Apr 18 2015
Rear derailleurs tension chains, but whenever you ride over a bump, your chain will still flap up and down, and as it flaps it can easily strike your right chainstay. Chipped paint is the likely result. That’s mostly an aesthetic problem, though if you ride a carbon frame, chips can sometimes lead to cracks, and this isn’t good. I ride steel, as it happens, but I still protect my right chainstay with—wait for it—cable wrap. AKA “split harness wrap” or “pre-split corrugated wire loom.” No foolin’! I use the same stuff that Radio Shack sells to help you keep the tangle of cords behind your home entertainment center from taking over your living room. Here’s what it looks like:
I have to admit that it ain’t exactly elegant. But it does the job. It’s flexible, it’s tough, and it’s literally a snap to install. And it’s cheap. How can you go wrong? Just slip the split tube over the chainstay and the job’s done. Like this:
I bought a three-foot length from the local auto-supply store, measured out what I needed, cut it to length (I used sturdy scissors, but a knife or hacksaw will also do the job), and fitted it into place. Nothing could be easier. Just be careful you don’t cut it too long. If you do, the forward end may foul the teeth of your small chainring. I also cut a short piece—it’s just visible in the picture above—to keep the two spare spokes with which Surly adorns the left chainstay of the Long Haul Trucker from popping off on bumpy roads and bringing my rear wheel to an abrupt (and destructive) stop. Insurance never came cheaper.
Of course, you could buy purpose-built chainstay protectors from a bike shop or mail-order supplier. But what if you’re on a tight budget? Or just fancy a no-frills look? Cable wrap works. And it leaves you with money in your pocket for something more important. Like new brake shoes, say. Plus, you can use the leftover length to corral that clutter of wires behind your computer. Win-win scenario, right? Right!
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