do i need the plastic spoke protector?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    do i need the plastic spoke protector?

    not sure if that what its called, but do i need the plastic piece in between the cassete and the spokes? mine is kinda cracked. can i remove it? or just grab a new one?
    29er's are Goofy

  2. #2
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    I've seen a lot of bikes that had it removed, but I leave mine on in case the chain comes off and tries to go between the cassette and spokes. I could see the spokes getting mangled if it happened. I could be wrong.

  3. #3
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    If you have a bike that is properly adjusted, NO you do not need one. HOwever with lower end parts sometimes the tolerances are not as tight and your RD if it's one of those may still have enough "wiggle room" when adjusted to get over into the spokes, so doesn't hurt to leave it on - I always remove mine, no matter what bike and never had issues, from Alivio to XT.
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  4. #4
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    got a enduro expert. sram XO derailer
    29er's are Goofy

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokfir2
    got a enduro expert. sram XO derailer
    If you feel confident that you can keep it adjusted so as not to drop the chain off the big cog, AND have the sense of feel to know when it has been dropped before you try to pedal hard and do more damage, then you can get rid of it.
    Last edited by kapusta; 12-03-2010 at 06:47 AM.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  6. #6
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBowles
    I've seen a lot of bikes that had it removed, but I leave mine on in case the chain comes off and tries to go between the cassette and spokes. I could see the spokes getting mangled if it happened. I could be wrong.
    It happened to me.

    Everything was adjusted OK... until I bent the derailer hanger during that ride....

    Didn't break the spokes but caused visible damage. And later on those spokes started breaking.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  7. #7
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    Take it off and throw it away. Those things cause more issues than they solve.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Take it off and throw it away. Those things cause more issues than they solve.
    What issues do they cause?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  9. #9
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    They're not the most robust things, and can easily spin, make noise, rub, have sections break off, clog, etc. If your drivetrain is adjusted properly, you don't really need one, and if you're super paranoid about putting a derailleur in the spokes then just limit out the big cog.

  10. #10
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    As others have said, if you have confidence in the adjustment of your rear derailleur you can take the dork disk off. I guess it could save you in the event of a slightly bent derailleur arm or hanger, but I've only ever seen the spectacular form of this kind of failure first hand so far where the whole derailleur gets ingested by the spokes.

    They do tend to break/come off on their own after a bit of trail use IME and collect a bunch of dirt and grime and make it harder to clean the inside of the cassette w/o taking it off the hub.

  11. #11
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    do they make a aftermarket one? amayby somthing better than the crappy cheap plastic ones?
    29er's are Goofy

  12. #12
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    I had the little tabs break off and mine became loose. I removed it and then had my chain come off once. You have to make sure you stay tuned or only shift on to the big cog with care. It was more trouble than it was worth after being removed, so I had another put on. No more issues.
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  13. #13
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    Geez, I feel ripped off - my new ride came without the dork disc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokfir2
    do they make a aftermarket one? amayby somthing better than the crappy cheap plastic ones?
    Sure, they're called pie pans and you guy them at the grocery store.
    Now go home and get your ******* shinebox.

  15. #15
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    i use the big cog alot when riding my local trail, always shifting it. sometimes quick and underpressure.. i guess i should leave on.
    29er's are Goofy

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSharks
    Sure, they're called pie pans and you guy them at the grocery store.
    sorry for not being as knowledgeable as you on bicycles.
    29er's are Goofy

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokfir2
    i use the big cog alot when riding my local trail, always shifting it. sometimes quick and underpressure.. i guess i should leave on.
    Take it off and make sure your derailleur is adjusted properly, especially its limits. Also, don't shift under pressure.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Take it off and make sure your derailleur is adjusted properly, especially its limits. Also, don't shift under pressure.
    nuthing serious. somtimes just gotta shift goin uphill
    29er's are Goofy

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokfir2
    nuthing serious. somtimes just gotta shift goin uphill
    Just pedal light while it shifts.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokfir2
    sorry for not being as knowledgeable as you on bicycles.
    I meant no offense- just was the first 'witty' thing that popped into my head. TBH, as long as you keep an eye on your chain, der. setup, and the teeth on your cassette, I wouldn't think you'd have an issue... and in reality, I'd be more concerned with it snapping off while riding (you don't want to leave that lying out in the woods anyway).

    EDIT- try not to shift at all going uphill- it puts tremendous pressure on your chain. Better to jump off and walk, imo.
    Now go home and get your ******* shinebox.

  21. #21
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    so all i gotta do is keep an eye on the derailer limit and adjust the "L' screw if nessary.

    shown here at 1:30

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt0ZZm3jTlM
    29er's are Goofy

  22. #22
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    lose it, i never had a prob

  23. #23
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    ughh!

    I refrained from commenting for a bit.

    "do i need the plastic spoke protector?"

    Yes, if you want to look like a complete noob.

    Lose it. If your rear derailleur upper set screw is properly adjusted, the chain isn't going past the large cog.

    Same thing with factory supplied spoke reflectors.

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  24. #24
    local trails rider
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    nokfir2,

    I suppose you get the idea: the dork disc is seriously UNCOOL!

    Having it on your bike will wake up the Fashion Police in no time.

    I you cannot get it off, you need to buy another wheel.

    ---
    actually, I am trying to remember if anyone has ever said the disc caused them any real problems. No, I cannot remember anyone having mentioned any real problems in addition to the uncoolness. "spin, make noise, rub, have sections break off, clog, etc" don't count as serious problems. Damaged spokes after bending the derailer hanger do.

    Anybody want to refresh my memory further?

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  25. #25
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    i cut it off.

    i got alil confused adjusting the derailer cuz i didnt see it really move when i adjusted the L screw. so i turned it all the way in until it wouldnt shift into the low gear. then opened it 1/4 turns until it would shift into it.
    29er's are Goofy

  26. #26
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    I have removed it from all my bikes (2) and had no problem, keep your rear derailer in tune!
    You can make me grow old, but you can't make me grow up!

  27. #27
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    My rear wheel ate a derailleur last tuesday. The plastic ring that was on there did nothing to stop it. If broke 2 spokes, bent the week to hell, blew up the derailleur, and bent the hanger.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Anybody want to refresh my memory further?
    They may not count as "serious" problems, but for all the good a protector does, it's not worth it.

    If you bend the derailleur hanger enough to send it into the wheel, then you're generally going to pull the end of the pulley cage into the wheel, not the body itself. The protector, unless it's huge, isn't going to protect from that.

    Also, ask the long time riders here if a protector would have ever been useful. With very few exceptions the answer will be "no". Personally, in over 15 years of riding, there's never a time when a spoke protector would have been useful.

  29. #29
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    i take them off and fashion them into throwing stars. lethal man.

  30. #30
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    What is safe for sure.
    It would not have existed if not needed.
    Regardless of what was a well tuned bicycle, plastic there as prevention, if something goes wrong.
    Unless you are profi biker who is an expert in setting up and maintaining the bike - then you should not need the plastic.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by infoman66
    What is safe for sure.
    It would not have existed if not needed.
    That's crap. A bicycle, and life in general, is full of useless crap which is just there for the lawyers.

  32. #32
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    Well just this evening I put the chain over the 36t when just messing around in the yard under low load. Felt it "hit neutral"? Stopped and looked down - sure enough the chain was in between the 36 and the pie plate. I had replaced a derailleur a couple of rides ago and forgotten to adjust the top limit!! (apparently I did a double-shift click up form the 32)
    Boy did I get lucky. On my real rides I never use 36 anyways. But, I guess it did something as I probably did 3-4 crank rotations in neutral. Under load, who knows.... would probably just have lunched it but saved some spokes?
    Last edited by Noclutch; 12-06-2010 at 12:48 PM.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by infoman66
    It would not have existed if not needed.
    loads of stuff exists that has no pratical value.

  34. #34
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    Nearly 20 years riding 4 different rigs, the first three which came with dork discs, none of which ever served any actual purpose other than to age, turn yellow and brittle, and eventually break up and fall off. No one I ride with has one and at least some higher-end mtbs seem to be built without them altogether anymore.

    I'm willing to live on the edge risking the chain/spoke catastrophic failure thing.

  35. #35
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    I had a pie plate screw up the freewheeling function on one of my bikes a while ago. It didn't cause bad enough chain suck to actually damage anything, but it was pretty annoying and I was afraid the freewheel needed to be replaced until I figured it out.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    I had a pie plate screw up the freewheeling function on one of my bikes a while ago. It didn't cause bad enough chain suck to actually damage anything, but it was pretty annoying and I was afraid the freewheel needed to be replaced until I figured it out.
    Had the same thing happen on a mates bike yesterday
    7km in to our 35 ride his chain snaps - urelated to the dork disc but [I had repeatedly told him to stop changing under load] as I was fixing it with a SRAM power link I noticed the free hub was not turning smothly.
    A quick check revelled a broken dork disk, a couple of the tabs had broken off causing it to run off centre rubbing on the free hub body.
    On the side of the track we hacked it off.

    A very important point.
    This was not some cheap old hack.
    His bike is a 6 month old 2010 Giant Anthem 3

    I picked up my new 2011 Giant Trance X1 2 months ago, forst thing I did was chop the stupid dork disk off

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Also, ask the long time riders here if a protector would have ever been useful. With very few exceptions the answer will be "no". Personally, in over 15 years of riding, there's never a time when a spoke protector would have been useful.
    About 5 years ago it would have prevented spoke damage, when I bent the derailer hanger just enough to get the chain in the spokes.

    Soon after that I went singlespeed.

    ... So my answer to the original question is:

    If you have it on your bike, don't bother to take it off.
    Having it will not cause you any problems and could save you some headaches and money.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    If you have it on your bike, don't bother to take it off.
    Having it will not cause you any problems and could save you some headaches and money.
    Not true at all.
    Check my post above yours, that only happened on Sunday.
    In the 22 years I have been associated with MTB all I have ever seen them do is turn brittle, yellow, crack, rattle and generally be a PITA.
    If the one on my mates Anthen can't last 6 months with out failing get rid of the stupid thing

  39. #39
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    Your dork disc made the freehub run a bit sticky, so you had to take it off?

    I'd have preferred that to the damaged spokes that I got without one.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    About 5 years ago it would have prevented spoke damage, when I bent the derailer hanger just enough to get the chain in the spokes.

    Soon after that I went singlespeed.

    ... So my answer to the original question is:

    If you have it on your bike, don't bother to take it off.
    Having it will not cause you any problems and could save you some headaches and money.
    For me it was 1 year ago. 5 spokes needed replacing.
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  41. #41
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    Face it, we all look pretty dorky in our helmets and lycra, taking off the dork disk is not going to change that!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokfir2
    not sure if that what its called, but do i need the plastic piece in between the cassete and the spokes? mine is kinda cracked. can i remove it? or just grab a new one?
    Has it occurred to anyone that the the reason dork discs never seem to do anything is because they (the discs) have done their job?

    Seriously, before you say that they never do anything, how would you know that they did, considering what they do is keep the chain from falling off the big cog?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  43. #43
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    I dont know why all the fuss everytime someone talk about this little plastic disc.

    Seriously...

    To remouve it,you need to take off the wheel and cassette... To remouve something that is basicly there to protect.

    Just keep it there and dont bother with such small insignifiant details.Enjoy riding instead.
    Life is short-Live it full throttle !!

  44. #44
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    If the plate is cracked, you'd better break it off. Otherwise sooner or later it will interfere with the cassette.
    Instead of the plate, if you want to protect the spokes just in case, you may use zip ties, like in the pics:
    https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/5.../fasteners.jpg
    https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/5...fasteners2.jpg

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokfir2
    not sure if that what its called, but do i need the plastic piece in between the cassete and the spokes? mine is kinda cracked. can i remove it? or just grab a new one?
    Is there ANYTHING we mtbr folk will not spend two pages arguing about?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokfir2
    do they make a aftermarket one? amayby somthing better than the crappy cheap plastic ones?
    If they did and it were an aniodized billet or titanium version with custom lazer etched graphics or lettering, then only the really cool guys would have them
    Me, I settle for a plain aluminum one.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Is there ANYTHING we mtbr folk will not spend two pages arguing about?
    Hehe, was thinking the same thing.

    I personally forcibly removed mine from my Rockhopper and have left them on my Roubaix and my Camber for now (will probably wind up pulling the one from my Camber sooner or later if it doesn't commit seppuku first). Haven't had any chain suck or bent derailleur issues on any of them so far, but I did get hit in the helmet by shards of my friend's spoke protector as it self destructed while riding behind him. Another good reason to wear eye protection at all times.

  48. #48
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    You should remove the dork disc. It will cause more issues then it solves, and they just dont look clean at all.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by mumbles
    Face it, we all look pretty dorky in our helmets and lycra, taking off the dork disk is not going to change that!

    :laugh: !!!WINNER!!! :laugh:

  50. #50
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    I saw a nice lightweight metal spoke protector on a friend's bike a while ago. It was a LeMond and I believe the guard came stock, so I have no idea where to find one. Maybe a Trek dealer would know.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenon
    If the plate is cracked, you'd better break it off. Otherwise sooner or later it will interfere with the cassette.
    Instead of the plate, if you want to protect the spokes just in case, you may use zip ties, like in the pics:
    https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/5.../fasteners.jpg
    https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/5...fasteners2.jpg
    Yep, zip ties on the spokes looks a LOT less dorky......

  52. #52
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    My 1970s something road bike has a metal one too. I took the one off my mtb because it broke and it looks dorky. Im too lazy to take it off all my other bikes
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  53. #53
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    Leave it on

    I have ruined 2 wheels because of the chain shifting into the spokes. The first instance occurred due to the lower limit screw of the RD being out of adjustment. The second time the screw was adjusted correctly but I down shifted too quickly when transitioning from downhill to uphill and threw the chain in the spokes anyway. Perhaps these instances were caused by poor maintenance and operator error (don't down shift too quickly while pedaling uphill if you can help it) but both instances could have been prevented with a spoke protector. If you care more about how your bike looks than how it operates, go ahead and take it off, but if you don't want to take the chance of ruining your wheel, leave it on.

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