Hive’s new chain device – 1×10 is the future… [Updated!]

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The Hive announces the release of the XCX.ST, the most recent incarnation of the popular XCX chain retention system. The XCX.ST is a seat tube mounted variation of the XCX that mounts to frames via a clamping device similar to those found on most front derailleurs. This XCX.ST version solves the mounting issues common to frames utilizing BB30 and other press-fit BB designs. It’ll also work with ‘cross bikes (where there are no BB spacers to replace with a chain guide) and other bikes where BB clutter dissuades you from mounting a device around it.

High mount - good if you have a flared seat tube

The XCX.ST retention system is also a highly adaptable product. It incorporates the adjustable upper wearplate of the World Cup winning LG1+ guide, is available in a “high-mount” or “low-mount” clamp design, utilizes a ‘trick seat tube clamp cam’ to allow for chainline adjustment, and can be mounted to frames with 28.6, 31.8 or 34.9 seat tube diameters.

Hey, that honeycomb is rather conveniently like the Hive's logo.
Another shot of the low mount
No more home-brews for racers and riders

The Hive’s spokesman said: “The need for a lightweight, reliable single ring retention system designed specifically for cross country riders and racers was originally recognized by e*thirteen more than 8 years ago, and while we were set to charge forth with the product back then, it became apparent that the drivetrain technologies at the time were not quite equipped to handle the change. With the advent of the 10 speed MTB drivetrain and the 11/36 cassette, the XCX has finally found its place. When coupled with any of our odd tooth sized e*thirteen Guide-ring options, the XCX becomes a highly precise drivetrain tuning tool.”

As (rather smartly) used by Specialized

The initial prototype of the XCX.ST first debuted on the race bike of Orbea cross-country rider Julien Absalon in late 2009. Since its first appearance and second place podium at the World Championship XC race, the XCX.ST has garnered much attention – enough attention to catch the eye of Specialized Bicycles.
“Specialized Bicycles was one of the first companies to understand the value this product possesses in our off-road cycling community, especially among the 29er crowd” added Jonas. “I give Specialized a lot of credit for recognizing the potential of this product and specing it on their Stumpjumper Expert Carbon 29 Evo. This spec goes a long way in legitimizing the 1×10 generation of riders who have been home-brewing “1-by” solutions in their garages for years now.”

Added: Tech Specs
backplate material: 6061-T6
frame mounting style: seat tube clamp – high or low
clamp diameter: 28.6/31.8/34.9
wearplate adjustment: adjustable
wearplate hardware: captive gold alloy
chainring range: 32-44t
chainline adjustment: 50 to 53mm
weight: 71-75 g
msrp: $99.95
global availability: fall/winter 2010

Update – And MRP too
And just to keep stirring the debate – here’s the new prototype from MRP seen at Eurobike. It’s basically a clamp on version of MRP’s ‘1x’ chain device.


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (33)

    prices? Who brings in e13 to the UK? When will they be available?

    Looks good.

    Agreed, more details like price and availability would be good.

    Just what i’ve been after recently.

    *waits with baited breath*

    Tech details added. I’m checking on prices.
    Look for similar things from MRP and more too.

    $99? Crikey…

    I like the look of these (even more so the cheap Superstar copies) but without a bottom roller, they’re not really suitable for anything resembling a rocky trail are they? Been running a front mech as one of these on my 456SS for the last couple of months and it still drops the chain regularly riding rocky, tech stuff.

    I’ve been running a Paul Components 1×10 setup on my ‘cross bike for a year and I’ve never dropped a chain. With a short mech (as you’d have on a 1×9/1×10 system) I reckon you’d be able to get away with a fair amount of bumpiness without dropping the chain – especially if you run a full height toothed chainring

    50-53mm chainline?

    Isn’t 47.5 a far more common middle ring position on MTBs?

    Hmmm. Not entirely convinced but I do seem to keep getting drawn to the simplicity side of them…

    I’ll review one if you want to see if I see the light!

    They work very well on rocky trails.

    $100 though- christ!

    As well as a top and bottom guide? If not then whats the point? Especially on a race bike where a dropped chain could mean a dropped place etc…

    I’d say as well, as ell as being lighter and quieter. They provide much better coverage than a front mech.

    Chipps – any idea if they (or others) are planning one to use the new(ish) direct fit ft mech mount?

    My bike has a press-fit BB, and an offset seat-tube, and so neither this nor the BB mount versions will work too well….

    They are probably a more effective/less mud clogging design, but I think they don’t look as nice as the BB mount ones!

    didnt dmr make a thing like this about 10 years ago?

    and at about 1/4 of the price?

    I was sold ’till I got to the price. Is that more than the Paul’s one?

    Van Halen – yeh, my mate runs one on his 456.

    I wasn’t sold Kelvin… and THEN I saw the price!

    SSC one due next week IIRC £16.99 too!

    1×10 would be the future if all these devices weren’t limited to a minimum 32t chainring.
    I’m thinking of buying the Widgit ( 28t ring instead. I’m not 100% convinced of chain retention, but I haven’t heard a bad review.
    I just don’t see how I’d enjoy riding in the Peaks as much with a 32×36 lowest versus my current 22×34.

    its true the dmr chaincage thing has been doing this for ages

    but i do like the idea of these, like teh dmr but lighter, quieter, assuming they can handle a big chainring ill be happy (or as someone said when superstar release one at a reasonable price)

    im running 1×9 on my commuter with a 44t ring so im limited in my choice and yes ive lost the chain a few times going down steps or riding of small drops etc

    Lets hope that Hope decide to market that one they showed at Eurobike. I read somewhere it was only made to promote their new chainrings. I suppose there could be a question of CNC Mill time. But i’m sure that a Hope one wouldn’t be $99.00! Or Superstar when they come back in to Stock. £19(?) I think.

    They’re good until you back pedal before a full on thrutch move. Chain comes off and the stem gives you some rough love. Fine if you don’t have to back pedal though.

    Are these things much better tha just leaving a front mech in a fixed position? Anyway, never had a problem running 1×9 without any sort of guide, chain length/tension is the important thing, get that right and most should be ok.

    i had some rough love on a step up. just when you dont want it.

    They are just front derailleurs with no movey bits! shimano do a triple for 6 quid!

    that e13 looks hideaous, might as well just adjust a front mech as apart from it being all plastic it’s exactly the same

    I assume it’ll end up being a roughly equivalent number of GBP over here so c.£90 or £100?

    What a ridiculous bloody price or am I missing something?

    You could probably rapid prototype each one for less than that

    Hey, that honeycomb is rather conveniently like the Hive’s logo

    and will soon be packed with mud that’ll be a fecker to get out!

    i couldnt be bothered waiting, so i got the same E-thirteen guide, and a DMR clamp, from CRC, £18 the lot posted, should be here tomoz…….

    Same E-thirteen top guide, sorry…..

    Agree with ed-o I’m not convinced for rough trail riding and just a bit of back pedal and the chain can come off the bottom even if you run your chain shortish with a high tooth ring. Good for general xc riding though.

    General XC with no rocks.

    Should be mint for southerners 😉

    Cant seem to find a similar product at superstar.


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