarily make the bike more bash proof. Chaincases, on the other hand, are just one more thing to break and/or become misaligned.
-A full chaincase weighs more than just a chainring guard.
-Chaincases are harder to get which means the selection is more limited and more expensive.

The only advantage an aftermarket chaincase has is that it probably extends chain life by keeping dirt off the chain. Some say that it's also more efficient since you can use a lubricant superior to wax (such as oil/grease) while maintaining a clean drive train. However, any gains in efficiency from using a superior lubricant are probably lost by the chain rubbing the case.

To be completely honest, the show stopper for me is the limited gearing selection imposed by aftermarket chaincases.
My bike is my ONLY form of transporation except for when I decide to walk and I use straps everyday.

Most times I just leave them on my pants because it helps me remember that I am not a cager.

Cant say that I wear a skirt but you could try pulling it up over your head as you ride. I think that you might get a few more honks that way though.

I offer nothing to this conversation and yet I posted anyway. I am out of control. : (
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Old 10-17-07, 04:29 AM
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Just an aside, but only the Hebie Chainglider rubs the chain. Other chaincases don't. I'm not sure this is helpful, however. Sorry!
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Old 10-17-07, 06:38 AM
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I think the best solution is to buy a new bike. Everyone needs multiple bikes anyway.

Paul
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Old 10-17-07, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
Just an aside, but only the Hebie Chainglider rubs the chain. Other chaincases don't. I'm not sure this is helpful, however. Sorry!
Yeah I know, but only the Hebie Chainglider will fit most bikes. Other chaincases usually fit just one model of bike (ie not my bike).
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Old 10-17-07, 05:36 PM
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I'm afraid you're going to have to make some tradeoffs. With all the money you're saving by having a car, you can easily afford a Rohloff. Add a hebie chainglider or a frame/cloth or metal chaincase, and you're golden. 526% gear range range.

If that's not enough range, try a Schlumpf 2-spd internally geared bottom bracket with an 8-spd internally geared hub. With a shimano nexus 8 spd hub, I calculated a 766% range. A bit more drag, but more affordable. This would work with a chainglider.

Both options would require some minor frame modifications, depending on your frame, as well as wheelbuilding.

Just for the hub and/or bottom bracket, I calculated about $1250 for the first option and $780 for the second option, before taxes.

Eric





Just for the
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Old 10-18-07, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Roll-Monroe-Co View Post
I'm afraid you're going to have to make some tradeoffs. With all the money you're saving by having a car, you can easily afford a Rohloff. Add a hebie chainglider or a frame/cloth or metal chaincase, and you're golden. 526% gear range range.

If that's not enough range, try a Schlumpf 2-spd internally geared bottom bracket with an 8-spd internally geared hub. With a shimano nexus 8 spd hub, I calculated a 766% range. A bit more drag, but more affordable. This would work with a chainglider.

Both options would require some minor frame modifications, depending on your frame, as well as wheelbuilding.

Just for the hub and/or bottom bracket, I calculated about $1250 for the first option and $780 for the second option, before taxes.

Eric
The range is fine on my 8-speed hub. The Hebie just won't fit the rear sprocket and chainring I'm using.
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Old 10-18-07, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
The range is fine on my 8-speed hub. The Hebie just won't fit the rear sprocket and chainring I'm using.
But can't you change them? I realize you're up against certain limitations, i.e. what parts are available, but there are real options. Is this for your 20" folder with a SA 8 hub? You can get a 19-tooth cog for that hub (Harris has 'em) and a 38-tooth chainring (Bikeparsusa.com has that) will fit on your existing crank; then your gear range would be 37 to 114 gear inches, a bit high but not too terrible.
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Old 10-18-07, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
But can't you change them? I realize you're up against certain limitations, i.e. what parts are available, but there are real options. Is this for your 20" folder with a SA 8 hub? You can get a 19-tooth cog for that hub (Harris has 'em) and a 38-tooth chainring (Bikeparsusa.com has that) will fit on your existing crank; then your gear range would be 37 to 114 gear inches, a bit high but not too terrible.
Yup, that's exactly the situation. I agree, 37 to 114 gear inches isn't atrocious, but I'm willing to make sacrifices for a lower range. In fact, I'd rather have no chain protection whatsoever then be so overgeared. However, I think I can do better than that. I think I can get the gear range I want without losing all chain protection.

At the very least I think using wax instead of grease coupled with a chainring guard should do the trick (with the additional benefits of saving money and weight, and protecting my chainring from airline baggage handlers if I decide to fly without a hard case). Only problem is I'm having a hard time understanding the various chainring guards that are available (hence this thread). There appear to be several different kinds of chainring guards:

For mountain/road bikes chainring guards seem to be available in either aluminum or softer materials, but there doesn't seem to be much available for smaller chainrings. However, I'm not sure I'm looking in the right places. Does anyone know a good source for mountain/road chainring guards?

For BMX bikes it looks like there are grindguards (which only cover part of the circumference of the ring), chainring guards which are similar to mountain/road chainring guards, chainring/guard combos which are made out of a single piece of metal, and sandwich configurations (where the ring teeth get sandwiched between two guards, either as a combo or assembled as separate pieces). All seem to be made out of metal. However, the various crank sizes and bolt patterns are confusing, and I'm not sure what might be compatible. Can anyone break down the compatibility issues for me? Furthermore, these kinds of guards seem to be very expensive (over $100 for one sandwiched chainring/guard combo that I found recommended in a BMX forum).

There's also the possibility of making my own guard. Can anyone recommend a method for doing this (perhaps by grinding off the teeth of another chainring)?

Does anyone have experience with the effectiveness of these options in keeping clothing from getting caught? Any recommendations?

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Old 10-18-07, 08:33 AM
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My folding bike has the sandwich-type chainring guard in silver-painted plastic (looks like aluminum) which keeps my cuffs from getting caught and torn, but does not keep them from getting dirty; so I still have to use metal clips or velcro bands or tuck my cuffs into my socks to alleviate (but not solve) the problem.
As for availability, I've had better luck finding chainring guards in dumpsters than in a bike store (even online). You can no doubt make your own, but without a good workshop you'll spend a lot of time on it and even so probably end up with something less than perfect and, more than likely, less than useful. So unless you would actually enjoy making one yourself (I, personally, would!), then I'm afraid this is a problem best solved by either ignoring it or throwing money at it. I know, those are not good options, but at least they don't involve a great waste of time.
My car-free brother rides all over Europe and he swears by the Hebie. He says there is no perceptible drag, no soiled clothing, and it's maintenance free; he's recommended it to me several times. I'm particularly attracted by the promise of not soiling my hands and clothing when I pick the bike up, which I do all the time, often leaving permanent evidence on my clothes (a hidden expense of ignoring the problem!).
If you don't like the 37-114 gear range (and I can't blame you there), you can make the Hebie work with a Nexus-8 hub; 44t chainring and 18t sprocket gives you a range of 24 to 74 gear inches. Build a whole new wheel and sell the old one on ebay.
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Old 10-18-07, 09:52 AM
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If you want to tap the mountain bike market, search for bashrings or bash guards. You will find an assortment of 1/4 " or thicker aluminum rings that attach via chain-ring bolts. Some are designed to replace the outer ring, and some are designed to be installed with the outer ring.
Here are some options: Pay attention to bolt pattern (4 or 5 bolts), bolt circle diameter (bcd), and tooth size.
http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...hp?category=58
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Old 10-18-07, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
My folding bike has the sandwich-type chainring guard in silver-painted plastic (looks like aluminum) which keeps my cuffs from getting caught and torn, but does not keep them from getting dirty; so I still have to use metal clips or velcro bands or tuck my cuffs into my socks to alleviate (but not solve) the problem.
As for availability, I've had better luck finding chainring guards in dumpsters than in a bike store (even online). You can no doubt make your own, but without a good workshop you'll spend a lot of time on it and even so probably end up with something less than perfect and, more than likely, less than useful. So unless you would actually enjoy making one yourself (I, personally, would!), then I'm afraid this is a problem best solved by either ignoring it or throwing money at it. I know, those are not good options, but at least they don't involve a great waste of time.
My car-free brother rides all over Europe and he swears by the Hebie. He says there is no perceptible drag, no soiled clothing, and it's maintenance free; he's recommended it to me several times. I'm particularly attracted by the promise of not soiling my hands and clothing when I pick the bike up, which I do all the time, often leaving permanent evidence on my clothes (a hidden expense of ignoring the problem!).
If you don't like the 37-114 gear range (and I can't blame you there), you can make the Hebie work with a Nexus-8 hub; 44t chainring and 18t sprocket gives you a range of 24 to 74 gear inches. Build a whole new wheel and sell the old one on ebay.
You ride a Downtube Mini with an internal hub right? If you want to stop soiling your clothes then I suggest giving your chain a thorough cleaning and dipping it in a hot bath of melted wax with no further lubrication. The chain will still get a little dirty, but not any worse than the wheels.

I've put about 250 miles on my waxed chain and haven't been able to detect any loss of efficiency over a greased chain (although I should mention that it hasn't rained in over 250 miles). Not sure how many more miles I'll get before I have to wax again, but if I intend to actually stay clean then I'm sure the entire bike will need to be washed by then. So it shouldn't be a big deal to throw the chain in the dishwasher and then redip it while I'm washing the rest of the bike.

I don't know if the wax method works as well with rear derailleurs. I haven't tried it, but I suspect that perhaps the sideward movement of the chain needs something a little more wet and slipper than the usual rotational motion.

BTW, did your pants ever get caught in your Strida's belt drive? My Carryme has a single-sided chainguard (not a sandwich) and I find that my clothing sometimes get caught. I wonder if it's due to the single-sidedness of the guard or the fact that the Carryme has a front freewheel like the Strida.
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Old 10-19-07, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
I have a friend who can ride 5 miles and will have grease from her toes to her face. Go figure.
I got better. I only get a little chain tattoo once in a while now.
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Old 10-20-07, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
Aftermarket chaincases are hard to find , you may be better off making your own if you can get access to a workshop . There are a couple of materials that may work such as glass fibre/epoxy, correx (corrugated plastic sheet), and dutch style fabric-over-metal frame. With a DIY job you can make exactly the right size and arrange the mounting with fewer compromises and permit rear wheel removal.
You can mould glass fibre over a lump polystyrene or wood carved into the shape you want.
A few options can be found here http://www.bikefront.com/products/chainguards
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Old 10-20-07, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by dwoloz View Post
A few options can be found here http://www.bikefront.com/products/chainguards
Hmm...you sell the chainglider. Let me ask you something:
I know the chainglider is only supposed to fit up to a 22T rear sprocket, but do you suppose there is any way it could be made to fit a 23T sprocket?
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Old 10-21-07, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
Hmm...you sell the chainglider. Let me ask you something:
I know the chainglider is only supposed to fit up to a 22T rear sprocket, but do you suppose there is any way it could be made to fit a 23T sprocket?
I have tested so far only with 18 and 19 tooth and with 19T there is still ample room. I can only say that it may work but it cannot be guaranteed. 18 to 22 tooth only according to Hebie.
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