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Spoke protector or "dork disc"

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Spoke protector or "dork disc"

Old 07-07-16, 06:28 AM
  #1  
Rstyle
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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.
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Old 07-07-16, 06:52 AM
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You don't need it if you have a good derailleur and a properly adjusted lower limit.
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Old 07-07-16, 07:35 AM
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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.
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Old 07-07-16, 07:47 AM
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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.
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Old 07-07-16, 07:55 AM
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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.
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Old 07-07-16, 08:17 AM
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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.
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Old 07-07-16, 08:55 AM
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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.
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Old 07-07-16, 09:30 AM
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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....
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Old 07-07-16, 12:01 PM
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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...
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Old 07-07-16, 12:16 PM
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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
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Old 07-07-16, 01:11 PM
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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.
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Old 07-07-16, 01:18 PM
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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.
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Old 07-07-16, 01:29 PM
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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.
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Old 07-07-16, 01:34 PM
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If you have to ask... keep one on your bike(s).
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Old 07-09-16, 01:31 PM
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Never leave home without it!
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Old 07-09-16, 02:31 PM
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I guess I object to the plastic ones when they warp. Other than that, function over form! I keep them if I have them.

http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...dork-disk.html
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Old 07-11-16, 01:15 PM
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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.
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Old 07-11-16, 05:47 PM
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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.
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Old 07-12-16, 05:40 PM
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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.
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Old 07-14-16, 02:54 AM
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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
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