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Old 10-25-06, 07:22 AM   #1
NeezyDeezy
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Freddy Fenders Hardcore Review

I bought the Hybrid/Touring Set $34.99 (#7006) from the website, and I have to say I was very impressed with planet bike. They accepted my transportation alternatives membership for free shipping, and they even called when I made a mistake on my shipping address.

The fenders came only 2 days after I placed the order (I live in Brooklyn). I was surprised how light the box was, and I didn't think the fenders would be as pliable as they are. I think it's a good idea because they are less likely to get permanently bent or break.

...now as for installation... well, I have to say up front that I have more of a road bike, it's a Specialized Sequoia Elite. The instructions wouldn't work because my brakes are threaded through the fork, so I would have had to remove them and it would have been a pain. I ended up taking them to the corner bike shop and they installed them, but it took them over an hour WTF?, but they only charged me $10, so I'm okay with it. The clearance is close, but everything ended up working fine. The reason I went with the hybrid set over the road bike set, which would have fit better on my bike, is that come snow season, which is right around the corner, I'm probably going to switch to 30's or 32's with some tread, and I wanted to make sure my fenders could accomodate them.

While I haven't tried them in the rain yet, on the way to work today I deliberately took as many puddles as I could. AWESOME! Was it worth $45? No doubt, I'd pay $75 for this feature. It'd be even less if you slap them on yourself. Well, thanks for hearing out my review, my impression is so good I would recommend them to anyone without fenders, or maybe even with heavier chrome ones (granted, the chrome does look way cooler, although the Freddies do come in like, 4 colors).

As part of my weather preparedness series, my next review will be the Gill Adrenaline breathable rainjacket, coming up next week.
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Old 10-25-06, 07:53 AM   #2
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+1

I've got Planet Bike Freddy Fenders Hardcore (road bike version) on my bike. Grabbed them for $18 CDN at MEC and they've been my favorite add-on that I've purchased to date. They're flexible so they bounce back to where they where originally after being bumped, which happens often as I park the bike in some tight places or lock it into a rack.
They're also quite light-weight which is a bonus too, since you'll not want to be removing your brakes every time it rains, so you can leave them on without a large performance hit.
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Old 10-25-06, 08:46 AM   #3
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+1

I have two sets of Freddy Fenders and I love them both. The hardcores are on an old hybrid picked up at an estate sale and upgraded to STX/LX with components I had lying around. It will soon have studded tires and along with some Showers Pass rain pants I will be able to tool around on it year round. I also have some of their clip ons for my cross bike. When the weather is iffy, I can slap them on in 60 seconds, hang in with the roadies on my 700x28c Zaffiro Pros, and not get half as wet as they do.
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Old 10-25-06, 09:56 AM   #4
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I have the mtb versions on my mtb and the only negative is the mudflaps aren't long enough to keep your shoes and drivetrain from getting gunked up. Also depending on the wind, you'll still get some spray on your back. The mudflaps can easily be extended or replaced w/ some cut up plastic bottles or old carpet. Other than that, it's money well spent.
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Old 10-25-06, 10:01 AM   #5
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Excellent. You've confirmed my choice for my soon-to-be built fixed gear commuter/rain trainer.
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Old 10-25-06, 10:03 AM   #6
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I got the ATB hardcore version at REI for $30 and while we don't get a lot of rain here in San Diego, depending on where I ride I see a lot of sand/grit and puddles from sprinklers so even on a recreational ride the drivetrain gets dirty fast. I can be lazy about cleaning the bike too so the fenders work wonders keeping the bike clean. Plus, it gives me more space for reflective tape and to top it all off I really like the way fenders look on a bike.
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Old 10-25-06, 10:14 AM   #7
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I have them too. I feel the lil mud-flap thingy is a joke. They need real flaps to keep your feet dry. Otherwise I like them too.
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Old 10-25-06, 10:16 AM   #8
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Why Planet Bike and not SKS/ESGE Chromoplastics?
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Old 10-25-06, 10:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyossarian
I have the mtb versions on my mtb and the only negative is the mudflaps aren't long enough to keep your shoes and drivetrain from getting gunked up. Also depending on the wind, you'll still get some spray on your back. The mudflaps can easily be extended or replaced w/ some cut up plastic bottles or old carpet. Other than that, it's money well spent.
Agreed on the mudflap length issue. I normally just wear my work pants and even with my fenders I can get little spots of NYC road splatter on my lower shins (since I roll up my pants it just gets my socks or inside of the trousers sometimes... no biggie, it all washes out.)
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Old 10-25-06, 11:28 AM   #10
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The mudflap works for me, but it might have to do with BB height. My cyclocross bike has a higher bottom bracket than a road bike, so that might explain why my shoes don't get splatter with the hardcore fenders. A longer flap sure couldn't hurt, though. I also keep them pretty close to the tire, about 1/4 - 3/8 of an inch. They've passed lots of rocks with no problems.

I love them, hope you do to.
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Old 10-25-06, 11:32 AM   #11
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I've got the MTB version on my commuter and I dig 'em. No problems with back-stripes, but I do still get a little bit of foot splash in front. I'm going to pop rivet some scraps from a 2L soda bottle and make it a little wider and longer, and that should fix the issue.
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Old 10-25-06, 11:38 AM   #12
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My only complaint with both the Hardcores and SKS's is the multiple struts. It's kind of a pain to adjust them during installation and then have to tweak them every time the fender gets bumped good. Much prefer the simpler strut design of the standard Freddys.
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Old 10-25-06, 02:32 PM   #13
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+1 here too. NYC can be bad with puddles, I ride up Central Park South which always has puddles because they're cleaning the horse poop, so the fenders keep the crap off, that's for sure.
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Old 10-25-06, 04:03 PM   #14
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They definitely still can get your feet soaked so I wear waterproof boots in inclement weather
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Old 10-25-06, 04:23 PM   #15
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I was going to mention the rubber flaps on the trailing ends don't function as well as a full-coverage mud-flap, but overall I'm so happy with the product - and as far as I've seen, nobody else includes such items with their fender products - so it's not really a downside to this particular brand.
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Old 10-25-06, 05:10 PM   #16
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I also have a pair of Freddy Hardcore fenders on my 2003 Giant OCR2. I don't think this road bike was designed for fenders, even though it has eyelets at the ends of the forks and chainstays, but the fenders fit fine after cutting out a couple small pieces with a Dremel tool so it would fit inside the fork. Also had to grind off the edges of the bracket on the rear fender because the chainstay bridge is very narrow.

I can't report on the effectiveness because the rainy season hasn't started in California yet. I'm sure I'll need to extend the mudflaps to have dry feet, though.
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Old 10-25-06, 08:30 PM   #17
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Have them on my Trek Pilot 1.0 too. Had to use the dremel as well to fit them through for the rear. Very happy with them versus the old 'quick' release ones I had (never took them off, didn't cover very well).

Difference between SKS and Freddy: SKS were $51 CDN all in at the LBS; Planet Bikes are $18.75 CDN from MEC. I still don't see how MEC sells them that cheap, it ends up being about $16 USD.

Those from the US should order them from MEC, they are WAY cheaper. Plus you could pick up some other good stuff to make shipping worthwhile!
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Old 10-26-06, 01:25 AM   #18
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Got the same fenders on a 58cm Cross Check. I had to cut the front fender just shy of the stay bracket for toe-clip clearance and mount the fender to the front of the fork. It makes the front edge fo the fender too floppy, so I just ordered additonal stays to mount in front of the fork.
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Old 10-26-06, 06:51 AM   #19
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Question: Why Hardcores vs. regular Freddy Fenders? The only difference I can see is the mudflaps which most people on here agree suck...couldn't you drill holes for mudflaps in the Regular full coverage fenders and attach your own mudflaps? Just a curiosity questions (it saves 10 bucks, not that I'm all that cheap but 10 bucks is 10 bucks)

Just curious!
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Old 10-26-06, 06:56 AM   #20
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I just purchased some of the Hardcore Freddy Fenders for my commuter project. Love the dang things...my only issue with them was that it didnt fit between the front fork as well as I'd like. I actually had to cut part of the fenders to allow them to ride higher and not against the tires. It's an old bike though...that may have been part of the issue
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Old 10-26-06, 10:11 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overkll
Have them on my Trek Pilot 1.0 too. Had to use the dremel as well to fit them through for the rear. Very happy with them versus the old 'quick' release ones I had (never took them off, didn't cover very well).

Difference between SKS and Freddy: SKS were $51 CDN all in at the LBS; Planet Bikes are $18.75 CDN from MEC. I still don't see how MEC sells them that cheap, it ends up being about $16 USD.

Those from the US should order them from MEC, they are WAY cheaper. Plus you could pick up some other good stuff to make shipping worthwhile!
MEC is a member-owned co-op, so they don't need to make a profit. They have overhead, so they're not selling at cost, but they also have no profit motive to jack up prices.

BTW MEC only has the freddy hybrid version, not hardcore. Is there a disadvantage? I currently have the very cheap Zefal plastic fenders, and I'm considering installing the Freddy on my rear wheel.
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Old 10-26-06, 11:35 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajman
BTW MEC only has the freddy hybrid version, not hardcore. Is there a disadvantage? I currently have the very cheap Zefal plastic fenders, and I'm considering installing the Freddy on my rear wheel.
I bought some hardcore Freddy Fenders (ATB version) from MEC yesterday, $18.75+taxes - I've been umming and arring over some for a while, and at that price, it was an easy decision.

Now, I do have a fitting problem on my front. The kit seemed to include 4 of the 14mm bolts, which is fine, except I seem to need 6 (4 for the back, as I'm using one for each stay). That's no biggy, but the stay mount holes, even though they're pre-tapped, are still about 0.1mm (or something very small) too big for those bolts (because it's a cheap-a$$ bike, no doubt) so I'm thinking, I can use the bolts, get some locknuts for them. The interesting complication is that the stays need to be bent up around the bottom of my forks, I guess that's not a big deal - but it might get tricky if I bend/bump the stays hard enough to knock them out of shape.

Another issue I have, is that the two right-side bolts on the rear intefere with my chain when I'm in top-cog (outer-most on both front and back derailleurs), so I'm thinking I'll just chop those bolts down a tad - it's literally 1mm or so, I could loosen the bolts I guess, but I don't want them being even a tad bit loose.

All in all, quick and easy installation so far, although I abandoned the front for now, and made the rear complete with the 4 bolts I had - I've brought one with me today (not yet commuting, just doing small local rides) so I can go grab some from Active Surplus or my PreferredBS (Urbane Cyclist for those in Toronto).

I had to wonder about the effectiveness of the front mudflap, but as another poster mentioned, a pop bottle wouldn't be a bad addition to fix that up.

Can't wait to test these things out properly..
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Old 10-27-06, 01:15 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFCommuter
Question: Why Hardcores vs. regular Freddy Fenders? The only difference I can see is the mudflaps which most people on here agree suck...couldn't you drill holes for mudflaps in the Regular full coverage fenders and attach your own mudflaps? Just a curiosity questions (it saves 10 bucks, not that I'm all that cheap but 10 bucks is 10 bucks)
Agreed $10 matters. I bought the hardcores because the yellow fenders are hi-vis, and they fit the color scheme of the bike.

Last edited by vendorz; 10-29-06 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 10-27-06, 05:07 AM   #24
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The mudflap issue is overblown in my experience with them - I note little difference between those I have on my cross and touring bikes with the stock flaps and those on my rigid mtb with the full length home-made flaps. The reason, I suspect, is the angle of the flap. The flap on the freddys extends at an angle out and away from the fender, allowing it to 'catch' things as they fly off the tire about as well as if the flap were extended downward more, but straight, as most are. That said, most home-made flaps extend down even futher than the angle compensates for on the Freddys, so they do provide a bit better protection...not to mention you can do some really cool things with them. (awaiting someone to post a series of photos to drive that point home)
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Old 10-27-06, 10:00 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajman
BTW MEC only has the freddy hybrid version, not hardcore. Is there a disadvantage? I currently have the very cheap Zefal plastic fenders, and I'm considering installing the Freddy on my rear wheel.
For the road bike edition at least they only had the Hardcore at the MEC I was in picking them up.
If it's just your rear you're replacing then I don't think it will make too much difference between regular and hardcore Freddy Fenders.

On the issue of fitting the bolts, I actually used the bolts that came with the fenders but had to purchase some nuts at Home Depot since the threaded mount holes on my frame where too large for the ones that came with the fenders. I just took the bolt in and measured it in-store and test fitted a few with nylon locking inserts.

I find the rubber bits do keep the dirt from flying up and getting on my shoes (or the bike or any other part of me) the exception being if I go through a 4"+ puddle of water - but at that point, the only thing that does get wet is whatever foot passes forward near where the large amount of water is shooting back from the front fender.
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