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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-04-06, 09:23 AM   #1
kennyd
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Fenders....where have you been all my life

I've been commuting for 4 years now in the northern suburbs of Chicago and fall has always been dicey due to the cold rains that come with it. For some unbeknownst reason, I've never made the jump to full fenders. Until now..

I guess the purpose of this post is to convince others not willing to make that step that it actually works. I modified the fenders a bit with homemade mudguards (kinda like these at this site ... http://phred.org/~alex/bikes/fendermudflap.html). What a difference! As geeky as this setup looks, it allows for more days on the saddle and less hours stalkin the Weather Channel.
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Old 10-04-06, 09:42 AM   #2
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Another convert! I don't understand people not wanting to have fenders on a bicycle that functions as transportation. Both of my commuter bikes have fenders. I've fallen prey to the "need for speed," (and a little bit of style self-consciousness), so the vintage roadie I'll be adding to my stable isn't going to get fenders. But will I be riding that bike to school and work everyday in whatever the sky happens to throw in my direction? Heck no! For my two bikes that get daily utility use, fenders are a necessity, I wouldn't dream of taking them off.
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Old 10-04-06, 09:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by grolby
Both of my commuter bikes have fenders. I've fallen prey to the "need for speed," (and a little bit of style self-consciousness), so the vintage roadie I'll be adding to my stable isn't going to get fenders.
Great OP! Fenders are the best.

And I can't figure out the aesthetic argument against them. Old touring bikes with chrome fenders are my favorite bikes ever. I think bikes look naked without fenders, but of course I hardly ever ride for speed. Utility and travel is always my primary motivation for being on a bike.
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Old 10-04-06, 10:01 AM   #4
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Lycra + a skunk stripe up my rear and back is not cool. I love my sks fenders.
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Old 10-04-06, 10:12 AM   #5
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Full fenders $24. full fenders on a rainy day, priceless.
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Old 10-04-06, 10:13 AM   #6
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Fenders may not be a fashion statement - but neither is a skunk stripe.

I FINALLY got a rear fender that works - my commute is nearly completely dirt, mud, sand, rock - when it rains, there is an incredible amount of junk. Now I arrive clean, except for my legs below my shorts.
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Old 10-04-06, 10:15 AM   #7
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Do fenders slow you down somehow? I have them and don't notice any difference at all.
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Old 10-04-06, 10:33 AM   #8
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I think the traffic lights, city buses, taxis and pedestrians jumping out into traffic slow me down far more than anything the fenders could produce.
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Old 10-04-06, 10:46 AM   #9
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Yup, once I got fenders, and also to some extent a rain jacket, I stopped even looking at the weather. I now only care if it's going to be raining AND < 40*F, then I take the jacket.
I rode in thunderstorms this morning, no problems. It's pretty fun really. It sucked back when I didn't have fenders though.
I went through a pair of Zefals, which fit and worked fine but got destroyed when something got caught in my spokes last spring. I bought a set of SKSs and they're running great.
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Old 10-04-06, 11:01 AM   #10
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Do fenders slow you down somehow? I have them and don't notice any difference at all.
Same here. What slows me down is my J&G jacket and running two panniers. I usually only run one pannier but have quite a bit of clothing to haul back from work.
I may need to invest in a form fitting jacket.
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Old 10-04-06, 11:11 AM   #11
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Yes friends, fenders work.
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Old 10-04-06, 11:13 AM   #12
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You are preaching to the choir. It's sad that so few bikes are sold with them.
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Old 10-04-06, 12:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
Do fenders slow you down somehow? I have them and don't notice any difference at all.
I don't think they slow you down in the least, unless you're talking about serious racing, where they might have some effect. But who cares about serious racing? This is the commuting forum! The only reason they won't be going on the new bike is that I feel like I can afford to be a little bit of a fashion slave on bike #3... I mean, it's already completely extraneous, right? But for any bike that's meant to be useful most of the time, fenders are required, in my opinion.
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Old 10-04-06, 12:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyd
I've been commuting for 4 years now in the northern suburbs of Chicago and fall has always been dicey due to the cold rains that come with it. For some unbeknownst reason, I've never made the jump to full fenders. Until now..

I guess the purpose of this post is to convince others not willing to make that step that it actually works. I modified the fenders a bit with homemade mudguards (kinda like these at this site ... http://phred.org/~alex/bikes/fendermudflap.html). What a difference! As geeky as this setup looks, it allows for more days on the saddle and less hours stalkin the Weather Channel.
I am going to buy planet bike fenders, but i would like to make a mud flap like shown above. Is it possible to make the mud flap totally out of duct tape? i don't know where to buy rubber like that.
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Old 10-04-06, 12:14 PM   #15
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I'd never had fenders on a bike until I bought a used commuter recently. I can't say enough wonderful things about them. Now I scan the side of the road everyday looking for old bikes with fenders - I want a pair on my mountainbike and one for the tandem (even thought that rarely gets caught in the rain).
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Old 10-04-06, 12:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodny71
I am going to buy planet bike fenders, but i would like to make a mud flap like shown above. Is it possible to make the mud flap totally out of duct tape? i don't know where to buy rubber like that.
Stair tread is available at Home Depot. Look in the carpet/flooring department.
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Old 10-04-06, 12:19 PM   #17
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I am going to buy planet bike fenders, but i would like to make a mud flap like shown above. Is it possible to make the mud flap totally out of duct tape? i don't know where to buy rubber like that.
never mind. i should have read the website.
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Old 10-04-06, 12:25 PM   #18
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+1 for fenders. I bought mine after realizing that when you ride in the rain the front tire picks up water throws it up against the down tube and it splashes directly into your shoes. The difference is astonishing.
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Old 10-04-06, 12:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thdave
You are preaching to the choir. It's sad that so few bikes are sold with them.
No kidding. Considering all the hybrids and comfort bikes out there on the road, I'm really shocked I don't see them more often. You'd at least think LBS's would be glad to lump them in at a slight discount with purchase of a new bike. Or, failing that, the folks who want the cushy joyousness of the lower-pressure tire experience would also think about keeping a bunch of wet filth off themselves while they're at it.

As for astethic crap...hey, to each their own. My guess is that folks either like getting wet or don't ride in the wet. I ran full fenders on my roadie (old lugged cromo Schwinn) until I had an accident and had to swap the fork out. The fork I had my LBS prep for me (counter-sink for a recess-mount brake...alas, I have no drill!) sadly had less clearance between the tire and the fork crown, and, being very eager to get riding again, I had to switch to a short-reach caliper for the front and put the full-length fenders aside for a future build. I'm running SKS Raceblade XLs now and they seem to work just fine...a little more grit hits the drive train, but that's what the old wirebrush is for, right?
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Old 10-04-06, 10:46 PM   #20
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GEEKY looking?????????? I never understood that. I've always considered the more sporty look "geeky". Fenders add elegance to me. ;-)
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Old 10-04-06, 11:35 PM   #21
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This was on another thread a moment ago...but...if you don't think a bike with fenders can be sexy, you obviously havent seen this bike:

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Old 10-05-06, 01:31 AM   #22
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Mudguards are about as optional as pedals.
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Old 10-05-06, 05:42 AM   #23
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This was on another thread a moment ago...but...if you don't think a bike with fenders can be sexy, you obviously havent seen this bike:

Nothing as sexy as a bike with a right brake lever connected to nothing. Or fenders but no chainguard. Makes quite the fashion statement.
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Old 10-05-06, 06:58 AM   #24
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I just got my freddy fenders from Planet Bike in the mail yesterday. I'm looking forward to installing them this weekend, espically since I went through a puddle and got water all up my leg. And it was sub 40 degrees out.
Brrrrr
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Old 10-05-06, 07:29 AM   #25
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Nothing as sexy as a bike with a right brake lever connected to nothing. Or fenders but no chainguard. Makes quite the fashion statement.
I'm guessing you are being sarcastic, in which case I have to disagree.
First the right brake lever provides a hand position that would not otherwise be available and a fixed gear does not really need the rear brake so you get cleaner lines.
Second fenders are necessary but chain guards are not if you are riding in cycling gear. This bike is a fixed gear equiped with clipless pedals, so the rider is probably not cruising around the neighborhood in long pants.
Now I also think the new Electra Amsterdam is very nice looking and is very approiate with the fender and full chain guard.
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