Some bikes do not come with ISCG tabs or suitable BB’s to easily mount chain guides, and for the last few years Bionicons c.guide has offered a simplistic solution to keep the chain on track while maintaining the ability to run multiple chainrings. This year at the Eurobike exhibition, Bionicon showed a new version of the proven guide, the c.guide eco. We pilfered one sample right out of the booth an put it to an extensive test over the last few months.
In contrast to the existing variant, the new Bionicon c.guide eco is made entirely of a single elastic plastic part – the aluminum clamp has been omitted. This has allowed Bionicon to reduce the weight further to only 14 grams (without cable ties). In addition, the c.guide eco is more than 10 euros cheaper than the to the standard c.guide.
Mounting the Bionicon c.guide to the chainstay is dead simple and can be done within a few minutes using two cable ties. Since the guide sleeve can be opened, it’s not even necessary to split the chain – this is a nice advantage, especially if you don’t have powerlock links. A notch in the fixing lugs creates space for any cables you may have on the downside of your chainstay.
Attaching the c.guide should be possible on most of the conventional frames on the market. On some exotic bike designs (eg Orange) where the chainstay is far from the chain, mounting problems may arise. In our test we mounted the guide to a Trek Remedy 29 (two chainrings), a Bergamont Threesome 9.4 SL (three chainrings) and a NS Bikes Eccentric hardtail – all without any problems.
However it was not only the easy installation that impressed, but also out on the trail, the c.guide eco excelled! Silent and discreet it held the chain securely on the right chainring and even mud =did not prevent it from functioning properly. Thanks to the flexible material choice, the guide was able to follow the chainline and also had no problems with a three chainring setup.
In particular, when used with a clutch derailleur, with increased chain attenuation (SRAM “Roller Bearing Clutch and Shimano Shadow+ technology), the c.guide eco left nothing to be desired! But even with derailleurs without a friction clutch, the c.guide worked great and significantly increased chain safety – a real alternative to the more expensive clutched derailleurs! The only situation that tested the c.guide to its limits were many very fast successive bumps. Even in these individual cases, the chain only changed onto the middle chainring and never fell off completely during our test.
The inside of the c.guide is made out of a very low friction material, so that a well-oiled chain slides almost silently through the guide while pedaling. Of course, after more than 700 kilometers in all weather conditions some wear is evident. But even keeping in mind that the sleeve is no longer exchangeable as it is the case with the more expensive c.guide v.02, the wear is within good limits.
Despite, or probably even because of its simple design, the ultra-light Bionicon c.guide eco works great and effectively prevents the chain from jumping of in most situations. Wear lies within the green area.
The c.guide eco will be available in early 2014, costing 27,90 Euro each or 50 Euro for a set of two. Find more information on c-guide.org.
Words: Aaron Steinke | Photos: Tobias Leuz