Derailleur hanger: what is it?

The derailleur hanger is a small element with the size of a flash drive that connects the rear derailleur to the frame of the bike. The main purpose of this element is acting as a “shield” for these elements in the event of an accident.

In case of falling, a collision or incorrect gear shift the derailleur hanger in 99% of cases adsorbs the impact, and the frame and rear derailleur remain intact. So judge for yourself, which is cheaper: a small element of the shape that reminds about a well-known poultry (cock), or complete replacement of damaged parts – the bent frame or the broken rear derailleur? Thus, the derailleur hanger protects both your bike, and your time and nerves.

Removable and non-removable derailleur hangers: what’s the difference?

A removable derailleur hanger is almost an integral part of all sports and mountain bikes with carbon or aluminum frames. A lightweight bicycle means light brackets: they are usually made of fragile low-weight alloys. One may try to straighten such a derailleur hanger after an “accident” only after a minor impact, and only if it is milled, and not cast. Usually, the easiest way is to replace the damaged element with a new one — the price of a derailleur hanger is incomparable to the cost of replacing the entire frame or the rear derailleur, and choosing the proper model is not a problem today.

Modern bikes rarely have non-removable derailleur hangers, only on the frames made of titanium or steel. A non-removable bracket is a kind of frame continuation: the holder is an integral part of the frame. Such an element is strong enough to withstand a crash without breaking, it is only slightly bent – and then it can be bent back. If the derailleur hanger cracks (after repeated bending or a particularly strong impact), it has to be re-welded to the frame.

How to make a derailleur hanger last longer

Do you love riding in the forest? Always go coasting in locations with many branches under the wheels: once in the chain, they can severely damage both the bracket, and the derailleur.

How to make a derailleur hanger last longer

  1. Check correctness of the derailleur hanger settings, so that the spokes do not get into the chain.
  2. Try to prevent your bike from falling on its right side; when parking, carefully put it on its left side, or reliably secure to avoid an accidental impact.
  3. If your derailleur hanger has once been straightened, buy a spare one, and take it with you when going on long rides: the old one may fail to survive another accident.
  4. Do you arrange joint rides with someone else? Never jam on the brakes, so that your friend behind you on his/her bike does not ride into your derailleur hanger after losing concentration. When you are going to stop – use a signal, for example, raise your hand up.

Safe biking and exciting discoveries to you!