Finally carved out some time this evening to work on my gearing changes with my Sidewinder stuff. Here's the goods:

The 10,000 lb "Smart Chain" in silver "half of forever" version:


The TI-2 sprocket in 46 tooth "Forever" version. Weighed about 1/3 of stock.

Both the sprocket and chain appear to be impressively made. Very high quality components. But, get your pad out and take some notes as I've learned a few things here.

You must order a matching Sidewinder masterlink (I knew that). And, I (now) highly recommend ordering Sidewinder's custom made, super good, purposed built mounting bolts for the rear sprocket (I didn't know that). The sprocket has beveled holes at a particular angle that requires an exact matching bolt bevel to mount firmly (forever). I couldn't find a match for the bevel angle at my hardware store. I had to re-order mounting bolts and wait a couple more days. I will say the bolts from Sidewinder are magnificent fit and really heavy duty service. Appear stronger than the stock bolts.

I also learned that masterlinks I received would NOT assembly easily! The flat plate would not slide onto the prongs very well. Since I didn't have a "masterlink press", I had to file the holes a little bit bigger so that I could get the clip snapped in....which you know is a pain in the butt on O-ring chains even when they fit correctly. I had two Master Links. Both were the same situation.  Think I'll purchase me one of those nifty little masterlink press gadgets soon.

Here's a comparison of the rear sprockets mounted:


Sidewinder TI-2

And, finally all buttoned up

As promised, I put the original stock 13 tooth countersprocket back on. I didn't want to pull off the swingarm and all that jazz. So, I just busted a link out of my stock chain and pulled it off the bike. Wasn't planning on needing that thing again. This turned out to be tougher task than expected. Resulted in me gaining much appreciation for the heavy duty strength of the stock DID O-ring chain.

Speaking of lube.....several wanted feedback on the Sidewinder Chain Lube specially made for O-rings. I've used it for a week of "hard service". Buy it! This stuff is good. Real Good! Goes on clear & clean. Softens up the chain in short order and does NOT dry out. My stock chain was constantly getting squeaky after a day or two of riding. Kept re-lubing with either WD40 or my old favorite PJ1 (clear for O-ring). Only lubed R² once last Saturday morning right before I headed to Camp Gruber for "hard" single track riding. Then, lots of pavement since. Put about 250 miles on the bike and she was still soft, quiet, lubricated, & ready to go.

When I got the new Smart Chain installed tonight, it was stiff. I sprayed on the Sidewinder Chain Lube and it just relaxed and fell into place. Quit hanging up on the sprocket teeth and all that. I'm telling you....there's some kind of magic in this little can. It works as advertised.

Oops...just remembered something else IMPORTANT I learned tonight. The Sidewinder chain and sprockets are made to match. I thought I would try the Smart Chain on my stock sprockets to see if I could fit a 110 link on the bike with adjusters (they go way back....if you've noticed). It fit on the countersprocket ok, BUT I COULD NOT GET IT TO ROLL AROUND THE STOCK REAR SPROCKET. The links were hanging up on the teeth. Wheel would not turn. Spacing between links and sprocket teeth did not match.

When I mounted the TI-2, the chain fit like a glove. Went on perfectly. So, that could be a BIG surprise if you didn't know better! Someone should probably buy me a milkshake for this golden nugget of advice.


An update on the Sidewinder: new sprocket & chain performed great. The Smart Chain is the darn'dest thing. I've now run 450 miles on it, about half in the dirt & mud. It still looks freshly lubed! Rolls around the clock like its freshly lubed....nice & quiet, plus I can still "hear" that lubed sound. You know, that nice sound it has after you just lubed it. That's insane! How do they do this?

I'm not telling anyone to go buy a Smart Chain. I just always wanted to try one & see if its as good as advertised. Time will tell, but so far WOW. My hope is to lube the chain and depart on a Friday evening for a long "pack-in, camp-out" with lots of hard trail riding. Usually we do over 500 miles on these kind of weekends. The chains get really dry & squeaky. Lots of mudholes & water crossings. I ain't packing chain lube in my bags. So, you see where I'm going with this test. Don't ya? I think its gonna do the trick.


2nd UPDATE:  Its Jan 2010, and I've put one year & 6,000 miles on my Sidewinder chain & sprockets.  Lots of slab, as well as lots of mean, nasty riding in the rough.  Everything has performed perfectly.  No noticeable wear anywhere.  My chain tension always stays more stretching.  And, I still only lube the chain about once every 500 miles, unless I've been out riding in the mud & water.  Then, I pull it off and clean it up in Mineral Spirits.  Put it back on and lubed it again.  I'm still in love with the Sidewinder Chainlube.  Don't think I'll ever use anything else....if I get my way.   Here is a recent photo of the rear TI-2 sprocket: