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FAQ: Double and Bash Set-ups!
Dont use your big ring?

Fed up with catching your big ring on logs?

Fed up with your chain falling off and putting you out of your stride on Downhills?

Then you should be running a Double ring, Bash guard and chain guide set-up.

Chain Rings

Your standard chain ring set-up will be a inner 22t, middle 32t and outer 44t. With the double ring set-up you remove the outer 44t ring, replace the middle 32t ring to a larger 36t ring and fit a bash guard in place where the old outer ring was. The larger 36t middle ring ensures you dont spin out, the bash ring allows you to slide over low objects and protects both your chain ring and your self from it.

SLX 36t Ring: (middle burn and Raceface also do suitable 36t rings)

Bash Ring/Guards

Bash guards are a more personal choice, they come in a range of weights. From light weight ones to ones that will survive the harshest of impacts. The most popular one by far is the E-Thirteen Supercharger other popular ones are made by Blackspire and RaceFace. If you are running a 36t middle ring you will need a 36t bash ring, the size of the bash ring indicates the size of the ring it will be protecting i.e your middle ring.

Chains Guides

Now for the chain guide, people often get confused with how they will fit the chain guide to there frames. There are 3 options:

ISCG OLD (will fit frames with ISCG old frame tabs, will also mount using an External BB to press it against the frame)
ISCG 05  (will fit most modern frames with ISCG 05 frame Tabs)
BB Mount (will only mount on frames using an external BB to press it against the frame)

Whats an ISCG? (International Standard Chain guide mounting system)

These are tabs welded onto the frame around the BB to bolt the chain guide to. ISCG Old and ISCG 05 are different in that the tabs are welded in different positions, its worth noting that ISCG Old tabs are still being welded to new modern frames, this is due to the way some full suspension swingarms will not work with the new ISCG 05 positions. Always check what ISCG tabs you have, dont presume you will have new ISCG 05 tabs because your frame is modern.

More info here:

What ISCG Tabs look like:

A E-Thirteen DRS Chain guide mounted using ISCG 05 mounts:

If you dont have ISCG tabs than you need BB Mount!

BB Mount

BB Mount is pretty simple, however they only work with external BBs. On most external BBs you would normally have to black spacers on your drive side to get the correct chain line on a 63mm bb shell. How the BB mount chain guide mounts is that it simply replaces one of these spacers, when the BB is then tightened against the frame to hold the guide in Place. All E-thirteen ISCG OLD mounting plates will fit using both the Tab method and BB mount method.

This is an ISCG Old mounting plate mounted using the BB mount method, see how the BB is holding it in place:

A BB mount chainguides:

Another confusion to add with chain guides is which is the right one? chain guides come in two different flavors, ones that work only with single rings and ones that only work with double rings. Were talking about double rings here so ill show you some popular examples:

E Thirteen DS (this is ISCG OLD or BB mount:

Blackspire Stinger:

E Thirteen DRS (offers additional security and has wear plates for quiet running, includes bash ring)

There are other makes and models.

Bike fitted with E-thirteen DRS chainguide and Supercharger bash ring

Bike fitted with Blackspire Stinger chainguide and no bash ring(pic thanks to breezer)

Any question please ask.

Is it better to run a long, medium or short cage rear mech...
Mei securis turpe meus vox<br />            
I run a medium cage rear mech to keep the chain stable, you would only need a short cage rear mech if you was also running a racing block i.e DH only bike. Most people changing over for the first time will have a long cage due to having a big ring. This is fine as you can still remove extra links but a medium cage would be idea in the long run.
generally you should run a long cage with three chain rings, medium with two and short with one.

It is fine to run a longer cage than necessary ie a long cage with a double ring setup but never a shorter cage as there will not usually be enough chain for the larger rings and will result in probable damage.

I run the blackspire which is generally ok but not perfect as i have still managed to drop my chain on a number of occasions.
It has transformed my bike. I used to get so much chain slap due to the shoddy weakly sprung Shimano mech and the sheer amount of chain required for all 3 rings, now its much quieter.

Couple of extra points. If you are NOT fitting a bashguard and are just having 2 rings like in the bottom photo then you need to get narrow chainring bolts such as these

When fitting to a bike with rear suspension, let all of the air out of your shock and ensure that you havent removed too many links from the chain as some bikes have a very rearward initial movement of the rear wheel and if the mech is already horizontal when in big/big then it cannot stretch anymore and the chain will almost certainly explode. With the air out, put the bike in big/big and compress the suspension fully and keep an eye on the rear mech as you do so, there should always be a bit of rotational movement left available in it.
awesome guide! Good tip on the potential chain issue on full sus too Breezer!

Decided to go for the new 2010 e-13 DRS guide but i'm after a black one in "iscg old" fitting, anyone spotted one? Only reasons being i prefer the new style turbo charger bash ring thats out and i can find a white one but lets face it, it will be covered in chain oil/muck after the first ride!

EDIT: never mind, spent all afternoon looking for a black one and crc are the only shop with the new one in stock so bought the white one!

Fantastic stuff Buzz. I plan to get rid of my outer ring when I ride again. Although only because I lost my bottle for fast downhills. I didnt use my outer once between arm breaks but was fine on the flat and in singletrack.
Good advice about letting the air out the shock Breeze, i never thought of that, but luckily it's all good with mine.

FWIW i think the perfect size middle ring is a 38 tooth. It means you'll use the granny ring a lot more but that never bothered me when i ran one for a while, and you don't spin you nuts off as much on the DH's. Not many companies make them though. I only found DMR and Blackspire ones and will be getting one when my current 36 wears out.
It is highly unlikely you would ever be in big/big and get full travel but better to be safe than walking home. I run a 36T Raceface middle ring which is ok, I have spun it out on singletrack a couple of times plus the shifting is no way near as good as with my old Shimano but the overal package is still better
Thanks everyone, ill update the original post with the other information posted. Im going to do a bit on front mech set-up for it to.

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