Hands On: cSixX XC Chainguide
Ok, so the SR Suntour Durolux wasn’t the last piece of our Project Zee, I had forgotten about the chain. We needed a frame to hang all the parts on, and after a lot of miles on our ’11 Trek Remedy 9.9, it seemed like a great candidate for a slightly bigger fork, and a build that was more geared towards going down than up. The only issue – in 2011, the carbon Remedies lacked ISCG tabs. Fortunatly, Trek fixed the issue the very next year by adding the tabs while also tweaking the head angle to effectively match this build’s once the 160mm fork is added.
So, we were left hoping to build up a frame that lacks ISCG tabs with a group that doesn’t have a front derailleur. While the Shadow Plus Zee rear derailleur should keep the bottom of the chain in place, something was needed up top – which is where the cSixX steps in. David Meredith, the founder and proprietor of One Ghost Industries has been the sole US distributor for cSixX’s carbon chain guides which hail from South Africa. Earlier this year, in addition to their line of super light FR/DH full chain guides, they had just introduced the new cSixX XC, a super light, carbon, single ring XC guide which looked to be exactly what we needed. After a quick chat with David, he graciously agreed to provide one for the review and it was here two days later. Awesome.
How does the cSixX stack up against the other guides out there? More after the break.
Even with a name like the XC guide, it’s really meant for any type of riding along the lines of XC, AM, or Enduro. The XC guide will fit a 32-42t chainring, and is offered in 5 colors in both a traditional round seat tube clamp model, and also a High Direct mount standard which is what we needed for the Remedy. Inside the packaging you will find the beautiful carbon guide along with all needed hardware and six different shims in total in order to properly space out the cage so it is perfectly centered over the chain ring. The small tab on the bottom of the shims inserts into the metal backing plate that holds everything together and ensures proper alignment. They also have a tab on the backside to keep the shim from spinning against the carbon.
The stock bolt that came with the guide wasn’t long enough for the Remedy, but neither was the stock bolt on an XT front derailleur. It was an easy fix – just use the bolt we had been using for the derailleur, but it would be nice to use the lighter aluminum bolt that it came with.
Even with all the hardware and a 3mm mounting shim, the whole guide is still shy of 50g. It’s easily one of the lightest, if not the lightest single ring guide out there. While the XC guide will set you back $99.99, it certainly checks all the boxes – it’s light, good looking, well built, and time will tell but it seems plenty strong. Now for the big question, will a Shadow Plus rear derailleur and XC type guide be enough for really aggressive riding? We’ll get back to you on that one.