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Mountain Bike Blog

 

 

Review: the Bionicon C-Guide V2.0

 18/5/2014

This post has been a long time coming - my review on the Bionicon C-Guide V2.0.

Truth be told the reason for holding out on this review has been my inability to get on the trails where I would really push the chain retention device to the limit and be confident I had reasonable test results.

The testing involved hitting the trail sections where I regularly or always dropped front chain rings, then I went to Nerang, south east Queensland, and rode some of the loosest roughest trails imaginable - to the point where I was being shaken so much I couldn't see.  See trails where it was tested at the bottom of this review.

The C-Guide V2.0 is quite small, a lot smaller than I expected

Installation

1st Mistake .. I should have taken the wheel off and got the bike into a better position to work on.  It would have been a much easier job if I had inverted the bike.

2nd Mistake .. I didn't check to see if I had threaded the cable ties through the mounting bracket correctly.  Mostly because of the 1st mistake.  That would have saved me a couple of zip ties.

3rd Mistake .. I may have gone too short with the chain (Oh there's a pretty good chance you will need to buy a new chain because your old one will be too short).  My Reign is a 3x front so when I got into the highest gear ratio the derailleur jockey wheel was at an angle where the teeth didn't fit the chain (the science of which still doesn't make sense to me but that's no first).  When I replaced my chain with one 3 links longer everything ran smoothly.


The instructions that came in the box were helpful as was this video

First Impressions

Wow .. this thing really works.  I was smashing the rough sections of OMV and St Ives Horse Track using any of the front three chain rings while playing around with the rear gears and I really couldn't shake it. 

Prior to fitting the C-Guide I would find most of my issues occurred when I was running 2nd ring on the front and the high gear at the back, essentially giving the most slack in the chain.  With the C-Guide fitted it barely skipped a beat giving me far greater confidence to power up

Long term

The C-Guide is not perfect but oh so close.

I recently spent a week riding trails around south east Queensland.  The trails in this area contain a lot of tight loose corners so you really don't want to be fishing for gears on exit.  The challenge is keeping the chain on after barrelling down long sections of single track covered in tennis ball sized sandstone gravel and shooting down steep rough rocky and droppie goodness.  I was so impressed with how well it performed in such punishing conditions and how great it felt to have the power available throughout the whole run.

Closer to home I went from always dropping gears on the rocky sections of St Ives Horse Track to only dropping a ring twice in about half a dozen rides.


This photo is of the latest installation after the bike was serviced,
the centre cable tie looks to be too tight.


Final Thoughts

I agonised over the Bionicon C-Guide for many months ..

Mounting - Reports of people breaking zip ties and ripping off their derailleur had me very concerned.  I must admit when ever I feel anything strange in the mech I immediately back off these days, but I've not had any issue with my mounting.  I keep a regular eye on the zip ties and ensure that the guide is running true.  

Sound - The chain is running over plastic so there is going to be some noise but any chain guide is going to add noise.  To be honest I never noticed it until the LBS tracked down and silenced every other noise on my bike.  This device is not for XC weight weenie minimal noise freaks, it's for people who for whatever reason can't or don't want to fit a traditional chain guide and are sick of dropping chains.  If the very very low noise concerns you then maybe reconsider if you need a chain device at all?

Price - Read any review of the Bionicon C-Guide and you will see the author question the cost - "Its pretty pricey for what it is" .. that's an understatement.  Prior to buying the C-Guide the price seemed reasonable but when it arrived I understood where all the previous reviewers were coming from. There's not much to it .. not only in its construction but also its size.  The C-Guide is tiny, smaller than a GoPro.  I was expecting something MUCH bigger (even up to iPhone size), but after using it I would say the size is perfect.

In Austraila the Bionicon C-Guide can be purchased online from www.ridewerx.com/store/index.php and retails for $53.95.

I've put the price behind me because after running with the Bionicon C-Guide V2.0 for 5 months I'm very happy with its performance.  It's reduced my chain dropping and gear slipping from regularly to almost never and that's meant after riding rough descents I've got the right gear when I need to power out.


Test trails for the C-Guide V2.0

The trail sections where we always or regularly dropped gears or chains completely.
  • St Ives Horse Track - southbound - the descending sections from the Gun Club road until the technical climbs
  • St Ives Horse Track - northbound - the technical descents from the house down to the sandy bottom bit and then back up the other side.
  • Stromlo - Western Wedgetail - the narrow rocky section through the trees
  • Stromlo - Pork Barrel - pretty much anywhere on the trail
  • OMV - the rough decent after the ladders before the switchbacks
  • OMV - the last ladder through the trees, down the rough rocky section, the big left hander, technical right and out to the pump section.
  • Thredbo - Flow Trail

Contents: C-Guide V2.0, cable ties, universal hinge mount, cable mount, instructions

 

Trail Centres and Trails featured in this blog

 

Comments:

This website is brought to you by MTB weekend warrior Aaron Markie.
There are plenty of great websites out there with a wealth of information about Mountain Bike Trails,
however in my experience its hard to get a good mix of info, maps, photos and videos of trails I've never ridden.
The idea of this website is to tie those 4 elements together and give you a more detailed look at the MTB Trails I ride.
If you have anything to add then let me know.