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KLizotte
12-20-2011, 10:12 PM
Tonight my chain guard was attacked by a wicked troll while parked at Union Station. As a result, three of the brackets that attach it to the ring are broken so I will now have to remove it.

My question is this: how much is this guard really protecting my pants/legs? I know most bikes don't have chain guards but it's been so many years since I've ridden an "unguarded" bike that I don't remember if it was a problem or not. Most of the time I wear bike clothes but on occasion I do wear regular clothes and don't usually wear a "cuff" on the right leg. I'm asking because I'm unsure whether I should get a replacement.

I'm annoyed Trek would attach such a cheap plastic component that was not built to last.

532

Arlingtonrider
12-20-2011, 11:58 PM
I'm so sorry that happened to you. My older Trek hybrid, which I think was the predecessor to yours, doesn't include a chain guard at all. I sometimes wear jeans or nice pants while riding, but only with a clip or band to keep my right pants leg out of the gears. I remember a rip once when I forgot to wear one.

mstone
12-21-2011, 06:40 AM
I don't have a chainguard, and I do have a couple of pairs of pants with grease stains on the calf. I don't generally wear anything for which that possibility would cause concern.

FFX_Hinterlands
12-21-2011, 07:26 AM
Those ring-type guards keep the teeth on your front chain ring from grabbing and ripping your pants. How do I know this? It's happened to me twice on my mountain bike. They don't really keep grease off your pants very well, though.

Tim Kelley
12-21-2011, 08:00 AM
It sounds like a BikeArlington or WABA reflective pant strap is just what you need. Now I wonder where you can get one of those....

CCrew
12-21-2011, 08:19 AM
It sounds like a BikeArlington or WABA reflective pant strap is just what you need. Now I wonder where you can get one of those....

Way I heard, it was Blacknell's first order of business to drive to each persons house and deliver them a la Santa. Was that wrong?

:)

dbb
12-21-2011, 09:01 AM
Mark will probably arrange for a pickup location someplace along the trail where it may be dark, cold and rainy. It is possible he will arrange for lights as well!

Just so you don't focus your ire solely on Trek, my Specialized hybrid also had a plastic chain guard that had a lifespan similar to the brake pads.

I'd look at Phoenix or VeloCity for a replacement.

Dana

americancyclo
12-21-2011, 09:07 AM
Way I heard, it was Blacknell's first order of business to drive to each persons house and deliver them a la Santa. Was that wrong?
:)

I thought this delivery would be part of the WABA Sponsored Katy Perry Ride?

ronwalf
12-21-2011, 09:08 AM
Those ring-type guards keep the teeth on your front chain ring from grabbing and ripping your pants.

They also protect shoe laces from vicious mauling (but not viscous oiling).

Mark Blacknell
12-21-2011, 09:11 AM
Mark will probably arrange for a pickup location someplace along the trail where it may be dark, cold and rainy.

At least Dana understands my leadership style.

Kathy, I'd just get in the practice of cuffing pants or using a reflective strap. As FFX notes above, the grease is distant second concern compared to the crank teeth catching your pant leg and ripping it. That can be a scary (and potentially crash-inducing) experience. That happened to me in a pair of jeans a couple of years ago - not fun at all.

Riley Casey
12-21-2011, 10:15 AM
I wanna register a complaint about those nifty white reflective WABA pats straps! First ( and last time ) I wore mine the velcro gave way & it popped off never to be seen again. Cheap chinese junk is what I say. Oh, they're not for people with fat legs you say? Oh wait, ummm never mind. :rolleyes:

Actually Liz I've been thinking of adding one of those same front guards to my bike even though I do tie my pants leg. I have to assume that if you didn't tie your pants legs when not in cycle togs that the guard did the trick for you. My pants would quickly join the chain in the gear teeth were they not tied.



... WABA reflective pant strap is just what you need. Now I wonder where you can get one of those....

gregbilling
12-21-2011, 10:28 AM
It sounds like you got a dud. Of the six to ten different legbands I have floating around, the WABA ones are the best. They are the most reflective (as tested in our LCI class last year) and the velcro holds. They could be a bit larger for all of the cold weather layers but they still work. And who can beat the price: free!

(In full disclosure, I work for WABA and have an interest in more people keeping their pants grease-free)

Tim Kelley
12-21-2011, 10:29 AM
I wanna register a complaint about those nifty white reflective WABA pats straps! First ( and last time ) I wore mine the velcro gave way & it popped off never to be seen again. Cheap chinese junk is what I say. Oh, they're not for people with fat legs you say? Oh wait, ummm never mind. :rolleyes:

I think the WABA and BA straps are from the same manufacturer. I've been using mine for a couple years now without any problem. I have seen only a handful have velcro issues, but that's out of the more than 5,000 we've given out over the past two years. We be happy to give you a new one next time you're at an event with us!

OneEighth
12-21-2011, 12:23 PM
One could always ride in a kilt...

KLizotte
12-21-2011, 12:47 PM
Kathy, I'd just get in the practice of cuffing pants or using a reflective strap. As FFX notes above, the grease is distant second concern compared to the crank teeth catching your pant leg and ripping it. That can be a scary (and potentially crash-inducing) experience. That happened to me in a pair of jeans a couple of years ago - not fun at all.

Ouch, I realize now I've been riding around in happy ignorance about such things as ripping and tearing. Most definitely does not sound like fun. I do have a Bike Arlington pant strap but don't like wearing it (no offense to anyone); it's just one more thing to remember and not all of my pants hold a cuff well.

I've decided to see if I can replace the guard if Shimano sells them at a reasonable price though I'm sure it will still be an overpriced piece of plastic. I called the LBS and they said to bring the bike by so they can check the exact model and they will see what they can find. Otherwise I may resort to zip ties....

Thanks to everyone for their advice!

Arlingtonrider
12-21-2011, 02:00 PM
As Mark mentioned, there's a real possibility of having a crash if your trouser leg or a shoe lace gets caught. I keep two kinds of leg bands handy - both the velcro kind and a coiled reflective band (which works better on some pants). The coiled one is kept on my seatpost as an extra reflector when I'm not using it otherwise. Although it's a bit of a pain, I also double tie my shoelaces like little kids do and tuck all the ends securely underneath the lacings in the middle. I can understand why velcro closures are popular on cycling shoes!

mstone
12-21-2011, 07:55 PM
now I'm starting to wonder if I'm confused--what the heck are we talking about?

Arlingtonrider
12-21-2011, 08:09 PM
Chains, bondage - usual stuff. ;-) All in the name of safety, of course.

dasgeh
12-21-2011, 11:12 PM
I've had my pants get caught in the chain and rip exactly once, but it was scary enough that I cuff every time that I wear non-biker pants on a naked-chained bike. Plus, they were the pants to my favorite suit, and they were beyond repair. And I had to show up to a meeting like that. Like I said, last time I chanced it.

I find the fold-and-cuff method to be more reliable than any ankle strap, though sometimes I'll throw an ankle strap over a fold-and-cuff if I can find one...

KLizotte
01-04-2012, 10:05 AM
I only had the chainguard off a week and the freakin' ring chewed up a shoe cover the first time I wore it (before I went through the scary intersection fortunately). Grrrrrrrr. I'm clearly not fit to ride unguarded. The LBS is trying to order a replacement from Shimano (though I had to find the part number myself online to give them).

FFX_Hinterlands
01-04-2012, 10:59 AM
Ugh. On the bright side you can apparently find some decent advice on this forum!

KLizotte
01-04-2012, 01:16 PM
As Mark mentioned, there's a real possibility of having a crash if your trouser leg or a shoe lace gets caught. I keep two kinds of leg bands handy - both the velcro kind and a coiled reflective band (which works better on some pants). The coiled one is kept on my seatpost as an extra reflector when I'm not using it otherwise. Although it's a bit of a pain, I also double tie my shoelaces like little kids do and tuck all the ends securely underneath the lacings in the middle. I can understand why velcro closures are popular on cycling shoes!

I recommend these elastic laces if you want to get away from the hassle of always having to tie your shoes plus they are safer if you have an unguarded chain ring. They are typically used by tri-athletes.

http://www.locklaces.com/