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[REVIEW] STFU DH chain damping module

We all know the mtb specific problem called ‘my bike is too laud’. The loudness of one’s bike is dependent on many different reasons: creaking bearings, some dirt between two bolted elements etc. But one of the most annoying and hard to mute is the sound of the chain clapping on the rear triangle. For aluminum (and steel) bikes the problem was only sound, but for carbon you have to take into account the possible damage that the chain may cause to an unshielded  parts of the frame.  There are many ways you can try to lessen the chain slap – either by taping the frame or by installing some chain guiding devices. Silent Technology for Ur Bike tries to accomplish both with their product.

What is it:

The STFU Bike Damping device is basically two pieces of rubbery chain guides that are mounted on your chainstay. The idea is pretty easy: between the cassette and the chaining the chain has its particular length. The bigger the length the more it can go up and down and the bigger the chain slap during the ride. The STFU device cuts the free chain length in three making the chain less prone to freely beat around. And as the device is made of pretty soft rubber, it also doubles as a chain slap silencer. The weight of both uncut modules for 7 speed downhill version is 62 grams.

Installation:

The installation is easy but time consuming. Mainly because you probably will go through many height options before you decide on the best one and finally trim the damper. As far as instructions go, the one available on the STFU Bike site is not very pretty but very precise about how to install the damper. It took me 20 minutes plus three rides to get the best result, but I was installing this device on the hill. One more thing: some bike have the derailleur cable routing placed on top of the chainstay tube (like mine). It’s no problem, you just have to cut a tunnel for it in the device.

How it works:

Surprisingly well! Most of the chain slap was reduced to nothing. I only heard the chain slap something a few times during the testing period and I’m not sure if it did slap the chainstay (no paint chipped) or did it just beat around in my standard chain device’s cage. I also had some objections about the dampers being thrown out of vertical positioning and going in the spokes but I was wrong. The installed modules are very rigid in terms of vertical position and do not move about at all.

Pros:

– does what it’s supposed to do

– cheap

– new idea

– pretty light

Cons:

– need some time and thinking during the installation, otherwise you’ll cut the dampers too much and you’ll have to buy new ones

 

Overall impressions:

Nice addition to your bike if you’re concerned about the noise or you have a carbon chainstay. Fresh idea that is properly implemented. And cheap!

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