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mudguards that look good

Old 10-19-20, 07:59 AM
  #1  
wilson_smyth
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mudguards that look good

Im a bike minimalist, i like a bike to look minimalistic. I accept that i need lights and coming into winter, mudguards.
I particularly hate mudguards. Functionally they have to keep me splatter free, make an attempt to keep the bike clean and ideally stop spray hitting the guy behind me.

My bike is a bit odd though, its what they call a "fitness/hybrid" bike. Its pretty much a gravel bike with flat bars, running on 40mm tires.
I currently have SKS Speedrockers installed, but they had to be cut up a bit to fit between the rear stays, and are a bit flimsy to boot.

I have been considering some of the more minimal mountain bike style guards, but some look almost like a wing on the back of the bike, and i question if they are any good, but have no experience.

Appreciate any thoughts and opinions on what may look good and what you are using.
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Old 10-19-20, 08:28 AM
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Properly installed full-coverage mudguards can look quite sleek. The key word is "properly". Look at SKS Longboards and Velo Orange mudguards as a starting point.
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Old 10-19-20, 09:22 AM
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If you've taken an emotional dislike to fenders/mudguards, you'll never like looking at them.

Except, perhaps, when you're riding down a wet street, happen to look down, and think, "Wow, if it weren't for the fenders, my feet would be soaked already, and I'd have to clean and re-lube the chain when I get home!"
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Old 10-19-20, 09:34 AM
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One problem is that 40mm tires require a big fender to get adequate coverage, and big fenders don't look sleek. Consider reducing tire width so you can mount the hammered Velo Orange mudguards.



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Old 10-19-20, 09:42 AM
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You really do want full coverage fenders not just a beaver tail.




I run full metal fenders over 44mm tires. If I didnít have space between the seat stays Iíd trim them since aluminum is stiff enough to take without rattling or getting flimsy.
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Old 10-19-20, 10:49 AM
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Rene Herse fenders, which are made by Honjo.

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Old 10-19-20, 10:52 AM
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If you expect you and your bike to remain relatively clean and dry, not to mention anyone behind you, you will need full-length mudguards front and rear, and probably a mudflap on the front mudguard as well. For looks and durability, I like the Velo-Orange hammered fenders. The hammered finish doesn't show scratches like a polished finish, and aluminum doesn't get brittle in the cold like plastic. They can be tricky to install, however.
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Old 10-19-20, 12:27 PM
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Do you have more pride in your bike or your appearance once you arrive?

For some reason no effort has been spent by the bike industry to make fenders that look good on the bikes that need them the most. $200 hammered fenders are pretty on a polished old steel bike and painted fenders look good on a cruiser. But if you have a Trek FX there really ought to be something better looking than Longboards

Honjo fenders are also available from Sim Works and they might have a better selection than Rene Herse, I have not checked
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Old 10-19-20, 01:35 PM
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Because they hug the shape of the wheel, I think a close-fitting set of full-length fenders looks more "minimalistic" than kludgy speedrockers or other loose fitting or partial fenders that draw attention to themselves.

Last edited by BobbyG; 10-20-20 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 10-19-20, 02:19 PM
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Those fenders look pretty effective, BobbyG : the front fender, with the mudflap, comes down low enough to block spray from the front tire. (Most front fenders are pretty useless in that regard.)

What is the cylindrical device mounted under your top tube?
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Old 10-19-20, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
What is the cylindrical device mounted under your top tube?
Ask him to show you, he probably wants an excuse. You'll need these:

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Old 10-19-20, 08:08 PM
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I love fenders, except when they look like the kind on off-road motorcycles (or MTB excuses for fenders) or anything that's too short to do the job. My favorite ones look like metal and are an appropriate shape/size for properly serving the purpose. How well they keep me dry is much more crucial to me than how well they keep the person tailgating me dry. If you're trying to draft me, you're welcome to eat my mud.

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Old 10-20-20, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Those fenders look pretty effective, BobbyG : the front fender, with the mudflap, comes down low enough to block spray from the front tire. (Most front fenders are pretty useless in that regard.)

What is the cylindrical device mounted under your top tube?
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They offered a metal canister for a few years but are back to plastic. The metal version works better below freezing.
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Old 10-21-20, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Because they hug the shape of the wheel, I think a close-fitting set of full-length fenders looks more "minimalistic" than kludgy speedrockers or other loose fitting or partial fenders that draw attention to themselves.
Maybe you already shared this, and I missed it, but in any case - would you be willing to share details about what mudguards you are using in the picture you posted?
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Old 10-21-20, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by John Valuk View Post
Maybe you already shared this, and I missed it, but in any case - would you be willing to share details about what mudguards you are using in the picture you posted?
SKS Longboards
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Old 10-21-20, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
SKS Longboards
Hey, thanks! I already have mudguards, but the ones you are using look as though they would work (and look) better.
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Old 10-21-20, 09:30 AM
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I have the SKS Beavertail fenders that clip on my old MTB. They help keep stuff off my back, but donít fully keep my feet dry.

Anyway, they look a bit funky, I always think the bike ends up looking like a vintage German motorcycle. Iíll try to post a pick soon... itís cold, wet and rainy so I can justify swapping to the knobby tire wheels and throwing on the fenders.

Otto
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Old 10-21-20, 10:44 AM
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Form follows function. Embrace the concept and the beauty of fenders will be revealed.
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Old 10-21-20, 11:01 AM
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I'm still looking for the elusive yellow road width fender of high quality. In the past 50 years I've never seen a pair. I have heard that they were made around 20 years ago and had talked to a shop employee with a pair and a store owner who used to sell them.

My best bike is a custom painted bright red, I intended from day one to put on yellow fenders to have a visible bike in the low sun, low cloud days so common over the next 5 months in western Oregon. SKS has heard my wishes but told me they cannot do yellow with the technology of their silver fenders. I currently am riding painted black SKSs but the paint chips off easily. Probably I can get epoxy in the right color but I keep wondering, should I as a consumer have to work that hard for something as practical and safe as visible fenders? It used to be that you could go to any bike store and by white fenders. Even that is hard now. I have seen exactly one white pair of Planet Bike road width fenders. That pair is on my city bike;

Vent, vent
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Old 10-21-20, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Probably I can get epoxy in the right color but I keep wondering, should I as a consumer have to work that hard for something as practical and safe as visible fenders?
Welcome to my world - not necessarily for yellow fenders, but for a lot of other things.

It can be tough when something you want is simply not to be had. Good on you for reaching out to SKS about it, though.
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Old 10-21-20, 03:52 PM
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Naturally "winter" means different things in different places. In my locale, super close fitting fenders can be problematic if it's snowy and close to freezing. The slush can cake up between tire and fender. On one particular day, with heavy steel fenders, my bike simply ground to a halt. I prefer a bit more of a gap if possible, though it doesn't look as snappy.
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Old 10-21-20, 08:04 PM
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Behold the vintage German motorcycle (taken before a rather messy trail ride this evening):




Otto
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Old 10-22-20, 05:55 AM
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There is no such thing as good looking fenders. Some can be less jarring to the eye, but the most effective ones are usually the ugliest, sadly.

Also, why aren't the SKS Longboards available wider than 45mm?
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Old 10-22-20, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
There is no such thing as good looking fenders. Some can be less jarring to the eye, but the most effective ones are usually the ugliest, sadly.

Also, why aren't the SKS Longboards available wider than 45mm?
I see it in reverse, no bike is complete without some nice fenders.
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Old 10-22-20, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
There is no such thing as good looking fenders. Some can be less jarring to the eye, but the most effective ones are usually the ugliest, sadly.
I disagree.

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