With the growing popularity of clutch mechs and 1×10 (or 11) transmission fitted to enduro bikes, some would argue there is no longer a need for a heavy top and bottom captured chain device. Losing the lower guide wheel from your chain device not only sheds weight but also reduces friction from your drive train.
Running a top guide with a clutch mech should keep your chain secure on all but the most gnarly of trails, however, it is important not to forget about impact protection, enduro trails can be very rocky and your delicate chain is risk if you don’t have a taco or bash ring. Until now there has not been a lightweight top guide available that has been specifically designed to work well with a bash ring.
Hope Technology have always been a leader in product development and improvement and still manufacture all their products in their Barnoldswick Factory. 50 CNC machines work 24 hours a day to produce the many components which make up Hopes product range. New for 2013, Hope Technology has created the Integrated Bash Ring (IBR), combining a chain ring and bash guard machined from a single block of 7075 T6 Aluminium alloy. The IBR’s come in gold, black or silver and are available in sizes 32-33-34-35-36T for a 104 BCD fitment.
When paired with Hopes simple and lightweight chain guide (available in seat tube mount, ISCG 05, ISCG and BB fitment) the chain is held securely at the top, and if used in conjunction with a clutch mech should be enough keep the chain secure in the roughest terrain.
First impressions are very good, the machining is perfect and exudes quality, and the gold looks great. We will be running this lightweight chain guide and integrated bash ring on one of our race bikes for the next few months to see how it stands up to the mud, rocks and hits of early season racing. If it proves quiet and reliable it could be a great way of losing a bit of weight and resistance from your ride. We will ride it hard and let you know how it performs.
To find out more about the IBR check out the Hope website
Words and Photos: Trev Worsey