Derailleurs have a bloody hard time on the back of your mountain bike. Not only do they have to shift under load on the climbs and manage chain tension on the descents, these expensive mechanisms are asked to do all that while dangling off the rear axle, making them somewhat vulnerable when you’re riding tight and rocky trails.
The new SRAM Transmission has gone a long way to beefing up the derailleur, but it’s still quite new to the market and the bikes it’s coming on aren’t exactly cheap. Of course gearbox bikes get rid of the derailleur entirely, but they have some drawbacks, and not everyone wants to ride a singlespeed either.
For all those mountain bikers out there with conventional drivetrains, Branchy Protection developed this nifty strap-on solution; the Derailleur Guard.
Branchy Protection Derailleur Guard
- Weight: 35g
- Price: $85 AUD
Designed to fit most standard mountain bikes and e-MTBs, the Branchy Protection Derailleur Guard provides an additional line of defence for your derailleur.
Now it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t the first derailleur protector we’ve seen. Lapierre and Liteville have had neat direct-mount guards in the past, which were made to bolt right onto the frame itself. Branchy Protection’s solution differs in that it’s designed to fit pretty much any mountain bike out there, and it’s also flexible enough so as to not damage the frame in the event of a really hard impact.
Made from high-strength thermoplastic, it’s quite light too at just 35g. The mounting arm comes lined with a strip of sticky tape that helps you to position it along the underside of your bike’s chainstay. Three thick zip ties are included in the box, and these are used to secure the guard around the chainstay tube.
Once fitted, the Branchy Protection Derailleur Guard puts a thick layer of plastic between trail debris and your derailleur. It doesn’t sit too far out from the frame, just enough to sit wider than the derailleur itself. The smooth plastic surface is designed to help the guard glance off trees and rocks, and the flexible construction means it won’t snag.
Because of this flexibility, the Branchy Protection Derailleur Guard won’t stop all impact forces from being transmitted to the derailleur, but it will significantly reduce the severity of the impact, and it pretty much eliminates scratches and gouges that can happen over time.
Given the relatively simple plastic construction, the $85 AUD asking price is high. But if it helps to save your derailleur from an early trip to the broken parts bin, then no doubt many riders will appreciate its function.