There are plenty of chain devices on the market for the 2012 season. Most follow the same two or three major design points; with a bashguard or without, rollers or sliders, ISCG or ISCG 05. Weeze's "The End" chain guide from Poland does not stray from this trend. A simple bashguard-less chain device that fits ISCG 05 mounting, the Weeze guide tries to differentiate itself in one major way: ludicrously light weight made possible by its full carbon construction and aluminum hardware. The result is a 64 gram chain guide that retails for $200 USD.
<Deleted photo>The details:
The first thing that will strike you about this part is the packaging. Weeze's chain guides arrive in a nicely built wooden box. Slide open the lid and you get a rainbow of aluminum hardware and a carbon fiber backplate. Minimalism is what they seem to have been going for, and they succeeded. No bashguard, no taco style grind plate; just a carbon fiber backplate, carbon fiber top and bottom guides, and aluminum pulley wheels and mounting hardware in a range of colours. Total weight: 64g. Yes, you read that correctly. An astonishingly light 64g with all mounting hardware included, using their own aluminum ISCG bolts. All aluminum parts on The End are 7075 T6 Forstal aerospace grade products.
The guide's ISCG 05 backplate bolted right up to the tabs on a Specialized Demo II frame, spaced out in much the same way as an e.13 or MRP guide would. That's about where the similarities ended, however. There are loose bits of hardware everywhere. None of the fasteners are captive, making installation tricky. While the Weeze guide looked great, and weighed absolutely nothing, it lacked in the performance department. Before it was even on the bike, we noticed that the carbon backplate was warped in all three axis. In order to get things mounted up and aligned, it required a bunch of spacing various parts of the guide out in directions. Luckily, there are approximately one thousand aluminum washers included; shades of Mr. Dirt guides of old. Once it was finally close to straight, Weeze's own chainring was mounted up to some Truvativ Descendant cranks and we were off to the races. Only, if you used this at a race, you wouldn't be able to hear any of the fans along the course. The lower idler pulley sits extremely far back from the chainring, putting loads of tension on the chain. Normally this is a good thing, unfortunately, it is also a machined aluminum pulley that is bolted to a carbon backplate. The high tension, along with the guide's construction makes it extremely loud when pedalling. While performance was acceptable, we did manage to drop a chain twice due to the fact that the twisted backplate made it almost impossible to get things lined up 100% accurately, no matter how hard we tried. Not ideal for a guide costing $200 USD.
<Deleted photo>Pinkbike's take:
|While this guide delivers on the promised "lightest guide ever" front, performance was seriously lacking in the sample we received. A relatively simple $200 product should not show up with its only major structural part twisted in three directions. This made it impossible to run a proper test, as even just getting it mounted and spaced properly was a headache. Finally, we're not sure how much louder you could possibly make a bike part. Sure, the aluminum idler pulley is fantastic looking, and extremely light, but a regular pulley would be almost as light and many decibels quieter. It also needs to be noted that a guide with no bash guard or skid plate is not going to last long (Weeze is currently working on a version that uses a guard) Our advice: go with a slightly heavier guide that will save your chainring, and potentially your crankset.- Fraser Britton|