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Fenders beyond commuting.

Old 06-26-19, 04:48 AM
  #1  
tweekfreekdX
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Fenders beyond commuting.

Having one bike, it is ridden as a commuter and weekend fun. I ride on a trail and streets. The trail is next to a creek that floods regularly with heavy rain. This brings lots of sandy dirt on the path. Luckily the bike path will lead me just about any area I need to go. Everything I could really need is in a 5 mile radius. I have started riding to work and the gym daily (about 4 miles total). Also running various errands. What I am wondering is, will fenders provide that much benefit for me and my bike? Or any possible draw backs? I have been looking at vo steel fenders, any thoughts? This forum seems to be the area to ask. Apologies if it is incorrectly placed. Thanks ahead of time.
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Old 06-26-19, 06:22 AM
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Fenders not only protect your clothing and shoes, but also your drivetrain and headset. Under heavy rain conditions you're still going to get wet regardless of fenders or not, but riding through the occasional puddle or wet pavement just after a rainfall it makes a big difference. I have full fenders for three of my bikes and these are bikes I will ride all four seasons. I will even take one of them out for longer weekend rides if I think there's a chance of any precipitation.
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Old 06-26-19, 06:35 AM
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I never could get over the goofy look of fenders, but I've witnessed how practical and functional they can be. Years ago, I lived down in the tropics, where rain be be unexpected, and frequent, and I commuted daily on a mtn bike (and raced and trained on a road bike). I found out that if the roads were even a tiny bit wet, it was virtually impossible to ride slow enough that I didn't sling road grime up onto the back of my t-shirt. And that stuff can be harder to get out than chain grease !!!!
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Old 06-26-19, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
I never could get over the goofy look of fenders...
One mans goofy is another mans classy! I think many bikes look better with a proper set of mudguards. They will keep your bike and body cleaner in any situation and dress up a bike nicely if properly installed.
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Old 06-26-19, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by 5teve View Post
........They will keep your bike and body cleaner in any situation .
I appreciate a redundant mini-lecture as much as the next guy.....but didn't I just acknowledge that ??
Obviously, we'll all have our personal preferences, no harm, no foul, but the widespread consensus is that they do look goofy, and/or aren't necessary, or the market would be such that most bikes would come with them, or have attachments for them. The market doesn't prefer them, therefore the bike companies aren't equipping new bikes with them to any meaningful degree.

Last edited by Brocephus; 06-26-19 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 06-26-19, 07:38 AM
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no drawbacks in my opinion, as a fender friend

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Old 06-26-19, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
I appreciate a redundant mini-lecture as much as the next guy.....but didn't I just acknowledge that ??
Obviously, we'll all have our personal preferences, no harm, no foul, but the widespread consensus is that they do look goofy, and/or aren't necessary, or the market would be such that most bikes would come with them, or have attachments for them. The market doesn't prefer them, therefore the bike companies aren't equipping new bikes with them to any meaningful degree.
What widespread consensus? If you ride in the rain or after it rains, especially on dirt paths, they look great, and my clothes look great. Perhaps there is a consensus among fair weather riders.
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Old 06-26-19, 07:58 AM
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When I tried year round fenders a few years ago I sucked up a twig, came to a sudden stop and found I'd wrecked the fender. The tabs that pop loose the stays worked as designed, so no harm to me or bike. But still, that was only with my limited mileage and within a couple of months. I decided to go back to seasonal. This was on a fire road, so it was more likely to happen than on pavement.

Now on my MTB commuter I've got mud guards, which don't really present the same danger, and I've left them on.

We have fair weather 300 days a year here so it's really about whether those 65 days of rain overlap with commuting days and then whether they left puddles.
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Old 06-26-19, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
What widespread consensus? If you ride in the rain or after it rains, especially on dirt paths, they look great, and my clothes look great. Perhaps there is a consensus among fair weather riders.
Walk into a bike shop, or go on-line and look at new bikes, or observe all the bikes you see around the world on the streets, paths, in races, etc., and the overwhelming majority don't have fenders. There's your consensus.
I'm not saying fenders aren't a good product that serve their purpose well, all I did was express an opinion that they look goofy. No question, they are justifiably popular with daily commuters, and that they keep your bike and clothes cleaner (again, already stipulated).
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Old 06-26-19, 08:29 AM
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I'm a fan of fenders. Every now and then I get the urge to pull them off the only two bicycles I have, but then it rains and I want to ride after the rain has passed. So, on they stay.

Downsides? Most fenders look too practical and have little style. But, I need that practicality. Plus, they do seem a bit noisy when the tires whisk items through them. But as long as a solid stick doesn't go up in there, you get used to the noise that happens once in a while.

Upsides? Already mentioned, but fenders reduce the water and mud that get on you or your bike. It is very useful to be able to ride though puddles without much consequence while you are riding next to a curb when car traffic passes you.
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Old 06-26-19, 08:50 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by tweekfreekdX View Post
Having one bike... will fenders provide that much benefit for me and my bike? Or any possible draw backs?
Partial rear fenders will work to keep spray off your back, but full front fenders make a big difference. I mean the kind that tuck under and tickle the street with a flap. Dry toes through puddles, (drier toes in the rain). A much cleaner experience through mud, much and snow.

The big issue is clearance. My main commuter has tight fitting fenders. In most cases they work well, but they do collect twigs. And sometimes larger pebbles can get caught in there and shoot out which worries me about them being pressed against the tires, although I 've never had a flat because of that.

On my older, MTB-based commuter, after the first pair of tight, partial fenders, I put on full length fenders and set them for more clearance. Tight clearances on the full fenders allowed mud and snow to build up inside which made riding difficult, especially as the snow froze.

I've been happy with plastic (SKS Longboards).

As far as how they look, that's a matter of personal taste.



Full and Tight Fenders


Full and Looser Fitting with a Front Flap


Fenderless and Fancy-Free
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Old 06-26-19, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
Walk into a bike shop, or go on-line and look at new bikes, or observe all the bikes you see around the world on the streets, paths, in races, etc., and the overwhelming majority don't have fenders. There's your consensus.
I'm not saying fenders aren't a good product that serve their purpose well, all I did was express an opinion that they look goofy. No question, they are justifiably popular with daily commuters, and that they keep your bike and clothes cleaner (again, already stipulated).
Sex appeal sells, and speed is sexy. Fenders very rarely, if ever, make a bike look faster.

Plus, it's another fiddly part for manufacturers to deal with. They might have to produce/procure them in various sizes to suit their range of bikes, and they might have to trust local shops to assembly them correctly for the final customer...

There are numerous reasons why you don't see a lot of them on new bikes, but I also suspect the new bikes you are looking at are of the sporty variety. if you really start looking "around the world," you actually see tons of fenders. In most European cities, the only bikes without them are the more serious sporting bikes (so, the minority).
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Old 06-26-19, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
Walk into a bike shop, or go on-line and look at new bikes, or observe all the bikes you see around the world on the streets, paths, in races, etc., and the overwhelming majority don't have fenders. There's your consensus.
I'm not saying fenders aren't a good product that serve their purpose well, all I did was express an opinion that they look goofy. No question, they are justifiably popular with daily commuters, and that they keep your bike and clothes cleaner (again, already stipulated).
Bikes arenít generally sold with accessories, including fenders, lights, racks, bells, bags, etc. You add them if you need them and get the type and size you want. Even pedals are an accessory on many bikes. If you think fenders look goofy, thatís fine, but people with a dirt stripe up their back look great?
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Old 06-26-19, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
Walk into a bike shop, or go on-line and look at new bikes, or observe all the bikes you see around the world on the streets, paths, in races, etc., and the overwhelming majority don't have fenders. There's your consensus.
Most cars purchased new don't come with standard rubber floor mats. So the consensus is that people don't want rubber floor mats? That's an absurd argument.

People who ride road bikes on the weekends don't want fenders since they probably only ride in fair weather. In fact, I'd hazard to guess that most people who ride bikes don't ride them in the rain, so that's probably 80% of new bike costumers. Besides, why would manufacturers include fenders with new bikes since it's an unnecessary added cost.

Most, if not all, bikes I've seen on the commuting forum have fenders. Most people who commute by bike do so rain or shine, and sometimes even snow.

As for them being goofy looking, well, I think a much goofier look is the wet stripe down the middle of your back.

Edit:
Damn, @alan_s, beat me to it!
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Old 06-26-19, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post


Fenderless and Fancy-Free
I like that rear tire warmer you have there.
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Old 06-26-19, 09:30 AM
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LOL, you guys are really getting lathered up over this ! How many times to I have to stipulate that fenders serve a valid purpose ? I've never disputed that, so comments like, "people with a dirt stripe up their back look great?" are kinda stupid, given that I complained about that very issue, in my first post.
It's extremely common for people to change seats, stems, etc on a new bike, yet the bike manufacturers keep equipping them with race-looking gear, because that's what they've determined the majority of their customer base want (even if it ain't what they actually need).
If a majority of their customer base desperately wanted fenders, you can bet damn well they'd be routinely bolting on some cheap set of fenders with their house-brand name on them (Icon, Coda,Oval, Bontrager, etc.etc.).
But, that isn't to say fenders aren't popular with certain segments of the market, or in certain regions, obviously they are, I never claimed otherwise.
So, let's everybody take a breath and calm down, nobody is talking bad about yer momma or anything, we're all just bike enthusiasts yacking with strangers on the internet about stuff that, in the grand scheme of things, don't matter a hill o' beans.
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Old 06-26-19, 09:39 AM
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Not meaning to get too lathered up, but unfortunately the majority of consumers are often hoodwinked by marketing. See SUVs. See vanished station wagons.
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Old 06-26-19, 09:43 AM
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This bike looks OK with all the accessories. Bell, pump, saddle bag, water bottle cages, rack, bag, GPS, lights, pedals, and yes, fenders.

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Old 06-26-19, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
This bike looks OK with all the accessories. Bell, pump, saddle bag, water bottle cages, rack, bag, GPS, lights, pedals, and yes, fenders.

That's a great lookin' bike that fenders don't really pull down the style from much if at all.

It's kinda like if Brad Pitt and myself both get horrible haircuts. Brad Pitt will still look good and I'll look uglier than before.

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Old 06-26-19, 10:11 AM
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Walk into a bike shop, or go on-line and look at new bikes, or observe all the bikes you see around the world on the streets, paths, in races, etc., and the overwhelming majority don't have fenders. There's your consensus.
Really? What country to you live in? Oh, Georgia. US is not the world.

Although it is stated above that "Bikes arenít generally sold with accessories, including fenders, lights, racks, bells, bags, etc" Much of that is actually required to be on the bike to be sold in many parts of Europe*.

Commute in the Netherlands or Germany for instance (many people do), and tell me how many bikes you see without fenders.

*(The above applies to commuter bikes, and excludes "race" bikes, legally defined as weight < 12 kg, drop bars, a wheel diameter >= 630 mm , and a rim <= 23 mm)
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Old 06-26-19, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by tweekfreekdX View Post
will fenders provide that much benefit for me and my bike? Or any possible draw backs? I have been looking at vo steel fenders, any thoughts? This forum seems to be the area to ask.
Personally I see little drawback to a short rear fender. Longer fenders can get banged against things, knocked out of alignment, may cause toe strike, make it harder to put in a car (or transport with on or more wheels off).

To some degree they might make you a little faster (although not much to brag about, it has had positive results on motorcycles). There is actually a high pressure zone right in front of your front fender opening (top) that has aero advantages, and fairing on the rear wheel can also be an aero benefit. Those are some reasons fenders are banned in pro racing.

Jan Heine has some articles on the performance of fenders, and photos of him doing some amateur racing with his fenders on.

For what it is worth, I use plastic fenders. Don't rattle quite as easily and take more abuse.
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Old 06-26-19, 12:20 PM
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Thanks for all the responses, Iíll give some fenders a shot I think. I did notice the thoughts on toe strike, I do ride a cross check and occasionally have some toes strike but I think thatís a risk I might have to take. Cleaning the drive train after any extensive riding from sand is getting tiresome. Ordered some velo orange steel fenders! Thanks guys/gals. Also didnít mean to start a forum argument!
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Old 06-26-19, 12:30 PM
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What is all this talk about gettin lathered? Maybe we need a new tire thread?

Anyway, I love fenders and where I live they come in handy as we had record rainfall last year and are getting quite a bit again in 2019.
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Old 06-26-19, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tweekfreekdX View Post
Having one bike, it is ridden as a commuter and weekend fun. I ride on a trail and streets. The trail is next to a creek that floods regularly with heavy rain. This brings lots of sandy dirt on the path. Luckily the bike path will lead me just about any area I need to go. Everything I could really need is in a 5 mile radius. I have started riding to work and the gym daily (about 4 miles total). Also running various errands. What I am wondering is, will fenders provide that much benefit for me and my bike? Or any possible draw backs? I have been looking at vo steel fenders, any thoughts? This forum seems to be the area to ask. Apologies if it is incorrectly placed. Thanks ahead of time.

I have two bikes with fenders - a late-model adventure bike with OEM steel fenders and one vintage resto-mod with aluminum VO fenders. Both fender sets are properly fitted, quiet, and stable. I like the looks of bikes with fenders and they have caused me to ride more in marginal conditions. For example, if it rained overnight and the roads are wet with puddles I won't hesitate to go as I would before I had fenders.

VO makes nice stuff at reasonable prices. When I bought my fenders from them they included a bag full of hardware to accommodate most fender mounting issues. Read the instructions. The VO website also has some fender mounting advice. Plan on spending at least a couple hours installing - half of it standing, staring, and thinking.

The only drawback is the small possibility of picking up a stick or something similar that will jam in the fender. Use release tabs for mounting and this should limit the chance of you going over the bars. In 2 years I haven't yet had a problem of this sort.

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Old 06-26-19, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
Walk into a bike shop, or go on-line and look at new bikes, or observe all the bikes you see around the world on the streets, paths, in races, etc., and the overwhelming majority don't have fenders. There's your consensus.



NO that is because you are looking at bikes in Georgia, the USA, where mudguards are an add on accessory,
you have to choose to buy ..

As opposed to buying a transportation bike in Germany or NL and such, in EU, the build contract with their suppliers
has mudguards and lights as standard equipment, because its a Different Market with different legal equipment minimums..

We in the store near me have a few bikes outfitted from the carton with mudguards and lights,
But, most people buy Mountain bikes, the county is mostly forest

I'm not saying fenders aren't a good product that serve their purpose well, all I did was express an opinion that they look goofy. No question, they are justifiably popular with daily commuters, and that they keep your bike and clothes cleaner (again, already stipulated).

guess you shower after every wet ride and put the clothes directly in the laundry..

OK for you..







...
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