Recumbent Bicycle Chain Catcher

Chain catcher

Chain catcher

You’re puffing up a serious hill, finally downshift to the smallest chainring, and the chain falls off on the inside. You’re already at stalling speed, so you stop abruptly and gracelessly. If you haven’t used up your weekly luck allotment, you neither fall over nor get rammed by the rider behind you.

Not to be endured, sez I.

The solution is the Chain Catcher from Bike Tools Etc. It normally attaches to the seat tube of diamond-frame bikes and prevents the chain from falling off inside the smallest chainring, but it works fine on ‘bents, too.

Alas, their smallest Chain Catcher, part number CC-04A, fits a 28.6 mm seat tube: it’s much too large for the 1-inch tube on a Tour Easy.

Never fear! Go to your local home-repair store with ruler in hand and examine the plumbing aisle’s plastic fittings. I used a sink drain tailpiece, but any tube with an outside diameter over 1-1/4” and 1/16” walls will work. Buy one, take it home, cut off a ring as wide as the Chain Catcher with a saw or a razor knife, and smooth the edges. Cut the ring lengthwise, slip it over the bike tube, mark the spot where the ends cross, remove it, and trim to fit neatly on the tube.

If you make a mistake, you have spares aplenty…

(This is trivially easy with a lathe, but you need not go full-on geek for this project.)

Install the Chain Catcher over your shim with its thumb pointing forward and align it with the chain’s rivets, not quite touching the chain on the smallest ring. Firmly tighten the Catcher’s mounting screw.

This won’t fix a badly adjusted front shifter, but it does eliminate those occasional glitches.

Ride on!

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  1. #1 by rafael on 2009-12-26 - 18:00

    Hello, I still don’t know what it is that you used as a chain catcher. Can you explain further or show more images?

    • #2 by Ed on 2009-12-26 - 22:20

      Follow the link to Bike Tools Etc (it’s highlighted in color, at least in Firefox) in the original post and you’ll wind up at the Chain Catcher page on their website with all the details.

      Pick the size that matches your seat tube (if you’re fortunate enough to have a standard size) and you’re all set!

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