6″ of travel and extremely technical terrain means that your chainrings get pounded into rocks more often than you’d like. Not much you can do about it really. So I pulled off my big ring and installed a Straightline rock guard. I wasn’t using the big ring since by the time I am going fast enough to need a 42T ring off road I’m just holding on for dear life! Although the admittedly decent derailleur setup on the Santa Cruz Nomad works fine trying to double shift and clean techno moves is not much fun. I’m convinced that a Rohloff on this bike would give me way more useful gears without all the grinding, missed shifts and chain slap. I think that’s going to happen this spring and so more than a single chainring up front is irrelevant in the long term.
Not too much I can say about this rock guard. It looks cool, isn’t too heavy and does the job.