It’s fair to say that for a good few years Blackspire appeared to sit back whilst other chain device manufacturers moved on. Thankfully though they’ve put an end to that behaviour and last year they released this excellent DER Guide.
We can’t really give Blackspire any credit for creating something groundbreaking as we’ve kind of seen it all before in other chain guides, but what they have done is created a very simple guide that works a treat, and at the end of the day that’s all we really care about. With not a single moving part in sight you can’t get anything more reliable either.
Adjustment is easy and we always like to see captive bolts that don’t get lost. Ok, so you need to unscrew two bolts on the lower guide rather than the one that you’ll find on some other guides, but that’s far from the end of the world. Talking of the lower guide, this DER Guide uses a slider rather than a jockey wheel or roller and even compared to a perfectly spinning one of those (which we find is a rarity in this mud festooned country) this slider produces very little noise or friction. In fact this guide can be described as quiet full stop.
Another thing it can be described as is light. 149g to be precise. Despite that low weight the back plate is still plenty stiff enough and and the ‘Beavertail’ bash guard has plenty enough meat in it to survive big impacts. It might seem a bit pricy for something that appears to be so simple, but then again injection moulds cost a fiar bit of money to make and this is still a fair bit cheaper than some of the competition. You also get a choice of red, black, white or blue guides, ISCG or ISCG 05 mounting, and finally either 32-36t or 36-40t compatibility.
Whether it’s the shape of the slider or the material that it’s made from, the result is that it’s one of the smoothest that we’ve used.
If you’ve missed our other favourite DH chain devices then here they are…