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Conflict (tire choice): Weekend touring with knobby tires

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Conflict (tire choice): Weekend touring with knobby tires

Old 01-17-20, 01:42 PM
  #26  
Wilfred Laurier
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If I were you I would mount some close-fitting full fenders, front and rear, so you don't have to look at the tires.
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Old 01-17-20, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Now that's what I'm talking about.... Nice set up!

I've been wanting to build up an ECR just like that - racks front/back with drop bars. I've come to find it pretty non-conventional that anyone runs drops on anything but mostly pavement bikes. I find my drops on my Disk Trucker a hand, posture, and otherwise general endurance saver to the point that's all I need to know going forward. If it works well already, why change?

In any event, the Troll, Ogre, and ECR are most excellent for multi-surface touring duties. I'd consider the Troll, but I want the bigger tire clearance the ECR offers. With disk brakes building up wheel sets for different riding conditions is possible. As has been mentioned in the thread already - a lot of people tune tires to where/how they ride. By swapping wheel sets you get the bonus of being able to change the rim width which in turn gives you another world of tire options.... Something for everyone here to think about, also. Yea, its more expensive, but less work to swap out wheel sets than swap tires on 1 wheel set. Again - with 1 rim width you are locked to a set range of tire size and what makes/models fit that particular size range.
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Old 01-17-20, 11:51 PM
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Thanks kc
the nice surprise is that I like how the bike handles with drops also. Very happy with the handling, even with the very shirt stem.
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Old 01-19-20, 11:16 PM
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I do not currently have fenders, but they have been on my mind. I was considering gilles berthoud in 60 mm.

Coincidentally, I have had my eye on the Troll.
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Old 01-20-20, 07:48 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by kjaioqhbkqb View Post
I do not currently have fenders, but they have been on my mind. I was considering gilles berthoud in 60 mm.
...
You probably will be limited to 2.0 or 50mm wide tires if you use a 60mm fender. I generally find that you want a fender at least 10 mm wider than the tire. There are some exceptions, I have some Zefal fenders that have brackets that are a bit tighter to the tire than most, on those Zefals, I can only fit 32mm tires inside the 45mm fenders. I also have some 45mm fenders on another bike that have wider brackets, I can run 37mm wide tires in those fenders.

I prefer plastic fenders, but that is a personal preference. Some people are very happy with metal fenders.
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Old 01-20-20, 08:06 AM
  #31  
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I have 65mm SKS fenders with 52mm tires. It sounds like there would be plenty of coverage, but they just barely work. The common advice is tire width +10mm for fenders, and that's best in my experience.
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Old 01-20-20, 10:32 AM
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Re fender width and a dissenting view, I've twice used fenders on bikes where the official fender width capability is right at the limit, ie my tires are at the high end of recommended tire widths. I'm fairly certain my sks fenders on the troll are at the limit, but I just didn't want the weight and IMO ungainly appearance of the next size up of fenders.
My fenders were rated to 45 or 50mm, and I put 50mm on. And for me they work ok.
And the next size up were really really wide and bulky.
And to seal the deal, I really liked and still like the classy silver and pinstriped fenders I put on, they really compliment the black frame......yes, aesthetics, and yes I cared but they do work well too!

Last edited by djb; 01-20-20 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 01-20-20, 09:42 PM
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I find that knobby tires can cushion the ride a bit on-road but don't corner as well as slick tires & add some rolling resistance. So why sacrifice performance for looks?
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Old 01-22-20, 07:17 PM
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I skip fenders. Nothing against them, I just don't really mind the results without them. A deflector on my lower tube and maybe an "ass saver" in my seat or if I have a rack, I'll fit a piece of plastic under the rack and above the tire. Not perfect but in real dusty/dirty/muddy rides, you will get dirty regardless. It washes off easily (assuming you have access to water). If you are trying to stay dry in the rain, you are still going to get wet from above and around at some level but I've had my share of mucky water flying back in my face. I can't recall a time after riding all day in any conditions that I would not cleaned up and changed clothes anyway. Commuting, different story.

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Old 01-22-20, 07:25 PM
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I was wondering why so many of the fully-loaded pictures didn't have fenders. Good tip. Thanks!
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Old 01-22-20, 08:07 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
I skip fenders. Nothing against them, I just don't really mind the results without them. A deflector on my lower tube and maybe an "ass saver" in my seat or if I have a rack, I'll fit a piece of plastic under the rack and above the tire. Not perfect but in real dusty/dirty/muddy rides, you will get dirty regardless. It washes off easily (assuming you have access to water). If you are trying to stay dry in the rain, you are still going to get wet from above and around at some level but I've had my share of mucky water flying back in my face. I can't recall a time after riding all day in any conditions that I would not cleaned up and changed clothes anyway. Commuting, different story.
As someone who takes an effort to keep my drivetrain clean generally, fenders on my touring bike mean less gritty stuff gets thrown up on my chain from front tire, and this means my chain lasts longer, less work for me, and a cleaner quieter drivetrain.
and I dont mind the look of fenders.
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Old 01-23-20, 12:39 PM
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I can't fit full size fenders into my S&S case or in my other luggage when I fly with this bike and with my camping gear, thus no fenders on this trip. At least the rack pack kept most of the mud off of my back and from accumulating under my Brooks leather saddle.



This is the touring forum, you often will not have a handy garden hose to use at the end of a wet day to clean things off.

Fortunately, the showers at the campground at the end of the day were outside, that made it easier to bring my panniers (waterproof Ortlieb Rollers) into the shower to wash the mud off of them. The simple task of opening the panniers to get something out before they were cleaned got your hands so muddy that cleaning the mud off of them was necessary before setting up camp.

I do not recall how I cleaned the mud off of my shoe covers, I might have worn them into the shower to?



Since then I have been experimenting with different options for fenders that I can pack in the S&S case. And have bought several fenders that did not work out so well in the process. But I think I have it figured out for my next trip.
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Old 01-23-20, 05:24 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
You probably will be limited to 2.0 or 50mm wide tires if you use a 60mm fender. I generally find that you want a fender at least 10 mm wider than the tire. There are some exceptions, I have some Zefal fenders that have brackets that are a bit tighter to the tire than most, on those Zefals, I can only fit 32mm tires inside the 45mm fenders. I also have some 45mm fenders on another bike that have wider brackets, I can run 37mm wide tires in those fenders.

I prefer plastic fenders, but that is a personal preference. Some people are very happy with metal fenders.
I did not realize that. I was considering full fenders at some point over knobby / semi-knobby tires and I like the Gilles Berthoud. Let me know if there are similar alternatives.
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Old 01-23-20, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by kjaioqhbkqb View Post
I did not realize that. I was considering full fenders at some point over knobby / semi-knobby tires and I like the Gilles Berthoud. Let me know if there are similar alternatives.
I am not sure what you mean by similar alternatives, or what you are looking for. Velo Orange also makes metal fenders if you were looking for more metal options.

I have plastic fenders on most of my bikes, not metal. I have Planet Bike fenders, Bontrager fenders, and Zefal. I also have some SKS Race Blade XL, but I do not have any permanently attached SKS fenders.

The Zefal look like plastic, but they might have a fiberglass reinforcement, at the cut end they look like they have some fiber reinforcing and do not flex the same as plastic, I bought them about 15 years ago.
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Old 01-23-20, 09:52 PM
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Not from lots of personal experience, but fenders with knobby tires and certain types of mud are always going to be a bit of a gamble and certainly a compromise. That's another reason why I left so much space between tires and fenders, in case I had to ride through gucky stuff. I suspect I'd have had problems anyway if it was bad.....but slicks pick up a loooooot less mud than knobbies, and then of course there are knobbies and there are knobbies....
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Old 01-24-20, 08:08 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
I skip fenders. Nothing against them, I just don't really mind the results without them. A deflector on my lower tube and maybe an "ass saver" in my seat or if I have a rack, I'll fit a piece of plastic under the rack and above the tire. Not perfect but in real dusty/dirty/muddy rides, you will get dirty regardless. It washes off easily (assuming you have access to water). If you are trying to stay dry in the rain, you are still going to get wet from above and around at some level but I've had my share of mucky water flying back in my face. I can't recall a time after riding all day in any conditions that I would not cleaned up and changed clothes anyway. Commuting, different story.
I rode out early one morning and a water street cleaning truck went by and was on the same route I was taking through the city. The water thrown up by my tires was cold and I do mean cold. The next chance I had I put full fenders on the bike and never had to worry about riding through standing water again. My winter bike has full fenders and mud flaps for that same reason - shallow standing water is REALLY COLD. I like t o keep that cold water off of me. YMMV

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Old 01-24-20, 10:56 AM
  #42  
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Better to have them and not need them than vice versa??
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Old 01-24-20, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Not from lots of personal experience, but fenders with knobby tires and certain types of mud are always going to be a bit of a gamble and certainly a compromise. That's another reason why I left so much space between tires and fenders, in case I had to ride through gucky stuff. I suspect I'd have had problems anyway if it was bad.....but slicks pick up a loooooot less mud than knobbies, and then of course there are knobbies and there are knobbies....
I often am running knobby tires on my Nomad, I agree with you on the potential for stuff that adheres to the tire to catch on the fender. I have as much room between my 57mm tires and 65mm wide fender as I can get.

But one hazard you did not mention that worries me more than mud, sometimes a knobby tire with groves can pick up twigs or rocks that get pushed into the grooves as you ride over them on the ground, and the tire could grab that twig or rock in the groove and carry it up into the fender. I often hear a bit of gravel inside the fender as the gravel rides all teh way out to the front of the fender. But the twigs concern me more as that could lock up a wheel. Has not happened to me, but I am extra careful on that bike to try to miss any tree branches that are lying on the road or trails.

That is the same bike I put my 2.0 width Marathon Winter studded tires on in winter, occasionally I hear snow rubbing inside a fender.
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Old 01-24-20, 01:28 PM
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I once had a weird rear tire lock up from a twig. Wasn't going fast, and ran over a twig that got shot up into the rear wheel sideways, jammed against the frame and my tires skidded to a halt. Stick didn't break, no spoke damage and I stopped immediately, so all was fine.
buta weird coincidence of how it happened.

I've also had snow rubbing against top of fork with embedded grit scratching it up. That was with 2.5 tires with not enough clearance, so following winter used old 2.15 mtb tires instead.
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Old 01-24-20, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
Better to have them and not need them than vice versa??
If you're replying to me then yes, I'd far rather have them if I hit standing cold water than not have them. Especially in winter when socks and pant legs don't dry quickly.

There's a park I ride through here a lot of times and a lot of times the path is completely flooded for quite some distance. Fenders and mud-flaps help keep the water off. Sometimes when i know it's flooded I take a pair of rubber wellies with me to put on before I hit the standing water.

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Old 01-24-20, 01:47 PM
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I just re-read your original post and it sounds as if you are touring on a MTB whilst your buddies are touring on road bikes with you. Is that correct? In that case I'd go with the narrowest slick MTB rim compatible tire I could get = 1.25" on one of my MTB bikes with drop handlebar and bar-end shifters.

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Old 01-24-20, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
If you're replying to me then yes, I'd far rather have them if I hit standing cold water than not have them. Especially in winter when socks and pant legs don't dry quickly.

There's a park I ride through here a lot of times and a lot of times the path is completely flooded for quite some distance. Fenders and mud-flaps help keep the water off. Sometimes when i know it's flooded I take a pair of rubber wellies with me to put on before I hit the standing water.

Cheers
I just went through this decision making process as the last bike I bought had the option of 29x2.80 "Slick" tires or 29x3.00 knobbies. I wrestled with it and went with the knobbies - makes detours more fun and was glad to have them in the snow this week
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Old 01-24-20, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
I just went through this decision making process as the last bike I bought had the option of 29x2.80 "Slick" tires or 29x3.00 knobbies. I wrestled with it and went with the knobbies - makes detours more fun and was glad to have them in the snow this week
I have a road bike that was made for 27" tires but I put 700C wheels on it. I used 700C x 30mm Schwalbe CX Pro tires on it for a long time so I too could ride it on dirt roads I might come across whilst exploring. It's one of the main reasons I converted an MTB to dropbar.

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Old 01-24-20, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I can't fit full size fenders into my S&S case or in my other luggage when I fly with this bike and with my camping gear, thus no fenders on this trip. At least the rack pack kept most of the mud off of my back and from accumulating under my Brooks leather saddle.
Since then I have been experimenting with different options for fenders that I can pack in the S&S case. And have bought several fenders that did not work out so well in the process. But I think I have it figured out for my next trip.
Will be interesting to read about the results of the S&S fender experiments. Have you tried cutting fenders in half with a little plate & bolts to attach the 2 halves?

S&S case aside, fender flaps are a nice plus if using fenders. I bought some Planet Bike fenders w/o flaps & it's quite unpleasant to have water slosh off the front fender onto the feet esp when it's cold.
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Old 01-24-20, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Will be interesting to read about the results of the S&S fender experiments. Have you tried cutting fenders in half with a little plate & bolts to attach the 2 halves?

S&S case aside, fender flaps are a nice plus if using fenders. I bought some Planet Bike fenders w/o flaps & it's quite unpleasant to have water slosh off the front fender onto the feet esp when it's cold.
On a different bike I made some fender flaps out of the black plastic from Folgers coffee can lids. Quiet flexible, but stiff enough so the wind does not deform it.

I think I have bought three different sets of clip on fenders to try with that bike, for one reason or another all did not work out. Around home I use some Bontrager fenders that are 65mm wide, bought them almost a decade ago, but I do not want to do any surgery on them. I considered buying some SKS P65 fenders and doing some surgery on them like you suggest for travel, but it already takes so much time to pack up the bike, remove all three bottle cages, remove both crank arms, remove both racks, remove stem, loosen the interrupter brake levers on the bars so I can twist them, pull fork out of the frame, etc., that I really do not want anything that takes too much time to attach or remove. On my last tour, I decided to not even attach a dyno powered headlamp to the bike, instead just carried a USB powered one in the handlebar bag in case I encountered any tunnels or wanted to go to a pub at night. Used a pair of battery powered taillights, the brackets for those lights stay on the rack when the rack gets removed from the bike. The dynohub was only used for charging batteries, not lighting.

I bought some cheap small fenders on Ebay, shipped from Asia (shipping is a month) and I made my own brackets from some aluminum bar, used that on my last tour, they worked pretty well so I think I will be expanding on that concept. You can see in the photo a small shorty fender on the front wheel, have a slightly larger one also on the back wheel that is hidden in the photo. I bought a second pair, I plan to put a small shorty on the front wheel in front of the fork to keep the spray down lower, also put one between the seatstay and chainstay to reduce the spray off the back wheel onto my legs and feet.



I am usually pretty quick to put rain pants and shoe covers on when it is cold. Yes, that is a patch of snow in the photo. And sometimes when it is pretty cold and dry, I might put on the rain pants just to cut the wind.

It is a ***** to get everything all packed away in the case. It is a heavy bike, with the case it is over 50 pounds so the pedals, saddle and a few other things go in my other luggage. Rear rack also goes in the other luggage as it will not fit in the S&S case with the bike.



But it can be worth it to get the bike and other stuff down to manageable size for lugging through airports, etc. My non-coupled bikes have never seen an airport, I do not want the hassle of a full size bike box when I fly.

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