Gear For Venture is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Click to learn more. »

Do I Need a Chain Guard On My Bike?

Do I need a Chain Guard on my Bike

It comes a time when we as bikers start asking one of two questions -and even both sometimes: Do I need everything I have on my bike?; and, do I need what others have on their bikes? Chain guards, as an accessory, are no exception to this rule. So let’s go in-depth and get things clear on this topic.

What Is a Chain Guard?

A chain guard, also known as “chain case” or “gear case,” is a protection for your bike’s chain. Generally made of plastic, it encloses it, protecting it around its cycle. Besides protecting your equipment, it also prevents the biker from getting trapped in the chain rings.

There are different types of chain guards. They may be partially enclosed, covering only the upper side of the chain, or fully enclosed, covering both upper and lower sides of it. The latter type can also be in shape of a “tube” just enclosing the chain and leaving the gears uncovered, or as a lid, hiding both chain and gears, and leaving nothing in sight. Some types even come with an oil bath to lubricate the chain.

Is a Bike Chain Guard Necessary?

As we said before, chain guards are used to protect both the chain and the biker. We know that, should something get in the way of your chain, it may be damaged, making you spend a good deal of money to fix it.

At high speed, if the chain comes off its ring, it can scratch the frame, for example. Worse than that, the ring itself can be damaged. Moreover, should any part of your body touch the chain while cycling, money would not be the first thing that comes to mind.

Now, when it comes to answering our central question, it relies entirely on the biker. Useful as they can get, chain guards may not come across as very aesthetic in some people’s opinion.

Besides, if you are a weight geek, and are always trying to make your bike lighter, you wouldn’t want to add more load to it. So it’s quite a personal matter. If you frequently drop your chain, and you know there’s nothing wrong with it, or you get hurt because of accidentally touching it (first of all, stop doing it!), it may be the solution.

Do I need a Chain Guard on my Bike

Chain Guard For Hybrid Bike

Even though they may be challenging to find, given the different types and sizes of derailleurs, there are chain guards for hybrid bikes. Some bike companies have designed them, but you must be careful when choosing it as it may not fit your bikes’ needs.


Homemade Bicycle Chain Guard- How To Make a DIY Chain Guard

Now, what happens if you don’t want to buy a chain guard, but you feel you require one? Either to reduce costs or because you are a DIY fan, you can create your chain guard. You just need to find an easy-to-mold material that can last through time and bad weather.

Need help? Some examples of suitable materials to do it are coroplast (or corrugated plastic), fiberglass, and epoxy resin.

Bear in mind that you need to pay attention to some factors when creating it. These include where to attach it so as not to interfere with functionality, your chain disk size, and derailleurs. You should also not let your homemade chain guard touch the chain as this could cause damage.

Alternative To Chain Guard – Chain Guide (Chain Director)

If you don’t like the looks of a chain guard or feel it’s too heavy for your bike, there are alternatives to it. One of them is a “chain guide.” It doesn’t go all the way through your chain’s trajectory, but attached to your front ring, it maintains the chain in place, no matter how bumpy the road may be, or the power you are cycling with.

Where located, it works as a “cassette”, preventing the chain from jumping either upwards or sideways, keeping it in line with the ring. This reel doesn’t alter the looks of your bike, won’t add extra weight (35g-40g approximately), and will guarantee you a drop-free chain, thus giving some extra life to your chain ring.