Do I Need a Derailleur Guard ?

“Do I need a derailleur guard on my bike?” Before we answer that question, how good are you at riding? How often are you likely to go down crashing on your right side? Well, that’s the side where you find the chain. Considering the above issues, do you need a derailleur guard?

You need a derailleur as a beginner, just in case you happen to fall. Also, derailleur guards are essential for kids who often park their bikes by jumping off and running. Additionally, if more than one person uses the cycle, then a derailleur guard is necessary.

All the same, the more experienced riders rarely have derailleur guards on their bikes.

Do I Need a Derailleur Guard -bikes cassette and derailleur guard?

What Does a Derailleur Guard Do – Do I Need a Derailleur Guard?

A derailleur is in a geared bicycle keeps your chain in perfect alignment. It also makes shifting gears smooth and fast.

Unfortunately, if the derailleur is bent, you will have problems with your chain. It could start slipping or even fail to reach some gears.

Consequently, the derailleur happens to be a sensitive part of any geared bike. That is where the derailleur guard comes in.

A derailleur protector works as a bulbar in case of a side fall. It reaches the ground before the derailleur does. As such, it is the guard that takes most of the beating.

So, in simple terms, a derailleur guard protects your derailleur, and its hanger in case of bike falls, during transportation, or storage.

On the other hand, you notice that derailleur guards are not popular with expensive or high-end bicycles. To most cyclists, this brings up the question, “Do I need a derailleur guard?”.

Let’s look at some reasons as to why some bikes don’t come with derailleur guards.

Do I Need a Derailleur Guard – In What Situations?

Although pro riders mainly consider a derailleur protector no so necessary, there are situations when you need to have the guards on. Here are some of them.

When You Are a Beginner 

Are you a beginner in cycling, and you are wondering whether you need a derailleur guard on your bike? Yes, you do.

When starting, a little precaution, especially on the delicate parts of your bike, can be quite rewarding. You don’t need to go for an expensive guard if you intend to take it off once you perfect your riding skills.

In that case, you may consider going for a derailleur protector such as the Mountain Bike Bicycle Rear Derailleur Guard that goes for only a few bucks without compromising on its quality.

The good thing about this universal derailleur protector is that it is easy to install. Also, it works with both quick release and bolt axles.

Do I Need a Derailleur Guard - bicycle rear derailleur

On Kids Bikes

Kids can be careless with almost anything. Actually, they most times don’t have that time to park their bike properly.

They simply jump off and drop the bike without much care. Consequently, the bike will most times fall on its right side, knocking the derailleur to the ground.

Also, kids even crash when you least expect.

For this reason, a derailleur guard will be an excellent investment into keeping your kid’s bike safe.

On a Touring Bike 

For touring bikes, having a derailleur guard could save the day for you. Actually, a lateral fall with the loaded touring bike could adversely affect your peddling efficiency.

Again, amongst all the bikes, touring bicycles get battered most during those breathtaking trips.

Also, if you are transporting your touring bike, the derailleur may get accidentally hit by other luggage.

Installing a derailleur minimizes all these risks. Maybe you should look at Aturmon Carbon Steel Bicycle Derailleur Guard, which is effective and only goes for a small amount of money.

When There Are More Than One Riders

When you have to ride a bike without sharing, it is possible to take good care of delicate parts such as the derailleur. On the other hand, it is hard to ascertain the care the different bike riders take when sharing a bike.

For example, people use public bicycles like disposable items. For this reason, if a bike is shared by different users, adding a little protection could prove to be valuable.

Why Are Derailleur Guards Rarely Found on Expensive Bikes

Why Are Derailleur Guards Rarely Found on Expensive Bikes?

If you are keen enough, you may have realized that most mid-range and high-end bicycles don’t have derailleur guards.

Notably, it is only experienced riders who go for the more expensive bicycles. These cyclists are less likely to crash.

Also, they usually take good care of their bikes. Some of the reasons that most of these expensive bikes don’t derailleur protectors include:

  • They Are Rooky Like.

Like earlier noted, mech protectors are mostly associated with beginners or kids. For the pro riders, it could feel embarrassing or demeaning to a derailleur guard on. Also, having a protector on is seen to portray one as a careless person.

Since most experienced riders take great care of their bikes, they find the protectors unnecessary.

So most pro riders find derailleur guards to be weird and unprofessional. Mostly, experienced riders who have these protectors face ridicule from fellow riders.

  • They Don’t Offer Universal Protection.

The derailleur guard is only effective in times of low impact knocks. Otherwise, during a severe crash, the protector will bend and compress the derailleur.

On the other hand, a derailleur guard only protects the derailleur from lateral falls or side hits. For pro riders, they are most likely to ride for ages before their next fall. But when they fall, the impact is significant. In such an instance, a derailleur guard doesn’t help anything.

  • They Add Weight and Drag 

    Mainly a derailleur guard adds 100 grams on average to your bicycle. This weight may not sound to be much, but those grams mean a lot in the world of competitive cycling.

For those riders that want their bike as light as possible, adding 100-150 grams in the form of a derailleur guard is something they want.

At the same time, the extra drag the guard creates on the rear wheel affects the bike’s efficiency.

Also, instead of a derailleur guard, some pro riders prefer going for a derailleur hanger. These hangers are made of soft aluminum and connect to the bike’s frame. Notably, derailleur hangers are much lighter compared to steel protectors.

Since the derail hanger is softer than the frame, it bends in case of an accident. Once it bends, it prevents damage to expensive parts.

How Can I Install a Derailleur Guard
  • Derailleur Guards Pick External Objects

Mainly, derailleur guards extend outwards and downwards. This increases the chances of external objects  sticking at the rear end.

For example, when riding away from the city, a branch may slide through the derailleur guard. If the drive train pulls the stick and gets into the spokes, you may end up in a fatal accident.

Also, in addition to the accident, the situation will most like leave your bike mechanically damaged.

For this reason, most mountain bikers keep away from derailleur guards.

How Can I Install a Derailleur Guard – My Bike Has No Eyelet?

So, your bike doesn’t feature eyelets for derailleur guard installation?

Well, this shouldn’t worry you much. You can go past this problem by getting a guard that attaches to the axle.

Notably, these types of derailleur protectors have one hole at the top where the axle goes through.

On the other hand, this installation has its disadvantages. The main downside is that you have to remove the guard every time you pull out the wheel.

As such, you will keep re-installing the derailleur guard every time you remove the wheel.

Also Read:

How do I Get Rid of Rust on my Bike?

My Bike Chain Keep Falling Off

Final Word

Do I need a derailleur guard for my bike? The answer to this question mainly depends on your riding skills and where you usually go for rides.

If you are a beginner, a derailleur protector can save you from replacing your derailleur often in case of lateral fall.

Also, if you are thinking about your kid’s bicycle, then a derailleur guard is almost a must-have. Children are fond of dropping their bikes without much care. So, go ahead, and get them a derailleur protector.