Your Opinion: Spoke Protectors!
I have just upgraded my wheelset. Realizing that the plastic spoke protector (often reffered to as pieces of S*&%) for my old wheelset was for a 28 spoke and would not fit my new 32 spoke. I realized that I would need a new one.
I went to a LBS to ask if they had any and the guy I spoke to asked me if I wanted to know his opinion. Which of course was they are useless and serve no purpose.
My thoughts on them are:
One cheap little plastic piece that will cost me under $10CAD (if I can find one) is going to protect my $700 investment (wheelset). Now I know when the rear derailleur is properly setup (which mine is) it won't jump ship, but having had experiences in the past of sticks throwing the change up and over the largest cog and down into the spoke bed, only having had the plastic 'piece of S*&%' perhaps save me from a long walk out and a possible costly repair. I am willing to look like 'some amateur' who doesn't know how to properly setup his bike or just some 'novice rider', because I would rather protect my investment.
For a few extra grams the plastic spoke protector is going to add to my bike, I'm not going to really worry about it.
Let me know what you think!
P.S. - If you know where to get one (32 spoke) let me know!
Not worth it
If you bend your rear d and throw the chain, a stick, or something else in there it's going to destroy the spoke protector as if it wasn't there anyhow. All that thing really does is keep the chain out of the spokes if the stop screw wasn't set up correctly as you already mentioned. I9 and plenty of other high end wheels don't have them and never will.
I had a wheel come recently which had one fitted, the first in years, and I removed it. I'm not bothered at all about them looking 'stupid', I just see them as unnecessary. I set my derailleur myself and check it very regularly, so I'm as confident as I can be that I'll never 'over-shoot' the bottom gear and lodge the mech in the spokes.
If you'd rather have one installed, then that's your choice; go ahead. It will offer you some protection if your mech is poorly adjusted, but it's still far from guaranteed that you'll not end up with a spokey mess. Only proper derailleur adjustment will get you anywhere near the peace of mind you're after.
What use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings? -
Why did you upgrade you wheels?
To save weight, roll faster, or just heavier to take the beating.
If the first two then you would defeat the reasoning, if the second go for it.
$700 sounds like Crossmax XL, I dropped a chain on the XL spokes and gave it a hard crank, you can see the scratchs, but 6000+ km later all is still good.
Whoops, sorry, I paid $540CAD for DT Swiss 240s; $700 was MSRP. Sorry for the misconception.