Champion Bike Components Frame Defender Review
Ever had one of those moments where you asked yourself… “why didn’t I think of that?” Well, lucky for you, Champion Bike Components had that “Aha” moment and actually did something about it. Voila… the Frame Defender. So simple in it’s purpose, you’d slap yourself silly for not putting this on your pride and joy sooner.
The material is manufactured from a light weight pliable foam with 3M adhesive on the back. If you happen to surf, you probably already use this material for traction on the rear of your board. The Frame Defender kit comes in various sizes to protect the bottom of the main downtube, upper and lower chainstay as well as smaller pieces to guard against “frame uglifying” cable rubs.
If you’re a weight weenie, this material is actually fractions of the weight of your traditional wrapped inner tube. Not only is it light, it’s durable and doesn’t wear out as fast as an inner tube does. The coolest and what I’m most thrilled about with the Defender is the quieting affect of the chainslap. It puts me in a better frame of mind knowing I don’t have to hear all the racket the chain makes when I’m blazing down a trail. I like the feeling of a solidly built bike, and usually the only time a bike feels this way is the first few rides on a new chain. But once the grease breaks down you’ll start to hear the chain clanking off all the various places it comes into contact with — the majority of which is the frame. After installing the Defender, I only hear the bike working and tires rolling and sliding with almost no bike noise. It’s freaking amazing!
Protection wise… grease, dust, dirt, mud, sand, pebbles… nothing is getting through it. The material is 1 – 2+ mm thick, it absorbs and deflects typical trail debris without a hint of noise. It will protect your downtube for those kamikaze downhill runs where your front tire is sand blasting away at the underbelly of your frame. I know this, it happened to me (Ugh!). You’ll also love it for shuttling, especially when your buddy cheaps out and uses a Tijuana blanket instead of a real tailgate pad. I know this, it happened to me! For the price of a hair cut, you can keep that beautiful frame of yours protected from the wear and tear it takes every time you roll it out onto the trails.
The Frame Defender is really easy to work with and install. They are currently offered in Black, Gray and Blue with future colors to be released in the near future. You can buy them direct on CBC’s Website for $19.95 (Use the code “ondirt” for expedited service). For installation instructions: download the Installation PDF.
GOOD: It’s even lighter than Carbon. Holds up to abuse. Goes on and stays on. Looks trick as hell.
BAD: I should have done this sooner. Limited color choices. Possible tire clearance issues (but you can trim to fit).
Reviewed by Qwan Pham