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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 06-27-09, 05:46 PM   #1
JPprivate
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racks vs fenders

Hey, got a quick question. I am a newbie and started commuting recently. I just installed a rack with spring but don't have a fender yet. So far so good - question is, do I really need a rear fender, if I have a rack with panniers, or will the rack protect me from most of the slush...

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-27-09, 06:38 PM   #2
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it doesnt sound like it, but there really isn't a good way of knowing until you get out there and ride in the rain. I run a rear fender and a rack, but thats because fenders come in pairs so I figured I might as well throw it on there. For me the front fender is the really important one for keeping my feet dry while riding in the wet and rainy conditions.
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Old 06-27-09, 06:45 PM   #3
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didn't even consider front fenders. thanks, ryanwood, this was helpful info.
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Old 06-27-09, 06:54 PM   #4
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The bike I used this winter had both rack and fenders, but the rear fender didn't quite come halfway down the back of the rear tire. I ended up with road sludge all over my back whenever it rained.
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Old 06-27-09, 07:15 PM   #5
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If your bike can take a full rear fender - something like a planet bike cascadia, the front part of the fender will help to keep the spray off the backs of your legs/feet and your front deraileur.
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Old 06-27-09, 07:28 PM   #6
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The front fender is just as important as the rear. It prevents from spraying water on your drivetrain, up into your headset, and on your frontside, including your face.
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Old 06-27-09, 07:29 PM   #7
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I used to get by fine with just a Pletscher style rack as you describe. I put a newspaper lengthwise in it to catch any spatter, and most of the mud from my front tire landed on the downtube. Of course in those days, I lived in the desert and sometimes it wouldn't rain once in 15 months.

Now that I live in Arkansas, I have full fenders front and back and a rack. I just upgraded my rack so instead of the Pletscher style it is a more standard one that will accept panniers.
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Old 06-27-09, 07:48 PM   #8
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Similar to Artkansas, I stored a heavy gauge folded newspaper (one that doesn't easily bend), under the bungie cord of my rear rack. In rain or slush conditions, I'd pull back the paper to as far back on the rack as it would go, while still being held in place by the bungie. The "extra tail length" worked pretty well in preventing getting a wet stripe down my back.

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Old 06-28-09, 08:03 PM   #9
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having done the rack with no fenders, and now full fenders with rack, i have to say, the latter is much much better for keeping me and and my drive train in good shape. if you've got a rack, you may as well add the (full!) fenders. plus, fenders look cool
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Old 06-28-09, 09:00 PM   #10
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Full fenders hers also and just put a rear rack on this weekend.
Fenders will help protect more than just the rack alone.
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