Chris Kovarik Aims to End Chain Slap with STFU Bike

Sep 10, 2019
by Stfubike  
By Petri Miniotas
Rather hear roost than chain slap? // Photo by Petri Miniotas.

PRESS RELEASE: STFU Bike

Our products are designed in Whistler in collaboration with downhill mountain bike legend, Chris Kovarik. Chris, also known as Karver, has been a strong figure in the mountain bike world since he first appeared on the World Cup DH racing scene in 1998. Under his belt he holds several National, International and World Cup wins as well as track records and countless podium appearances at all levels of the sport. Chris’s aggressive riding style makes him a favourite with the media and his skills on a bike are owed to his natural ability and years of dedication and experience.

2002 Vermont
Chris in 2002.

Petri Miniotas photo.
Chris just yesterday. // Petri Miniotas photo.

Silent technology

Chris has always put his bikes and equipment to the test and continues to do so on a regular basis. And after many years of fine-tuning his machines, he began to search for ways to eliminate noise. Experimenting with zip ties, velcro, strips of rubber, PVC piping, rubber O rings, fork bumpers and other materials he could find, the idea for the STFU devices was born. But it wasn't until last year that Chris got to chatting with friend, engineer and now business partner, Jaan Hurditch, to begin to create a reality out of this idea.


bigquotesFor years I have experimented with the idea of improving how things work on my bikes. Small tweaks and changes that make things run smoother, quieter, lighter and more efficient. The STFU chain damping devices are what we are focusing on first and I am stoked to finally bring some of my ideas to life.Chris Kovarik

The complete range of STFU drivetrain damping devices is designed to keep your bike running quiet and efficient while minimizing wear. The STFU drive-train units contain your chain when things get rough, preventing chain slap and noise from your frame while also preventing your chain from over-extending sideways which decreases wear and extends chain life.

Views: 11,046    Faves: 2    Comments: 0


Under tension from pedaling the chain remains completely clear of the STFU units for complete efficiency. The STFU dampers are fully custom height adjustable to fit most chain-stay designs.


DH07 units on Chris's Intense M29. // Photos by AJ Barlas.

Trail version on Chris's Intense Tracer.

bigquotesThe STFU creates two soft rubber impact points instead of your entire chain or seat stay. Less surface area means less noise. In most cases, the chain no longer contacts the bike frame at all. These contact points are much closer to the chains original position so it has less distance to accelerate so it impacts with less speed, less force and less associated noise.

The STFU also contains your chain in all directions so prevents it hitting the inside of your swing arm, your seat stay as well as your chain stay. It also helps prevent the chain from extending side to side which actually makes your chain last longer, especially on DH bikes but also Trail bikes. A big component of chain wear is actually too much sideways flex, you need some for your drivetrain to work but too much leads to poor shifting performance as the chain just flexes between your derailleur pulley and cassette so takes longer to shift instead of crisply forcing the chain up or down a gear.
Jaan Hurditch

Quick Features
-Optimal durometer rubber for maximum sound damping and durability
-Trim to length for custom fit on most bikes
-Light weight and silent

The units are sold as a combination of 2 devices for 7 speed DH bikes(DH07), 10 speed DH bikes(DH10)and the Trail version for trail bikes with 1x gearing and cassettes up to 50T.

DH07 -Suits 7 speed downhill bikes with up to a 26 tooth cassette
DH10 -Designed around 10 speed shimano style downhill drive-train with up to a 32 tooth cassette. Suitable for 8-12 speed
Trail -Suits Trail Bikes with 1X gearing (single front chain ring), 9 - 13 speed with up to a 50 tooth cassette

Look for top World Cup DH racers, team mechanics and industry pros running our STFU Bike products.

bigquotesOur mechanics spend hours trying to keep our bikes quiet from chain slap at the races and I have not found a better solution than the STFU. It only took a minute to install, protects the frame and keeps the bike dead quiet.Neko Mulally, Intense Factory Racing.

bigquotesI always like my bikes feeling solid and quiet. Sometimes it's hard though when the only thing you can add to make it more quiet is heavier parts. The STFU unit has me stoked because it helps with silence with next to no weight added, the perfect combo!Remy Morton, Dig Jumps Go Fast

bigquotesAfter trying numerous solutions for reducing chain noise, nothing comes close to STFU. Considering it also helps with chain retention, it's one of the best value upgrades you can do to your bike. Once you ride with STFU then remove them, you won't believe how much more noise there is.Ben Arnott, YT Mob Mechanic

bigquotesWhen all you can hear is the sound of your tires on the terrain you're riding, it's a great thing and allows you to focus on just that - the terrain you're ridingClaire Buchar, Professional MTB Athlete and Coach

Both the DH07 and DH10 versions are available to purchase now. Pre-sales of the Trail version are being offered at a discount as it is in the last stages of testing and will ship later this fall. More details and Installation Instructions can be found on the STFU Bike website. Visit www.stfubike.com to shut your bike up!

AJ Barlas photo.



170 Comments

  • 195 5
 Stupid question: Why not make the chain out of rubber?

I told you it's a stupid question.
  • 124 2
 We already have it. Its called belt.
  • 10 5
 @kusa: And they fall to bits in a couple of hundred kilometres if you get them muddy, which is why commuters and nobody else likes them.
  • 8 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: do they really? I've heard of creaking issues with Gates systems when they get dusty, never heard of anyone having bad things to say about their mud performance. Can you elaborate?
  • 6 1
 @mnorris122: I have pulled a number off bikes over the years, if they get gunk and debris between the teeth of the belt and the chainring/sprocket it damages the teeth. The teeth will start getting torn off in fairly short order and then the belt's ruined, coarse sand and gravel are especially good at breaking Gates belts. For road bikes they work pretty well, which is why they have a niche with commuters, but belt drives are a poor fit for MTB.
  • 3 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: huh, interesting, thanks for the info! I was hoping to make my next mountain bike pretty much exactly like my current mountain bike but made from Ti and with a belt drive, will have to do some thinking...
  • 2 0
 @mnorris122: talk to Spot Brand folks. They have a lot of experience with belt drives. I use one on the road and it is great. Zero complaints. Haven't tried off road.
  • 16 5
 Why don't we use gearboxes yet? Oh because SRAM and Shimano don't want to...
  • 1 0
 If you actually look after your stuff it will last much longer - case in point Alee from CyclingAbout www.cyclingabout.com/carbon-belt-drive-everything-you-ever-need-to-know While not technically mountain biking, he has probably ridden looser/muddier/sketchier terrain than most of us ever will in our lives (on a touring bike)
  • 2 1
 @mnorris122: they also have a weird feel to them that always felt like efficiency was down what transfers power better a steel chain or a rubber belt.
  • 13 0
 An old fleshlight would do exactly the same job but lube the chain at the same time
  • 1 1
 @heavyp: Right! Let me find the old one I got for my birthday. I mean... what?
  • 1 0
 @loganflores: It's not exactly a repurposed inner tube, those things don't stretch. They have a certain 'buttery' quality though, I know what you mean.
  • 2 0
 Why not make chain stays out of rubber?
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: what an enormous load of shit you’re talking, tearing teeth off? Gimme a break. We don’t use them in anything other than commuters because we can’t shift gears. Duh,
  • 1 0
 @gkeele:I didn’t say it was a tube fan belt would probably be a better description.
  • 78 2
 Its great to see Scott Stapp busy again,after Creed broke up. I was worried about him.
  • 37 1
 With my arms wide open I give you STFU
  • 16 0
 @johnnyswinger: now we just need chad kroeger to invent GTFO and all will be right in this world
  • 7 0
 @johnnyswinger: that karver logo is making me go blind
  • 1 0
 Well I just heard the news today It seems my life is gonna change I close my eyes, begin to pray Then tears of joy stream down my face
  • 3 0
 @dirtbeard: Dont mind a bit of KORN myself !
  • 3 0
 that was awesome!
  • 2 0
 @dirtbeard: I miss the 5.10 Karver
  • 3 1
 Does anyone else think Chris looks like Weird Al in the 4th pic?
  • 1 0
 This comment thread wins the interwebz for today!!!
  • 1 0
 Scott Stapp v. Chad Kroeger death match.
Who wouldn't pay to see that??
  • 67 0
 Who gets distraced by chain noise of a 1x setup with full chain guides should try a 3x10 bike without dampened derailleur. I did recently, sounds like your bike falling apart.
  • 30 0
 Hence the famous "your bike sounds like a shopping cart"
  • 2 1
 @sickedit - probably don't need a chain guide with STFU
  • 2 0
 I think people actually miss that, around here I see more and more „gravel“ and „adventure“ bikes that seem to carry everything but (and sometimes including) the kitchen sink...
  • 41 0
 I can't hear anything over the noise of my Hope rear hub.
  • 7 0
 @fartymarty: ditto for my tin can filled with angry bees, I mean I9 hub
  • 4 0
 A dampened DR? I run my DR mostly dry.
  • 1 1
 Whenever I ride my 2x10 gravel bike I feel like a tool for complaining about internal routing rattles on my mtb.
  • 2 0
 @fartymarty: Heh, #meToo
  • 2 0
 @gotohe11carolina: A friend has one of those, every time I hear it, I hear Jeremy Wade from River Monsters scream "Fish On!" Sounds like a fishing reel
  • 55 1
 This was released very far from April 1st for a reason.
  • 25 0
 This should have been called the Slap Chop.
  • 2 0
 Vince approved?
  • 2 0
 I was making salsa this weekend wishing I had a Slap Chop. Dicing tiny tomatoes is brutal.
  • 2 0
 stop having noisy rides, stop having a noisy life.
  • 26 4
 It might work but it looks real jank. Develop a zip tie on ribbed protector like what santa cruz or specialized has stock on new models for the chain and seat stays then you'll have my attention
  • 4 0
 Depending on your bike you might be able to get a Scott Ransom protector to play nicely. I got one for my bike(not a Ransom..) and after trimming the length a bit I was able to shape it perfectly!
  • 3 0
 @holt1997: did you order it from Scott directly, from a shop?
  • 3 0
 You can buy them from Santa Cruz web shop. I have one on my bike fits real nice did trim a little off one end hacksaw goes thru in 5 sec. Doesn't look jank at all.
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: thanks!
  • 2 0
 @bman33: No not from Scott, I just did a google for it and found an online store!
  • 3 1
 Cut the center tread out of a tire and 3M adhere it to your chainstay. You can dial in a custom fit just like the OEM protectors...
  • 1 0
 @jpcars10s: no glue involved with my install just snaps on.
  • 1 0
 Or just use more zip ties as a DIY version :-)
  • 2 0
 @jpcars10s: just did this on my chain stay and I gotta say, it works and looks decent too!
  • 18 0
 Do they make STFU units for the panting sounds emanating from somewhere above my top tube?
  • 2 0
 @strongah: They need to make a hydration attachment point before I'll add it to my setup.
  • 25 6
 Take my money!
  • 32 0
 Thanks man, you really are a stand up guy. Just do a transfer to my bank at your convenience.
Sort: 80:08:69
A/c: 2627529700
Beer
  • 19 2
 Great idea Chris. Been using it since the first prototype and I love it! Quiet, clean, really works.
  • 13 0
 Been using one for a while now. In my case, it made a huge difference in sound on my Maiden...which was already pretty quiet!
  • 4 0
 I don't need it... I don't need it... I don't need it... IIII NEEEEEED ITTTTTTT
  • 12 0
 Also... Jane says I'm done with chain slap
  • 8 0
 More like “coming down the mountain!”
  • 2 0
 "Stop!"
  • 1 0
 Ain’t nobody leavin’ ... til we STFU!
  • 9 0
 Silencing the chain slap so that you can spend more time enjoying the angry bees buzzing from your 1050-POE rear hub.
  • 23 13
 Cant say Meh loud enough
  • 56 0
 When you buy the STFU you can whisper and everyone can hear you no problem.
  • 7 0
 With tolerances so tight on 12x and side to side wear on chains affecting shift performance, this tech sounds cool.
  • 4 0
 Im really surprised at all the negative noise coming from all the blowhards commenting here. This is a great product that many people will use and benefit from. Is there only one suspension company? One frame builder? No. There’s room for more than one chain silencing device. This is CK’s take on managing chain slap and he should be applauded for his effort. We’ve gotten where we are today by innovators, tinkerers, dudes in their garages, pro riders, mechanics, engineers, etc. with ideas, working hard to make our bikes work quieter and better. Kovarik is one of these guys. So STFU and go do something productive.
  • 6 0
 I love it when people think outside of the box! Nice work, Kovarik...love your thinking here and can't wait to try one out!
  • 3 0
 Spotted a guy in Whistler with this a few weeks back, and no, it wasn't Chris. I thought it was a neat idea, and seeing it in person after seeing it online was interesting for sure. The price point is realistic, I'd give it a shot next season.
  • 7 1
 Perry Farrell resemblance?
  • 7 0
 We’d make great pets
  • 6 0
 Siiiiiiiiick, STFU drive train I wanna hear my damn tyres!
  • 4 0
 Just purchased one to test out! Clearly this is functional product design at it's best, and we're excited to try it out. Thanks, Chris and team.
  • 4 0
 I thought the ridged guards were supposed to solve the noise issue? Seems to have worked on my bike anyway. . . .
  • 2 1
 Looking at the pictures then looking over at my Process153 - though I'd be game to try this inexpensive add-on it the "trail" model doesnt look like the loop holes are offset enough inward to clear when in the highest gears of the Eagle drive train. Looks like it works best with a DH set up / smaller cassettes
  • 5 0
 The TRAIL unit is designed to work with 50T and should work fine on a Process.
  • 1 0
 @Stfubike: cool beans thx!
  • 11 5
 GTFO
  • 3 4
 You win comments today. Big Grin
  • 5 0
 I hate that I didn’t think of this.
  • 10 0
 dont worry neither did he, its just a rather ugly take on the chain tamer.

chaintameruk.co.uk
  • 1 1
 @b45her: good luck taming the chain when that flimsy wire bends.
  • 2 0
 @Dudeclimbsrocks: it doesn't ive had one for nearly 2 years without having to touch it as has an elite level/ EWS rider that i spanner for and ride with occasionally.
  • 1 0
 @b45her:
Same good experience here
  • 2 0
 Any update for those of us who ordered the trail versions? I know the email we received in July mentioned we could expect September delivery... Is this still the case? Thank you,
  • 2 0
 funny, someone made the thing I have been doing for years, I used small round of rubber or pvc pipe, and a zip tie, many copied it on trails that I saw, its even on my rippers jump bike
  • 2 0
 Everyone: Incessantly bitching about changing bike industry standards.

Everyone: Ditch stupid old chains! Belt drive! Shaft drive! Gearbox! Levitron!

One dude: "I ride single speed!"
  • 5 3
 Two products in one day with profanity directly in the name or alluded to as is the case with the Ibis. This is some pretty lazy F*#king branding!
  • 6 3
 STFU ;0
  • 2 0
 Foul language? Not on my good Christian Pinkbike?!?!?
  • 3 3
 It seems like a good idea for a product. On the flip side, do we really need another bicycle related product that I wouldn't want to say out loud to a customer concerned about their chain bouncing around or messing up their paint. Way too many of the naming schemes in cycling are stupid.
  • 9 0
 Relax! Silent Technology For Ur Bike.
  • 4 1
 @klarko: exactly! We're not responsible for anyone's interpretation of what STFU.Bike stands for..
  • 2 0
 This is pretty awesome... to put on your friend's bike, so people you run into strike up a conversation with them and leave you alone.
  • 3 0
 I have a spare fox40 bumper. Looks like I will be making one for my bike! Smile
  • 2 0
 All of you are behind! Dont put more stuff on your bike, just run chainless and you have no noise from the chain, am I genius?
  • 3 0
 It's been said before, but I'll say it again - Chaintamer's already done it. chaintameruk.co.uk
  • 3 0
 Isn't this just a worse version of the Chaintamer?
chaintameruk.co.uk
  • 4 5
 I really like this idea, but from what I understand, this device doesn't do anything to stop a derailleur from rattling around and causing slap/noise from the underside. Sram derailleurs don't have an adjustable clutch, either. Is there a solution/hack to deal with those sounds?
  • 48 1
 shimano
  • 3 4
 @gbeaks33 : check out the new TRP derailleur, it has whats called a "Hall lock" that is supposed to stop unwanted derailleur noise and movement. check out the link i posted on it! looks like a good option.

www.pinkbike.com/news/trp-announces-dh7-shifting-components.html
  • 2 0
 @rockchomper: someone in that thread was saying they mod SRAM derailleurs to lock out the main pivot too, but they didn't explain further... def got me thinking
  • 3 0
 @bkm303: for 11 speed sram, there is a c clip that holds the bolt into the main pivot, pop the clip out, remove the bolt. There should be a wave washer in there that you take out. Good luck getting the clip back in! Then just bolt it back to the hanger and it is basically locked in place, it sticks so well you need to make sure to push the mech forward until the b screw touches the shelf on the hanger when you're installing the wheel.
  • 1 0
 @CullenHerring: very cool, thanks!
  • 1 0
 @bkm303: He later said:

"So you remove the b tension plate on x01 and xx1 and put in a pedal washer between the b tension plate and the upper der body. Only draw back would be removing the wheel, either it’s hard or you have to back off the 5mm der bolt a bit. And also if you crash it might not swing out of the way."
  • 1 0
 @rockchomper: The 'Hall Lock' was something downhillers [or at least people from my town] have been doing for the last decade or more simply by removing the spring and clip from the mounting pivot and adding a washer to clamp the derailleur to the frame without it being able to pivot, this worked best for 1x set-ups back in the day and made a massive difference to chain rattle before the derailleur clutch was ever invented.

Modern mechs don't seem to have a spring loaded b-knuckle any more [at least Shimano don't] and it can move freely, can't see any reason why you couldn't shim out the join and lock it place on any mech without affecting its function.
  • 2 0
 Nearly all of the chain slap still images I've ever seen show the party going on at the bottom of the chain.
  • 4 0
 Hey there, from all my go-pro footage ive shot and tested making the STFU %90 of chain slap is the top of the chain line hitting your seat stay and chain stay. If you run a lower chain guide roller this helps dramatically to keep the lower chain line in control. cheers.
  • 1 0
 @whistlersquid: right you are. I run a blackspire stinger double ring chain tensioner and all that slaps is the top, not the bottom .
  • 3 0
 I might buy one if they release a proper flat out/foot out edit
  • 1 0
 My DH order has been dispatched, can't wait to STFU my bike. No word yet on the Enduro model, and super keen for the Brake cable guide too.....
  • 1 0
 Isn’t this the same as the eco chain tensioner? www.amazon.com/B-Labs-C-Guide-Eco-Chain-Tensioner/dp/B00HZRCZBS
  • 2 0
 Nah, that one straps on below the chainstay and guides the lower strand of the chain. Tried one on my old 3x9 hardtail, worked well for a few weeks until is blew up on a rocky descent.
  • 2 0
 No its not. The Eco chain tensioner are plastic, wears out and eventually becomes noisy, our STFU bike chain silencers are a rubber compound, zero chain friction to keep your ride silent.
  • 2 0
 More like the Chain tamer, but that is cheaper and moves with the chain as you change gears.
  • 3 1
 The chain still slaps, just not your frame i guess.
  • 2 0
 and the sound is muffled
  • 3 1
 yes, thats the point
  • 4 1
 @laxguy: I think the main goal was to make the bike ride more quiet, not frame protection, which is probably what it does best.
  • 2 0
 @SlinkySammy: if its not slapping your metal bike, how is it going to make noise?
  • 1 0
 Great Stuff Chris, This is a product I'm very keen to get once the trail versions are ready to shred!!
  • 2 0
 STFU stands for See The Future Unfold?
  • 1 0
 So that's what I saw on Neko's bike at Snowshoe. m.imgur.com/gallery/lYHLwZm
  • 2 0
 Hopefully this link works imgur.com/CqUdtlx
  • 2 0
 yo this would not work on an evil at all
  • 2 0
 Maybe i can use my used boxxer fork bumper
  • 1 0
 This kinda ugly solution, best solution is specialized chain stay protection;
  • 1 0
 Read jpcars10s can moment above
  • 2 0
 I only hear Slayer blasting in my ears when I ride.
  • 1 0
 Still holding out for the ceramic speed driveshaft system for my mountain bike. No chain slap there baby
  • 1 0
 But chain slap is a natural bear deterrent. It's the DH bikes version of a bear bell.
  • 1 0
 So instead of hearing the chain hit the stay protector you hear it hitting these plastic loops or am I missing something?
  • 2 0
 Didn’t Bioncion make something like this bout 10 years ago
  • 3 1
 Tidy
  • 13 12
 Id rather hear a little bit of noise than put that eyesore on my baby
  • 1 0
 Yeah, it is ugly, but I don't mind. Functionally ugly, Lol.
  • 4 5
 Wow. Definitely worthy of a full article.

Hope you cashed the check for the ('paid for advertising') super legit review of something no one needs
  • 5 0
 I have been running one for a while now and it works awesome. Not going to make much difference on your ride to the shops but on rough trails it makes a huge difference. All depends on how and what you are riding. Plus you probably don't even realize how noisy your bike is because you are so used to it.
  • 5 0
 Using your logic, does anyone need a mountain bike? All these reviews are a waste of time as nobody really needs any of this stuff!!!!
  • 4 3
 I feel like this product took as much time to invent as the Pet Rock.
  • 1 0
 Oh he did have an engineer, Lol. Well I might even buy one. Any numbers for weight?
  • 1 0
 The chains movement can be modelled using hyperbolic sine functions.
  • 1 0
 Ancillotti did the same solution years ago!
  • 12 12
 I'd rather hear my chain!
  • 3 4
 These have been around for ages used as a chainguide for bikes with no iscg tabs Old news
  • 3 3
 Chaintamer already did it.
  • 1 0
 Bought
  • 1 2
 I always just wrap the chain stay & seat stay with a old intertube
  • 1 0
 Same thing. I use those Velcro things tho
  • 1 3
 Yea, so its just slapping something else?
  • 9 0
 Yep your chain does still slap into the module but the module is soft rubber with much less surface area which means less noise. It is also positioned much closer to the chains normal position so there is less distance for the chain to accelerate before impact which also reduces noise.
  • 2 0
 @Stfubike: Any updates on delivery? I purchased one of these ("trail" version) online the first week of July and haven't been given a ship date yet.
  • 1 0
 @bvd453: I ordered mine on Sept 6th! I was hoping to get it in a week or 2. Now I am sad.
  • 14 0
 @bvd453 @BangDalish Update on the TRAIL version: We thought we had them dialed with the latest production samples but they are still just a little bit too flexible and on big drops to flat they are going into the spokes still. We should have another version to test in a couple of weeks that is even stiffer and hopefully it works, otherwise we are going to have to go to completely new tooling for this model as we are somewhat limited with the mold we have. Sorry for the delay but it's going to be another 4 weeks at least at this stage as we don't want to release something we're not fully confident will perform at the highest level. Happy to refund anyone who has ordered and doesn't want to wait any longer - send us an email and we will sort it out straight away.
  • 3 0
 @Stfubike: Thanks for the update! I have no problem waiting, I appreciate your effort on making a good product! Cheers
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