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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm waiting for the bus to come (another 5 and a half hours...) and doing what I do best - researching and asking dumb questions.

Chainstay protectors... Lizard Skins - are these necessary, nice, nonessential or what?

Also - suspension boots. Same question.
 

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well, they're insurance

Chainstay protectors protect your paint, that's simple.

Fork boots and lizard skins are another matter. The industry is driven by fashion and stupidity as well as technology and fork boots disappeared quite a few years ago.

The stupidity comes in to play when mountain bikers imitated factory sponsored MX racers who were not running boots on their forks. I'm talking a few years back here, before modern inverted MX forks became standard.

All kinds of b.s. were posited such as 'boots increase stiction'. Yes, of course a 1 oz. piece of rubber is going to overcome suspension forces of 100's or 1000's of pounds per square inch!!!!

The issue with boots is two fold. A boot protects the internals against dirt contamination, and also protects the stantions against damage caused by falls.

The latter I know first hand. I dropped my road racer in practice once and the curbing nicked the stantion surface. I didn't see the damage and rode my bike shortly after and blew a seal. I ended up finishing fifth that weekend with a sock clamped to my fork.

I always ride with lizard skins because of this.

Drop your $700 fork on a rock and CRY??

As well, the oil will stay much cleaner and the fork will last much longer.

I guess if you are rich, or are factory sponsored you can do with out, go ahead, it's your money!

Drew
 

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If you have a CF frame, chainstay protectors will also protect you from damaging the carbon. I saw a post on this forum where a guy bought a CF bike, and for whatever reason it didn't have any protection on the chainstay at all, and on his first ride, the chain gouged it pretty hard. He got the frame warrantied in the end, but what a PITA.

Also, the chainstay protectors will quiet things down - chain slap is loud as well as damaging ;).
 

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I always have a Chainstay protector on my bikes(call me vain for not wanting any more paint than neccessary to get chipped off) as ar as the other products go, they are good if you remember to take them OFF after they get wet and muddy. They are like wetsuits and will hold the water in thus causing premature wear on the parts they are suppose to be protecting!! Other than that I like and use them.
 

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The first time I rode with a chainstay protector, I noticed a marked reduction in the noise from chain slap. I just cut an old inner tube into long strips and wrap one around the chainstay. Then I tape off the ends with electrical tape and put a couple of zip strips on for good measure.
 

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Yes, I should have mentioned that you need to remove lizard skins and clean them as well as the fork after a muddy ride. They do trap dirt and water. So do fork boots btw. Still they keep the internals way more protected than running nothing at all.

Drew
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
K, i've got an aluminum frame (but Intense 5.5 EVP, so nice nonetheless) and it sounds like a chainstay protector is just a good investment... but I'm getting mixed messages about the boots.

As long as I clean them after every ride, should it be no problem?
 

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forget about the fork boots, you dont need em. i say some type of chainstay protection is a must, you'll chip all the paint off your chainstay in no time without one. you could either get something like a lizard skinz chainstay gaurd or just make something yourself which is what a lot of people do. those lizard skinz type gaurds attach with velcro but its a good idea to use a couple zip-ties on them to make sure they dont come off while you ride.
 

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I started off using lizard skins on my chainstay, I used to leave it on whenever washing my bike. Where I ride is pretty dusty at times & one day when I took it off the amount of trapped dust was surprising.
I reckon you're better off with the "cut up inner tube" method. Lizard skins are the better looking option though & probably do a better job at quieting down noisy chain slap.

In my case I've found the factory clear plastic strip on the chainstay to be ample - the Trance doesn't seem to have bugger all chain slap, I only find flicked off lube on the stay (running a sram derailleur though and front only runs a 32t cog with bashie) not sure how much slap there was before the conversion, although I imagine about the same.

On my old Specialized Hardrock by the time I realized that I should use a chain stay protector there was chips galore on the chain stay! That bike had a Deore rear derailleur though.

I'd say if youre running a shimano rear derailleur then some sort of chain stay is a must.

I never liked the rubber boots that were on my judy tt fork made it hard to clean & lube to start with and it was more of a pain than anything - isn't it funny that the cheap forks were the ones that came with protectors!
Now with the Tora there is the risk of scratching or damage but at least I can keep the stanchions clean & not worry about trapped dust & stuff getting in there. So I'm a no for boots vote here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I went ahead and got some Lizard for a chainstay, I'm running a Sram X9 rear derailleur.

Some more opinions I got about the boots - "very good for mud, take 'em off in the dust."

I'm in Oregon, and it rains a lot here. Monsoon is a good word for it :p Thoughts on the boots? I like my forks (Talas RL) and I don't want to mess them up if a dinky little $10 piece of neoprene could have saved them... but I don't want said dinky piece of neoprene to catch stuff and scratch them up. Is that above statement true? (good for mud, bad for dust)
 

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the chainstay protector should be all you need. i have never use fork boots... i just clean my bike after every major ride.
 

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Yeah, I'd agree...chainstay protector is good, fork books are less useful.

For myself, I have a funky chainstay that is a little hard to fit a "normal" size Lizard Skin to...I use a combo of old tube and Lizard Skin to get the job done and it works very well. When I clean, I pull the works off and get any dust that has crept in.

Fork boots....personally, the last time I saw them was on a $100 Wally World bike. Sure, they can offer some protection, but the seals that are on the forks these days are so much better than in the past that boots are redundant in most cases and just trap dirt in others. Sure, they may make your ride look more like an old dirtbike...but that's about it.
 

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I use an old tube cut into a strip and wrap it around my chain stay. Works well enough. I got a lizardskins shock boot and I'm testing to see if I like it.

As with anything that isn't 100% sealed off you need to make sure it's cleaned all the time. MBA just had an article talking about using the boots when it got nasty out and taking them off after to clean them. They suggested storing them in your pack till needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I got the chainstay, even though I have Sram components... small investment for good protection.

The boots... I've gotten such whole-hearted positive AND negative feelings about them, this is really interesting :p Not since gun control and abortion have I heard such differing opinions about them.
 

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i dont see a need for those fork boots. mtb forks are made for riding off-road a little dirt aint gonna hurt them. just wipe off the fork stanchions occasionally and you should be alright.
 

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seals

You anti fork boot guys make me laugh.

Seals on bike forks are now about as good as motorcycle forks from about 30 years ago? It aint cutting edge technology. Marzocchi bicycle forks have had good seals ever since they entered the market over a decade ago, unlike the garbage Rock Shox used to pass off as good stuff. ( I used to pull mud out of the bottom of my Judy'd internals.)

Do you ever wonder why motocrossers and enduros with conventional non inverted forks come with boots? It must be because the manufacturers want the rider to look lame! It couldn't be because dirt wears out the internals, obviously.

I've been around motorbikes since I was a kid, so we are taliking about 3 decades of experience. Fork oil comes out filthy after one year, be it street bike, dirt bike, or bicycle. The only down side I can see to running protection is grit getting under the skins. I take mine off regularly and clean them after a muddy ride. My old atom bombs on the other bike has regular boots which were cleaned internally by a quick spray of the hose.

Like I said earlier if you've got money to burn go without.

Drew
 
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