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Spoke Protectors and Dork Disks specs expanded

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Spoke Protectors and Dork Disks specs expanded

Old 06-14-21, 01:56 PM
  #1  
preventec47
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Spoke Protectors and Dork Disks specs expanded

I trashed some spokes on my tandem when the chain skipped over the large sprocket and for all the headache, cost and aggravation......
if I had known about spoke protectors I would have had one long ago because I am unashamedly a "dork" based on my cost-benefit analysis..
It seems the going price is about 7 or 8 bucks on Amazon and I dont see how there could be any money better spent in this sport. If there are some
deluxe exotic brands that cost double triple, bring em on. I am ready to splurge. I have a 34 tooth shimano largest 9 speed sprocket so that gives me diameter,
but I see various options some with 3 hooks and some with 4 hooks. I have no idea what that means. I do have 36 spokes and am using
a DT-Swiss ONYX hub and shimano cassette . I mention because it appears that some of the spoke protectors have larger and smaller internal holes depending
on the hub thread size ( my guess ) . Lastly, is there a better source than Amazon ? Maybe some bike part suppliers who kind of specialize in
wheel components etc. ( maybe the cassette needs to come off first to measure the threads ? )
I wanted to obtain this spoke protector before taking my wheel to the bike shop to have them re-lace some new spokes into my wheel and know for sure
that I have the most optimum selection of components.

The specific spokes to get is another question but I will leave it to the bike shop to figure which are the right best spokes to get. My plan is to replace
all nine spokes that face the sprocket.

Source and specific model suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 06-14-21, 02:06 PM
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I've never done the discs. (Never bought a bike that came with them and BITD I wolr have immediately taken them off.) But I am pretty sure you need the number of hooks corresponding to your spoke number. 36 spoke; 18 per side. 18 / 3 = 6; a whole number. So get a 3 hook protector.

And yes, I call them dork discs but as I said in that other thread, I will not state whether the dorks are the users or those who don't.
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Old 06-14-21, 02:07 PM
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The choice between 3 and 4 hooks depends on the spoke count and what it's divided by evenly. A 36H wheel uses a 3-hook protector (36/3 = 12) and a 32 H wheel uses a 4-hook (32/4= 8). The hooks have to go into symmetrically spaced gaps in the spokes at the hub flange.

As to quality, they are pretty much just a plastic or metal disc so buy the cheapest one with the right hook count that is made to use with a cassette, no a freewheel.

As to spokes, DT, Sapim and Wheelsmith are all excellent quality. You shop should have one or more of these brands.
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Old 06-14-21, 02:34 PM
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I'm not fond of the plastic spoke protectors. They get brittle and disintegrate in a couple years. The ones that use hooks tend to break off the hooks and then slip out of place. The better ones have a metal disc that is held in place by the sprocket cluster. The most durable ones are all metal (usually aluminum, sometimes steel).
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Old 06-14-21, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I'm not fond of the plastic spoke protectors. They get brittle and disintegrate in a couple years. The ones that use hooks tend to break off the hooks and then slip out of place. The better ones have a metal disc that is held in place by the sprocket cluster. The most durable ones are all metal (usually aluminum, sometimes steel).
In an ideal world metal would be better, but some protection is better than none. I use chain catchers up front, too. Nothing ruins a nice ride like prying a greasy chain out of a tight spot.
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Old 06-14-21, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by preventec47 View Post
Lastly, is there a better source than Amazon ? Maybe some bike part suppliers who kind of specialize in
wheel components etc. ( maybe the cassette needs to come off first to measure the threads ? )
I wanted to obtain this spoke protector before taking my wheel to the bike shop to have them re-lace some new spokes into my wheel and know for sure
that I have the most optimum selection of components.
Ask the bike shop if they have any spoke protectors. They might not have anything that has the looks you want but they may have some they just want to get rid of and probably cheaper than ordering online.
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Old 06-14-21, 04:51 PM
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and this
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Old 06-14-21, 06:39 PM
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Get a metal one. Plastic gets broken easily, and may not have saved anything during your last incident. My wheel has a few fragments of plastic hanging on, after an incident I shared recently.

It may be worthwhile making one yourself out of sheet aluminum. If you do, keep in mind, these disks are not flat. They follow the angle of the spokes. So you need to be creative. If I ever made one, I would make it larger than the ones they sell.

Here is a business idea for someone. Make these out of aluminum, larger than those normally for sale. You can then mail them around the world.

Then there is carbon fiber. You can sell them for a higher price.
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Old 06-14-21, 06:52 PM
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You could buy a stainless steel plate, then instead of eating your lunch off it, cut a hole in the middle, and use it as a spoke protector. You would need a plate the right size and shape, and be creative when fitting it.

Have you ever wondered why I haven't posted pictures of my bike?

Last edited by alo; 06-14-21 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 06-14-21, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
Have you ever wondered why I haven't posted pictures of my bike?
Post #9 in the "Might Look Stupid" thread.This might look stupid but I love the ergonomics. .
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Old 06-14-21, 09:34 PM
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The best thing to do is make sure your derailleur limit screws are set properly. A chain won't magically go into the spokes if it can't. If your derailleur hanger breaks or bends or you do damage to the actual derailleur or both that little plastic disc probably won't save you or your spokes.

Cracked yellow plastic doesn't ever look good but it is a common color on spoke protectors and can also cause issues with cassette and freehub not allowing it to move properly which can be dangerous or at least very annoying. I have dealt with a few issues that were caused by the spoke protector.

Care and maintenance of the bike is more important to me than adding a plastic disc, which may not save me.
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Old 06-14-21, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by preventec47 View Post
My plan is to replace all nine spokes that face the sprocket.
I think the best thing to do in this situation, is to replace all 18 spokes on the drive side with thick, heavy duty spokes. It is unlikely that the chain will break thick spokes. Then you may not need a dork disk. However:

You may not be able to get heavy duty spokes quickly.

The shop may not replace just one side of the wheel with heavy duty spokes.

So you can then decide the best thing to do in the situation.
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Old 06-14-21, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Post #9 in the "Might Look Stupid" thread.This might look stupid but I love the ergonomics. .
That is one of my bikes. I have only made one major modification to that one.

I am more creative than some people. The bike I am riding now, has other aftermarket modifications. Some I have discussed. For example, motorcycle mirrors, and motorcycle tube. Some things I have not discussed yet. I have more modifications planned for the future.

Some people spend several thousand dollars on a bike. Then they only upgrade with top of the range bicycle parts. Some of these people don't do anything like I do.

Most people that see the bike, like it. Those who like creative ideas, like it. It is a practical bike, but different.
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Old 06-14-21, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
That is one of my bikes. I have only made one major modification to that one.

I am more creative than some people. The bike I am riding now, has other aftermarket modifications. Some I have discussed. For example, motorcycle mirrors, and motorcycle tube. Some things I have not discussed yet. I have more modifications planned for the future.

Some people spend several thousand dollars on a bike. Then they only upgrade with top of the range bicycle parts. Some of these people don't do anything like I do.

Most people that see the bike, like it. Those who like creative ideas, like it. It is a practical bike, but different.
Of course they don't do anything like you do, they would have to be mad to have that much of a steerer tube extension plus a ton of extension sticking up past the stem which could cause a lot of pain when you crash on that ridiculous BSO. It is not safe so that is why you don't see people doing that often. You might be able to juggle flaming chainsaws while riding a Cummins Turbo Diesel powered unicycle high on angel dust, that doesn't make it a good idea.

Motorcycle tubes are designed for **Drum Roll Please** MOTORCYCLES which use different sized wheels at different widths. Mirrors are fine but they are just going to be quite heavy and may not always fit on your bars and there are a ton of great bicycle specific mirrors on the market which would be a better use and won't cost a ton of money.

Creativity and just plain bad ideas are very divergent paths. Building a bicycle powered blender is creative, building a bicycle out of blender parts is a bad idea. Plus nothing exceptionally creative about putting parts on a bike unless they are significantly different and do something in a much better way than before putting on a mirror doesn't really qualify for that.

People do upgrade parts on nice bikes, it makes sense. I wouldn't really want to upgrade anything on a $150 bike I bought from Wally-mart. The upgrade could well cost almost as much as the bike and the bike would still be a BSO. Plus those parts may not be compatible on the Wally-mart bike.
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Old 06-15-21, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Of course they don't do anything like you do, they would have to be mad to have that much of a steerer tube extension plus a ton of extension sticking up past the stem which could cause a lot of pain when you crash on that ridiculous BSO. It is not safe so that is why you don't see people doing that often. You might be able to juggle flaming chainsaws while riding a Cummins Turbo Diesel powered unicycle high on angel dust, that doesn't make it a good idea.

Motorcycle tubes are designed for **Drum Roll Please** MOTORCYCLES which use different sized wheels at different widths. Mirrors are fine but they are just going to be quite heavy and may not always fit on your bars and there are a ton of great bicycle specific mirrors on the market which would be a better use and won't cost a ton of money.

Creativity and just plain bad ideas are very divergent paths. Building a bicycle powered blender is creative, building a bicycle out of blender parts is a bad idea. Plus nothing exceptionally creative about putting parts on a bike unless they are significantly different and do something in a much better way than before putting on a mirror doesn't really qualify for that.

People do upgrade parts on nice bikes, it makes sense. I wouldn't really want to upgrade anything on a $150 bike I bought from Wally-mart. The upgrade could well cost almost as much as the bike and the bike would still be a BSO. Plus those parts may not be compatible on the Wally-mart bike.
So when I cut a hole in the middle of a stainless steel dinner plate, and attach it to my wheel as an unbreakable dork disk, I should come and share it, so others can learn from my ideas.
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Old 06-15-21, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
The best thing to do is make sure your derailleur limit screws are set properly. A chain won't magically go into the spokes if it can't.
Best answer. Spoke protector discs were made to compensate for bad maintenance practices. If someone learns how to set their limit screws properly, then they never need to worry about their chain jumping off the largest cog.

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Creativity and just plain bad ideas are very divergent paths.
So true. There is a distinct difference between something that is "dope' and something that is "dopey". This especially holds true in the world of bicycles.

Originally Posted by alo View Post
So when I cut a hole in the middle of a stainless steel dinner plate, and attach it to my wheel as an unbreakable dork disk, I should come and share it, so others can learn from my ideas.
Of course! Absolutely share it. Just because the largest demographic in here consists of anti-disc-ites, does not mean that there wont be someone in here who appreciates it. Take a look at Stanley Meyer. He invented a way to power automobiles with water. A lot of people thought he was a fraud. A lot of people thought he was nuts, and a lot of people thought he was onto something. Also, a lot of people think that he was murdered by the big oil companies because of what he knew. The point is, dont be afraid to try new things. History is full of people who fail, but more importantly, history of full of people who fail many times over, but that one single success is what turns the world around and benefits mankind. Have a look at the biographies of great American inventors like Robert Fulton and Eli Whitney. Their contributions were very responsible in the development of the Industrial Revolution, and where would we be now if their inventions hadn't changed the world? My advice is to simply press on and invent and enjoy your time with bikes, and damn the torpedos.
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Old 06-15-21, 06:21 AM
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I think the best setup for a bike, depends on how you use the bike, and what is available in your area. What is best in one situation, may not be best in another situation. For example:

Motorcycle mirrors are readily available here, and cost next to nothing. You just need to be a little creative to fit a motorcycle mirror to a bicycle. In The US, motorcycle mirrors are more expensive, and bicycle mirrors are readily available. So I may use motorcycle mirrors here, and bicycle mirrors if I was in the US.

My bike is exposed to a lot of mud and dust. Derailleurs with plastic jockey wheels, cost next to nothing here. So it is easy to replace them from time to time. If I was in the US, my bike would be exposed to much less mud and dust, so I may use derailleurs with aluminum jockey wheels, and bearings.

There are some who think everyone should do what they do. In reality, that may not always be best.
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Old 06-15-21, 06:49 AM
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Why hasn't anyone pointed toward the stamped/chromed SunTour spoke protector from the 1970s? These are gorgeous when properly shined. Shimano made one, too, but it wasn't as nicely finished. Go to your local coop and see if there's one in a bin. Or check eBay.
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Old 06-15-21, 05:31 PM
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Spoke protectors are sized by the number of teeth on the largest cog and the number of spokes. Amazon has a pretty good selection.
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Old 06-15-21, 05:52 PM
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As Phil_gretz said, go to your local Co-op.

Get a free one - all the cool kids took their disks off and the Co-op will have lots. Get a good steel or aluminum one that will shine up. Some of the aluminum or steel ones pop off or screw off so you can easily clean them (added benefit, they keep some chain dirt off of your hub). It doesn't say where you are located but if you were near me I'd give you one and so would many of our members. Post where you are and maybe someone will help.

Ps. Watch for a cool looking stamped one like Sekine had to pimp your ride!!
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Old 06-15-21, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
So when I cut a hole in the middle of a stainless steel dinner plate, and attach it to my wheel as an unbreakable dork disk, I should come and share it, so others can learn from my ideas.
I use my dinner plates for dinner (and sometimes lunch and occasionally breakfast) You should try it
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Old 06-15-21, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
I think the best setup for a bike, depends on how you use the bike, and what is available in your area. What is best in one situation, may not be best in another situation. For example:

Motorcycle mirrors are readily available here, and cost next to nothing. You just need to be a little creative to fit a motorcycle mirror to a bicycle. In The US, motorcycle mirrors are more expensive, and bicycle mirrors are readily available. So I may use motorcycle mirrors here, and bicycle mirrors if I was in the US.

My bike is exposed to a lot of mud and dust. Derailleurs with plastic jockey wheels, cost next to nothing here. So it is easy to replace them from time to time. If I was in the US, my bike would be exposed to much less mud and dust, so I may use derailleurs with aluminum jockey wheels, and bearings.

There are some who think everyone should do what they do. In reality, that may not always be best.
I mean my mountain bike is exposed to mud and dust and sticks and rocks and all sorts of fun but I don't need to use cheap derailleurs I have a higher quality derailleur with a clutch and properly set limit screws and nothing goes in my spokes under normal riding. I expect to replace that derailleur in 10-20 years (I have some other XT derailleurs that are that old and run just fine and no issues) Most factory pulley wheels are Delrin or some similar material the nicer ones will have better bearings or bearings at all vs. bushings and cheaper construction. There are metal jockey wheels but usually aftermarket and typically a touch noisier but can last a good long time and usually have really excellent bearings typically ceramic. Metal wheels aren't always better at least in terms of the material they are made from certainly the bearings are a good step up but the actual wheels maybe not as much.

One important thing to do is clean and maintain your bike, if you let the grit and grime stay there and wear in you will wear out parts faster and end up spending more money, a little degreaser in and small modicum of time and you will be ok.
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Old 06-15-21, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I use my dinner plates for dinner (and sometimes lunch and occasionally breakfast) You should try it
Those who want to lose weight like me, could use their dinner plate as a spoke protector.

I haven't done it yet, and I may or may not do it in the future. But I noticed, on my bike the hub flanges are the same on both sides of the wheels. They have holes for fitting disk brakes on both sides. It is probably just a case of making them all the same, not because they wanted to fit dual disks. There is not enough space to fit a disk brake behind the freewheel, but I could use the holes to fix a non-standard spoke protector.

I could actually just screw another brake disk behind the derailleur, without a spacer. The perimeter would be away from the spokes, but it should stop the chain going into the spokes.

Like others have said, if everything is maintained and adjusted properly, it is unlikely the chain will go into the spokes. However, there is a very small chance something could go wrong.

I am not rushing to fit a spoke protector. However, next time I change the freewheel, I might.
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Old 06-16-21, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I don't need to use cheap derailleurs I have a higher quality derailleur with a clutch.
Even if I wanted to use a high quality derailleur, they are not for sale where I am. If I did go to the city at the present time, I risk being locked in quarantine. Ebay does not deliver here. I don't have a choice. The people here want cheap parts, and that is what they sell.

I am not in America, and not everywhere in the world is like America.
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Old 06-16-21, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
One important thing to do is clean and maintain your bike, if you let the grit and grime stay there and wear in you will wear out parts faster and end up spending more money, a little degreaser in and small modicum of time and you will be ok.
How much more money do you think I will spend?
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