Commuting - change fenders or tire width
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06-22-06, 09:48 PM
My 1980's steel Raleigh road bike SS conversion has 27 x 1 1/4 tires. I bought the wrong width Freddy Fenders. They are the skinny ones. Just slightly wider than the tires. In a perfect world, it would work. The front fender seems to work OK. There always seems to be one section of the rear tire that is peaking out from the fender. I just adjusted it tonight for the 5th time trying to keep the fender covering the tire.
OK, I screwed up. Which should I change? I could replace the tires with 1 1/8 inch wide tires. I would probably live with the current set-up until the tires wear-out. I can live with it till then. Then change the tires for the skinnier ones.
Alternatively, I could just get wider Fenders. Planet bike makes a wider set which I should have bought to begin with.
I ride some on gravel shoulders. Even the paved roads around here can have some massive cracks. That would maybe indicate keep the tires and change the fenders. I also have fantasies of making some long trips on this bike. I'm pretty sure I can get 85 pounds in the tires with my mini pump. Not sure I could do the 100 pounds it would take for the 1 1/8 tires.
On the other hand, I like the looks of the skinny fenders. The whole idea of this bike was to go faster than my SS MTB commuter. Looks and performance favor keeping the fenders and changing the tires.
What would you do?
Do the fenders actually "leak" at all, or is it just your observation that the tire isn't 100% covered? In my experiences, the vast majority of the spray from a tire comes off of the very center of the tire, where it is pushed to by the centrifugal force. I think most smooth tires (knobs probably screw things up) could be covered by very narrow fenders as long as they were fairly close-fitting to prevent crosswinds from blowing the spray out the side of the fender.
06-22-06, 10:45 PM
I'd go with the skinnier tires. I usually ride with 28mm, though on pretty good roads. Maybe replace with skinnier ones once the current ones wear out.
If you don't have a rack, get one. I don't care how many tatoos you have, you still have to carry the groceries home.
Cut 2 pieces of cardboard to the shape of the rack. Wrap well in saran wrap. Then
wrap that in a couple layers of duct tape; and then duct tape the mess to the underside of your rack. If you do a good job it will last 2 or 3 years.
My last 27 inch bike had 27 1 1/4 tires. It's a good size, and if it's a good tire it'd be a shame to dump it over a little thing like that.
06-23-06, 07:06 AM
Just make sure if you get skinnier tires that your 27" rims are narrow enough to handle the decreased tire width. I also tried to put narrower tires on my 27s and had to revert back because my rims are pretty wide. I think Sheldon has something on acceptable widths for rims.
Wider tires are more comfortable too and if you're running panniers then it is probably advisable to go wider due to the increased weight in the back.
06-23-06, 09:09 AM
Well, it hasn't rained much here lately. I don't know if I'll get any spillage or not from the uncovered section of sidewall. I guess I'll wait and see. At any rate, I'm not getting rid of the tires until they're worn out. They have alot of tread on them, but the gumwall sides are kind of cracked. The guy I bought it from put new tires on it, then hung it in the garage for probably 10 years. The center of the tires still had those thin rubber things left over from the molding process.
The front fender covers pretty well. It's the longer back fender that seems to not exactly be co-planar with the wheel. I adjust it with the mount points forever, but there always seems to be a point where the sidewall is sticking out. Maybe I should put a rear rack over it to catch any water coming off the sidewall. I was kind of hoping not to use a rack to keep the bike light.
I got the Hybrid/Tour fenders for my Schwinn Passage which is running 27x1 1/4". Personally, I'd get the wider set if you want to stick with the wider tire. Not sure where you ordered the skinnier ones from, but the best price I've found on the wider set of road fenders was at www.bikepartsusa.com
/check out pics in the 'Schwinn Passage' link in sig for images of the wider fenders if interested.
06-23-06, 06:14 PM
I use 27x1 1/8 tires on my commuter. My route has one moderately rough road on a hill with lots of cracks and patches, where the tires perform well. I ride downhill pretty fast (30-37 mph) and just sort of float over all the roughness and I do OK. But I can't say how well 27 x 1 1/8s would perform on gravel. Compared to the 23cs on my other bike, my 27 x 1 1/8 tires feel pretty cushy.
I ran the small Freddy fenders on my 27x1-1/4 tires without any problem. The fit was tight, and constant minor adjustments to the front were necessary when toeverlap got the better of me. I'm now running 700x23, so there's lots of room. I'd probably suggest going to a 27x1-1/8 tire if you're still having problems.
06-24-06, 01:33 PM
If you get the wide fenders it doesn't restrict your ability to go to a narrower tire... If you like the tires you currently use, then go with the wider fender.
However, if you are thinking about narrower for the increased efficiency or other reasons, then change them now and figure out if it works before the rainy season.
06-24-06, 08:00 PM
I'm running the PB thinner Freddy Hardcore fenders on 28mm tires. They do fit close, but absolutely no spray outside them. My sidewalls just peek out from the edge of the fender. I get occasional rattling when I corner hard, but otherwise, they're perfect.
I ride some crappy roads with lots of ice heave cracks and potholes. The 28's seem to be just about right at 90psi. Off the top of my head, I don't know if 28mm = 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 in old money.
Off the top of my head, I don't know if 28mm = 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 in old money.
28 is 1-1/8 :)
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