The dictionary defines "party crasher" (also known as a gate crasher) as "someone who attempts and often gains entry to a club to which they were not invited, often using social engineering techniques. The party crasher usually tries to blend into the party so as not to be kicked out." To MRP
, or Mountain Racing Products, the Party Crasher is a light weight, polycarbonate bash ring that accompanies their System #3
chain guide.Drive trains play a huge part in today’s bikes. Whether you’re a road biker, a cross country rider, a free rider, a downhill racer, or any other category of rider, you’re constantly changing gears (obviously single speeders aren't in this mix). There has never been anything more constant than the need for gears, and also nothing more aggravating than when your drive train isn't working correctly. One item that can highly benefit a drive train is a chain guide. Chain guides have been around for a long time now, and have been highly modified over the years. Now with carbon fiber boomerangs, bearing rollers, high grade aluminum, and polycarbonate bash guards, chain guides have come a long way from their original beginings. A few benefits of a chain guide are you are now protecting your chain rings, you will see far less or better yet no dropped chains, better shifting, more chain tension, less destroyed parts, and a longer lasting drive train in general.
There are very few companies that can say that they have been in the chain guide scene from day 1, but Mountain Racing Products, or better known as MRP, have been in it from the beginning. Since 1996 MRP has been producing world cup quality chain guides. With big name racers, and even bigger named teams, MRP has an antidote for any drive train issues. This didn't change with the recent development of the "Party Crasher", a new addition to the MRP world. Rolling in two sizes, 32-34 Tooth, and 36-40 Tooth, riders aren’t limited to the fact that they run a bigger chain guide. Also, with an ISCG pattern to match most bikes, MRP isn't restricting you in anyway with this guide. Weighing in at approx 450 grams the Party Crasher is a light weight, polycarbonate chain guide, consisting of a boomerang, sealed bearing rollers, the ring and at an MSRP of $143 USD, how can you really go wrong? With 13mm's of polycarbonate ring to smash across rocks, roots, stumps, sticks, and anything else you may encounter in the daily trail ride, the Party Crasher is a very strong, and reliable bash ring. Nothing beats the feeling of a polycarbonate bash ring scrubbing over some rocks, when you know your old tin can would have got caught up. A couple benefits of running a polycarbonate guide could be that it absorbs impacts better than metal does, it won’t deform or bend, it won’t get all jagged and sharp once scrubbed on some rocks a couple times, and it is lighter than a conventional metal guard ring. The manner in which MRP manufactures their polycarbonate rings also makes them stronger than a few others out there as they injection mold the whole thing including the bolt holes. This is a much stronger way to manufacture a polycarbonate ring than by machining the bolt holes after the fact.
ISCG Chain Guide mounting holes
MRP's chain guides got even more dialed when they along with Mr.Dirt developed the ISCG mounting standard, or International Standard for Chain Guides. For you less technically savvy people those are the 3 bolt holes around your bottom bracket shell. Whats that mean to you? Without ISCG we would still be clamping our chain guide to the inside of our bottom bracket cup and having to adjust it each time we hit something.
Installation of the device, as hoped, went really smoothly. With the need for no other tools but an 8mm allen key, a crank puller, and the appropriate allen keys to remove your old, and install your new guide (4mm and 5mm for most guides) it may take you an hour or so to install it. To begin the installation you have to prep the area. I suggest cleaning off the bottom of the bottom bracket cup, and a little more up the seat stay to ensure a clean install. Not that dirt would be a huge problem if got on your bottom bracket, but to prevent future issues we should clean it just incase. I started by removing my crank using an 8mm allen key, going counter clock wise. Some of you people out there may or may not require the use of a crank puller, but in the need that you do, fly at her.
Once the crank is fully removed we can start assembling our guide for install. MRP suggests using "blue" lock-tite on all screws and bolts to ensure a constant, tight fit. Once the lock tite is applied you can start assembling the guide. Start by installing the rollers on to the boomerang. Coming with a bolt, and a washer, installation of the roller should be self explanatory. Now when installing the ring onto the crank arm, I opted out of using lock tite and went with Teflon based grease. The reason for this is because of the polycarbonate, although really strong to impacts, chemicals on a polycarbonate guide isn't a good idea. Why you might ask? Well because if the chemical were to have a reaction with the guard, it could damage the structural integrity of it, or weaken the guard in some way. That’s my reason for rhyme. Once the crank and bash ring are installed you can put those aside for a moment while we install this boomerang.
Installing the boomerang with the use of the ISCG is really simple. The easiest way to install it, that I found, is by lightly tightening up the bolts on the ISCG mounts, applying the crank arm, and checking the chain lines to make sure nothing is rubbing, then removing the crank arm, tightening up the bolts to spec, then applying the crank arm and tightening up that bolt. One thing to make sure when doing this is that tyou want no parts of the guide touching or bumping into the frame while it cycles through its travel. I installed it on a Cannondale Prophet so, by design, the swing arm is already low on the bike. I had to be positive that the guide would not rub in any spots when pedaling. Once you have the crank arm installed line up the rollers as close to the polycarbonate ring as you can get them without having them applying pressure, double check all the bolts, and your off to the races. All in all the crank arm installation took me about an hour.
Removing my old guard, installing my new one and getting it all lined up in under an hour? I think that’s a good turn around rate. So, what's the benefit of ISCG? Well other than that fact that the installation took half as much time, the structural integrity of it. With bolt holes welded to the frame instead of it just sitting on the inside of the bottom bracket cup, the guide is much more resistant to moving, or adjusting itself during a ride, or after an impact. I think that to the average Joe you could install this guide, with proper tools and by reading the instructions, in about an hour.
The overall MRP experience was excellent. No skipped chains, no slipped gears, no jamming, everything you would hope for from a chain guide. One benefit of running this guide would have to be the weight. At approx. 450 grams, lighter than most metal guides, the party crasher is definately a light weight. With sealed bearing rollers as well you don’t have to worry about the rollers getting seized or jammed during a ride. The only downside to running a polycarbonate guide is that if you were to be riding in colder conditions there is a chance it could crack or shatter under an impact (but really winter in Alaska is for sitting inside and not biking), but wear and tear on the guide will be minimal in optimum riding conditions.
All around the MRP Party Crasher is a well rounded, good looking, performance demanding guide that is going to save a lot of riders the hassle of a mid ride Mr. Fix visit. You are able to reach MRP through your local bike shop, or through www.mrpbike.com
. In Canada MRP is distributed through NRG Enterprises
. Stay Classy!