19th Nov 2017 Michael Scott
BMX hub guards aren’t important to every BMX rider but for those that enjoy riding with pegs and don’t like to damage their frames or hubs then they are a good idea. Hub guards can be used on any of the 4 axles of a BMX. Flatland riders often ride
with 4 pegs and therefore either 2 or 4 hub guards, depending on whether the rider is concerned about the bike forks. On the other hand, street and park riders regularly ride with just two pegs on their dominant side. This is done to save weight
or just because if they rode with 4 pegs, one side would just never get used.
There are a couple of various types of hub and spoke guards that can be used on your BMX and we will look at some of the most popular BMX hub guards of 2018 in the list below.
Let’s start with one of the most simple guards you can buy. This guard is a lot less bulky than other, regular hub guards. The G-Sport Gland is only attached to the spokes. It’s very easy to attach with just a few simply zip ties to keep it solid.
I have to say I don’t believe this is the most aesthetic hub guard in the world, there are some very nicely designed guards, but if you’re looking to protect your spokes from being snapped and to also get rid of a few extra scratches then this
is the solution for you.
If you’re new to BMX, just starting out with grinds or are very protective over your frame, forks and hubs then I would suggest going for a hub guard that covers more material and is a little tougher. The GLAND simply just covers the spokes, which is great for the occasional bash on a ledge when a grind goes wrong but if you’re smashing different parts of your bike into ledges, rails and concrete then I would expect a larger metal guard to offer more protection.
If you’ve ever tried to ride with pegs or hub guards before then you may have encountered the age-old problems of not having enough room between your hub and dropouts or not having enough axle from your dropouts to the end. This problem often means that BMX riders can’t fit the thickness of pegs and hub guards together on the axle while still being able to tightly screw on the nut. This problem will not occur with the G-Sport protection. The guards are very thin and fit very tightly over the edge of the hub, so much so that you can barely tell they’re on when you go to tighten up your wheel.
So, on a final note, I definitely would ride with these spoke/hub guards. They’re so cheap, lightweight, easy to install and not a pain to anyone taking wheels off or putting them on.
Now if you’re a new rider trying to learn to grind then it’s likely that you’re pretty bad. Sorry to say it, but everything needs practice. So in this situation, you will probably have a lovely new bike that you’re aiming to keep as scratch free
and clean as possible. That along with obviously not cracking or snapping anything. Well, with the Daily Grind hub guard, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever break the guard or any other part of your bike. CNC machined, this solid piece of Chromoly
has no weak points and will protect your hubs and spokes at all costs.
Weighing in at 5.65 oz, the Daily Grind hub guard is definitely a little heavier than others on the market, like the G-Sport GLAND but many people who buy one of these hub guards never need to replace it throughout the whole lifetime of their BMX. It has a very simplistic design that only adds to the rigidity and the strength though I personally know that not everyone likes bike parts this simplistic.
Unlike the hub guard written about above that can be fitted to any side and any wheel, the Daily grind is designed primarily for rear wheels and will only fit on the non-driver side of the wheel. If you don’t know what this means, the hub guard will only fit on opposite side of the chain and chainrings.
The FBM Chromoly hub guard is quite alike to the Daily Grind guard in its outer shape, though the other side is a concave shape to give you more room on your axle. When you attach pegs and hub guards to a wheel your axle starts to get short fast
and soon enough you’ll start to struggle to get your bolt on the end. If you know this will be a problem for your wheels then the FBM guard is a good option to go for. The hollowed out back side will fit snug over the hub and give you more room
to play about with your wheel spacing and pegs if you need to.
FBM recently upgraded this guard to be made from Chromoly and enable it to be universally fitted to almost any wheel.
The S&M Cymbal hub guard is an amazing looking design and one that I would absolutely ride myself. S&M have clearly thought extensively about the shape of this guard. The concave exterior gives the metal or concrete rails or ledges nothing
much to grip to and damage. This shape also strengthens up the guard. I have read multiple times whilst researching this hub guard that it’s strong enough to take a bullet. If that’s the case then I’m pretty sure it’ll stick up for your nice hubs
against a measly metal rail.
Unlike most hub guards that are made from aluminium, the Cymbal guard is made from baked 4130 in the United States. If that previous sentence doesn’t make any sense to you, it basically means that you’ll have a very tough time beating this thing up or breaking it. This hub will fit all rear wheels that have a 14mm hub and obviously will only be fittable to the non-drive side.
The conical shape of this hub guard is very good at not messing up your run or combo when you hit them against a rail or barrier. If you over jump your attempt at a grind or stall, this guard is very good at sliding you back down onto a comfortable, non-damaging position on the rail. This won’t just keep your hubs and spokes in good working order but it’ll also give you a better balance point to get better at your new BMX tricks.
BSD is one of my all-time favourite BMX brands. The way they design and manufacture their products is amazing and it’s obvious that they put a lot of effort and thought into their products. The Jersey barrier is a two-piece hub guard made of plastic
If you have been riding for a long time or go through a lot of pegs you might understand that the alloy that some hub guards are made from actually tighten too tight or in the wrong place and end up crushing your bearings. This can damage your hubs quite badly and also make your bike ride slightly different, further putting you off your game. The mixture of plastic and aluminium in the BSD jersey barrier guard aims to rectify this problem by having the plastic tighten against the hub and bearings, hopefully easing up some pressure and lessening the chance of over tightening.
As you can see from the images, this guard is a little like a plastic and metal sandwich. As you already know, the inside plastic section is used to protect the bearings. The middle, metal part is used to strengthen up the guard and give it a much longer life. The outer plastic part is a sleeve that can be changed when worn. The plastic is firstly much cheaper to replace than a metal sleeve or whole new hub guard would be. Secondly, the plastic makes the bike hub guard much slippier than metal, making your grinds and stalls stick to just your pegs and nothing else.
The Pyn guard is relatively new to the market but it has taken a while to go from just tossing around some thoughts to actually putting it on the shelves. Animal says they started researching and developing some ideas around the time the ‘Butcher’
peg was released. The butcher peg was a very nice plastic peg made by Animal.
Bear in mind that this hub guard can only be used on bike hubs that feature a threaded axle cassette. So this hub guard actually threads onto your hub itself. The reason for threading the guard is mainly for added security for the rider, as mentioned previously in this list, some BMX hub guards put a lot of stress on welds and bearings thus weakening the hub. The fact the Pyn can be screwed on and secured is a very good preventative measure for this.
The Pyn guard comes with a near see-through sleeve that covers the outer area of the guard and can be changed at any point once it has worn out. The base section of this hub guard is made from aluminium and the sleeve is made from plastic to give the overall guard more durability and lifespan by effectively sacrificing itself.
Currently, the Pyn is only available for rear cassette wheels so if you like this guard and want one for your freecoaster or front wheel, unfortunately, your out of luck for a while. Animal does say that they’re working on prototypes for front wheels and freecoaster hubs but we are unsure as to how long it will be before you can get your hands on them.
The Alienation hub guard is another very simple guard for your BMX. This is a simple CNC machined front hub guard that isn’t there to look pretty, it’s a tough piece of metal, designed to be a strong a shield as possible to your front hub and spokes.
The holes you see that are around the threaded centre hole are there literally just to shed some weight, I don’t know how much is lost by doing this but the finished guard weighs about 30 grams, which I would say is pretty light. As you may have
guessed if you ride any Alienation equipment or you read about some of their new products; this hub guard is actually intended for use on the Alienation TinMan hub. Obviously hence them calling it the Alienation TinMan guard.
Have a look at the link below if you want to see some more images or if you’d like to buy one yourself.
I think the Eclat Overguard is one of the best looking ones on this list and one I would fit on my BMX without a second thought. The Overguard is a universal drive side guard so unlike a lot of other hub guards, you can fit this one wherever you
want. The unique half cover guard shape is not only very aesthetically pleasing but is also very functional and is what enables this hub guard to be fitted to nearly any wheel or hub on the market.
Made from 4140 Chromoly, fully CNC machined, this bike guard weighs in at around 80 grams, making it a little heavier than some of the others featured in this list but by the looks of it and by reading all the great reviews, it is very strong and unlikely to be damaged anytime soon. If you really want, you can even ride with four of these hub guards, one on each side of each hub. The driver side rear is the one that everyone is thinking about though, as it’s the hardest to find a guard to fit. Normally riders will place this hub between the peg and the outside of the dropout. It will then protect your hub, dropout, chain and spokes all at once.
As a result of researching this hub guard, I have only come across one concern a BMX rider has had. He said that when using the guard like I have described above, it can move out of place and rotate when you land on it. This isn’t a big issue but it is something you should know.
The Primo DSG is another guard with a section missing, making it look a lot like the Eclat Overguard, mentioned above. As I have said before, I really like this design and the functionality that comes with it. The sectional piece taken out of this guard is a little smaller than the Overguard but it seems to still allow use on nearly any hub and wheelset you can buy. It seems that though you can use this guard on any wheel you may find difficulties using this hub guard on your driver side if your hub is above 10 teeth.
Finally, let's have a quick talk about the Shadow Slide or Die BMX hub. This guard is made from an inner core of Chromoly and a nylon/fibreglass sleeve that can be replaced when worn out. Shadow is a great company that make very strong products.
We have written about them before in the BMX Chains article.
The shadow slide or die guard can be used on any non-drive side rear hub.
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