1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
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  1. #1
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    Problem with New Bike - Rear Wheel

    There is a clear plastic dish looking thing behind the cassette on my rear wheel that is snapped onto the spokes. One of the tabs broke and it is rattling around and just plain driving me nuts. Should this be replaced or should I just take it off the bike? Can it be cut off or should I take it to the LBS to have the casette pulled? (I don't have the tools to do this ). I am not sure exactly what it is for besides maybe keeping chain oil off the rear hub or a chain guide (?)

    I apologize if this question seems stupid or the answer is extremely obvious but I am just puzzled as to what I should do.

  2. #2
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    my understanding is that that peice is not necessary - its only there to protect the chain/spokes/rider in the even of the chain slipping off the big ring in back. I removed mine, and I just make sure to check my rear der alignment and limit screws before i ride.

    hope that helps!

  3. #3
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    If you're diligent about keeping your rear derailleur in proper alignment, just cut it off with some tin snips or a sturdy pair of scissors. If not, have it replaced by your LBS.

    The purpose of that plastic piece is not to keep oil from the hub but to protect your spokes from the chain in the event that the dereailleur is out of alignment and pushes the chain too far inboard and breaking some spokes.

    Duc

  4. #4
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    Make sure the lowlimit screw on the RD is set so that the chain cannot fall off the sprocket into the wheel and spokes.

    Then just bust the clear plastic spoke protector off.

    If the chain fall does off do not hammer the pedals to keep going just let-up and put the chain back on.

  5. #5
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    Thanks

    I appreciate the quick response. I guess I will get it replaced until I bceome proficient in rear derailler adjustment and alignment. IIt is too risky to just cut it off and hope that everything is adjusted properly.

    Any good websites (besides this one) that give step my step tutorials on how to adjust the deraillers? I guess this is as good a time as any to start to learn how to do this and save myself expensive service calls at the LBS.

  6. #6
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    Park tools, and Sheldon Brown, have easy to follow instructions.

  7. #7
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    "Make sure the lowlimit screw on the RD is set so that the chain cannot fall off the sprocket into the wheel and spokes."

    Thanks for the reply. Which screw is the low limit screw and how do I check that it is set so that the chain cannot fall off?

  8. #8
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    Awesome, will check them out. Thanks!

  9. #9
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    there should be two screws marked 'L' and 'H'. 'L' for lower. screw it inwards to stop drailieur and chain going into the spokes.
    better instructions on parktool.com
    i ride my bi*ch hard

  10. #10
    go chase the sunset
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    As others said, it's called a spoke protector, and it's only there in case of damage to your rear derailleur causes it to throw the chain into the spokes. It's perfectly fine to just cut it out, large numbers of people don't use them.

  11. #11
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    The plastic plate does tend to get caught in the cassette. It is needed to protect spokes and prevent the chain from getting stuck between cassette and spokes in case it falls off the lowest gear.
    Instead of the plastic , I use cable fasteners. They do the same work, but, unlike the plastic, they don't interfere with free movement of cassette. They are stringed between spots where spokes cross one another. 8 fasteners in all, 9 if you have 36 spoke wheels.
    Adjusting the "low" screw on the rear derailleur helps a lot, of course, but doesn't solve the problem completely, chain still may fall when the wheel hits bumps, particularly on a full suspension bike.

  12. #12
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    "The plastic plate does tend to get caught in the cassette. It is needed to protect spokes and prevent the chain from getting stuck between cassette and spokes in case it falls off the lowest gear.
    Instead of the plastic , I use cable fasteners. They do the same work, but, unlike the plastic, they don't interfere with free movement of cassette. They are stringed between spots where spokes cross one another. 8 fasteners in all, 9 if you have 36 spoke wheels."

    That sounds like a good alternative. So, if I iunderstand thiscorrectly, you basically zip tie around the spot where the spokes cross. I may have to try this or something similar. The plate was banging around so bad this morning on my pre-ride check that I had to cut it off.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hulvhole

    That sounds like a good alternative. So, if I iunderstand thiscorrectly, you basically zip tie around the spot where the spokes cross. I may have to try this or something similar. The plate was banging around so bad this morning on my pre-ride check that I had to cut it off.
    Trying to upload photos. My apologies for the dust on cassette and overall quality of the pictures. I haven't yet had time to clean up after today's ride . Anyway, I hope the pics give some idea of my great invention .
    Last edited by xenon; 06-05-2007 at 01:41 PM.

  14. #14
    ravingbikefiend
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    The only thing about spoke protectors that bugs me is the noise and the crud that gets between them and the lower cog so I remove them and make sure my limiter screws are set properly.

    I prefer to remove the cassette/freewheel and slip the guard off but that comes fom having the right tools.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

  15. #15
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    Thanks for taking the time to take an post the pictures, I truly appreciate it. I am looking for zip ties as I type, going to try your invention and see how it works for me. Just don't come after me for patent infrignment... lol

    I rode for 3 hours today without the protector, no problems which is a good thing but I was still paranoid that I was going to throw the chain into the spokes. Your invention will help ease my mnd until I am certain that the RD is adjusted properly and won't throw the chain.

  16. #16
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    "I prefer to remove the cassette/freewheel and slip the guard off but that comes fom having the right tools."

    I know Park Tools is pretty much the leader in tools for bikes. What would I need to pull the cassette? Do I need a cassette and a freewheel wrench? I am going to need this stuff sooner or later, might as well start getting a few basic tools that would be useful.

  17. #17
    ravingbikefiend
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    You'll need a chainwhip, the proper cassette tool and a wrench to fit the tool... and a bench vice comes in really handy.

    With a vice...

    Set the cassette tool in a vice then set the wheel's lockring into the tool so it's secure.

    You then need to wrap the chainwhip around one of the middle cogs so that it engages well and can be turned counterclockwise... do not hold the wheel while you are turning the chainwhip and know it can take a little effort to unlock the ring.

    If you use a wrench the wheel will be cog side up... you secure the cogs with the chainwhip and then use the wrench to loosen the lockring by turning it counterclockwise.

    The chainwhip should be wrapped so it is pulling the cogs clockwise and is on your right while the wrench should be 180 degrees to the left of the whip so you can draw it back counterclockwise.

    Once you do it a few times it gets pretty easy unless the lockring is really frozen in place... this is where a small bench vice can be a godsend for this and many other little jobs.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

  18. #18
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    Thanks, printing this post right now for future reference and will order the tools next week. I am sure the tools and your instructions will come in very handy n the future. I apprecaite it.

  19. #19
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    Are you sure you need to remove the cassette to take off the spoke protector? It is just a piece of plastic, I broke mine in pieces and threw them away.
    One more thing - always remember to shift up from the granny gear when you don't really need it.

  20. #20
    ravingbikefiend
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    You don't have to remove the cassette / freewheel to remove the spoke protector and can use the less subtle method of breaking / tearing it off.

    The job only takes a few minutes either way.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

  21. #21
    ravingbikefiend
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    You don't have to remove the cassette / freewheel to remove the spoke protector and can use the less subtle method of breaking / tearing it off.

    The job only takes a few minutes either way.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

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