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I'm about to reconfigure my Voodoo Dambala as a single speed. In its geared setup it had a bash guard in place of the 44T ring. It looks cool, but I'm starting to think I might ditch it when I put the Surly chainring on there (I already have the 6mm chainring bolts). I never damaged my chainring on my Voodoo Nzumbi, which I rode for 5 years prior to the Dambala.

So why have bash guards become so popular with single-speeders? Isn't it just excess weight? And why would you need one on a single speed vs a geared XC bike? Seems like another one of those inexplicable trends like the massive popularity of riser bars (whaddya need the extra bend for?) or the sudden unpopularity of bar ends (did they work, or not?).
 

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No reason to have a bash guard/guard ring if you do not want one.

Some like the look.
Some want/need the protection.
Some use it to help keep the chain in place.
I do not use them (most of the time).
 

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igoslo
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Back when I owned a geared bike the majority of my riding took place in an area with a lot of log crossings. My big ring was unuseable because I used it for getting over many of the crossings and it got beat to crap. Now I live in the desert and have a bashguard instead of a big ring. Why the bashguard you ask? Because even though there are no more logs to cross there are plenty of rock gardens to navigate and no matter how careful I am occasionally I nail that bashguard on a watermelon sized boulder. When this happens I can shrug it off and just keep on riding thanks to my bashguard.
 

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Exactly... it's there for riding through big rocks and over big logs, if your trails don't have either you probably don't have to bother with a bashgaurd. I think a singlespeed looks better without them personally. Around here (PA) their a requirement unless you're one of those persons who can ride over any size log without even touching it. That's not me, I'm the pull wheelie, insert bashgaurd into tree and pedal over it school.
 

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drinker
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as you half stated though, if you don't already have the shorter ring bolts, and most shops around here don't have them, then a bashgaurd does the trick. looks cleaner than washers to keep that ring from moving. i have one on one of my bikes for this very reason......and now i can't be bothered to get rid of it.

but if you don't need one, or want one, than don't use one.
 

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I can see it for learning how to ride up ledges and can't QUITE get the bunny hop high enough.

I want a 38t middle ring and a bashguard.
 

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dumbaSS said:
Exactly... it's there for riding through big rocks and over big logs, if your trails don't have either you probably don't have to bother with a bashgaurd. I think a singlespeed looks better without them personally. Around here (PA) their a requirement unless you're one of those persons who can ride over any size log without even touching it. That's not me, I'm the pull wheelie, insert bashgaurd into tree and pedal over it school.
I hit my chainring on logs and rocks all the time. The chain protects the teeth and I have yet to damage the chain.
 

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Go ring...

For the minimal weight most rings add (a thin ring like a Spot), I find they are an overall benefit. I've repeated destroyed large rings with rocks on my gearies. Maybe those rings were thinner and more easily damaged. Maybe if the chain was on the ring at the time of collision there would have been no damage. However, since I already have two nice Spot rings I got with used cranksets via the classifieds I just use them. If you have the short bolts try going without the ring if you are counting grams. If you have the ring and ride rocky trails, put it on.

Mike
 

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garboui said:
keeps my calf clean from the chain and lets me try getting over larger things. and gives a cleaner look.
I use a RF bash guard because the LBS that helped me set up my SS gave me a killer deal on it, it looks cool and I actually do pound it on log crossings all the time. Although like Shiggy pointed out, I have never had a log damage a chain ring on any of my other bikes.

Brian
 

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Not all bashrings are created equal. I have one that came with a Cyclone precision crankset and it's nothing more than an aluminum ring without teeth. I also have a RaceFace bashring and it's much thicker than a regular chainring - probably three times as much. Combining this thickness with the relative smoothness of the ring and it's an effective skidpad for crossing logs and such. I can't say enough good things about the RaceFace.
 

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Bash

Not a biggie on ss but there have been some pretty bad injuries from chainrings.
 

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sime said:
as you half stated though, if you don't already have the shorter ring bolts, and most shops around here don't have them, then a bashgaurd does the trick. looks cleaner than washers to keep that ring from moving. i have one on one of my bikes for this very reason......and now i can't be bothered to get rid of it.

but if you don't need one, or want one, than don't use one.
Plus, have you priced shorter ring bolts? For a few bucks more, you might as well get a bashguard for your trouble. I use them on my downhill rig, and it just seems natural for the type of riding I do.
 

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Interesting...

Interesting how many folks have said their bash rings clean up the look of their bike. Personally, I think just the opposite... a singlespeed without a bash guard looks "cleaner" to me. I say use one if you need one or like the look and don't use one if you don't need one or think bash guards are nothing but weight-increasing clutter.

FWIW I agree with Thor29 about riser bars and bar ends. I started riding off-road back in '85 when many if not most mountain bikes came with riser bars (that is, most of the bikes that didn't come with one-piece triangulated "bullmoose" bar/stem assemblies). Later, flat bars were considered a visual and weight-saving upgrade over heavier, bent bars and triangulated stems. Those folks that today advance the argument that riser bars make a bike handle better are misguided. Any specific hand position, regardless of the method of achieving it, will afford similar handling.

Oh yeah, I run bar ends, too. I don't do it because I'm a retrogrouch (I'm not -- I love improving technology). I do it because bar ends worked back when they were popularized and they still offer all the benefits today that they did fifteen years ago.

Nice that we can each set our bike up the way we like, eh? :)

--Sparty

Thor29 said:
I'm about to reconfigure my Voodoo Dambala as a single speed. In its geared setup it had a bash guard in place of the 44T ring. It looks cool, but I'm starting to think I might ditch it when I put the Surly chainring on there (I already have the 6mm chainring bolts). I never damaged my chainring on my Voodoo Nzumbi, which I rode for 5 years prior to the Dambala.

So why have bash guards become so popular with single-speeders? Isn't it just excess weight? And why would you need one on a single speed vs a geared XC bike? Seems like another one of those inexplicable trends like the massive popularity of riser bars (whaddya need the extra bend for?) or the sudden unpopularity of bar ends (did they work, or not?).
 

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Bar ends and riser bars...

Sparticus said:
Interesting how many folks have said their bash rings clean up the look of their bike. Personally, I think just the opposite... a singlespeed without a bash guard looks "cleaner" to me. I say use one if you need one or like the look and don't use one if you don't need one or think bash guards are nothing but weight-increasing clutter.

FWIW I agree with Thor29 about riser bars and bar ends. I started riding off-road back in '85 when many if not most mountain bikes came with riser bars (that is, most of the bikes that didn't come with one-piece triangulated "bullmoose" bar/stem assemblies). Later, flat bars were considered a visual and weight-saving upgrade over heavier, bent bars and triangulated stems. Those folks that today advance the argument that riser bars make a bike handle better are misguided. Any specific hand position, regardless of the method of achieving it, will afford similar handling.

Oh yeah, I run bar ends, too. I don't do it because I'm a retrogrouch (I'm not -- I love improving technology). I do it because bar ends worked back when they were popularized and they still offer all the benefits today that they did fifteen years ago.

Nice that we can each set our bike up the way we like, eh? :)

--Sparty
Wider bars definitely offer more control in technical areas. They'er great for pulling on tough climbs. Unfortunately I can't find a flat bar as wide as Eastons 27" riser. The Lo Rise version doesn't go overboard with "riser bends". I think the concept of a hi rise bar is a little funny. Sort of just a poor excuse for not using the correct rise stem or not using enough spacers on your steerer tube. Bar ends are super for pulling on those tough climb sections but offer little help in the technical sections so I just stick with the wide bar. I've done both wide bar and short bar with ends. A wide riser with bar ends is more than I can handle though. If I can unload a bunch of used gear I'm going to look at a custom bar from Seven.
 
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