Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Spoke protector or "dork disc"

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Spoke protector or "dork disc"

Old 07-07-16, 06:28 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Spoke protector or "dork disc"

Lots of threads regarding their reason to have one or to take it off.
Just wanted to tell my experience this morning for newbies like me.
Got up at 5:30am and ready to ride at 6am ( new 3 month old road bike with 587 miles)
As soon as I started I could hear a clink that sounded like some thing rubbing or touching the spokes. Stopped, checked spokes, made sure nothing ( twig) was rubbing spokes. Lifted bike and spin wheels slowly ......nothing. Got on bike and same thing again so turned around after a mile or so and went home. Put bike on stand, looked everywhere, checked spokes.......nothing. Spun wheels fast and......there it was....the plastic "dork disc" is held in place by some plastic clips catching on the spokes that were allowing the disk to move a few millimeters up and down with the spin of the wheel and make the noise. Cut it off and no more clink.
Now...should I put a new one on.............hmmmmm.
Rstyle is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 06:52 AM
Bench vise user
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 528

Bikes: 2004 Orbea Marmaloda, 1982 S12-S LTD, 1956? Maino, 1985 Sagres

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 78 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You don't need it if you have a good derailleur and a properly adjusted lower limit.
Seizedpost is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 07:35 AM
afraid of whales
Mr IGH's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Front Range, CO
Posts: 4,318
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I keep them on mountain bikes, it's easy to hit a rock/log, bend the hanger and need the DD. Road bikes are a different situation.
Mr IGH is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 07:47 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,143

Bikes: too many sparkly Italians, some sweet Americans and a couple interesting Japanese

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 151 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by Rstyle View Post
Now...should I put a new one on.............hmmmmm.
To me it is a question of what kind of owner you are, ride it until something happens or you do PM (preventative maintenance) checks. If you periodically check your drive train tune or detect a slow shift or as in your case a slight noise and respond you don't need a disc. It is like headsets, if you're the kind of person who occasionally checks the headset for looseness, periodically clean and re-lube bearings and so on you can get many thousands of miles out of a cheap headset, but if you are a wait until you have serious indexing or slop in the fork you would be better off with a King.
easyupbug is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 07:55 AM
fietsbob's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,625

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6838 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 217 Times in 180 Posts
They Do the job as intended ..

Bent dropouts (accidents happen) and the shifted chain will go past the low gear cog and cut into the spokes.

One term is describing it's function, the other one is just a disparagement out of some notion of Vanity.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-11-16 at 01:56 PM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 08:17 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,338
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 8 Posts
No shame in having a "spoke protector". They serve a useful purpose for many situations such as rough surfaces and beginners (until they get some experience with proper setup and recognizing when a chain has jumped off the large cog) and I prefer to have one when touring because it's just an extra bit of protection for all the banging around my bike might get and a pain-in-the-a** it would be to have to replace a spoke during a trip. The term "Dork Disc" is usually used by poseur weenies.
Crankycrank is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 08:55 AM
Senior Member
dsbrantjr's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 6,231

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 654 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 48 Times in 44 Posts
Your derailleur can get bent without you knowing it, like when you are parked, or when you pick up a stick or the like as mentioned earlier. I use 'em.
dsbrantjr is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 09:30 AM
The Infractionator
AlexCyclistRoch's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 2,206

Bikes: Classic road bikes: 1986 Cannondale, 1978 Trek

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 875 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The only bike I own that has the dork disc is an old Raleigh, and it's a big, chromed thing that really just looks right where it is. Plastic?, Nah, toss it....
AlexCyclistRoch is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 12:01 PM
Retired dabbler
hobkirk's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Acton, MA (20 miles west of Boston) - GORGEOUS cycling territory!
Posts: 770

Bikes: 2007 Specialized Roubaix Elite Triple - 1st ride = century 9/19/2010 , Ultegra

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I use one when I have one that still has the tabs. It seems to me it weighs nothing, it MIGHT protect the spokes under unusual circumstances (but the "unusual" does happen), and it MIGHT cut down on rain and/grit getting onto the chain and cassette. Why not?

PS - I remember a group ride where one of the guys was explaining to a woman (everybody was very experienced cycling) how the disc was not needed and he had the tools in his car and would be glad to remove it at ride's end. My thoughts: The disc isn't the "dork" in this picture...
hobkirk is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 12:16 PM
staring at the mountains
superdex's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 4,280

Bikes: Fairdale Goodship, Spesh Crux

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 277 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
They do serve a purpose; you must choose wisely.

Coworker's son's bike. Dork disk saved the wheel when the rear derailleur was out of adjustment and shifted past the largest cog:
Attached Images
superdex is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 01:11 PM
Senior Member
Andy_K's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 12,053

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 288 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1739 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 18 Posts
This is what can happen if you don't have one and need it.

Besides the obvious damage you can see most of the drive side spokes were cut.

I'm pretty sure the rear derailleur was properly adjusted at the start of the day, but thick mud got it into the spokes.

Even having had this happen, I don't have them on any of my bikes. I would agree that it's a good idea for touring.
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 01:18 PM
Journeyman Bike Commuter
Phil_gretz's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 5,033

Bikes: '71 Jeunet 630, '79 Peugeot PXN10LE, '83 Fuji America, '88 Fuji Saratoga, '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc, '16 Motobecane Gran Premio Elite, '18 Velobuild VB-R-022

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 567 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 51 Posts
I also recommend keeping the spoke protector. I don't remove mine, because despite the fact that I'm careful about bike maintenance, unexpected things do happen. A sudden movement of the derailleur cage into your spokes...and you have a big problem to solve, especially if it's miles from home or a town with a reasonable chance of repair. Nope, I keep the spoke protectors on my bikes, and on the bikes that I build for others.
Phil_gretz is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 01:29 PM
The Left Coast, USA
FrenchFit's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,714

Bikes: Bulls, Bianchi, Koga, Trek, Miyata

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 328 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 7 Posts
Besides function:

Have to say, I like vintage chromed dork disks...artful. Especially when they are designed to complement the bike's crankset. The modern plastic ones, well not so much. Though, I saw a black carbon looking one on a CF bike, it was nice match. I'd leave that one on.
FrenchFit is offline  
Old 07-07-16, 01:34 PM
ThermionicScott's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 18,472

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2028 Post(s)
Liked 99 Times in 82 Posts
If you have to ask... keep one on your bike(s).
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 07-09-16, 01:31 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,816
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 302 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Never leave home without it!
davidad is offline  
Old 07-09-16, 02:31 PM
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
Darth Lefty's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 9,507

Bikes: '76 Paramount, Salsa Timberjack, Burley Samba, Terra Trike

Mentioned: 58 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1480 Post(s)
Liked 93 Times in 63 Posts
I guess I object to the plastic ones when they warp. Other than that, function over form! I keep them if I have them.

Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 07-11-16, 01:15 PM
Senior Member
ramzilla's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: 10% Atlanta GA 90% Fernandina FL
Posts: 2,457

Bikes: Vintage Japanese Bicycles

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 397 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
The problem I've been having is finding one that fits...... On my older bikes with freewheels it's no problem, the spoke protectors have a specific size hole in the middle that fits perfectly around the hub and remains firmly in position. On all the later model bikes with free hubs it is a problem. The spoke protector has tiny little clips that fasten to the spokes. These little clips are unreliable at best. And, new replacement spoke protector clips may not properly fit the spoke pattern of the oldwheel. So, some of my bikes are now going commando.
ramzilla is offline  
Old 07-11-16, 05:47 PM
Senior Member
drlogik's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,056

Bikes: '87-ish Pinarello Montello; '89 Nishiki Ariel; '85 Raleigh Wyoming, '16 Wabi Special, '16 Wabi Classic, '14 Kona Cinder Cone

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 395 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 17 Times in 9 Posts
On a road bike they really aren't needed. On a mountain bike? I think folks are foolish for not running with one. Bad things can happen to a derailleur when mountain biking and if the chain goes deep between the freewheel and the spokes you're looking at a an expensive repair, a possible tumble off the bike and/or a walk home. Just my opinion.
drlogik is offline  
Old 07-12-16, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 434
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Theoretically they're unnecessary but bicyclists have t-boned me, I've kicked a stick into the spokes, someone bent my derailleur at a hitching post... the derailleur (long cage to accommodate a 34-tooth cog) has engaged the spokes, bent it, the hanger, the spokes, the rim - so I use a cheap plastic model. Because bad events happen perhaps once every 8 years it's hard to prove it makes a difference.
RandomTroll is offline  
Old 07-14-16, 02:54 AM
Senior Member
Pukeskywalker's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 389

Bikes: '93 Cannondale T-1000, '03 Cannondale R800

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I forgot to adjust my RD on a new bike build and seriously messed up the rear wheel. The bike locked up after the shift and I almost ate pavement

That lesson was enough to never need one, but I'll put one of a bike if it's for someone else to be extra safe
Pukeskywalker is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Electric Bikes
05-23-18 07:36 PM
Electric Bikes
04-16-18 07:47 AM
General Cycling Discussion
03-23-18 09:47 PM
Unknown Cyclist
Electric Bikes
04-25-10 05:52 PM
Electric Bikes
10-18-09 01:54 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.