Throwback Thursdays:1988 WTB Chainstay Protector

10 April, 2014

While some might not think chainstay protectors are necessarily the most exciting thing going, WTB's 1988 Chainstay Protectors were pretty sweet.  For one thing, they were some of the first and they actually did what others would have liked to but didn't: they quieted things down back there.  Hand cut from extra thick neoprene, they had a nice deadening effect even when terrain normally dictated chatter.  At first, they were a constant width, then, low and behold, they grew up and became tapered, neatly providing clean, elegant protection on frames.  Then chainstays went cuckoo with various attempts at full suspension, elevated stays, huge stays, shameful stays, stays that self-respecting chainstay protectors didn't want any part of.  Their reign had come to an end.

Interesting side note: back when WTB was mostly located in founders' garages, Mark Slate found a laudable application for the neoprene used for chainstays' creation.  Mark Slate is tall, 6 plus some feet tall, and the 35 Locke Lane (Slate's rented house at the time) basement, low.  A low hanging joist in WTB's lair of creation must have been a nuisance so sure enough, WTB Head Protector #1 was created with the excess material.  Fred Falk still remembers entering the basement and having to keep a keen eye for the neoprene-wrapped hindrance at near head level.  An application for everything they say.  Here's to the 1988 WTB Chainstay Protector, and all WTB neoprene protectors for that matter.

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