The South African based cSixx are a new name to us but with their range of beautifully designed carbon chain devices it’s a name we’ll be keeping an eye on.
The company have a whole load of chain devices on offer, all of which are predominantly made from carbon, and are subsequently super light. Don’t be put off though by any previous bad experiences of carbon chain devices as these are a totally different kettle of fish. Why? Because all the ones we’ve seen in the past have been simply cut out from plates of carbon, leaving exposed and angular edges that tend to easily de-laminate and splinter. These on the other hand are all laid up from scratch to the desired shape so all the edges are fully protected, and extra strength can be put where it’s needed. cSixx are keen to point out that they haven’t just set out to make the lightest possible chain devices, instead they’ve set out to utilise the true strengths of carbon and produce devices that are as strong as they are light.
This particular model is the 150gm, which refers to its weight. It actually weighs in at 166g if you include all the bolts, but that’s still bloody light. The other models currently on offer are the 110gl which is essentially the same device but without the ‘taco’ bash plate, the 175gh which comes with a full carbon bash ring rather than the taco, and finally the XC Guide, which as the name suggests is a simple top only guide for 1×10 trail use. All utilise the same type of carbon design and come with a choice of red, gold, black, blue or green anodized aluminium parts. You of course also get the full range of mounting options.
The 175gh can be used with chainrings between 32 and 40t, and the rest of the devices can be run with anything between 32 and 42t. As you can see the various positions are clearly marked on the chain device, and any adjustments are made super simple thanks to the one bolt design.
Here you can really see another reason why these devices are so unique. The part of the device that is likely to suffer impacts is not only made thicker, it is also heavily reinforced with kevlar. A whole load of the bikes at the recent Saint press camp were fitted with these chain devices and although I could see a some scuffs on them where they’d obviously hit terra firma there was no sign of any splintering or other damage whatsoever. Crucially I didn’t hear of any lost chains either. cSixx also reckon that unlike the plastic competition their bash plates don’t grip onto anything that they hit, instead they simply slide.
In this shot you can see another benefit of not simply cutting the device out from plates of carbon. By using a custom lay-up design cSixx have been able to shape the top guide to minimise noise. On that note all the spacers between the carbon plates are also made from rubber that’s similar in feel to a tyre, again to help reduce noise. Some of the pieces of carbon might look pretty thin, but they’re incredibly stiff thanks to the way they’re constructed.
Overall we’re very impressed with these chain devices, and yes they might have premium price tags, but they are premium products. Oh, and if you’re wondering how a new company has made such an impressive start, then a large part of it must be down to their designer Mark Hopkins who was previously working at Leatt.
XC Guide: £TBC
Air Bikes Ltd 01799 516 441