Remember when bash guards were big? I do, mostly because I have a bunch of them hanging from a hook in my shop that I see every day. Back in the triple era, I would almost always ditch the big ring in favor of a bash guard – usually about the point that the big ring was worthless anyway after dragging it across every log and rock in the state. As drivetrains have changed, we’re more likely to see bash guards integrated into a chain guide on longer travel bikes, or as a bolt on guard that attaches to the frame instead of the crank like MRP’s XCg. I still have my original bottom bracket mounted XCg, though it doesn’t do much good for a lot of bikes these days in the time of the pressfit BB.
Now, in addition to the XCg V1 and V2, MRP has a new version of their bolt on guide specifically for smaller chainrings. Many riders are mounting up 30t or smaller rings to provide the low range to climb mountains, and at that size the standard XCg is a little overkill. The new Micro XCg is specifically designed for chainrings up to 30t, and is made from a single piece of 5mm aluminum plate. Since it lacks the added weight of a bolt on skid plate, the Micro XCg is almost half the weight of the XCg V2 at 46g. Made to fit ISCG 05 chainguide tabs only, the guard will both protect the ring from impacts and help protect the frame if the chain manages to come off the ring. MRP states that most installations don’t require crankset removal, and the guard sells for $49.95.