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  1. #1
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    Instant breaking thanks to fender

    Almost wrecked on the way home yesterday. Was approaching a red light at a very busy street on a steep downhill. The light is normally pretty short there so I was approaching it slowly hoping for the green and then began to move to a track stand to wait it out. No sooner did I turn my wheel to a sharp right did the light turn green. I started to turn the wheel back forward and pedal when my toe caught the end of my front wheel's fender. The fender folded under itself as it touched the moving tire and wedged itself between the tire and the rest of the fender instantly stopping me. I just barely managed to get myself unclipped before falling over.

    The worse part was that the traffic behind me had no clue why I had just stopped and dismounted my bike as the light turned green. Fortunately it didn't take me long to get the bike to the sidewalk which at least indicated to folks that there was something wrong.

    Took some tugging but I got the fender back out and nothing appears to be damaged.

    Very strange sensation to start to pedal forward and then just have your front wheel stop moving for seemingly no reason. I'm really happy that I didn't fall over!

  2. #2
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Your experience is why I have resisted the use of clipless pedals in stop and go urban traffic, and checking the toe overlap on a bike before I purchase one.

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Your experience is why I have resisted the use of clipless pedals in stop and go urban traffic, and checking the toe overlap on a bike before I purchase one.
    Really? The lesson you take from this is that clipless pedals are bad? Not that fenders have some issues you need to be aware of when using them? Or that snorkel's trackstanding might need some work? Even with toe clips or platforms, he could still catch the fender with his toe. He'd probably be more likely to catch the fender with platforms because his toe could be closer to the fender than with clipless.
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  4. #4
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience in May doing a slow turn into the bike lane... except I was wearing toe clips. I wound up going over and sprained my wrist - which kept me off the bike for several weeks.

    Even if a bike doesn't normally have toe-overlap this can become a problem when fenders are added - especially fenders with a long mudflap.

  5. #5
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    yeah, There is no toe overlap without the fenders. Honestly never even realized there was toe overlap with the vendors until yesterday which is funny as I've been riding this bike in this config for ages.

  6. #6
    Senior Member EKW in DC's Avatar
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    Wait, what was broken? (Instant breaking thanks to fender - Sorry, the proofreader in me just couldn't resist)

    Glad you didn't fall at least and you got it sorted out in the end.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EKW in DC View Post
    Wait, what was broken? (Instant breaking thanks to fender - Sorry, the proofreader in me just couldn't resist)
    As soon as i hit submit and saw my new thread in the thread list I caught my mistake and yelled at myself.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Really? The lesson you take from this is that clipless pedals are bad?
    For my personal use, yes, but for others, YMMV.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Be aware that on many bikes, the addition of fenders introduces toe overlap. This is a common issue, and usually not that big of a deal.

    This isn't a problem with clipless pedals. Its a probem with shorter wheel based bikes. Really, as long as you're aware of it, its not a problem.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Your experience is why I have resisted the use of clipless pedals in stop and go urban traffic, and checking the toe overlap on a bike before I purchase one.
    Would've had the toe overlap with platforms or toe clips as well. If he attempted the same track stand without clipless, he would have still had toe overlap.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    I must have been hungry because when I read it I thought it said: "Instant Breakfast thanks to fender". Didn't know fenders had such benefits.

    If I remember right, I believe a lot of fenders are designed to break away to avoid this problem.

  12. #12
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
    Would've had the toe overlap with platforms or toe clips as well. If he attempted the same track stand without clipless, he would have still had toe overlap.
    My comment was about the OP's barely getting out of his clipless pedals, which only reinforced my resisting the change from platform to clipless pedals, not that clipless pedals exacerbated the toe overlap.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
    This isn't a problem with clipless pedals. Its a probem with shorter wheel based bikes. Really, as long as you're aware of it, its not a problem.
    Definitely aware of it now!

  14. #14
    Big Ol' Varmint nice_marmot's Avatar
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    Ugh... a few months ago, shortly after I (apparently incorrectly) installed one of those U-lock mounts to my frame, the lock fell off, bounced up and hit the front fender, which got jammed up in between the wheel and the fork. I proceeded to take a trip over the handlebars. Luckily, this was an endo I walked away from with only a few scrapes and the need to buy a new derailleur.

    Front fenders require a little more care.
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  15. #15
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I have never ridden clipless, just the idea of having to buy special shoes to ride my bike seems wrong.
    I also can't do a trackstand or is it trackstand? Either way, doesn't matter, not in my skillset.
    As a result, I reckon I won't get to have an experience like the OP's.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    First time I learned of fender toe overlap I was coming out of the cherry creek trail and making a hard 180 off the ramp to get going in the right direction. Turned the wheel right into my foot and tipped over into the edge of a busy street. That was no fun.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
    I have never ridden clipless, just the idea of having to buy special shoes to ride my bike seems wrong.
    I also can't do a trackstand or is it trackstand? Either way, doesn't matter, not in my skillset.
    As a result, I reckon I won't get to have an experience like the OP's.

    Beginning to think I shouldn't have mentioned the fact that I unclipped as it seems to be sidetracking this conversation quite a bit. I don't really think the clipless pedals had anything at all to do with what happened.

    I'm really surprised that I haven't caught my toe on the fender before yesterday.. I ride this bike all the time. It is my main ride and I use it for commuting, joy rides, training rides, etc.. Had no idea I had a toe clearance issue, and I was really surprised with how quickly that fender bent over on itself. Just glad it happened while I was just starting to get moving instead of while at speed. I would have certainly had an experience like nice_marmot, and then the clipless pedals probably would have changed the scenario considerably.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    glad for your happy ending - THANKS for sharing
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  19. #19
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snorkel View Post
    Beginning to think I shouldn't have mentioned the fact that I unclipped as it seems to be sidetracking this conversation quite a bit. I don't really think the clipless pedals had anything at all to do with what happened.

    I'm really surprised that I haven't caught my toe on the fender before yesterday.. I ride this bike all the time. It is my main ride and I use it for commuting, joy rides, training rides, etc.. Had no idea I had a toe clearance issue, and I was really surprised with how quickly that fender bent over on itself. Just glad it happened while I was just starting to get moving instead of while at speed. I would have certainly had an experience like nice_marmot, and then the clipless pedals probably would have changed the scenario considerably.
    Slicks or knobbies?

    I don't think it's something that happens very often at speed. I've only ever hit my fender with a toe while turning sharply at very slow speeds.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    Slicks or knobbies?
    Slicks

  21. #21
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    I've had this happen before, though in my case it was a stick that the wheel shot up and caused the fender to fold. No big deal. The fender, being a flexible pastic, just unfolded and has worked great ever since. But in traffic, I prefer to put a foot down anyway...trackstanding confuses drivers (who have a hard time grasping that you're stopped if your foot isn't down) and does pose a higher risk of falling, something I'd like to avoid on busy roads.

    The effect of clipless in this case is just that it takes an extra second to react and get your foot down to prevent a fall. Which is what prevents most non-clipless users from going clipless. But whatever, personal choice, and clearly you are good enough with your clips that you managed to get out of them in time.

  22. #22
    Often on Fritz DanBraden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Your experience is why I have resisted the use of clipless pedals in stop and go urban traffic, and checking the toe overlap on a bike before I purchase one.
    The clipless hate is strong with this one.

  23. #23
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    I'm wondering if I had said that I was using platforms if ppl would be saying that the problem would not have happened had I been using clipless as it would have prevented my foot from being so far up on the pedal?

  24. #24
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    didn't a winter commuter have an issue with snow and ice that had built up kaing contact with the tire and resulting with the fender flipping in and stopping him?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  25. #25
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    After years of fighting to get fenders on small road bikes equipped with 700's to work well, I've since moved to a bike with 559s as my main commuter. Toe overlap is minimal, even with wide fenders. Just my personal esthetic, but I prefer the look of smaller wheels on small frames as well.

    Many years ago I sanded part of my beard off on the macadam surface of a Seattle street when a cheap plastic fender popped loose from its stay, caught the wheel, and stuffed itself into the fork.
    Last edited by rnorris; 07-22-10 at 12:20 PM.

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