Monday, July 7, 2008

Adding a chainguard/trouser guard to my Dahon Yeah.

Dahon equips most of their bikes with these cheap plastic ring chaincovers/bashguards. I broke my off my ring cover from my Yeah when I rubbed it accidentally with my foot. See this old pix of my Yeah with an unbroken chaincover:

Since I ride with "normal" clothes, I have gotten quickly tired of tucking my pants into my socks or wearing a velcro band around my right leg.

The Yeah has 52T front single ring. I set about looking for a aftermarket chainguard that would fit the front ring. I quickly found a good candidate in the Sun chainguard from Velo Orange: ($19 + shipping). I corresponded with Chris from Velo and he assured me that this chainguard is thin steel that can be bent to fit a lot of bikes. The chainguard came with P clamps that were too little to fit my Dahon's tubes esp. the front ring area.

I improvised a solution by using this plumbers strapping tape to make a clamp. Plumbers use this tape to fasten PVC pipe to walls and joists in a house. This metal tape is highly malleable, has holes and is rust proof. The clamp I made rests on the slots where the rear cables go through. I used a small screw to hold the chainguard between my clamp (see pix). I lined the inside of my makeshift clamp with a cut up piece of inner tube. I had to expand the front part of chainguard so that it wouldn't rub against the chain.

For the rear, I bent the chainguard flat and fastened it with a handi-tie. Using the P clamp for the rear made it stick out too much and caused rubbing with the crank arm.
I am really pleased with the result. I now have a chainguard that runs all the way back so a flapping trouser leg won't rub against the back part of the chain. Those bashguards just protect the immediate area around the ring. Also, the Dahon's fold will not compromise this chainguard. Not that I fold it that much anyway. The strapping tape was a real find, as well. I bought a small roll of it. I can see it being useful for other bike projects where I have to fasten stuff to a variety sized tubes.