Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Munich Germany (formerly Portland OR, Texas)
Bikes: '02 Specialized FSR, '03 RM Slayer, '99 Raleigh R700, '97 Norco hartail, '89 Stumpjumper
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I have removable fenders that i ride with about 90% of the time. I sometimes take the rear off if i don't expect rain or many muddy puddles... (in Oregon i would take the fenders off for the dry season from July through September, but in Europe it can rain anytime so i pretty much use them year-round) -- front = pretty much always, rear = most of the time
i am truly amazed in wet rides and races that most other XC riders do not use them. they weigh almost nothing, for XC create negligible wind drag, so i see almost no disadvantages to using them --- #1 is probably that people think they look dorky, but keeping dirt chunks out of my eyes on a downhill and my rear as well as my rear shock a little cleaner is a good thing! about the only other possible disadvantage which doesn't occur often is that in really wet XC races with some flatter parts, IF you use a rear fender it's easier for others to draft off of you b/c it doesn't throw crap all in their eyes. For group rides i really wish others would use rear fenders, b/c i hate riding in a pace-line and getting spewed with mud from the rear tire in front of me...
for the front i had another fender - i think a Mt Zefal, but not sure, that was removable, but not quick b/c you had to undo a screw under the fork. Now i have a button-release fender that i totally lova although i can't remember the name -- looks like the motorcross-style fenders, but a little smaller.
i find the down-tube fenders are better than nothing, but not nearly as good as a real fender -- especially for high-speed downhills where stuff fly up from the front wheel in front of the handlebars -- downtube fenders don't catch this at all so the crap ends up on my sunglasses or in my eyes!
for the rear i like the Mt Zefal - i think it's called the Flamingo -- anyway, i like it b/c it has a screw-on attachment that doesn't come loose and slide around like most of the removables.