While narrow/wide chainrings and clutch mechs do a decent job of keeping your chain on, a good chain guide gives racers and hard-chargers the added peace of mind that their drivetrain will keep working even when things get buck wild.
The Enduro Carbon chain guide from Croatian brand Shovel is small in weight but big in performance. It’s not cheap, but is good value for a carbon guide.
With its carbon fibre backplate, durable nylon taco, compact top guide and titanium hardware, the Enduro Carbon tips the scales at a featherweight 68g.
The thick (5.3mm) backplate is designed to shrug off the heaviest hits, but not to be so stiff as to damage your frame’s ISCG tabs.
It’s adjustable to fit 28-34t regular and 28-32t oval rings. You can mount it without taking the cranks off, with a little finesse and providing that your chainring has holes big enough to fit an Allen key through.
Set-up is easy, with no spacing or lining-up required — just bolt it on, adjust the top guide and ride.
During testing, I never dropped a chain and the top guide remained stealthily silent throughout. The taco took a couple of hefty whacks with no issue, protecting the chainring effectively.