Many new bikes come standard with something known as a dork disc. There is some debate about whether or not the dork disc should be removed or kept, and people seem to have some strong opinions on the matter. Some see the benefits of owning it on the bike, while others see it as a faux pas to keep and get rid of as soon as possible.
Why are there so many differences of opinion? What is a dork disk for? Is it still necessary? What are the pros and cons, and how have things changed over the years? And finally, should you remove it?
It is designed to prevent the chain from being thrown into the rear wheel’s spokes if it comes loose from the largest sprocket on the drivetrain, which could damage the chain spokes.
However, if the chain comes loose and hits the spokes, there can be more significant problems than just damage to the spokes or chain.
It can also cause damage to other parts of the bike’s rear. It can damage the derailleur, hanger, chain guide, cassette and even the rim or frame of the bike itself. It could just be a catastrophic accident. The spokes or chains themselves may not be too expensive to replace, but some of the other parts that could get damaged are much more expensive. The dork wheel is designed to prevent such accidents.
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Should I take off my Dork Disc?
A quality bike with mid to high-end components should not require a spoke guard (dork disc). A good quality rear derailleur that has the end bolt set up correctly should never have the chain jump out of the back of the cassette – so it doesn’t require a spoke guard. However, cheap derailleurs often bend, and the end screws are usually not tightened, nor are they set correctly, causing the chain to pop out of the back of the cassette – requiring a spoke guard (Dork Disk).
Removing the dork disc depends on personal preference. Some riders think it’s unnecessary and looks ugly on the bike.
When someone has just spent a large amount of money on a bike that looks shiny and new, they may not like the idea of having that dork disc on it; they may prefer a “cleaner” look to their bike.
Other riders think that while it may not be necessary, having a little extra security for your spokes on the trail doesn’t do much harm.
Riders quickly learn when riding a bike that things can – and often do – go wrong without any warning. Some riders prefer to have as much coverage as possible against such potential problems. However, another argument is that if the dork disc itself breaks, pieces of it could also damage the spokes.
Ultimately, it comes down to riders’ preference, and they should consider both sides of the argument – the aesthetics of the bike vs extra safety with the dork disc.
Is a beam protector necessary?
Some riders claim that a rear disc is not as necessary these days as it may have been.
Modern derailleurs work much better than older models, shifting much more accurately. In turn, this reduces the possibility of the chain slipping and damaging the spokes.
Of course, just because it’s less likely doesn’t mean it’s completely impossible, and that’s something to consider—it’s worth the risk.
Modern technology also means that the newer dork discs are much smaller and have less of an effect on the bike’s overall look, so the pros and cons have been nullified to some extent.
There is also the argument that regular maintenance should keep the derailleur working well and negates the need for a spoke guard.
Riders must therefore ask themselves whether they have enough confidence in their maintenance skills and the components on their bike to risk not protecting their spokes.
How to remove Dork Disc:
There are several ways to remove a dork disk, depending on how much work you want to do.
1) The “correct” way to do this is to remove the cartridge and pull it out. It requires a bit of work and the right tools.
2) Many riders take the quicker, less “clean” route of removing the disc by simply cutting it off. It can be done with sheet metal shears and other cutting equipment. However, it can be tricky not to damage the spokes when cutting out the cake disk – so be careful!
We recommend doing it if you have the right tools to remove the cartridge! It is because some Dork Discs can be tricky to cut, which can take more time than just removing the cartridge – plus, you don’t risk damaging your spokes (or hands).
Where to buy Dork Disc/Spoke Protectors?
Most new bikes come with spoke protectors (dork discs). Your local bike shop should have spoke guards for sale, or you can look online.
Final Thoughts (Should I Delete My Dork Drive?)
In conclusion, a dork disk is mostly a matter of personal preference. You can certainly argue that it’s unnecessary, but then you can also say that removing the dork disk is not necessary.
Is it worth trying to remove it if it doesn’t matter? Modern dork discs are much less noticeable and distracting on the bike’s appearance than on older models, but still, some people don’t like their appearance.
Some people also worry about how they will be perceived when they have a dork disc on their bikes. They also argue that it is no longer needed as a safety feature.
But for others, the simple fact that it offers a little extra security in case the worst happens makes it worth having. The extra bit of safety outweighs any aesthetic considerations.
Also, for riders who aren’t so confident in their ability to perform maintenance on their bike, it’s worth considering keeping the dork disc on so they don’t have to worry about an accident caused by a poorly maintained drivetrain.