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Do you Need a Chain-Stay Protector on a Road Bike?


First things first, chain-stay protectors are made to protect the chains on a road bike from hitting the frame when going over a bump, to protect it from getting dirty or the paint chipping off, most importantly to protect the frame. No one would want their chain-stay to turn into a chainsaw that would potentially chew up everything it would touch.

Do you need a chain-stay protector on a road bike? The chain-stay is the part of a bike frame nearest to your chain. A chain-stay protector is an item that protects your chain from hitting the chain-stay; it’s also known as the metal part beneath the chain. Every road bike must have a chain-stay protector to keep other damages from happening to the chain, the paint, and the bike itself.

Chain-stay protectors are designed in such a way that they will help prevent damages from happening to a road bike. Bicyclists often use many accessories that help protect their bikes from the wreckage on the road although the road may be paved and flat. Regularly, debris while riding, could cause further damage to the bike and the chain.

Why You Need a Chain-Stay Protector for Road Bikes

Imagine going over a speed bump at high speed, your chain immediately bounces and hits your bike. Your reaction would be to peddle faster in order to keep your chain intact. Unfortunately, the damages you’ve caused your bike, are not worth that speed bump race. The paint would almost immediately chip, your chain will most likely pick up anything in its way.

Think of it this way, the bike will not protect itself from the damages you will cause if it is not covered. One good bump while riding could cause your bike a dozen or so scratches from the chain. This could be easily preventable by simply using a protector specifically for these types of incidents.

Unfortunately, many are not aware of the damages that could be caused to your chain by not using a chain-stay protector. The chain on a bike will get dirty, and cleaning it too often could be less beneficial than one may think.

Chains are bound to catch dirt, especially after hitting a minor bump on the road that may seem meaningless at the moment. However, when a small rock gets in the small cracks and holes between each row, with a bit of your paint chipped in it, it could cause long term damage.

Types of Chain-Stay Protectors

Most chain-stay protectors, to the preference of the bicyclist, come in different sizes, shapes, and materials. Depending on what the bicyclist’s desires, here are examples of a few to choose from:

  • Silicone tape: It has multiple uses for a bike. It’s made of an adhesive gel that sticks to itself. It could be wrapped around parts to keep them from being battered, like cable rubbing points, or wrap it around the chain-stay to protect and keep it from making that awful noise. It could be used to wrap items temporarily on a bike or to seal off moisture from entering the frame. The tape can be found in transparent or black, depending on your preference.
  • A Molded Chain-stay Protector: This is a rubber mold that helps protect your chain-stay from practically anything. It can easily be set up by simply snapping it onto your bike. Although one of the least recommended, I do believe it has much potential.
  • Chain-Stay Pad: This helps protect your bike and silences the noise of the chain hitting the chain-stay on rough grounds. It’s typically made from Velcro and has a slight padding to it.
  • Lizard Skin Chain-stay Protector: This is probably one of the more popular choices that bicyclists go to. It’s sleek, it comes in different sizes and shapes to fit your specific needs, and best of all it’s durable.
  • Carbon Fiber: It is made of high-quality rhinoceros skin and filtered by fine processing. It’s claimed to be scratch resistant and water-resistant.

Where to Buy a Chain-Stay Protector?

You could potentially purchase protectors from virtually anywhere. Bike shops will most likely be your best bet at finding exactly what you’re looking for, simply because there are people there to help meet your specific needs. Online as well; there are many websites that offer high-quality protectors:

These are just to name a few. All of these websites provide in-depth details about the materials used and how they are used

Other Accessories for Road Bikes

Although a chain-stay protector is an incredible item to have for a bike, it is not the only thing that you can have to protect a bike from future damages. You are not only limited to that.

  • Tire liners: It’s a thin strip of extruded plastic that fits between your tire and the tube to protect your tire from being penetrated. They work adequately but do add a tiny bit of weight onto your bike. Depending on the brand you use, it could be about 6oz. On the contrary, if you live in an area that has much debris, or plan on going on a road that isn’t predictable, I would highly recommend it.
  • A Scicon Rear Derailleur Protector: Sounds fancy, right? This tool was made to preserve and provide security for the lower rear end of a bike. Many of them have double padded walls with special rigid shields to help safeguard the bike from bumps, hard knocks, and shocks.
  • Reflective Decals: This is specifically designed to protect you, the rider, from oncoming traffic during the night. They aren’t intended to replace safety lights, but they will increase your visibility on the road. It is more of an accessory for your bike. If you like all the new gadgets, this would be the perfect fit for you. There are certain ones made by engineers to satisfy the need of the customer.
  • Brake lever and gear protector: If you’re really serious about protecting your bike, this would be one of the main things to invest in while traveling by your bike. Although several elements could be taken to prevent your bike from being ruined, this should be a top priority for any bike rider. This was specifically designed to protect the handlebars, as well as specialized padded covers reinforced for brake levers and delicate parts.
  • A bike chain-ring guard: Is one of the best things a bicyclist could own. This helps guard the chain against debris, aiming directly to it.

In Conclusion

All in all, protecting your bike should be an essential part of owning one. I mean, unless you feel the need to purchase a new bike every two months or even purchase new parts for your bike to keep it sustainable. To many, that is just out of the question. Without knowledge, many will automatically assume that the bike they purchased will be protected so long as they keep it clean. I regretfully have to say, that is not the truth.

There are many options to choose from. It’s also incredible knowing that there is an abundance of products that allow us to conserve the most important things that we cherish. For many, a bike is just a bike. Sitting in the garage or storage space. For others, it’s the main reason they get up in the morning.

Taking certain measures to protect things that we own, is our own responsibility. Why not maintain things possessed in detailed perfection? Why not use protection when particular things could be avoided by taking an additional step forward?

One of the first steps should be the most vital, protecting your chain-stay with a protector. With so many options in the open, why take the risk of ruining something when it could be protected by taking simple steps. These simple steps will help you enhance protection for your bike from potential future damage.

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