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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 11-30-07, 10:10 AM   #1
RadioFlyer
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*rear* fender... why?

see post #7 for clarification, thanks.


I've purchased two sets of fenders for two my bikes and installed them.

Although I use my bikes for more than just commuting, I never ever ride in a paceline when it's wet. I got fenders primarily to keep my bikes, specifically the drivetrain, clean, but I doubt it's helping much.

So, umm, what's the point? What am I missing?

Anyone just run the front fender?

Last edited by RadioFlyer; 11-30-07 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 11-30-07, 10:19 AM   #2
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Never seen someone with that brown stripe bisecting their pants in a very embarrassing (at least for those who are toilet-trained) location?
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Old 11-30-07, 10:21 AM   #3
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To avoid the skunk stripe up your back.
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Old 11-30-07, 10:28 AM   #4
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If you have a platform-style rear rack then you avoid the dookie-stripe that you get from riding in the rain w/o a rear fender.

I ride in groups all year, all weather... so I run fenders and flaps front and rear.
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Old 11-30-07, 10:40 AM   #5
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It's also a good place for reflective tape.

To keep the road muck off of your bottom bracket, (and shoes), you'll probably need to put a mud-flap at the base of your front fender.
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Old 11-30-07, 10:46 AM   #6
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A full fender with mud flaps [make 'em yourself for free] will definitely keep your bike and you a lot cleaner than without fenders. Nobody has to use 'em, but there is no way deflecting all that dirty water from you and your bike isn't beneficial. That doesn't mean you'll be 100% clean and dry or that you'll never have to clean your bike, but it will reduce the level of req'd maintenance a ton.
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Old 11-30-07, 11:15 AM   #7
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Sorry, should've clarified...

Front fender does have a mud flap and I do have a rear rack that blocks spray from getting on me.

That said, fenders, for me, are strictly for the benefit of my bike as I change clothes when I get to work, so that's not a concern.

Does a rear fender really do anything for the drivetrain?

Last time I rode in the snow, I almost think the fenders kept the dirty, salty snow ON my bike more instead of the tire throwing it away.

I know this is all anecdotal since who'd bother doing such a test, but from y'all's experience... does your rear fender really help (and I should shut up and keep using it )?


I do appreciate all the posts so far, but it seems that I wasn't clear enough that I'm focusing strictly on the rear fender. I absolutely agree that the front with flap helps a ton!
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Old 11-30-07, 11:18 AM   #8
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Rear fenders keep road spray out of the front derailleur,chainrings,and chain. Even when only ridden in dry conditions,I've noticed grit around the front der on my bikes without fenders.
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Old 11-30-07, 11:42 AM   #9
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I dunno about you. but I'd get tired of washing road dirt out of my clothes every time it rains. You may have a change of clothes, but you still have to wash what you wore.
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Old 11-30-07, 11:42 AM   #10
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OP:
While you still get stuff caked up in the works, it will be substantially less that without a rear fender. There is no way to absolutely prevent debris from getting on your bike, but you know that - just like fenders on a car don't prevent it.

My experience here in The Land of the Washington State Fighting Slug is that the front fender with a flap almost to the ground is what's needed for lessening stuff from that direction. The rear fender re-directs the junk away from hitting your seat tube and exploding into an expanding cloud of crap that gets all over your shoes and pants, and lessens the amount that hits the works. A rear rack is not sufficient.

If you have a tolerance for being wet, sandy, goo'ed, slimed, crapped, since you change at work, then by all means save a couple ounces.
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Old 11-30-07, 12:08 PM   #11
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So no one gets ice and snow caked up under their fender that starts to fall off at stop lights or inside your office? Maybe I could attach a brush of some kind at the mud flap to keep the larger debris off. I'll have to ponder a solution.


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Originally Posted by jcm View Post
...then by all means save a couple ounces.
Ya got me, that's exactly why I'm considering taking the fender off... a few ounces. Boy do I feel dumb.
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Old 11-30-07, 12:15 PM   #12
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So no one gets ice and snow caked up under their fender that starts to fall off at stop lights or inside your office? Maybe I could attach a brush of some kind at the mud flap to keep the larger debris off. I'll have to ponder a solution.
I used to get snow/ice up under the fender. But better there then caked up all over my bike. I have found lately that my rear fender was flinging debris like rocks, bolts, asphalt and such at me. My tire would pick it up and I'd hear it wind up around the tire then go shooting out the front at my foot.

For the caked in snow most of it usually came out when I bounced the bike a couple times at the destinations and/or slapped the fender a bit and rolled it a few feet. Never bothered by it at stops. Kinda made it look more extreme
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Old 11-30-07, 12:22 PM   #13
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I used to get snow/ice up under the fender. But better there then caked up all over my bike.
That's the thing tho, I noticed it would fall off ONTO my drivetrain. Granted, I have no idea how much was kept off because of the fenders during my ride, so maybe the net gain is far in my favor?


I consider myself a commuter and roadie more than anything else, but I now realize that I should've posted in the winter forum. Sorry all.
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Old 11-30-07, 12:48 PM   #14
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Maybe you could find a short rear fender. I've seen them before. They just cover the front section of the wheel and barely over the top. It would keep the stuff from coming around and hitting your top tube and BB. I might even collect less crud.

Just a thought.
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Old 11-30-07, 12:54 PM   #15
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Maybe you could find a short rear fender. I've seen them before. They just cover the front section of the wheel and barely over the top. It would keep the stuff from coming around and hitting your top tube and BB. I might even collect less crud.

Just a thought.
oh, trim it in half, less collection, just as effective as bike protection?

Thanks! I will consider that option!
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Old 11-30-07, 01:59 PM   #16
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On a side note; I was riding home in the rain Moanday afternoon. Got passed by two gravel trucks on the highway. All the fenders in the world can't protect from the spray and road grime they kick up. But in their defense, they can't help it. Things like that are just part of cycling.
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Old 11-30-07, 05:04 PM   #17
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As long as no-one is cycling behind you?
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Old 11-30-07, 05:08 PM   #18
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As long as no-one is cycling behind you?
Helps keep wheelsuckers off.
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Old 11-30-07, 05:11 PM   #19
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Helps keep wheelsuckers off.
Amen. And if the conditions are that bad, what the heck are they doing there anyways?
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Old 11-30-07, 05:40 PM   #20
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put a fender on and end this silly conversation...

a rear fender keeps you MUCH cleaner.

boom

done

walks out to the garage to go fix a flat in the cold so i can ride tomorrow...
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Old 11-30-07, 06:59 PM   #21
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To me a commuting bike without fenders looks bare and ugly. They are very easy to install, keep you and your bike clean, and i honestly don't see why you wouldn't want a set.
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Old 11-30-07, 07:02 PM   #22
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Did either of the last two posters read the thread?
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Old 11-30-07, 07:28 PM   #23
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Did either of the last two posters read the thread?
no i did.

you're kinda dumb and refuse to admit a rear fender keeps you clean(er) and dry(er)...

the end?

btw, flat change success!!!
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Old 12-01-07, 12:58 AM   #24
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You might actually consider that brush idea. Seems to me I remember a thread around here with pics of that very thing. The thing about ice and snow is that it's viscous, and really tries hard to stick to any surface it can freeze to - including a brush setup. It might be worth a try though, if you can mount it just behind the rear brake or something.
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Old 12-01-07, 03:12 AM   #25
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To keep snow from compacting in the fender, set it up so that there is very little clearance between the fender and tire at the very back of the bike. Then, set up the rest of the fender to taper slightly further away from the tire for the rest of its length.
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