Why do you need a rear mech derailleur hanger?

A replaceable derailleur hanger, also known as a mech hanger, is a small piece of metal that connects the rear derailleur to the bike frame. At first glance, it might seem insignificant, but this humble component is a critical in the world of mountain biking and cycling. Let’s delve into why derailleur hangers are an essential part of your bike.

  1. Protecting Your Bike: The primary function of a derailleur hanger is to act as a sacrificial component. If your bike hits a rock or takes a hard fall, the derailleur hanger is designed to bend or break first, protecting more vital and expensive components like the rear derailleur and the aluminium or carbon bike frame from severe damage.
  2. Ensuring Smooth Gear Shifting: The derailleur mech hanger holds the rear derailleur in place, allowing it to move the chain between gears smoothly. A slightly bent or damaged hanger can lead to misaligned gears, causing problems with shifting or even chain loss.
  3. Easy and Cost-Effective to fix: Derailleur mech hangers are designed to be easily replaceable. They are relatively inexpensive compared to other bike components, so having a spare one in your repair kit is a smart move. If your hanger gets damaged during a ride, you can quickly replace it and get back on track without much hassle.

In conclusion, while the derailleur hanger might be one of the smallest components of your bike, it does a vital job and so it’s important to always carry a spare.