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Do I need a chain guard?

Old 09-11-10, 09:51 PM
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Do I need a chain guard?

Hi all,

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 but prefer not to install it unless if I have to.


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Old 09-11-10, 10:53 PM
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Apparently you don't do anything similar to downhill racing or do big drops. That sort of riding is what the chain guide you have is intended for. And while you say there's no relative movement between your axle and BB there is still the whip from the rear derrailleur to deal with. On a big drop landing the chain flexes down from the impact load and goes slack by pulling the derailleur arm forward. Then when it snaps back up it can whip itself off the chain ring. The guides are there to either avoid this in the first place with the high and low rollers type or to guide the chain back onto the ring in your case. Your trails may seem rough to you but compared to landing a 4 or more foot drop there's nothing to compare. I'd suggest you just hang the guide on the wall so that as your riding changes it'll be there if you find yourself needing it.
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