Chain catcher - Is it necessary?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Posts: 5137
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 2:25 am
Location: Canada

by Geoff

You have way too much time and effort invested in your riding to get needlessly dropped at the worst possible moment due to a dropped chain. You may have everything adjusted absolutely correctly and still have a dropped chain as a result of a culmination of circumstances (e.g., 'emergency' shift under load on washboard pavement, etc.) Not to run a chaincatcher simply as insurance is crazy.

User avatar
Posts: 5771
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:37 am
Location: Phoenix Arizona

by CharlesM

Andy Schleck et al have fantastic mechanics...

Some of the frames available today are paper thin at the oversized carbon BB shell... Thats the one place where lots of manufacturers have saved a lot of weight by using a multi part form for modling that lets them do a far more detailed job (meaning less material laid up in a more controled fashion that gives all of the stiffness but thinner walls).

There are several frames now that I wouldn't run without a catcher...

I guess you could always ask your mechanic to take full responsibility for a dropped chain and any damage and then call any shop that won't take full responsibility "bad", but a chain catcher weighs very little and the weight sits in almost the perfect spot to have the least felt impact...

by Weenie

Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:08 am
Location: The Washingtons: DC and the state

by Vagabond

Is your bike carbon fiber? If so, put one on. You can gouge the bb shell fairly well if you slip the chain while simultaneously putting out some force. I know. I gouged my C50 really well with a slipped chain. It has nothing to do with "good mechanics". I had a catcher on later that day after a visit to the shop.
Colnago e Campagnolo

Shop Owner
Posts: 1980
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:02 am
Location: NoVA/DC

by thisisatest

Zen Cyclery wrote:Chain catchers are simply for those who do not trust their mechanics enough to adjust their front derailleur correctly. I would say save your money and find a better tech if your dropping your chain. The front derailleur is the chain catcher and adding an aftermarket piece is not going to the root of the problem.

there are plenty of instances where the quality of the mechanic is not at fault. sometimes it's environmental factors, a swerve, a shift in the rear simultaneous w the front shift, a bump, an anomaly. sometimes it's a combination of parts-fsa crank, kmc chain, shimano everything else, chainstays 1cm shorter than specified by shimano. sometimes the frame places the derailleur farther forward or behind the crank than optimal. sometimes the front derailleur was designed in chicago. manufacturer tolerances stack up.
i like the new red chain catcher. you can get it separately, without getting the front derailleur, and put it on any braze fd.
with frames dropping in weight and pros having to fill up with lead to be legal, more and more frame companies will be integrating them into the frames, like the trek damone. at the same time, having the chainrings spaced further apart a-la current shimano has helped a lot...

Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:51 pm

by dierix

on a steel frame I don't see the need of a catcher, on my carbon frames i wouldn't dare riding without them. just a form of protection of the frame rather than securing the chain

Posts: 839
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:26 pm

by konky

Has anyone lost thier chain or got a chain catcher on a Di2 bike?

User avatar
in the industry
Posts: 1800
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:14 am
Location: SYD

by sugarkane

Matty goss dropped a chain in a sprint during the TDF... You can't get the chain back up using the shifters either.. Di2 brings it up way to fast.. It gets jammed up.. :unbelievable:

Posts: 5137
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 2:25 am
Location: Canada

by Geoff

@konky, all the Di2 bikes in my collection have chain catchers on them. That is one of those 'marginal gains' things. Interestingly, the regular appearance of chain catchers (in my collection, anyway) began in about 2003. I would be interested to know if that coincided with the introduction of the Dogfang...

Posts: 609
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:58 am

by Rippin

Shimano's 7970 installation video demonstrates that you can re-engage a dropped chain - check it at 26:54

But at that point you've dropped the chain and may have already damaged the BB area.
(*)/ (*)

Posts: 5137
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 2:25 am
Location: Canada

by Geoff

Or worse, get dropped in the Provincial Championship road race on a course tailor-made for you with the best legs you have had in 5 seasons and no chance in hell of ever making it back to the lead group on the descent before the flat, where you will bake in the sun, alone, until abandonning, dejected, then looking back 20+ years later at the only chance you ever had in your life of a Title...

User avatar
Posts: 5435
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 4:43 pm
Location: Wherever there's a mountain beckoning to be climbed

by HammerTime2

Yes, but you have a huge collection of high end bikes and wheels, and a wife who rides ... and a girlfriend who rides ... and?

So you are saying you dropped your chain in the the provincial championship road race? And you couldn't shift the chain back on - did it get jammed in the bottom bracket shell region?

Posts: 5137
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 2:25 am
Location: Canada

by Geoff

Different life...

Posts: 739
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:31 am

by RussellS

konky wrote:Has anyone lost thier chain or got a chain catcher on a Di2 bike?

I do not have a chain catcher on my Di2 bike. Have never dropped a chain on the Di2 bike. I do have chain catchers on every other bike I own. Probably need to get around to putting one on the Di2 bike.

Posts: 1147
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 11:26 pm

by NiFTY

I run rotor rings so i think that it is a wise investment. you can always drop a chain if you hit a pothole when down shifting no matter how well adjusted your fd
Evo 5.02kg SL3 6.77 Slice RS 8.89 viewtopic.php?f=10&t=110579" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:33 pm
Location: bay area, california

by wojchiech

are the 'dog fang' types effective chain catchers? or should I get a more rod-shaped one?

by Weenie

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post