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  1. #1
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    Avoiding a gash on your leg from 3rd chainring / Front Derailleur

    Been SS'ing for a while and just got a geared 3 x 10 bike. During my first good trail ride yesterday one of my main worries was that I'd gash open the inside of my leg on not only the large chainring but also front derailleur. That thing is sharp and only an inch away from my inner leg during pedaling. Didn't have any issues but I could see on a leaning left turn my leg smacking it or a fall the right way could dig deep.

    Is it generally accepted that this is one of the risks of biking? What do you guys do to ensure your ride doesn't end with stitches?

  2. #2
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    Part of the reason you see lots of bikes with bash guards, most don't normally use their big ring anyways...

    Other option would be some sort of shin guard with something on the back.

  3. #3
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    Htfu and deal is another choice. I gouged my calf on my chainring exactly once. You'll learn. I frequently get grease marks though

  4. #4
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    I gouge mine fairly regularly. Doesn't hurt. I think the grease helps the teeth slide into the flesh easier, so don't worry about it.
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  5. #5
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    The grease in the cuts, (especially from worn, sharpened chainrings), forms Mountain Biker tatoos, (Free!), Wear them proudly!


    Actually, I've been riding for 25 years, and have only cut myself on my chainring a couple of times, all from crashes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZmyDust View Post
    Been SS'ing for a while and just got a geared 3 x 10 bike. During my first good trail ride yesterday one of my main worries was that I'd gash open the inside of my leg on not only the large chainring but also front derailleur. That thing is sharp and only an inch away from my inner leg during pedaling. Didn't have any issues but I could see on a leaning left turn my leg smacking it or a fall the right way could dig deep.

    Is it generally accepted that this is one of the risks of biking? What do you guys do to ensure your ride doesn't end with stitches?
    Regarding the large ring: If you are riding clipped in, I think this is quite rare. Do you find yourself scraping your calf against the single ring you have now?

    If you are really worried about it, get a bash-guard in place of the big ring.

    FD? I think that risk is extremely low. Never heard of anyone cutting themselves on that.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  7. #7
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    Im in the same boat, just got a new bike and the chainring is sharp! I usually have on shin guards, but sometimes it's too hot. I think the bash guard will be the solution for me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZmyDust View Post
    Been SS'ing for a while and just got a geared 3 x 10 bike. During my first good trail ride yesterday one of my main worries was that I'd gash open the inside of my leg on not only the large chainring but also front derailleur. That thing is sharp and only an inch away from my inner leg during pedaling. Didn't have any issuesThere is your answer but I could see on a leaning left turn my leg smacking it or a fall the right way could dig deep.

    Is it generally accepted that this is one of the risks of biking? What do you guys do to ensure your ride doesn't end with stitches?Ride smoothly and in control
    About the only time it becomes an issue is during a slow speed twisting fall....

    Oh yeah and SS have the same problem in those falls.

  9. #9
    All fat, all the time.
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    Bash guard!

  10. #10
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    Ya, bash guard, it will give you peace of mind at the very least.

  11. #11
    'Tis but a scratch
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    You are really worrying about something unnecessarily. A bashguard's purpose is to avoid bashing up your chainring on rocks and such. Its not a leg protector. I guess if it makes you feel better then spend some $. But, as said already, you are not going to get eaten up while pedaling. But, in a crash situation...who knows.

    PS I kind of like the grease tattoo. Especially when you can really make out a good arc of several teeth.

  12. #12
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    Yes I ride clipped in and I never thought about it on the Monocog because that truvativ crank had a sort of bash guard stock on it. I think I'm gonna suck it up and pay attention not get sliced. Don't really want to remove any rings at this time, I like having all these gears!

  13. #13
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    Why is this even an issue? Just get some shin pads. You'll never regret wearing them.

  14. #14
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    I "discovered" my big ring a few weeks ago. Lately I have been using it regularly when going downhill. It quiets down chain rattle a lot, and I find it helps to add a little power on the little flat and uphill areas -- I feel more in control if I have this option available to me.

    And, if you crash you will be protected from the teeth by the chain. That said, I have received several bike injuries, but none from the big ring.

    BTW, I read Ned Overend's Mountain Bike Like a Champion book and he likes his big ring too. Give it a try!

  15. #15
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    It's not really a gash...



    I didn't even know I did it until it was pointed out to me while I was taking a break. I was riding clipped in that day and flopped over at one point without getting out. Must have somehow done it during that little event.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_J View Post
    It's not really a gash...



    I didn't even know I did it until it was pointed out to me while I was taking a break. I was riding clipped in that day and flopped over at one point without getting out. Must have somehow done it during that little event.
    And it's on the outside of your leg, not the inside against the ring! That's where I got mine too!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by EABiker View Post
    And it's on the outside of your leg, not the inside against the ring! That's where I got mine too!
    You noticed!

    LOL, thought I was the only one!

  18. #18
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    I dont see why this is an issue, been riding on and off since I was about 5 years old. never had this issue with any of the bikes I had or rode. I am not worried about it. I just figure if it happens, it was gonna happen regardless.

    I have however had the grease tatoos, but so far no cuts or gashes from the chain ring.

    If you think about it, if you remove the outer most one, you are not getting rid of the problem, you will still have an outer most ring that this could happen to you on anyway, so no matter what, you will have the chance of the ring bitting you. The only thing you will accomplish by romoving the out ring is lessening the amount of gears you have available to you while you ride.

  19. #19
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    I was reading this thread a couple of days ago and thought- in all my year of riding (just started mtn biking last July at the ripe age of 39) this hasn't happened to me yet.

    Well it did yesterday on a ride, hit a rock with the right pedal on the down stroke and it tossed the rear of the bike to the left. Some how I gathered it up and ended up on my feet with the bike still between my legs.

    Didn't know I was wounded until I got back to the trail head. Mine is on the inside.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Avoiding a gash on your leg from 3rd chainring / Front Derailleur-chain-ring-tracks.jpg  

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by huffster View Post
    Especially when you can really make out a good arc of several teeth.
    I wish I had taken pictures, but a while back I was trying to get my old pedals off to put new ones on. Hercules must have put the old ones on. I had my bike upside down, leaning over it, all my weight on the wrench, the pedal finally broke free, I fell forward over the bike right onto the big chain ring. It looked like a shark had attacked me. Lesson learned from that was to put the chain on the biggest ring when removing the pedals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_J View Post
    I didn't even know I did it until it was pointed out to me while I was taking a break. I was riding clipped in that day and flopped over at one point without getting out. Must have somehow done it during that little event.
    Did this a couple weeks ago, I had stopped for something, went to get moving again and somehow managed to twist my leg underneath the chain ring. It was only when I get home that I actually noticed it was fairly deep, and only then did it become painful as I tried to wash the grease/dirt out of it.

  21. #21
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    Man those cuts

  22. #22
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    how about this - Bike Leg Strap - Leg Shield

  23. #23
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    just wait til you have to scrape hair and meat off the middle ring.
    If you arent bleeding, you arent riding hard enough.
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  24. #24
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    Your mountain biking. Gashes come with the game. As do cuts, scrapes, bumps, bruises, and the occasional broken bone. You could possibly even die in certain circumstances. HTFU and ride!
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  25. #25
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    I got the gash a few times. Still have the marks. I've removed the large ring and replaced with a bash guard. I'm very happy with that decision and you will be too. It's rare to 'need' the big ring. I don't miss it at all and now ride with out that concern. Never get a bloody leg anymore. By the way... The gash would usually happen when dismounting in a 'hairy' situation and having the bike continue with forward momentum allowing big ring to smash into lower leg.

  26. #26
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    Mine is always right on the back of my leg. I haven't had as many problems with that this year. Last year the back of my leg was always sliced open. Maybe I am wearing those gears down now. LOL.

  27. #27
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    Invest in a bashguard and shinguards

    Chainrings and calfs don't mix well!! Just tore a 1/4 inch deep 8 CM long gash in my leg this afternoon.....13 stitches later, off the bike for 1 - 2 months, which in Oregon's sunny summers is precious and rainless time to lose.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Avoiding a gash on your leg from 3rd chainring / Front Derailleur-photo-7-.jpg  


  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBPDX View Post
    Chainrings and calfs don't mix well!! Just tore a 1/4 inch deep 8 CM long gash in my leg this afternoon.....13 stitches later, off the bike for 1 - 2 months, which in Oregon's sunny summers is precious and rainless time to lose.
    Not sure why that little scrape would keep you OTB for 1-2 months!

  29. #29
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    Time to dredge this up and report that I had opted to ride as is no bash guard. Lots of on and off road riding since, and it happened! Of course it didn't happen riding, but when putting it up in the stand Very mild.


  30. #30
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    **it happens
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Avoiding a gash on your leg from 3rd chainring / Front Derailleur-uploadfromtaptalk1348576506067.jpg  

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  31. #31
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    If anyone is still on the fence about getting a bash guard I would STRONGLY recommend it. This happened when I wasn't even on the bike after successfully making it down a fairly complicated run. I was standing with my feet down on either side of my bike trying to turn it around on some loose rocks when it lurched forward.

    Initially i thought the pedal had spun around and hit me in the back of the calf.. but no, it was the razor sharp teeth on the outer ring. I was probably about a mile away from any major road. I tied my shirt around my leg and coasted on my bike/hobbled to a trail exit.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Avoiding a gash on your leg from 3rd chainring / Front Derailleur-img_20120629_212826.jpg  

    Avoiding a gash on your leg from 3rd chainring / Front Derailleur-img_20120629_212833.jpg  

    Avoiding a gash on your leg from 3rd chainring / Front Derailleur-img_20120702_212226.jpg  


  32. #32
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    And the stitches..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Avoiding a gash on your leg from 3rd chainring / Front Derailleur-img_20120702_212226.jpg  


  33. #33
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    Kill the bike, and live another day ... That's been my motto for decades.
    Get the heck away from it, if at all posssible.

    Damn trekkyrider
    I can feel that through on my monitor.

  34. #34
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    trekkyrider,
    I feel your pain (literally). Had a very similar cut, but near my ankle. Had to ride home on one leg. Another couple fractions of an inch and the tendon would have been cut. Not fun having sand and grease swabbed out of there with betadine.

    Just remembering it makes me want to convert the new bike to 2x. Rarely use the fleshsaw ring anyway…

    Heal fast and well!

  35. #35
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    Ha yeah I was worried i'd gotten a tendon or the muscle but fortunately it was just fat tissue. THe most painful part was the intramuscular antibiotic shot. That was like pumping liquid fire into my entire leg.

    I haven't missed the large ring. I'm thinking about getting the chain adjusted though because I've been noticing quite a bit of chain slap that occasionally pops the chain into another gear.

  36. #36
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    Yeah, forgot about the shot part. I had to get six internal stitches and twelve external. Soon after the stitches were out my girlfriend and I had a fight, I got drunk and kicked something which opened the cut:



    Since it couldn't be restitched, I had to let it fill in. Wish I could go back 20 years and tell myself not to be such an ass. Please note the small scab, where I got bit again a few weeks ago

    Back on topic, thanks again for the reminder. I think I smell a new order from Race Face coming up. The question is basic black, or blue to match the bike.

  37. #37
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    I got gashed down my calf too with platforms. I hit the bottom of a drop and my leg ripped right
    down the ring when I hit the bottom. Now it's clipless and 2x bash for me. The clipless pedals
    seem enough on their own though. I like the bash on the rocks and trees mainly.

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