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Old 02-25-06, 12:37 PM   #1
folder fanatic
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Are Fenders/Mudguards Really Necessary Beyond Just Comfort?

I have 2 folders. One of them-my 2003 Boardwalk-has fenders and a rear rack. The other-my new Brompton C Type-does not. I am currently trying to decide: 1. If I should keep the fenders on my Boardwalk when I buy new tires for it soon and buy similar tires like it has now (Kenda Quest). Or remove the fenders and purchase "Big Apple" tires if they fit the forks, rims and brakes? 2. Should I add a rear rack and fenders on the Brompton?

I live in Southern California. I never ride in rain or snow since the drivers here are very careless and tend to rack up collisions during any sort of poor weather conditions. One of the primary reasons I purchase each folder was the option that if it rains or snows, I could fold up the bike and seek alternative trasportation. I am concerned that fenders/mudguards do more than just protect from water spays. What is that? Could someone from less than ideal weather conditions areas enlighten me?
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Old 02-25-06, 07:20 PM   #2
LittlePixel
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Mudguards do nothing other than stopping muck/mud/dirt/rain/getting on you.
Oh yeah—I remember... They stop the bike looking cool...

I live in the rainy UK and can't wait to take off the rear mudflap once the weather gets just a little bit better. I manage without a front one all year round as the frame catches most flying crap if you're not turning much but most days in the winter I have to mop my face upon arrival at work. But I'm a terrible sucker for looks over function. What can I say but I suffer from bike vanity?

From what it sounds about where you live you should take them off henceforth and enjoy your new fenderless freedom! Lighter! Cooler! No squeaks! Compromised practicality! Yay!
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Old 02-25-06, 08:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittlePixel
Mudguards do nothing other than stopping muck/mud/dirt/rain/getting on you.
Oh yeah—I remember... They stop the bike looking cool...
I am getting a Swift folder and I'll be travelling in parts of the world where it could rain at a moment's notice. I also want my bike to look plain (not cool) to discourage theft. Of course, if I settled for awhile in place that is pretty dry, i'd take them off.

SG
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Old 02-25-06, 11:19 PM   #4
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In Seattle, if you show up without fenders people act like you have kooties. You see all sorts of very expensive hardware sporting fenders out here. Everybody has a "rain bike" and a good weather bike.
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Old 02-25-06, 11:29 PM   #5
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I find that I can ride faster in the rain with fenders than without.
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Old 02-26-06, 04:02 AM   #6
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In my experience folders get much dirtier than other bikes due to everything being so cose to the ground, therefore they need mudguards (to give them their proper term) much more than other bikes. That complex frame folding mechanism doesnt like being showered in dog poo everyday.
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Old 02-26-06, 06:41 AM   #7
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Now that Dahon has released the snazzy new "El Bolso" bag for folders, I'm considering full-time fenders for my SpeedPro. The old DoublePlay bag was barely big enough for it with the stock tires on, let alone with beefy Marathons -- fenders are right out. Yes, I know it will lose a lot of bling that way but clean-up is such a drag without them (OK it only takes maybe 10 minutes in the bathtub but it's not an option say, when commuting out to work).
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Old 02-26-06, 06:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittlePixel
Mudguards do nothing other than stopping muck/mud/dirt/rain/getting on you.
Oh yeah—I remember... They stop the bike looking cool...
The answer to this question couldn't be more precise than LittlePixel's description.
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Old 02-27-06, 10:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by caotropheus
The answer to this question couldn't be more precise than LittlePixel's description.
I actually think mudguards look good on heavy touring and commuting bikes. Kinda the way a vinyl roof is atrocious on most cars but on an american sedan from the '70s is a great enhancement of its 70s-ness.
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Old 02-27-06, 10:23 AM   #10
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I like mud guards on a bicycle, but not for aesthetic reasons. They help keep my breaks and other mechanical bits from being gummed up. Probably more important in the long New England winter is that they put impossibly large amounts of salt on the roads. The fenders and guards help keep some of it of my steel frame.
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Old 02-27-06, 04:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folder fanatic
I have 2 folders. One of them-my 2003 Boardwalk-has fenders and a rear rack. The other-my new Brompton C Type-does not. I am currently trying to decide: 1. If I should keep the fenders on my Boardwalk when I buy new tires for it soon and buy similar tires like it has now (Kenda Quest). Or remove the fenders and purchase "Big Apple" tires if they fit the forks, rims and brakes? 2. Should I add a rear rack and fenders on the Brompton?
Why do you need the Big Apple tires? The Schwalbe tires are great and you shouldn't compromise a utility bike's fender for larger rubber.

Not only do you need the front fender but also a mud flap! I've ridden my Dahon Piccolo in heavy rain and without a mud flap, the water gets tossed right into your cycling shoe!

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 02-28-06 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 02-27-06, 09:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittlePixel
Mudguards do nothing other than stopping muck/mud/dirt/rain/getting on you.
Oh yeah—I remember... They stop the bike looking cool...!
Not cool ? .......Oh, I don't know about that ....... check these out.

http://static.flickr.com/37/104478041_275e327f84_b.jpg

Don't know if this guy can make these for 20s or not, but they are pretty awesome to my eye. I might just have to get a set.

Rik
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Old 02-28-06, 12:43 AM   #13
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BTW, anyone knows of a source for SKS-like mudguards for 20" wheels?
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Old 02-28-06, 06:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldguy52
Not cool ? .......Oh, I don't know about that ....... check these out.

http://static.flickr.com/37/104478041_275e327f84_b.jpg

Don't know if this guy can make these for 20s or not, but they are pretty awesome to my eye. I might just have to get a set.

Rik
That's not a mudgard, it is a work of art and master pieces are a bit out of the issues dealed in this forum
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