If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent a fair bit of time trying to protect your chainstay and quieten down chain slap. Modern clutch derailleurs help this a lot but we’ve all spent time neatly cutting neoprene guards, old inner tubes and folding mastic tape into little mounds.
Step up the Chaintamer. Developed, tested and manufactured in Cape Town. It has one objective: control your chain.
The chain tamer comprises 3 parts. A flexible rubber chain guide (tube), Stainless steel friction rails and a 3D printed base. After installing the chain tamer, with zip ties your chain runs through the rubber tube allowing just enough friction to prevent the chain bouncing up and down. As you change gears the guide moves on the rails so that it always sits at the same high as your chain – simple really!
Before fitting the chain tamer, it’s important to select the correct base – curved or flat depending on your chainstay shape – and the right size/height depending on the distance between your chainstay and chain at the top of your cassette. Once you’ve done that, split the chain, zip tie the Chaintamer halfway between your chainring and cassette, put the chain through the tube, re connect the chain, and ride!
On the trail
I’ve been running the flat Chaintamer on my full sus (square chainstay) and hardtail (round chainstay) and can confirm that while not essential, the flat or curved base does make a difference on how tight you can get the device fitted.
On the first spin I noticed the device rubbing in the smallest cogs on the cassette, with a little tweaking to the position this was rectified. While there is still some friction at the extremes of the cassette, where the chain is at its harshest angle this is unnoticeable when riding. The chain guide moves freely with gear changes and I found a little drop of chain lube on the rails each ride helped it stay that way.
The only slight niggle I had was that the Chaintamer pulls the chain back down the cassette if you pedal backwards. This was only an issue if you’re resetting your pedals before you drop in. Not a deal breaker, but something to remember.
I’ve seen a few online comments about feet coming in contact with the device. Honestly, I’ve not had any issues with my feet bending anything, and while I have rubbed the cable ties, the device hasn’t moved.
I think the Chaintamer is a great bit of kit if you have a particularly noisy chain. I ran it with 11sp and 12sp Shimano and SRAM cassettes with no issues and there are no major signs of wear. On my full sus it didn’t have as noticeable an impact as it did on my hardtail which doesn’t have a rear clutch. As such I’ve left the Chaintamer on my hardtail and it won’t be coming off anytime soon!
If you’re sick of chain slap and battered chainstays it would be worth looking Chaintamer’s way. At £20 a pop, it’s good value for money and cheaper than a pack of Scotch Mastic tape.