Big Ring It!

Mountain Biking


Lightly tensioned chain causes major chain slap noise

Are you experiencing chain slap on those downhill sections or sections of trail that you are not having to pedal? Doesn’t that sound get annoying to you after a while?

If you are experiencing a lot of chain slap, try moving your chain into the big ring up front. When you big ring it, you are essentially taking up more slack in the chain. By taking up some of that slack in the chain you reduce the amount of vertical movement of the chain which thereby reduces the amount of chain slap you hear.


Shift the chain to the big ring to reduce chain slap.

Just be careful when the terrain changes on you. If you are suddenly confronted with a little hill to climb don’t start dumping gears via the rear cassette. First, move the chain from the big ring to the middle chain ring up front then quickly change gears in the rear. Find the gear you need and pedal up the hill. If you immediately start dumping gears, while panicking that you won’t make it up the hill, you may reach the bottom of your cassette before you even know it and now you are cross-chaining! Ask me how I know this. 🙂

Of course, the best approach would be to plan ahead. If you see the trail heading upwards, start shifting before you reach the hill and get down into the gear you need so that you can attack the hill accordingly. Then, when it flattens out or points down again, big ring it!

Awww… Music to my ears, or is that the sound of silence?

1 thought on “Big Ring It!

  1. I’ve the tendency to drop the chain when I do this. I’ve been keeping it in the middle ring on rougher descents.

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