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Poll: Dork disc - remove it or keep it?
Remove
Keep
Mixed
 
 
Dork disc - remove it or keep it?
#1
Helllo and good morning.
This fun question is often discussed or brought up. But I want to see your votes and hear your thoughts.

Some of my less bike-savvy people have no clue about these plastic discs. "Whaat? I never thought about it," said someone from the office. He has biked to work with his Trek for at least two years. His dork disc has turned light yellow, yuck.

I left it on my commuter bike cuz I'm lazy Big Grin

random photo from flickr


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#2
I'm mixed on this subject. If doing a true restoration, it stays; of course you want one that is not torn up, "yellowed", rusted, etc. If upgrading/modifying it is gone, assuming there will be a properly adjusted derailleur.
I don't mind the chromed steel or alloy ones as much as the plastic; but the plastic discs can look pretty cool if painted to match or contrast with the frame color.
I do like a lot a bikes with the chainring guards, some add a nice aesthetic touch, while also having a functional purpose; especially on the commuter/cruiser bikes.

Take care,
Jesper
"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#3
I have similar opinion to Jesper's. The bottom line, if you have a good reason to take it off, then do it. But if you are biking down the hill with the chain sitting on the largest sprocket ... oh well. I would keep them on kids bikes. Some folks tend to get rid of everything. Which means the regular plastic rim reflectors, front handlebar and rear seatpost reflectors, bells, dork discs and all the rest. Handlebar bells are very useful for commuting and city rides.

Some chain guards on vintage bikes are the bomb.
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#4
Dork discs are a must for me. I had bought a new Specialized Fatboy. Had it for a few weeks just riding locally. Then I did a 17-miles run. On the return trip, I was riding up a hill, fifteen miles from home, and dropped down to first gear. The chain came off and wrapped around the axle. The dork disc did its job and protected the spokes or I might have been in for a wheel rebuild.

It took me about fifteen minutes to free the lubed chain because it was pulled tight around the chain ring. I only had my fingers to get the chain out. I carry tools but nothing that would have freed it.

When I got home I put the bike on my work stand. Checking the limit screws, I found that not only was the low limit not set right, allowing the chain to fall off onto the axle, but the high limit wouldn't even let the chain onto the small cog. I would have thought a professional bike shop, in business for 39 years, might have checked the limit screws. But I had a total of five botched jobs from that LBS, over three bikes, so I dumped them.

My dork disc is now three years old and has not turned yellow and neither has it cracked or come loose. I believe it's made from polycarbonate, a tough, resilient plastic. If you've got a good one, I see no sense in removing it, not even to save weight.
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
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#5
(04-23-2020, 09:08 PM)CharleyFarley Wrote:  Checking the limit screws, I found that not only was the low limit not set right, allowing the chain to fall off onto the axle, but the high limit wouldn't even let the chain onto the small cog.

Tsk, tsk Charley;
Always check the new or "new to you" bike workings before a ride. Lesson learned on that one, eh! Sorry that the shop didn't do you right as they should have; I don't trust another with my safety, as I've watched "mechanics" the using wrong methods, tools, and diligence; a couple of which caused damage, another who almost did, and one who wouldn't do the basic maintenance work at all (cleaning a good chain!, wanted to sell me a new one though). My apologies to the great mechanics out there; I'm sure you don't always the credit you deserve for the time and effort it takes to do a good job, and hearing about others' nightmares makes you a little ill. Even then, I feel it is still the responsibility of the rider to verify that the work was done properly before heading out into the "wild"; short test ride around the block saves a lot of heartache (and road rash)!

Take care man, and thanks; I read your stuff regularly,
Jesper
"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#6
(04-24-2020, 04:17 AM)Jesper Wrote:  
(04-23-2020, 09:08 PM)CharleyFarley Wrote:  Checking the limit screws, I found that not only was the low limit not set right, allowing the chain to fall off onto the axle, but the high limit wouldn't even let the chain onto the small cog.

Tsk, tsk Charley;
Always check the new or "new to you" bike workings before a ride. Lesson learned on that one, eh! Sorry that the shop didn't do you right as they should have; I don't trust another with my safety, as I've watched "mechanics" the using wrong methods, tools, and diligence; a couple of which caused damage, another who almost did, and one who wouldn't do the basic maintenance work at all (cleaning a good chain!, wanted to sell me a new one though). My apologies to the great mechanics out there; I'm sure you don't always the credit you deserve for the time and effort it takes to do a good job, and hearing about others' nightmares makes you a little ill. Even then, I feel it is still the responsibility of the rider to verify that the work was done properly before heading out into the "wild"; short test ride around the block saves a lot of heartache (and road rash)!

Take care man, and thanks; I read your stuff regularly,
Jesper
Yes, I sure did learn a lesson! And, like you, I prefer to know the job is done right by doing it myself.

I had just sold my motorcycle after many years of riding, and because I'm now retired, I didn't want to just sit around and get fat, so cycling became my new interest. I started with a new cruiser from the local LBS. After 1,000 miles the gears were playing up, and I knew nothing about derailleurs, so I took it to the bike shop. Their mechanic said that the chain is shot and they only last for 800 miles, so he put a new chain on, and straightened the derailleur bracket because it was hanging outboard (from new). A few weeks later the chain broke. I went back to the shop and bought a new chain. On comparing it side by side with the broken chain, I saw that it was eight inches short, so back to the shop for a longer chain. He said the cruiser has a longer frame and they had to add a piece to the new chain. I then realized that the piece they added on was where it broke; they must have pushed the pin in too far. So they made me a new chain and put it on.

The front brake on the bike was snatching, badly. They advised me to clean it with alcohol and, if necessary, 400 grade paper. I did both but it only lasted for a few brakings. I removed the wheel and tire and ran a micrometer around the rim but it was accurate all the way around. I pressed on the sides of the rim to see if there was a soft spot. Nothing! The only thing I could think of was dissimilar metals not being mixed properly at the factory. So back to bike shop to order some better rims. The mechanic said "All rim brakes snatch," and that I'd be wasting my money. I knew that wasn't true, so I ordered new rims, anyway, and it cured the problem. The mechanic also snapped at me for absolutely no reason. Apparently, he has a bit of a problem with that because he did it again at another time. It was the final straw that caused me to quit using them.

I bought a new Sun fat bike from them. It came with a hub gear but I noticed a hanger bracket for a derailleur, so I got them to customize it with a 7-speed derailleur. After getting the bike and taking it home, I found it wasn't really rideable because the first gear was like fourth. They assumed that the chain ring was matched to the derailleur. They didn't even ride the bike to test it after the conversion. So it had to go back to them and it took several weeks to get the correct chain ring.

After getting the bike back, while cleaning it, I noticed something odd about the rear disc brake caliper. It's supposed to sit flat on the mounting bracket, but they had lifted up one end and put a concave washer in. I'm no mechanic but I knew this was shade tree mechanic stuff. After I removed the washer, the caliper bit down on the rotor and prevented the wheel from turning. I saw that the mounting bracket was adjustable. It took me a minute to adjust it so the rotor ran freely. I didn't complain to them about this.

I later traded the cruiser and fat bike in for a new Specialized Fatboy. While cleaning it, I noticed the rear caliper bolts looked odd. Each bolt was too long so they put a 3/4" stack of washers on the bolts. More shade tree stuff! I removed the bolts and cut them down to the right length. I did contact the business owner on his Facebook page to tell him about the stacks of washers, and he wrote back with an excuse that the washers are for adjusting disc brakes; he ignored the fact that his mechanic had botched it. However, I read that post mounted calipers don't use those convex/concave washers. It was the same bike on which the chain got wrapped around the axle.

There's more but this is getting rather long. Five botched jobs! Why I put up with this business for so long, I don't know, but it got me into buying bike tools and learning from videos how to do all my own repairs. I've done my own cars and truck mechanical work since I was young, but that doesn't make me a bike mechanic. As of this date I can now true a wheel and tension the spokes. More recently, I replaced the head set and free hub on my fat bike, and cleaned and re-greased the wheel bearings with White Lightning Crystal grease. And I don't have to keep making the 14-miles round trip to that awful LBS. I found a much better bike shop where I recently bought a new cruiser. It's twice as far away, but well worth the drive. And what a difference!

Some people advise not buying a bike from a big box store, but they don't come any worse than my first LBS.
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
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#7
[quote='CharleyFarley' pid='37979'
Some people advise not buying a bike from a big box store, but they don't come any worse than my first LBS.
[/quote]

That's a good commentary for everyone. I certainly have not had a problem with new bikes (only 2, decades ago). Recently, while home I visited my old shop and found the same gentleman there (over 40 years in business) and I was able to thank him for my first new ride and the service he had provided. I would have no problem with letting him work on any of my rides. Most businesses are lucky to survive for ten years given the quality of their service. I have really only had quality handmade race bikes with very good components. My "older" (+50 years old) rides even though mass produced, were certainly checked more rigorously in the quality control department. WW2 bikes functional with original parts even though well used by the time I acquired them. The 1930's Colson tandem is a good example of this. I don't claim to be a bicycle mechanic, but I have shown the mechanic at my co-op a few things, since he doesn't get any vintage racers to work on, mostly fixing up "stamped out" bikes of the last 20 years or so. Amazing how much needs to be "fixed" on a brand new bike. Imagine if car companies (not that they're perfect) put out that type of product on a regular basis. Nothing like what you have iterated should happen that often, yet I regularly "fix" new bikes for friends and others; mostly these are "fake" or cheap mountain bikes. I still can't figure out why Shimano, et al. would sell some of the crap that is used on these
"Bikes". No bike should have any problems other than cable stretch (if equipped), or other "breaking in" and fitting adjustments.
Lessons to be learned when buying just about any product nowadays.

Take care,
Jesper
"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#8
A quick note about "mechanics" adding non-original, or removing factory installed hardware to new bikes: it should never be done unless included with the bike. If anything was added or removed no matter by who, it is indicative of damage, poor manufacturing, improper assembly, and/or improper parts/accessory installation. There should never be any reason to have to pay for any corrective actions taken to "fix" a new bike; including returning the product. Beware, if you do anything to correct a problem, it may void warranties written or implied.
"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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