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Old 06-24-10, 11:13 AM   #1
redsparrow
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How much to fenders benefit the bike ?

I'm trying to make a decision between a frame with fender clearance and one without. I love riding in the rain and I love getting wet. If I got fenders they wouldn't be for me.

How much do fenders actually benefit the bike itself? How effective are they at keeping road grit off the drive-train?

Thanks.
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Old 06-24-10, 11:30 AM   #2
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The fenders will help keep road grit out of your drivetrain. That's a good thing. Also, riding in the rain you will still get wet. That's good, and can be fun. Tasting road grime that the front wheel throws up at your is not fun.
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Old 06-24-10, 04:00 PM   #3
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Tasting road grime that the front wheel throws up at your is not fun.
Or the skunk stripe up your back.
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Old 06-24-10, 06:57 PM   #4
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Tasting road grime that the front wheel throws up at your is not fun.
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Or the skunk stripe up your back.
QFT. That isn't just water spraying off of your tires, it's water mixed with whatever crudliness is on the road- oil, antifreeze, dirt, etc. And it may not come out of your clothes in the wash...
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Old 06-24-10, 07:14 PM   #5
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And all the stuff mixed with rain water that splashes on your bike also splatter your water bottle.
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Old 06-24-10, 07:19 PM   #6
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If you ride MUP's and the dogs have been out....

On my bikes the fenders (and mud flaps) keep water spray off the drive train, especially the BB. FWIW most of my bikes still use the old style bearings and cups so keeping them as clean as reasonably possible helps keep maintenance time down. Chain guards and chain cases help too.

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Old 06-24-10, 07:40 PM   #7
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I decided to put fenders on my recumbent bike after riding through farm country after a rain storm getting my face splashed with the runoff from the cow barnyards I was riding past. Yuk!
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Old 06-25-10, 10:13 AM   #8
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The only thing worse than getting rained on all day, every day of your four-day tour, is riding on the scenic and idyllic back roads of Germany and Belgium and tasting the various flavors of pig manure tracked onto those scenic & idyllic roads.

(It was hard getting hotel rooms on that trip too. )
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Old 06-25-10, 11:22 AM   #9
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If the fenders WERE for you, you can get clip-on fenders that attach to the fork and seat stays that keep most of the water off you, like SKS Raceblades:


http://www.coloradocyclist.com/product/item/SKSVGZ8R

They do have some drawbacks, like your feet (and probably the drivetrain) still get crud on them, and they tend to collect (smash) a lot of rocks against your rear brake right after where the fender doesn't cover.

But they keep away the "skunk strip" or your front wheel throwing water up into your face if you're turning.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:06 PM   #10
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Or, why not get the road bike and simply get fenders that will work with it. http://www.crudusa.com/company

Do a search on Bike Forums. There is a lot of positive reviews about them.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:35 PM   #11
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I see no downside to a bike with clearance for fenders for general cycling.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:38 PM   #12
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The difference is truly amazing - the fendered bike stays sooooooo much cleaner..............
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Old 06-25-10, 12:39 PM   #13
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I see no downside to a bike with clearance for fenders for general cycling.
The downside is that they're hard to find (a road bike with clearance for fenders). If you want something "racy" or want the comfort of full carbon fiber, it's nearly impossible (sadly, because there's really no other reason than a few grams).
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Old 06-25-10, 01:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by redsparrow View Post
I'm trying to make a decision between a frame with fender clearance and one without. I love riding in the rain and I love getting wet. If I got fenders they wouldn't be for me.

How much do fenders actually benefit the bike itself? How effective are they at keeping road grit off the drive-train?

Thanks.
It would help to know more. Are you building up a bike, or buying a complete bike? What kind of riding do think you want to do with it (commuting, group rides, tooling around town, etc)? Do have another bike, and if so, what is it? Also, what's your budget?
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Old 06-25-10, 02:11 PM   #15
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It would help to know more. Are you building up a bike, or buying a complete bike? What kind of riding do think you want to do with it (commuting, group rides, tooling around town, etc)? Do have another bike, and if so, what is it? Also, what's your budget?
Well I'm looking for a replacement for my full-on road bike (Lemond Maillot Jaune). The Lemond is too big for me and I figure I'll get something a touch more practical at the same time. I'll also be using it for commuting and would like to put my change of clothes on a rack rather than a backpack. (Little rack-top bag, not panniers.) I don't plan on doing any racing. I've done a century on the Lemond and in a few years might want to get back to that sort of riding with this bike. Right now I'm leaning towards a Soma Smoothie or an ES. I'd either transfer my Ultegra from the Lemond or maybe buy new Ultegra/105.

The ES has (real) fender clearance, and the Smoothie doesn't. Without being able to go out and ride one of each, I'm not sure how much of a difference the geometry would make in the feel of the bike. I've been thinking of trying to find complete bikes with similar geometry to do some comparisons, but haven't gotten around to it. (Also I think that I'd be wasting someone else's time trying bikes that I don't plan to buy.) The differences between the Smoothie and ES aren't huge, but big enough that they go to the trouble of manufacturing both...

And now, the confession, the big advantage that the Smoothie has over the ES is that the Smoothie comes in white (nice!) and the ES is deep red (blech.) If I can convince myself that the fender clearance is worth it, it could tip me towards the ES.

I have a winter bike for in the snow (and salt,) but this bike would be for all other weather. I have plenty of experience riding in the rain, and it's not like my drive-train has been disintegrating, but that grit must be wearing it down faster than if I were a Fair Weather. Enough to make it worth buying a deep red bike? Hmmmm.... Not sure yet.

Thanks everyone for your comments.
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Old 06-25-10, 03:05 PM   #16
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See, this is why you need a rain bike!
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Old 06-25-10, 03:15 PM   #17
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Part of the reason I have fenders is because my derailleurs are freakin' expensive and I really don't like the idea of all the sand and other road grime ending up in them. In Tennessee if it looks like it's icy, they spread sand on the roads, it disappears but then comes out to play again when it rains no matter what time of year it is. Just looking at the inside of my fenders after a good rain I know this for a fact. Better stuck to my fenders than to my chain and derailleurs.
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Old 06-25-10, 03:17 PM   #18
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...I'd either transfer my Ultegra from the Lemond or maybe buy new Ultegra/105...
fyi, the latest Ultegra and Dura-Ace (and I think the recently announced 105) have that cool under-the-handlebar-tape cable routing, and reputedly have noticeably better front shifting (though little different in rear shifting).

'course if you're changing component groups, I ended up riding SRAM Red and was a little shocked to find that I really liked it better than my previous-gen Dura-Ace. Ah, well now I'm just changing subjects aren't I? Sorry. LOL
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Old 06-25-10, 03:21 PM   #19
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See, this is why you need a rain bike!
Ahhh, both the Smoothie and the ES! Brilliant! Oh wait... money. Oh well.

(Thanks for pointing out the Crud fenders, I hadn't seen those before.)
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Old 06-25-10, 09:46 PM   #20
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Well I'm looking for a replacement for my full-on road bike (Lemond Maillot Jaune). The Lemond is too big for me and I figure I'll get something a touch more practical at the same time. I'll also be using it for commuting and would like to put my change of clothes on a rack rather than a backpack. (Little rack-top bag, not panniers.) I don't plan on doing any racing. I've done a century on the Lemond and in a few years might want to get back to that sort of riding with this bike.
For this, especially the commuting part, especially considering you live in Ottawa, I'd get something that can take fenders and fatter tires. Who knows, you may decide you want to run studded tires on it, and it would be nice to have the option. What about Soma's cross frame? Have you looked at Surly's frames? I bought a complete Long Haul Trucker and for commuting it is great. Also, a quick search for "SOMA ES frame" turns up some places that appear to be selling silver and blue frames (maybe last year's model?)
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Old 06-25-10, 09:49 PM   #21
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By the way, I kind of like the red. And red bikes go faster, according to BF wisdom.
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Old 06-26-10, 08:00 AM   #22
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A fenders PSA from BSNYC:
fender psa1..JPG
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Old 06-26-10, 08:16 AM   #23
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They can block:

-spray into the headset
-spray into the bottom bracket (if long enough)
-spray onto the chainset (if long enough, we're talking mudflap long)
-spray onto the brakes
-spray onto the seatpost clamp area

etc.

They're worth it.
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Old 06-26-10, 03:50 PM   #24
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By the way, I kind of like the red. And red bikes go faster, according to BF wisdom.
I'm sure lots of people like the red...

You're right that I might be able to get my hands on a blue ES from last year. For winter riding I have a fixie with some Hutchinson cyclo-cross tires, although sometimes I leave a slick on the rear wheel for a little extra fun. This new bike is just for pavement in above-freezing conditions.

The only touring bike I've ridden was a test-ride of Jamis Aurora, which seems to fair well in reviews, but it was very far from what I'm looking for. I'm sure it's better fully loaded, but that's not what I need.

The Surly Pacer falls somewhere between the Smoothie and the ES, geometry-wise, but doesn't have rack mounts. I also like the Tange Prestige and carbon forks of the Somas.
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Old 06-26-10, 05:01 PM   #25
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I'm sure lots of people like the red...

You're right that I might be able to get my hands on a blue ES from last year. For winter riding I have a fixie with some Hutchinson cyclo-cross tires, although sometimes I leave a slick on the rear wheel for a little extra fun. This new bike is just for pavement in above-freezing conditions.

The only touring bike I've ridden was a test-ride of Jamis Aurora, which seems to fair well in reviews, but it was very far from what I'm looking for. I'm sure it's better fully loaded, but that's not what I need.

The Surly Pacer falls somewhere between the Smoothie and the ES, geometry-wise, but doesn't have rack mounts. I also like the Tange Prestige and carbon forks of the Somas.
What about the Surly Cross Check?

Aaron
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