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Chain watchers?(12 posts)

Chain watchers?atpjunkie
Dec 9, 2002 3:59 PM
anyone using 3rd eye chain watchers. I've dropped my chain in the last 2 races during portage. 1st time cost me a shot at 1st (I battled back to 2nd) second time I went from 3rd to 9th but fought back for a 4th. Getting frustrated. Need a fix.
As for metriangleforge
Dec 10, 2002 10:05 AM
I used one for the 2001 season, then pulled it off in dismay and went to a single-ring set up w/ dual guards. I'll happily admit that my experience was a fluke, but here's the story:

After a couple of early-season chain mishaps like yours, I bought & installed a Third Eye chainwatcher on my 'cross bike (w/ 39 & 45 tooth rings and, probably, a link more in the chain than would have been best for 'cross racing). I set it up as close as possible, so that there was only a paper-thin gap to the chain when shifted into the bottom gear, and snugged the binder (a regular automotive hose clamp) as tight as I could.

No worries at all until the last lap of the last race of the VA CX series, when I crashed hard. Somehow, the crash yanked the chain beneath the chain watcher (they're plastic after all, with a little bit of flex to them). It took me a good minute and a half of tugging & cursing to get the chain back out from under the chain watcher and back on the chainring, made worse as I watched my closest competitor in the series -- whom I'd gapped by a good 40 seconds at that point in the race -- ride past. Guess who edged me out of top ten in the series by one stinking point.

Like I said, I immediately resolved to go single-ring at that point, and haven't looked back. My experience was a fluke, yeah, but one I don't want to repeat.

As for meatpjunkie
Dec 10, 2002 11:28 AM
Thanx, when I set this bike up #2 I was going to go the single route and decided against. I'm kinda regretting it. I'm going to give it a shot (watcher) and see. Sorry about your trouble. I know what it's like to have a mechanical ruin and otherwise great race
Good experiencetihipscrew
Dec 10, 2002 11:42 AM
I added a Redline chain watcher to my Redline this year. I typically have one or two occasions per season where I drop the chain during a barrier or run up. This year, I had one during state championships, the chain stayed in position next to the prong. I rotated the crank a half turn as I placed the bike down and voila, no problems. I don't know if that was worth $4, but it felt real nice. I'm leaving it on. Have heard other anecdotal evidence of the jamming issue referenced above tho.
Redline might be bettertriangleforge
Dec 10, 2002 2:14 PM
The design of the Redline unit might be better, since the "ear" is more of a solid piece with a bolt through it. The Third Eye is hollow (in order to make room for the screw mechanism on the hose clamp that holds it on the bike), so might flex more & therefore be more prone to losing the chain beneath the "keeper." Redline's cheaper, too, at least at Excel.

One other related point; I just now recall that I had to do a rather substantial amount of surgery on the Third-Eye with a dremel tool to get it to fit in the right place with an Ultegra bottom-pull front derailleur. I had to carve out a fairly big groove for part of the tube clamp, so that the Third Eye could sit up in the position it's designed for, which is right up next to the granny ring (or 39t ring in this case). Given the nature of things, you'd probably have to do the same with the Redline version, if you're using a similar bottom-pull road derailleur. A mountain derailleur wouldn't have the same issue, since the cage hangs down well below the clamp. It didn't interfere with operation, but was kind of a pain.

The other idea I toyed with before going single for this season was to run a triple with the granny ring blocked out at the derailleur. That way the granny ring would act as a chain watcher, and allow me to pedal the chain back up onto the middle ring. It worked in practice over the summer, but in the end I just went solo.

Dec 10, 2002 8:39 PM
I believe you of course, but I have an ultegra bottom pull on my rig, with 38/48 rings. There is at least 2 inches separating the redline third eye clamp from the derailler clamp. I have a picture, but no place to post URL.
re: Chain watchers?jjohnson05
Dec 11, 2002 5:25 AM
Spot makes the very best chain watcher. Very easy to install and the catcher itself is stainless steel.
re: Chain watchers?EricTSV
Dec 11, 2002 6:21 AM
Get rid of the 3rd eye they suck. I've used the jump stop ( which costs $9 and work flawlessly. Get one of these they will solve your problem.
Thanx I've got alot of research to do nowatpjunkie
Dec 11, 2002 12:39 PM
to which one to get. the jump stop and Spot guard sound great
one last optionOffRoadTourer
Dec 11, 2002 7:04 PM
You can use a plastic reflector mount to do the same thing and it will probably cost you nothing. I'm using one on my MTB and one on my crosser and haven't had a single problem.
one last optionatpjunkie
Dec 11, 2002 7:29 PM
cool, thanx. I think after the season I may swap it to a 42 single.
re: Chain watchers?lktool
Dec 13, 2002 9:59 AM
This may be a little late, but I solved my third eye problem by moving it just below the chain. If you drop it just below the chain and move it as close as possible to the chain ring, there is no way the chain will drop down to the bottom bracket area. After I did this, the chain did fall off a couple times, but I just hopped on my bike, moved my front derailleur to the big ring position, and pedaled the chain back on. No problem.