The Ultimate Mountain Bike Chain Guide

A mountain bike chain guide is an important but sometimes overlooked feature that can improve your enjoyment and performance when going off-road. Sure, it can add weight, but its benefits far outweigh any inconvenience. And for some riders, it’s an essential safety feature.

What Are MTB Chain Guides?

A chain guide helps keep it in place and prevents it from dropping. It adds a bit of welcome security to ensure a safe ride.

Bike Chain Guide on a mountain bike

They vary on several scores including:

  • Material
  • Style
  • Weight
  • Mounting Type

Compatibility with other components of your steed such as the size of your rings is crucial, especially if you’re buying a new or replacement part. You’ll find them in a wide range of price points, depending on the material. They run anywhere from $$ to $$$ or more.

Cheaper products are plastic which gets the job done but can break if you take a nasty fall. More expensive carbon models are lighter and more durable. Styles differ with the type of biking you do whether it’s trail riding or racing.

Advances in design and technology have led to sleeker products without the noise that older ones added to your experience. Even if you’ve never dropped the chain, it’s still worth considering on several fronts.


If you’re a power rider, the chances are that you drop your chain on a regular basis because of the stress you put on your bike and its components. At that point, it becomes a risk factor for a wipeout, or even worse, an injury. A chain guide mountain bike can eliminate that possibility.

The reality is that speed is a factor in most injuries, so it pays to outfit your bike with this essential safety feature.

Chain Guides

If you bike a lot, you should also give serious consideration to some high-quality chain lube as well. Any part of your ride will wear out over time with its accompanying declines in performance. One that we hate to see is reduced ring retention, but it happens. You can think of it as insurance.


If you’re going to install a mountain bike chain guide, you might as well clean the whole thing while you’re at it. Check the mount options on your frame before you start to make sure it’s compatible. The ISCG-05 tabs or ISCG are some of the most common types.

Begin by removing the cranks. Next comes the fit. The package will likely include washers to help you adjust it to your components with the chain device. Test them to make sure that the well lubricated chain will move freely. Then, screw it in place and put on the cranks again.

Now, attach the guides, moving them to fit your chain ring. Ensure that everything is moving all right and double check that all the screws are tight. Don’t forget to take into account the movement of your suspension. You may need to tweak it a bit until it’s placed correctly.

An MTB chain guide is an important component of your bike that provides you best bicycle chain with the added security of knowing you’re not going to drop your chain and risk a fall. They may set you back some cash, but it’s worth the investment when you consider the alternative.



Burton Law

Better Health

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