Introduction: Bicycle Chain "Slap" Guard

Picture of Bicycle Chain "Slap" Guard

If you ride a mountain bike, you might have noticed that when you hit a large bump or jump the bike off an obstacle, your chain slaps the metal below it and makes unsightly scratches. This instructable uses an old bicycle tube to create a guard to prevent the chain from slapping your precious frame. Instead of buying an expensive "Lizard Skin" guard to prevent this, I made my own from things I already had lying around my house.

This is my First instructable, so please leave comments and let me know how i can improve for the future. :-)

Step 1: Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Step 1: Gather Materials

Step 1:
Gather Materials!

What you need:

Wire Cutters
Pliers (unless you have very strong hands)
Old bicycle Tube
Utility Knife (i used a box knife) -- Scissors just didn't seem to be able to cut the bicycle tube. :-\
Safety Wire -- i used something around a foot and a half, but this is a flexible amount, use whatever you have lying around

Step 2: Step 2: Cut Tube

Picture of Step 2: Cut Tube

Start by Cutting the tube at an approximate lenght of 6 to 8 inches (depending on your bike).
(see picture number 2)

Step 3: Cut Tube Lengthwise

Picture of Cut Tube Lengthwise

Now that we have a portion of this tube cut out of the whole thing, lets cut the tube long ways so that we have a "taco" made out of the tube!
(make sure to see the pictures)

Step 4: Put It on the Bike

Picture of Put It on the Bike

Now that you have your "taco" made out of your tube, Put it on the bike.

Step 5: Sew It on the Bike

Picture of Sew It on the Bike

Now that we have the tube in place and ready to go, we are going to begin "sewing" or "weaving" it on the bike with that safety wire mentioned in step one. This is a little tricky, but basically you are weaving the excess part of the tube together so that it doesn't fall off of your bike while you are slamming after that big jump.

Step 6: Finish Up and Admire!

Picture of Finish Up and Admire!

Now after you get it all sewed up, it's time to make last minute adjustments, trim up excess on the sides, and admire your craftsmanship.


64Anthonyp (author)2014-03-30

Agree with an earlier poster. See it on inside-out and then roll it so the seam goes inside. Great idea. Besides a tube, what else could be used?

Questor (author)2012-10-25

I used PVC and a hair dryer to heat and shape.
I used PVC pipe with an ID as close as possible the the OD of the frame tube
cut the pipe to length.
remove a 1/2 inch wide piece lengthwise.
place the pipe over the frame tube.
heat the pipe and shape with gloved hand

Diomedes (author)2007-10-31

Another thing you can do to protect the frame is use heavy duty electrical cable wrap (I'm not sure if that is the proper name- its used to bundle large numbers of wires together neatly). It usually comes in black and clear, and is really easy to cut and wrap around the tube. Either zip-tie or use electrical tape on the ends, and it is good to go. It's held up for four years on my bike and worked perfectly.

jonpersonals (author)Diomedes2012-06-14

Good idea.. I just remembered some of that black dtape is 5 or 10 mills much thiker than standard electrical tape and its super tough.

adenecke1 (author)2011-08-25

If your going to dish out the money for a carbon fiber bike you might as well just buy a real chain stay guard

jonpersonals (author)adenecke12012-06-14

Gorilla glue tape is really strong so this may work?

O-Budd-1 (author)2010-11-09

Instead of threading the wire thru to sew it on, you can use hog ring clips, available at hardware stores, to secure it.

Be sure to use hog ring pliers to install them ... a whole lot easier than regular pliers ( voice of experience).

Hog rings aren't just used for controlling pigs (they used to be clamped into a hog's nostril to connect a lead rope to) but they've also been used for years to fasten seat covers to seat frames in cars and trucks.

Btw, Try tin snips to cut the tube.

it_dont_work (author)O-Budd-12010-11-20

i always found a pair of scissors fine. and im not sure about the wire, i just use a couple of zip ties.

2 stroke (author)2010-07-26

what about using some hockey stick grip tape

camp6ell (author)2007-11-11

so, instead of "unsightly scratches" you have an unsightly innertube...?

bedbugg2 (author)camp6ell2007-12-07

...that you can replace when torn...

camp6ell (author)bedbugg22007-12-07

i mean it's unsightly before it's torn, so what's the point?

catboo22 (author)camp6ell2009-07-06

whats the point in arguing? think about that

bedbugg2 (author)camp6ell2007-12-08

so it doesnt chip the paint off your frame you have just paid £40 to have it sprayed

camp6ell (author)bedbugg22007-12-08

so, which is better, crappy looking paint bring your bikes to me, btw, i'll paint chainstays for $40 all day long...), or crappy looking inner tube that also adds weight? the point is (and i'm still not sure you'll get it): why spend time and effort to make your bike look crappy (and heavier), when you can leave it alone and it'll still look crappy?

Toulouse (author)camp6ell2007-12-08

ok, then dont use it on your bike...

LiaLinda (author)Toulouse2007-12-14

If you didn't have the protection of the inner tube there, the paint would chip and you'd end up with rust damaging your bike. You've come up with a practical solution, although I have to admit that it *is* ugly.

BTW: Good job on the instructable itself :-)

camp6ell (author)LiaLinda2008-05-31

notice that the example is an aluminum frame...

basscadetz (author)camp6ell2008-05-22

bike messengers have been using this trick for years, except one would wrap the entire frame with inner tube. couple of reasons. 1. paint protection (from locking it to a pole) 2. making a very expensive bike look like a beater, ei; less likely to get stolen 3. mad max would have done it

bedbugg2 (author)camp6ell2007-12-08


benthekahn (author)2008-05-20

i did something similar but i wrapped it. Heres a pic. Thanks for the inspiration. I cut a long strip of rubber about 1.5 inches wide and wrapped it. And about the ugly problem, just rotate it until the stitches are facing the wheel, then they wont be seen.

Toulouse (author)benthekahn2008-05-20

That looks nice man. Thanks for posting pics of your improvement.

benthekahn (author)Toulouse2008-05-20

sure, no problem. I needed it for my bike hacks instructable anyways.

the stig06 (author)2008-01-26

y dont u just use kwik grip and glue it instead of doin some weird ass sewing with wire?????

ubenice (author)2007-12-23

You did a nice job on your first one. Keep it up.

Doug Costlow (author)2007-08-05

This is great, I just blew a tube and I noticed my frame was getting scratched. I'm going to do this, this week, and I put up some pics. Great Idea!

killerjackalope (author)2007-08-05

In extreme circumstances and for an extra taught chain take the guide arm of an old derailleur with cog assembly intact and the spring pushes the chain taught and away from the frame

Toulouse (author)2007-08-05

wow guys, im shocked at the amount of replies so quickly! anyways, yes this part does slap your bike if you ride on hard trails/jumps etc... before i did this with the bike tube, i used electrical tape, but it tore after a while (i'm pretty hard on my bike)

theRIAA (author)2007-08-04

mine never slaps, isnt the top always sposed to stay taught? mabee i'm not hardcore enough...

ll.13 (author)theRIAA2007-08-04

When freewheeling downhill/cross country, it tends to slap against the chainstay, I just use electricians tape though.

rocknrollskwurl (author)2007-08-03

welcome to instructables and good idea. ive got my share of scratches and might use this. the only thing is i think it would look better having a few scratches than an old intertube tyed on, but thats just me

erfonz (author)rocknrollskwurl2007-08-03

Exactly what I was thinking.

spook (author)2007-08-03

Nice one, I did this with a section of old bike tyre and some black cable ties, it outlasted the bike!

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