The Bronson carbon may have a thin rubber piece on the down tube, but that linkage is out there exposed. The Bronson aluminum doesn't even have that. My protection plates protect against rocks, and even help keep the linkage a little cleaner. Here's a link to my ad and some pics of the plates:
Rock protection for Santa Cruz and Niner frames - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories
The Bronson aluminum:
The Bronson carbon (sorry for the crappy pics). I had to use tape to attach the plate to take the picture; I couldn't cut out the water bottle mounting holes since this bike was borrowed.
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