With the invention of the clutch type derailleur and how well they perform when combined with narrow/wide chainrings, there has been less and less need for a full chainguide with a top guide, lower roller and a bashguard. However, it all comes down to personal preference and riding conditions. Cam Zink stomped a 60 foot backflip a year and a half ago with no guide at all, but some of us may genuinely need one on our local rock strewn trails. To each their own and there are options for everyone these days. Over the last couple of months we’ve been running the lightweight, minimalist Gamut Trail SXC guide on our test bike to see how it fared in providing a bit of added security on our 1X drivetrain.
The SXC is offered in BB mount, ISCG 05 mount, and a high front derailleur mount. We tested the ISCG 05 version which ranges from 30T – 40T compatibility and weighs in at 54 Grams. Overall the guide is pretty simple – basically, it bolts up and the upper guide block helps keep your chain in place. The guide block is comprised of two polyurethane sliders. The cross sections where they bolt together have rubber sleeves to keep things quiet. Simple enough.
Setup was pretty easy. Take the cranks off and bolt the guide on with the 3 provided screws, open the top block and drop the chain in. Gamut uses fairly non-conventional 3mm allen key heads as opposed to your run of the mill countersunk screws which use a 4mm head. The threads are obviously the same size though. We found it was best to put a touch of grease between the bolt head and the recessed surface that it snugs up against on the guide. For an apt mechanic, it’s really only about a 10 minute install.
On the trail we found the guide to be relatively quiet. On really rough stuff, you occasionally hear the chain itself tapping the rubber bits. Because they were rubber, it was a fairly muted noise, and besides – that could be deemed the sound of your chain staying on. That is why you’d be buying this anyway, right?
Over the time we’ve spent on the SXC, we’ve found no major flaws and it has showed no obvious signs of wear. Our only minor gripe was the skimpy and unconventional hardware, but as long as you aren’t a meat fisted mechanic, it should cause you no problems. If you’re the type of rider who occasionally throws their chain on a 1X setup despite having a clutch derailleur and a narrow/wide ring, then this is a perfect minimalist piece of kit and it’s tailor made for you. Especially at only $59.99 and 54 grams. We feel that we’re stating the obvious here, but a word of warning : if you’re such an aggressive rider that you regularly bash your chainring and chain on rocks, then you should consider a full coverage guide to protect your investment. Gamut offer those as well.
For more information visit www.gamutusa.com