Ask Pinkbike: Derailleur Hanger Dilemma and Wet Weather Riding Gear

Sep 5, 2017
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ask Pinkbike Header

Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul-searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand-picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.





Derailleur Hanger Dilemma

Question: geh861982 asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I've just recently purchased a 26" wheel Titus El Guapo, and I'm struggling to find a compatible rear hanger. It looks to be a 12mm thru axle at the rear. I've checked all the usual places (CRC, Planet X, etc.) They all list them for the El Guapo 26-inch wheel, but they look like they're not compatible. Can anyone point me in the right direction?


bigquotesWelcome to the hell that was created by bike makers during the crappy hardtail epoch around the late 1980s, when both dropouts and rear derailleurs were too weak to survive a moderate impact. The solution? An even weaker, replaceable aluminum insert that guaranteed an on-trail failure in that same situation. The supposition was that riders could carry a spare (or easily obtain one from their LBS) and both the frame and the changer would live happily ever after following that inevitable brush with death.

What actually happened was that everyone made a replaceable hanger, but nobody bothered to adopt a standard part, so there are probably a thousand different hangers, most of them out of "print," and enough hangerless frames in circulation to fill a cargo ship. Fortunately for us, through-axle dropouts ended the weak dropout issue, component makers strengthened their derailleurs and "most" hangars followed suit. Problem minimized, not entirely solved

Your issue may be that your Titus has a different swingarm (perhaps a warranty replacement), so you may have to look up later model bikes to find your part. The good news, however, is that someone envisioned this disaster-in-the-making and began to amass as many orphaned hangers as could be found - from manufacturers, dealers, or anyone who had a horde of such. Name the bike and www.derailleurhanger.com probably has your hanger. Titus is on their list, which includes over 450 bikes.
RC


derailleur hangers
The classic derailleur hanger (left) never quite cut it. Through-axle hangers (center) generally hold up better, because they get 360-degree support from the dropout. DerailleurHangers.com stocks most replacements.





Wet Weather Riding

Question: Pinkbike user @stefanfresh asked this question in the Bikes, Parts & Gear forum: I was wondering if I could get some advice on waterproof gear as I will study next year in Newcastle, UK, and I plan on riding my bike. I live in sunny Spain so I don´t own decent waterproof gear, though I don´t mind having one for those rare occasions when it does rain. I'm a bit lost as to how much I should spend and what to look for, especially what kit is "basic", jacket, shorts, socks, and gloves? I have considered Endura's top of the line jacket as many reviews I've read put it as a great choice, any thoughts? Thanks.


bigquotesWet weather riding can be intimidating at first, but with time you'll figure out the little tricks that can make heading out into the wetness less daunting. A waterproof, breathable jacket is a good investment, but you don't need to break the bank in order to stay dry. I've had good luck with Marmot's Precip jacket, which retails for $100 USD. There are higher end jackets that are more breathable, but the Precip does very well for the price, has pit zips, and packs down nice and small. You mentioned Endura's top of the line option, and if you can swing it that's certainly an excellent option – the Scottish company knows a thing or two about wet weather riding.

Some riders use waterproof gloves, but I usually just bring two pairs of 'regular' gloves – one for the climb and one for the descent. Waterproof shoes are also nice to have – I'm a fan of Shimano's MW7, but there are shoe covers, waterproof socks, and other options if those are out of your price range. At the very least, a pair of wool socks will help keep your feet a little warmer even when they're wet.

For other clothing suggestions, I'd recommend checking out last year's Winter Clothing guide to get an idea of what might work for you.

Oh, and you should also add a front fender to your shopping list – a Marsh Guard or something similar is crucial to avoid having a steady stream of water and mud firing at your eyeballs. 
Mike Kazimer

Nikki Hollatz undergoing the Jet Wash test as administered by Bekah Rottenberg.
The right gear can make wet weather riding a lot less miserable.




Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


92 Comments

  • 45 0
 Wet weather riding.... Nothing special... Just don't stop or you'll freeze. Best Strava times are from when you're trying to go faster just to stay alive!
  • 11 0
 mosquito season...and deer flies. Them suckers will keep you moving.
  • 12 0
 My two most important items for wet weather are wool socks and shoe dryers. It's a lot easier to head out on a Wednesday ride if your shoes have dried out from Tuesday.
  • 7 0
 @scar4me same thing with riding in the dark. Where every shadow is 10x as scary ripping around a corner on a bike
  • 4 0
 @codypup: I swear by my Seal Skinz waterproof socks here in Norway. Thin wool socks underneath. Keeps my feet dry and warm no matter what.

Add to that a waterproof shorts and a proper rain shell with wool underneath, and I'm golden for anything. Even snow.
  • 1 0
 @megatryn: Do you have recommendations for riding or hiking? SealSkinz has many different types of socks.
  • 1 0
 @pittman9: 90% of my riding is at night with a head torch due to v young family. 50% of that is in the rain Smile . Makes riding way more interesting!
  • 2 0
 @aweezyllama: I use the same for everything. Riding, hiking, skiing (when slushy). Mid length, Thin MTB socks with Hydrostop. I allways buy my shoes to fit this setup of socks in them. For those rare days it's too hot, I just pop in a pair of thicker soles.

www.sealskinz.com/UK/socks/mtb-thin-mid-hydrostop-black-grey
  • 11 0
 For wet weather I'd recommend layers and a decent jacket. Get something made from merino/wool and you'll be fine. I usually double up on socks and, even if they get soaked through, they tend to feel quite warm. I've been out in rain and snow with no issues in standard Mtb shorts, gloves and shoes and never had an issue - as long as you keep moving you stay warm and, for all the complaining us Brits like to do, it's not actually that cold here (although you may differ in opinion if you're from Spain!). Your lower body is doing a fair amount of work and I hardly notice the cold there once you're warmed up. I do wear knee pads as well which keeps your knees warmer. Your lower body will get drenched so just get over it and have fun! Mud is awesome in that respect. I found many winter gloves overkill for me and my hands get too hot, sweaty and uncomfortable, but if you are used to warmer climates they may suit you?

Oh, and you may want to factor in the cost of some wet weather specific tyres before you splash out too much on clothing if money is tight...
  • 2 0
 I would agree it's not actually that cold or wet, if you have decent mudguards, shorts and socks/shoes then you can stop most of the ingress of standing water (a biggest issue than rain IMO).
  • 2 0
 @DC1988: There's quite a bit online about cheap at weather fixes too if people want to add them here - stuff like wrapping duct tale round your shoes to waterproof them.

The last bit of advice is to have a washing machine available - you'll be wanting to just chuck your clothes straight in it once you've finished your ride. The last thing you want is to leave your wet stinky clothes in a corner to go mouldy!
  • 2 4
 is that all?
  • 4 1
 @DC1988: My solution for really wet weather riding is a pair of MX pants. Follow the plan closely, I'll say this only once.

Put on boxers (or cycle pants if you wear these), kneepads (again, optional) and socks
Put on the pants.
Put on the shin wraps over the inside bit of the lower pants bit, don't know what it's called. MX riders have their boots here. If you don't need the added protection, you can take out the plastic inserts of the shin wraps.
Put on shoes.

Now, everything that falls onto the pants drips down and doesn't enter your shoes or meet your sock. And nothing can enter the pants from below because your shin wraps seal that. A bit of wet weather isn't too bad, but you just want to avoid having your base layers (including socks) soaked.

Of course this is different for different people and also depending on what you're used to, but more important than to shield yourself against cold is to shield yourself against wind. You'll generate enough heat, you may just not want it to be blown away.
  • 2 0
 sometimes it's so wet I just plan to get soked(tie dye shirt and jeans)
  • 1 0
 yeah, I think I might get used to it eventually, but I´d rather be on the safe side than freezing haha. Thanks for the advice.
  • 6 0
 @stefanfresh if you're off to Newcastle Uni, make sure you go out with the University biking club. Good bunch of lads!

For wet weather riding, slimboyjim is right about layers. Decent merrino wool socks and good gloves are the most important things for me.
  • 1 0
 Where do you recommend for mtb in that area? Do you need a car to get to mtb areas? What bike would be good? I'm thinking about going there for university as well and I don't know whether I should bring a mountain bike or road bike.
  • 4 0
 @AydinR: Loads of good biking within reasonable car travel of Newcastle. Join a club and you'll get transport sorted out. You're not that far from the classic Scottish border trails (Glentress, Innerleithen and the rest of the 7 Stanes). You're not that far from the Lakes. You're not far from Hamsterley if you want some Danny Hart action. You're not that far from hundreds of local trails the local kids build in any bit of woodland they can find. One serious word of advice. Bike theft is rife in the area and the usual shackle locks are a mere challenge to the thieving scum. Keep the bike indoors if at all possible and have fun. Newcastle is a fantastic city and the Geordies are great people.
  • 2 0
 @AydinR: which ever bike you choose (both options are great there) bring a very good lock and a theft insurance.
  • 1 0
 Thanks so much, I already did, I will get in touch now with the captains for this year, they told me there are bi-monthly riding trips which sounds great. I would also like to ride some local trails if there are any which i´m guessing there will be as I don´t own a car. And when you talk about layers, what material do you reccomend, I´ve read a lot people´s advice about synthetic fabric as it dries up faster.
Another of my concerns was where to store my bike safely, so thanks for the bike theft tip, looks like I will ahve to keep in it in my room unassembled in a box, I´m not allowed to have it indoors at the student hall...
Also can you reccommed a local bike or outdoor equipment, I probably will have more choice than here!
  • 2 0
 @stefanfresh: Yeah a few of the guys have their own cars as well so will probably be heading out on weekends when there isn't an official trip on too.

There's some local trails you can ride to from Uni and the club does wednesday afternoon rides to them during term as well, you will need lights for your bike though as it gets dark quite early in winter!

I wear synthetic fiber cycling jerseys and a base layer if its really cold. As others will have said having a good breathable waterproof jacket is a must for when its pouring down, I've got a nice thin Altura one that has served me well.

In town there's some decent shops, Start Cycles and Cotswolds outdoors are pretty good, Start usually has last years stock on sale for decent prices.

There's tonnes of great riding within an hour or two of newcastle, if you want any more advice feel free to send me a message on here Smile
  • 4 0
 I find it odd that the brits ride in waterproof breathable jackets so much. I find that those jackets are quickly overpowered by my capacity to generate sweat. In late season riding, I usually just wear a wicking baselayer, a light weight insulation layer, and if needed, a windshell or wind vest. The heat I generate while riding keeps me warm, even if I'm soaked to the bones. Even while it's raining, that's my go-to setup. But enough brits wear the waterproof-breathables that there mut be a reason for it. Still, I'd say start with the layering route, and if you feel you need a jacket, then invest at that time. Then you'll have a good idea of what you want/need.
  • 4 0
 No your right, I get just as wet inside a jacket with sweat. All bollox really, if you ride in the rain your going to get wet. Wet weather gear will keep you dry for 15mins maximum whatever you spend.
  • 1 0
 I don't think "we" do, I don't see many people at all in jackets.
  • 1 0
 I usually wear a long sleeve base layer from my snowboarding/ski gear collection and a light rain jacket. They all get wet eventually but the jacket is more for slowing the saturation process and keeping mud off. Good base layers dry surprisingly fast and are still comfortable and warm when wet. My bike shorts always get wet riding in the rain so I use my older beat up ones so I don't care about the mud. 2 pairs of gloves and wool socks cover the extremities.
Also having a cheap rain poncho for the bike parks can sure make the chairlift better.
  • 1 0
 Until 5degC or so I ride with a T-shirt with the sleeves cut off. At lower temperatures or when it is wet I more often ride with a long sleeve MX shirt because the dirt that would otherwise stick to your skin could get abrasive. A windproof vest helps under the MX jersey (over a base layer) but I wouldn't wear it as a top layer as I'm pretty sure it'd rip. I thought I was the only one steaming up pretty much everything so that waterproof jackets never make much sense. They're expensive, could damage and you'll get wet from sweat no matter what they claim. Yes I also see Brits in magazines like Dirt etc ride in waterproof jackets but I always thought that was because for that shoot they ride a corner, push back up, ride again but never get to ride longer sections. For these photoshoots that is. Not being British, my perception of UK riding is based around the images I see in magazines like Dirt and Cranked Wink .
  • 1 0
 As someone who used to ride in Florida rain most wet weather gear will just make you sweat. Keeping your feet and bum dry is the first priority. I use Gore vortex shorts and Shimano vortex shoes and if its cold an Aussie rules football jumper. The jumper is poly so it blocks wind and retains heat even when wet. The shoes don't work for swamp crossings. They retain water when submerged.
  • 1 0
 Goretex not vortex.
  • 4 0
 Derailleur hangars- sooo much RAAAAAGEEEE.

But seriously, as far as standards go- Syntace X-12 system, all the way. Every frame maker should use this. Compact, not fiddly, already as close to a standard as possible since there's a couple of brands using them, and best of all- if you do take an impact and break something, 9 times out of 10 it's the retaining bolt that is designed as the shear point. Can be had for $5-10 online, cheaper even than a whole hangar and even smaller to carry.
  • 1 0
 Hell yeah. Norco have a bunch of frames that with a threaded hole presupplied for the replacement bolt - I'm sure they're not the only ones.
  • 4 0
 Titus hangers in particular are s shi*show. Post Cocalis Titus was ok a for a little while, but when Planet X bought them, standards and customer service went downhill very quickly.

I bought a Titus El Guapo 29" frame in 2015. When I got it the rear end had some QC issues with fitment and advertised width. I tried to contact their offices in Oregon and was informed that they were moving locations at the moment and they would try and get with me ASAP. A couple of weeks go by and no answer after a few emails and calls. So I go social media and explain my situation without trash talking and the brand manager from the UK gets with me directly. I email him my problem, proof of it and he gets me a rear end right away. All in all, ok customer service that could have been avoided by good QC at the factory.

A year goes by and I start to discover that their derailer hangers are really crappy quality. Yes, I understand that the hanger is supposed to be softer than the frame to avoid frame damage, but these were crazy soft and very poor quality. I went through 11 in a year alone. At $22 a pop not including shipping from the UK (their US warehouse burned down with a total loss of product) that starts to get expensive quickly. Well earlier this year, I run out of spares and get together with a buddy who has the same bike to pitch in for a bunch of them and share the shipping charges and they are out of stock and have no clue as to when they will get more. The hanger was also shared with their new Viajero frame so all those people are s.o.l. also. I get them on the phone either trying to get an idea of when I can get one or to get a CAD map so I can have some done myself at a riding buddies machine shop. Their customer service rep told me that "that bike sucks anyways, you need to get a new Viajero." Which shares a not available hanger with the El Guapo 29". The bike itself rocks once I got the rear end fixed. So not only did the rep tell me that my purchase choices with his company suck, but their own product sucks. I promptly went on social media and the MTBR forums talking shit and lo and behold the hangers come back in. Too little too late. I'll never buy a Titus/Planet X/On One product again. Which is a shame as I really like this bike and the On One Codeine that I was considering a s a replacement.
  • 3 0
 Don't wear a waterproof clothing: get soaked from rain
Wear waterproof clothing: get soaked from sweat

If its warm, just wear minimal quick-drying synthetic clothing and embrace the wet. If its cool, add wool socks/baselayers. If it's cold, enjoy the snow.
  • 3 0
 Whatever gear you end up wearing, don't forget to bring a towell or two and a spare pair of shoes/socks or sandals. When you are done riding, you'll want to wipe down a little bit and the 2nd towel can be used to keep your car seat from turning brown. The spare shoes and socks are a god send when you finish and start to cool down.
  • 2 0
 I would like to ask anybody (or pinkbike staff) if you know about any more scientific aproach to drive train wear in wet conditions? Eg. how much faster will my drivetrain wear out in the wet and muddy (and therefore is it reasonable ti have an extra "wet" bike to save money). I have recently covered many kilometres on my XC bike in the wet (after a dry summer) and it seemed as in my chain rings and cassette was literally vanishing in front of me in comparison to the dry mileage (seemed like at least 5x faster chain wear).
  • 6 0
 At the end of the day you likely aren't going to save much money by having a second bike. Won't you just have to replace the drive train on the "wet" bike as well? Plus if you have a nice bike, I assume the "wet" bike wouldn't be of the same caliber, so you'd be depriving yourself of enjoying your nice bike. It sucks but I think you will still be far better off just riding your bike and replacing the worn parts as necessary.
  • 3 2
 a "wet" bike?

Lmfao

What about a sunny day bike and cloudy bike?
  • 2 10
flag otto99 (Sep 5, 2017 at 13:46) (Below Threshold)
 And wants scientific "data"
This millennial is too much...

Hahahah


go ride your bike
  • 3 0
 @sino428: I dunno, a hardtail with a 2x9-10sp and steel chainrings is dramatically cheaper to keep on the trails in the wet. 50$ cassettes, 20$ chainrings/chains, and no suspension links, shocks, or bearings to get contaminated. Not really inferior, just a different riding experience.
  • 12 1
 It's called a single speed hardtail guys

@scottzg: @sino428 @otto99
  • 2 0
 @otto99: well I wrote "scientific" because I have read a load statements with no related data to prove anything. At least it would be nice to know if somebody tested the worst case scenario....like riding in worst mud and sand and not cleaning and lubing your drivetrain will shorten your lifespan by the maximum of [insert value]times.
  • 1 1
 @otto99: I know many people who have "sunny" bikes. ...they never ride in the wet. ...you must be laughing your ass of all the time!
  • 5 2
 @otto99: So the implication from your statement is that "millennial's" prefer science and fact driven data as opposed to what exactly? I'm not sure your cutting edge insult was what you wanted it to be.
  • 1 0
 @scottzg: I just ordered an 11sp xt cassette for $64. SLX would have saved$10 from there. So how is that second bike saving enough to make it worth it? I run one bike, and I live in a place that's sloppy and muddy in the winter, dusty in the summer. At 4-5 rides per week year round, as long as i give the drivetrain a quick walk after each ride and a live before each ride and replace chain when it starts getting a little stretched, my cassettes make it for somewhere we'll over a year and a half.
  • 3 0
 At the end of the day, (getting closer every year for me) life is too short to ride a shitty bike if there's a bomber one you love sitting right next to it.
  • 5 0
 @g-42: While I agree it's not worth it for most people, if do want to save some money, you can get 8 speed stuff for under $20 for a cassette and chains under $10.
Believe it or not a 11-34 8 speed setup is nice to ride, those big chains slam through the gear changes, just don't tell the industry.
  • 1 0
 @Rucker10: don't worry, you'll get it eventually.
  • 7 2
 "Two pairs of gloves?" —Dumb and Dumber
  • 2 0
 Have your friend pee on you
  • 1 0
 Re: Hangers. I searched everywhere for a hanger for my 2014 Diamondback Mason hardtail. Didn't show up anywhere that specialized in hangers or bike parts in general. If all else fails, I recommend checking eBay. I ended up finding a guy that had machined his own and had some for sale on there.
  • 2 1
 I'd look at what cross country skiers are using, same type of hot/cold environment. I know it's nearly useless for me to wear waterproof /breathable shells since I'll soak them in sweat in record time.
Keep everything synthetic so it will dry fast, well treated water-repellent soft-shell are amazing when on the move, your body heat keeps it drying.
Bring spare gloves and socks in a waterproof bag to switch out when needed.
Keep hydrated to stay warm, it's easy to get dehydrated when you're surrounded with water, bring something warm to drink.
Make sure you keep a towel and a spare set of clothes and shoes at your destination.
  • 3 1
 Same type of hot/cold environment? I'm guessing you've never been to north east England?
  • 3 3
 @Berosus: give the lad a chance He's from Montreal and obviously doesn't know where England is. Those frogs aren't really canadian btw... Please excuse him
  • 1 0
 @mollow: This comment is 100% racist and offensive. You considerer us something dumb and less of a canadian because we speak french?
  • 1 0
 @Jo-rides: its not like you guys want to be canadian anyway... You are all separatists so why don't you make us a favor and make Quebec a country?
  • 1 0
 @stefanfresh someone had already mentioned it but sign up to the cycling society.
In none cycling advice, Newcastle is a great city and I think you'll really enjoy yourself there, like I did.
Gotham Town sells cheap trebles and the dog and parrot is the best bar around - they also do good student deals.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer Thanks so much for the great advice, and thanks to the rest of you too! I think I will finally get a waterproof jacket around 100-150 bucks, shorts, waterproof socks ( save some money) and my only concern about wet gloves is the cold. I rode once in the slush at home and soaked my gloves, it wasn´t super cold but I almost froze my fingers off. Other than that mudgard and tyres I was planning to get aswell as getting the bike lubed and ready for some wet action... Thanks again.
  • 1 1
 If you don't wear pants or gaiters then waterproof shoes and socks won't do any good. As someone else mentioned, neoprene is worth a shot. A good jacket with a helmet compatible hood is really nice to have. Besides that I think getting used to being a little damp is the best bet. Oh and I'd recommend waxing your chain (clean it with something strong and soak it in paraffin for a while). It sheds mud really well and is better anyway.
  • 1 0
 Don't forget the "Gator Socks" or Goretex style socks that let sweat out but don't let the wet in. I use them and thin polypro liner socks for 25 years and can even ride through streams and keep the toes dry = Warmer!
  • 3 0
 I find wet weather the perfect time to take my EBIKE to the trails. *ducks as shoes are thrown*
  • 1 0
 A Mudhugger transformed winter Vancouver Island riding for me. Normally pack my jacket to wear after the climbing is over with. A 2nd pair of dry gloves is very nice to have on the way down.
  • 4 2
 latex (or what ever if you're allergic) gloves under your regular gloves, keep hands dry and VERY warm.
  • 13 0
 Dry? Stewing in your own juices?
  • 3 0
 @scottzg: used to get mad knuckle ahce in cold winter, latex gloves solved it
  • 1 2
 Sometimes I think about amazing places I want to go ride. Different states, countries, environments. But one of the big things I want to do is ride comfortably in something like a pair of downhill pants and a hoodie. San Diego just doesn't really get those conditions, so I dream of a time when I can where a hoodie and go shred some trails.
  • 2 0
 Neoprene socks may be worth a try
  • 2 0
 Seal skin socks and www.sportspursuit.com
  • 2 2
 Wet weather clothing? Just do what I did back when i first started riding. 1 large black trash bag. Punch 3 holes in it. Go ride.
  • 1 0
 @stefanfresh what did you do that was so bad?
  • 1 0
 I dont get it...? Sorry
  • 1 0
 @stefanfresh: your leaving sunny Spain for cold and wet Newcastle!
  • 1 0
 @Travel66: ouhhh yeah... what if I tell you it was voluntary...?
  • 1 0
 @stefanfresh: I'm sure we can find you a straight jacket
  • 1 0
 @Travel66: would it make more sense if I told you I already have one? Wink
  • 1 0
 @stefanfresh: LMAO...good luck!
  • 1 0
 @Travel66: I will need it!
  • 1 0
 @geh861982 I may have your hanger. Hit me up!
  • 1 0
 @geh861982: Check with www.925engineering.com
They make hangers for just about every bike.
  • 1 1
 North. Shore Billit. May be able to help you with a hanger. Or get somthing close and start filing to make it fit.
  • 1 0
 agree: they have a good choice of replacements
  • 1 0
 I think more important is, wet weather tires.
  • 1 0
 That space in the begging of the link... Makes all the difference!
  • 1 0
 I Got some waterproof socks and they were a game changer
  • 1 0
 Slippery when wet.
  • 1 0
 North shore billet!
  • 1 1
 Wet weather riding? Why?
  • 3 0
 Some places are wet most of the year so if you want to ride at all you're going to get wet.
  • 3 0
 Because it's fucking awesome!
  • 1 0
 Because worst case scenario is, you get wet. Best case scenario, you had an awesome time on your bike. Doesn't seem so crazy to me.
  • 1 0
 Because Vancouver Island, that's why!
  • 1 0
 Yuck

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