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  1. #1
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    Folders Without Fenders

    Yesterday I rode my Birdy in heavy rain for the first time and I had much less problem with water and mud splashing up than I had expected.

    The tires are 40 mm Marathon Racers and the bike has no fenders but there is a rear rack which sits lower than most.

    It occurs to me that small wheels may not fling water as high as larger wheels and that the narrower smoother Marathon Racers may not pick up as much water as the tyres on my other bike.

    I had been planning on buying fenders but this has me wondering whether I will need them.

    David

  2. #2
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by energyandair View Post
    Yesterday I rode my Birdy in heavy rain for the first time and I had much less problem with water and mud splashing up than I had expected.

    The tires are 40 mm Marathon Racers and the bike has no fenders but there is a rear rack which sits lower than most.

    It occurs to me that small wheels may not fling water as high as larger wheels and that the narrower smoother Marathon Racers may not pick up as much water as the tyres on my other bike.

    I had been planning on buying fenders but this has me wondering whether I will need them.

    David

    I use small wheeled bikes that fold up almost exclusively now. I really don't care to ride in the rain if I can help it (yes it does rain in Southern California, unlike the title of that old song of the 60s says). But I like the idea of having fenders on both my Dahons when and if the rain arrives unexpectively. The extra price is well worth it especially where you live.

  3. #3
    Seņor Mambo
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    The Primo Comets on the back wheel I had on my Bike Friday shot water up my back; the front shot up a nice stream like a fountain - the faster I rode, the higher it rose. Since then, I don't ride in the rain anymore either.

  4. #4
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    I gave up on fenders when I realized that no matter what I will have to change after riding in the rain...

  5. #5
    jur
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    I found that the 20" front wheel was worse for water flung up than my 26" wheels. To me fenders are essential as I don't mind getting wet in the rain but to have mud, glass, dog poo etc flung up into me is not my idea of fun. Especially the front wheel will fling crap-laden water forwards and up and you ride directly into it, full face.

    Shoes will also stay fairly dry on wet roads with front guards, unless it rains in which case they get wet from direct rain impact.

    So I suppose the biggest difference is riding on wet roads after rain. With mudguards you'll stay dry.

    It's a good idea to wash the whole bike especially the brakes after riding on wet roads. They pick up grit which wears the pads and rims super fast. And the chain, too. Wash it on the bike, blow dry with compressed air (if you have) and re-lube. If no compressed air, then wipe it with a rag after washing to get rid of most of the water, wait for it to further dry out then re-lube. These steps are a hassle but it greatly lengthens chain and brake life.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  6. #6
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I don't mind getting wet in the rain but to have mud, glass, dog poo etc flung up into me is not my idea of fun.
    After that statement, I might change my order of an S6E into an S6L now!

  7. #7
    jur
    jur is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R View Post
    After that statement, I might change my order of an S6E into an S6L now!
    Apparently the Paris-Roubaix race is known for causing the racers gastro in rainy weather, due to run-off from farms. It runs onto the pave and from there it gets on to water bottles and everywhere else, if you've seen some if the photos.
    Last edited by jur; 10-04-07 at 11:56 PM.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  8. #8
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Apparently the Paris-Roubaix race is known for causing the racers gastro in rainy weather, due to run-off from farms. It runs onto the pave and from there it gets on to water bottles and everywhere else, if you've seen some if the photos.


    That's another reason why I didn't do the PBP this year

  9. #9
    Seņor Mambo
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post


    That's another reason why I didn't do the PBP this year
    Or EVER.

    Gross, man.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by energyandair
    It occurs to me that small wheels may not fling water as high as larger wheels.....
    I'm afraid that wasn't my experience yesterday - plenty of dirty water gushing up from under the mudguards :-(
    The week before I rode this 406 wheeler sans mudguards & the bike looked like a muck sprayer when I got home!

    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I found that the 20" front wheel was worse for water flung up than my 26" wheels. To me fenders are essential as I don't mind getting wet in the rain but to have mud, glass, dog poo etc flung up into me is not my idea of fun. Especially the front wheel will fling crap-laden water forwards and up and you ride directly into it, full face.

    Shoes will also stay fairly dry on wet roads with front guards, unless it rains in which case they get wet from direct rain impact.

    So I suppose the biggest difference is riding on wet roads after rain. With mudguards you'll stay dry.
    All of that is pretty much my experience here. The local farmers seem to be spreading some fish based compound & the wind carries the stuff into the road, the face, etc., yuk.

    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    ..And the chain, too. Wash it on the bike, blow dry with compressed air (if you have) and re-lube. If no compressed air, then wipe it with a rag after washing to get rid of most of the water, wait for it to further dry out then re-lube. These steps are a hassle but it greatly lengthens chain and brake life.
    I've just removed the chain as I see it's now got a thin film of rust from yesterday's rainy ride. I've been reading Sheldon's recommendations for cleaning, so that's the next job.

  11. #11
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    Rain + Normal Caliper Brakes = Dirty bike and rider with or without fenders/mudguards.

    Disc brakes + fenders really helps keep crud off both you and your bike in rainy weather.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
    Rain + Normal Caliper Brakes = Dirty bike and rider with or without fenders/mudguards.

    Disc brakes + fenders really helps keep crud off both you and your bike in rainy weather.
    One of my folders has hub brakes, but they don't seem to affect mud deposited on me. Can you elaborate on how disc brakes help please?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclistjohn View Post
    One of my folders has hub brakes, but they don't seem to affect mud deposited on me. Can you elaborate on how disc brakes help please?
    For me, it seems like lots of crud is flung off the wheels from water being squeeged off the rims as you apply the brake calipers. My statement assumes you have fenders on the bike already. My disk-brake commuter once had cantiliever rim brakes and after I switched to disk brakes it seemed to stay cleaner.

    The roads around here have a de-icing sand/gravel mix that gets all over my bikes in the winter months. My assumption is that the brake calipers throw water that is beyond the edge of the fenders. Maybe if I had wider fenders it wouldn't make any difference.

  14. #14
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was riding my Birdy in that same NYC rain. The front tire sprays the oversize tube and sits pretty far forward. The rider sits far above the tiny wheels, so fenders are less necessary, but I still manage to get back spray above 20MPH.

    Unfortunately, my Cane Creek S6 headset doesn't like being in the rain. On the birdy, it goes on upside down. It was designed to repel water like an umbrella, so when it's upside down, it simply traps the water around the edges. The sealed bearings seem fine, but it gets sand inside and crunches for a few days after every storm. I'm too lazy to take it apart, lube it, and properly seal it with thick liquid rubber. I'll do all of that that if I can ever find a sport stem for the bike to replace my comfort stem and have to change it anyway.

  15. #15
    Hello from Canuckistan! saanichbc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R View Post
    I gave up on fenders when I realized that no matter what I will have to change after riding in the rain...

    Oh, I kinda think the first time you ride over that unavoidable pile of dog scat just might change your mind.
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