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