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. :-)

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Step 1: 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

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

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

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

Step 5: 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!

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.

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    33 Discussions


    5 years ago

    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?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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


    11 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    8 years ago on Introduction

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

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    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?


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    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 :-)


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    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