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Bike Sports & Fitness

When do you need an MTB chain guide?

MTB Chain guide or not? It’s not a question of having only one chainring or that it is oval. It depends on the type of mountain bike you practice.

Recently, while searching for information on oval chainrings, I received offers to purchase an MTB chain guide. At first, I was concerned because I thought oval chainrings caused the chain to come off.

But later, I realized that a good quality oval chainring in conjunction with good components should not give more trouble with the chain than a round chainring.

So is it really necessary to buy a chain guide?

It all depends on the type of MTB cycling you practice. On the trail, enduro, or downhill modalities, the bicycle is subject to more severe conditions, so the chain can tend to come off, therefore, an MTB chain guide can prevent accidents, scratches, or damage to your bike.

This doesn’t mean that a chain guide doesn’t help in more conventional mountain biking. In the end, it’s an element that provides safety when using the bicycle. Even if you decide not to use a chain guide, you can also use a wide chain to help avoid coming off.

Before you buy a chain guide for your bike

A chain guide isn’t mandatory or exclusive for oval chainrings. It’s an additional security mechanism for your bike. You may not even need it.

So it might be helpful to ask yourself:

  • Could the type of MTB you practice benefit from a chain guide?

  • On your MTB journeys or days, is it common for your bike chain to come off?

If you answered yes to the questions, you could consider a chain guide; otherwise, a wide chain can reduce the risk of it coming off.

We show you our recommendations if you decide to buy a chain guide:


MRP AMg V2 – Alloy Chain Guide ISCG-05 Mount, 32-38t

MRP AMg V2 - Alloy Chain Guide

Designed for enduro and trail riding, the AMg V2 Alloy chain guide features an upper guide for chain security and an integrated skid to protect the chainring and frame. Compatible with 1×9, 1×10, and 1×11 drivetrains.

Designed for enduro and trail riding, the AMg V2 Alloy chain guide features an upper guide for chain security and an integrated skid to protect the chainring and frame. Compatible with 1×9, 1×10, and 1×11 drivetrains.


Wolf Tooth Chainguide with Seat Tube Clamp Mount

Absolute Black Bash Guide Premium Chain Guide

Designed specifically around 1x wide/narrow chainrings the GnarWolf will keep your chain glued to your chainring in the roughest and muddies of conditions.

This product includes our braze-on guide plus a clamp adapter for 34.9mm round seat tubes.

Accommodates between 32t and 52t for round and oval chainrings


Funn Zippa Lite Bash Guard, 26-32T, ISCG05 Mount, Mountain Bike Chainring Protector

Funn Zippa Lite Bash Guard

Keep your chainring and chain set safely protected as you zip through rock gardens and tree trunks!

Mounting standard: Fits for frames with ISCG 05 mount

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