Friday, May 14, 2010

Why chainguards are useful

Most bikes today don't have chainguards.  Older bikes did, and they also came fully loaded with fenders, bells, chainguards, baskets.  During the last few decades, bicycles were considered a 'sport' item, so stripped down to basics.  They were not considered 'transportation'.

When I bought my bike, I had to buy 'accessories' like fenders, etc.  But I still have no chainguard.  Is it even possible to put a chainguard on a bike like mine?  I ripped my pants the other day because of that.  Thankfully, I have a seamstress who fixed it.  She did a pretty good job I think.

Still, there is the black chain marks on my pants.  I like how one bicycle blogger commented how he would like a black chain mark tattoo, but that he gets them free every day!  :)

I could wear bike shorts all the time, but that's not me.  I like biking casual, except for long distance touring.  Anyone else have this problem?  Can you put a chainguard on a hybrid bike or other bikes that don't have them?  I've seen dutch bikes and other bikes have them and I like them! Are they heavy?

Hopefully I won't tear the pants again, but not having a chainguard makes it hard to wear any pants...especially ones with a wide bottom on legs.  I had to tuck my pants in my socks when I biked back from Salmon Valley, to keep them from getting caught on chain and water bottle.


  1. Hello Carolyn. I have a big Dutch Cargo Bike with Chain Guard and Coat Guard and it is very Smooth and comfortable and it is the best Bicycle I have ever owned. But you can get A Light Steel Azor Secret Service and Aluminum Dutch Bikes as well from Gazelle and Batavus,and various Areas now sell them in the US. I presume this is where you are in the US. Raleigh also sell Bikes with a Plastic Chain Guard and there is Velorbis the Danish makers if you can get their Bikes.

    A lot of European Bikes Standardise on Chain Guards Coat Guards Mudguards and Dynamo's unlike American Bikes which seem to prefer the Sportif kind only. Why not go along to your local Bike Shop and try out a Dutch Bike or an English Pashley you will not Regret it.

  2. I live in Canada, but there is a bike shop in Vancouver which sells Dutch bikes. I like the heavier bikes with the chainguards, but I have to carry it up 3 flights of stairs daily, hence me having a hybrid, very light! I didn't realize that there are some dutch bikes that are light. That's cool! I learn something new every day.

    Heh, I CAN have more then one bike, right? LOL!!

    I do think that hybrid, comfort, and other road type bikes should have a chainguard automatically. I can see not having one for serious mountain biking though.

  3. There is the original Old Style Dutch Opa and Omafiets Bikes which are Steel but also Batavus and Gazelle have a kind of more Modern Style without doing away with the Chain Guard and Coat Guard in Aluminum. The English Pashly is the same Type as the Dutch Bikes,but they have Modern Styles with Chain Guards Etc.

    A lot of People have several Bikes,A City Bike and Also Sportif Bikes for going down the Country. I have a Work Cycles Dutch Bike but also have a Trek and a Brompton Folding Bike.

    Most People who go up the Mountainside on Mountain Bikes usually End up Ploughing through the Mud at some stage on those Trails and would not be bothered with a Chain Guard anyway.

    The best Thing with Dutchy is you just Hop on your Bike and you do not have to Tuck your Trouser Legs into your Socks and you can carry Loads of Stuff on the Rear and front Carriers.



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