My bike came with a inner and outer chain guards (those two plates that attach to the inner and outer sides of the chainring). 30 miles ago I removed them and so far my chain did not drop, even on rough and unpaved trails.
Am I setting myself for a failure is it reasonable to have a single chainring with no guard?
My configuration: 40T single chainring, 11/32 9spd cassette, X.9 short cage dérailleur and a SRAM PC 951 chain length of max/max + two links. The center to center distance from chain ring to rear axle is 18". The bike has full suspension but the bottom bracket and the rear axle are attached rigidly with no relative movement between them.
I have this chain guard http://www.e13components.com/product_xcx.html but prefer not to install it unless if I have to.