Quick Fix: An Easy Way To Deal With Chain Slap

Mountain bikers and cyclocross riders alike will understand the difficulty of discovering chain slap marks on your beautiful new bicycle. Chain slap just happens. Especially in a sport like cyclocross where you’re tearing around dirt roads and through fields with no suspension to absorb the trail chatter. Here’s a quick fix to deal with chain slap.

Follow this quick and easy guide to get your bike all-ready to go off-road.

Note the slight grease marks on the chainstay. This is an indicator that the chain has come in contact with the stay and will eventually chip the paint off and possibly even damage the frame given enough time.

Note the slight grease marks on the chainstay. This is an indicator that the chain has come in contact with the stay and will eventually chip the paint off and possibly even damage the frame given enough time.

Step 1: find an old tube. We tend to keep a flat road tube or two around for this reason. If you don’t have one, ask around. Surely one of your riding partners has recently flatted.

Step 1: find an old tube. We tend to keep a flat road tube or two around for this reason. If you don’t have one, ask around. Surely one of your riding partners has recently flatted.

quick_fix_chainstay_03

Starting next to the valve stem, cut the tube.

Measure a length of tube about twice the length of the area of the chainstay you’re looking to protect.

Measure a length of tube about twice the length of the area of the chainstay you’re looking to protect.

Cut the tube again so now you have a piece of tube twice the length of the stay.

Cut the tube again so now you have a piece of tube twice the length of the stay.

Start by holding the tube onto the chainstay about an inch behind where you think the chain slap will start.

Start by holding the tube onto the chainstay about an inch behind where you think the chain slap will start.

Next, pass the tube around the stay (just like wrapping a drop handlebar) keeping tension on the tube.

Next, pass the tube around the stay (just like wrapping a drop handlebar) keeping tension on the tube.

quick_fix_chainstay_08

Keep tension on the tube as you pass it around the stay over and over so the tube just overlaps itself.

Keep going until you’re just short of the front derailleur cage, or just beyond where you think the chain will be impacting the stay.

Keep going until you’re just short of the front derailleur cage, or just beyond where you think the chain will be impacting the stay.

Back up just a hair and cut the tube at an angle.

Back up just a hair and cut the tube at an angle.

Finish it off with a little black electrical tape for a nice clean look.

Finish it off with a little black electrical tape for a nice clean look.

Ta-da! Now your chain is protected and you can feel good about recycling that old flat tube.

Ta-da! Now your chain is protected and you can feel good about recycling that old flat tube.

If this is just too much work for you or you don’t have access to any flat tubes, Lizard Skins makes a great ready-to-go chainstay wrap.

Is there anything else you’d like to see a quick and easy fix for? Ask us in the comments section below and we’ll add it to the list. Thanks!

6 Responses to Quick Fix: An Easy Way To Deal With Chain Slap

  1. jgreasy says:

    for a more colorful accent you could use old bar tape if you have it.

  2. Fred Ybarra says:

    I’d like to give a bit of advice to those who wear long pants on their rides. Because they have probably already tried the Velcro bands, and they just keep falling off. I found some able braces at my local 99 cent store, and I put them on over my socks, and tick the pant legs into them . WORKS A LOT BETTER THAN THE VELCRO STRAPS I HAD BEEN USING. Those things just KEPT FALLING OFF , so anyone else who might have this problem, I think you’ll love this quick and inexpensive solution.

  3. Aaron says:

    Nice… but won’t the rubber trap moisture or water below and cause corrosion to the chain stay?

    • David S says:

      Hey Aaron, it’s worth a check every now and then, but if it is wrapped tight enough very little moisture will get below it.

    • Christopher says:

      Also not a bad idea to make sure that there’s no exposed steel or cromoly under the wrap. The bike I used in the photos is Titanium so there’s no issue there.

  4. Ed Oliver says:

    This is a great post – it’s always good to be aware of simple fixes so you can save time by taking the right materials with you! Thanks for sharing.

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