Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Follow-up Review: Longevity of the Chain Thong

In October 2010, I wrote about a tiny little recycled chain guard called the Chain Thong that I had purchased for the Hillborne. I had used it on the bike for about a month at that point, and it has remained in place since the post. I normally don't think much about it and often forget that it's even on the bike at all, which, I suppose in many ways is a good thing. While I would prefer something prettier, it does do what I need it to do, which is the most important piece of any tool.
After using this little contraption on the Hillborne for about 15 months, I've noticed a couple of things. First, the Chain Thong seems to work better on a double crank than a triple. For several months I had a double ring on the crank and the Chain Thong fit nicely over it, keeping me completely free of grease. When it was turned into a triple, I discovered a couple of things that make it slightly awkward to utilize. If you see close ups of the crank as a triple, the crank seems to push out just slightly farther than the Chain Thong can handle. Despite this, I will say that I still haven't found grease on my right leg, so, even with this slightly weird set up, it does seem to handle the job. The other item I have noticed is that on occasion my pant leg gets caught on the guard, which pulls the device off course causing some adjustment to pedaling until I can stop and remedy the issue.
The break/split of the Chain Thong from its attachment to the Hillborne
It does look a bit strange to see the Chain Thong positioned fairly high above the crank, rather than closer to the actual chain itself, as a regular chainguard would be. However, on the triple crank there had to be enough space to keep the teeth on the largest ring from grabbing the guard and turning it or pulling it completely off. Ironically, I started writing this follow up post just prior to a recent ride in which my pant leg got caught on the Chain Thong once again and it was sadly ripped apart. I couldn't help but wonder if it was a worthwhile purchase, considering the length of time I've had it. The cost to the date of breakage was less than $1/month, but of course, it is no longer usable since it is completely broken. Because it does seem to keep me clean, I can say that I am glad I made the purchase, but am not sure whether or not I would invest in it again. I think that rolling up my pant and wearing long socks in the winter is just as effective, quite honestly.

Overall, if you are a rider who wears clothing close to your skin (like skinny jeans), perhaps this would work out better for you, but because I generally wear looser leg pants, I don't think it was the best combination and it ended in the destruction of this small plastic device. Has anyone else had experience with this particular device, and if so, has it been effective for you?

1 comment:

  1. This seemed like a very elegant solution at the time, but as things progressed, i noticed that it would often get caught on pant legs, just like sprocket would. You are also 100% right about the triple changing it also, it just did not protect the crank as well after that. Realistically, I think we could design something similar, but more rigid and permanent.

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