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  1. #1
    x37
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    Mudflaps: A Necessity?

    I'm shopping for new fenders. Choosing between SKS (flapless) and Planet Bike (flapped). What difference do mudflaps make? Thanks.

  2. #2
    mud for me
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    Depends on how wet you like to get! I swear by mudflaps as here in the lovely beaver state we get rain and lots of it. "Full" fenders are not really full IMHO. I use a mud flap on the front fender to save all the goo and grime from plastering my botton bracket. BTW, I run with planet bike and they have been fine now for two seasons.

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    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    You can make your own. On my hardtail I've got a grunge board attached to the down tube on the third set (underside) of water bottle mounts. Protects the driveline more than me.
    Mike
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    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x37
    I'm shopping for new fenders. Choosing between SKS (flapless) and Planet Bike (flapped). What difference do mudflaps make? Thanks.
    I've got the planet bike ones. The stock mudflap is a joke. Drilled it out and replaced it with one that almost hits the ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
    I've got the planet bike ones. The stock mudflap is a joke. Drilled it out and replaced it with one that almost hits the ground.
    +1

  6. #6
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    front mudflaps almost to the ground. keeps the drivetrain- and your feet! much less grungy.
    back one not so much unless you ride in groups a lot, but some extra in back is good.

    both planet bike and sks need user added mudflaps (maybe not the new PB "Cascadia" fenders, but haven't seen them up close and personal yet to see how long the front mudflap is.)
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    In addition to what others have pointed out, I have found that a nice large front mud flap serves to dampen the vibration of the front fender. On my bike I notice a marked difference, without the mudflap I hear a rattle as the side of the fender hits the knobs on my tire every time I hit a bump, with the mudflap the fender never wavers regardless of the bump.

    I think this is important as every model of fender I looked at has only two mounting points for the front fender (as opposed to three on the back) providing lateral stability. As a result it is very prone to a side to side vibration, particularly if the right sequence of bumps is hit at the right speed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member fender1's Avatar
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    Here is a link on how to make your own. No company that sells fenders seems to make flaps that are actually long enough. I have found them to be valuable here in South Eastern PA when the weather is nasty. Help to keep you clean & dry.

    http://www.phred.org/~alex/bikes/fendermudflap.html

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    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    Mudflaps are great. More than you think comes up and hits your shoes, shin, and chain. The front one is more important than the back one.
    Cleveland, OH
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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
    The stock mudflap is a joke. Drilled it out and replaced it with one that almost hits the ground.
    +1 here too. The flap has to be longer and wider to work well.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
    I've got the planet bike ones. The stock mudflap is a joke. Drilled it out and replaced it with one that almost hits the ground.
    +1 for me too.

    I cut a rubber stair mat, drilled two little holes and attached it with a zip tie.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Cassave's Avatar
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    I've got Zefals with a homemade milk bottle front mud flap.
    Makes all the difference in keeping the feet and driveline clean.

  13. #13
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    I love my stair-tread homemade mudflaps. The only issue I've had was this morning where the snow was deep enough that the front flap was dragging in the snow a bit.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

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    jcm
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    I agree with the others. Factory flaps are ridiculous. You have to make you own. And then you have to have a well centered sense of self esteem to actually be seen using them.
    http://i1.tinypic.com/4dcvgid.jpg

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    Senior Member eibeinaka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unkchunk
    +1 for me too.

    I cut a rubber stair mat, drilled two little holes and attached it with a zip tie.
    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
    I love my stair-tread homemade mudflaps. The only issue I've had was this morning where the snow was deep enough that the front flap was dragging in the snow a bit.
    +1. Cheap and very effective.

    Re the snow, I've found stair tread has exactly the right amount of flexibility to be pushed up easily by snow, maintain a good shape in wet conditions and minimise the drag from wind.

  16. #16
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    Last winter, I commuted on my beater, which has Freddy Fenders without mudflaps. I was surprised at how much road salt ended up around the bottom bracket, and by spring, the (cheap) shifter cables were rusting.

    My conclusion is that fenders alone will keep the rider dry, but a good long front mudflap will protect the bike.

  17. #17
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    Buddyflaps

    Agreed, mudflaps are there to keep the bike cleaner and for the riders behind you. Otherwise, full coverage, flapless fender will keep the rider dry.

    I made my own mudflaps from water bottle and tried milk bottle, but in the end I switched to www.buddyflaps.com. These have special hardware and work perfectly.

    Bottom Line: Recommend you buy the SKS fender w/o flap, then add Buddy Flaps extensions for a ride that is as dry as can be yet hassle free when wheeling on back tire etc.

  18. #18
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    And for the impulsive DIY who decides to make a mudflap from junk at your reach:

    You can make one from the side of a common (in US) gallon size polyethylene milk jug. Light, folds for safety. Does bend a little at speed but still works. Attach with sheet metal screw and washer (unscrew and hack/file off tip after hole is established in fender, remount).

  19. #19
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
    I love my stair-tread homemade mudflaps. The only issue I've had was this morning where the snow was deep enough that the front flap was dragging in the snow a bit.
    That's why I suggest two layers of MTB inertube glued together. It stays down well enough to keep you dry but goes right up on top of the snow and the ice. It goes over anything else like stair or a curb etc.
    Much better. On my regular snow bike I have a mud flap that almost touches the ground. It works fine when the snow is almost up to the BB.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  20. #20
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fender1
    No company that sells fenders seems to make flaps that are actually long enough.
    Plant Bike seems to have finally realized this....check out their new fenders.

    http://ecom1.planetbike.com/7028.html

    http://ecom1.planetbike.com/7027.html

    http://ecom1.planetbike.com/7026.html

    http://ecom1.planetbike.com/7029.html

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    I made a super-quick DIY set for my new Downtube folder, out of overlapping strips of matte black duct tape. I cut two pieces of tape about 11" long and put them next to each other to make a 4" wide strip. Then folded the bottom to within 3/4" of the top to make a nice sturdy piece with some sticky left over to attach to the actual fender, used a utility knife to make the smart-looking tapered shape. worked 95% well in an 8 mile r/t ride thru very wet streets yesterday.

  22. #22
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    where in a hardware store (Lowe's, in particular) should I look for stair tread?

  23. #23
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradchu
    where in a hardware store (Lowe's, in particular) should I look for stair tread?
    Stair tread is usually back with flooring, where they keep things like rubberized baseboard moulding and other such stuff.


    2MB - The stair tread rides mostly at the top of the snow level, so I'm not worried about needing something more flexible. My worry about the innertube solution would be if the snow was deep enough, I'd catch a toe on the trailing edge of the flap while going around a turn.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  24. #24
    GATC
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    Just chiming in that DIY mudflaps are the way to go. In that light, fenders w/ no factory mudflap might be preferable. Those PB 'Cascadia' fenders mihlbach linked do look promising though.

  25. #25
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    Just a question, are really long front fenders a good substitute for a flap? Like 4 or 5" longer than stock esges?

    I ride esges and because a mudflap looks fugly on my bike I was thinking of buying another set and modifying the rear fender on that new set for use as an extra long, no-mudflaps-necessary front fender.

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