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View Poll Results: Do you have a set of mud guards / fenders for your tandem?

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  • No.

    34 46.58%
  • Yes; but we've never put them on.

    3 4.11%
  • Yes, but we rarely use them

    2 2.74%
  • Yes,, we put them on when the roads are or will be wet

    2 2.74%
  • Yes; we put them on for cold / rainy season

    0 0%
  • Yes; we put them on when touring or at other times when it makes sense.

    9 12.33%
  • Yes; we have them installed all the time.

    23 31.51%
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  1. #1
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Mud Guards / Fenders: Yes or No?

    We also included a question in last year's Tandem Enthusiasts Poll that asked which accessories folks used and mud guards / fenders were a yes for about 23% of the 342 folks who replied to that question. A while back Hermes started a thread entitled "Show your fenders" and there have also been a few other posts that have inquired as to the consensus on fenders where only a few folks have indicated that they have and use fenders on their tandems. Therefore, I thought I'd throw out a BF-only poll to see just how many folks actually have fenders and when they use them.

    Now, like most new threads, this one was inspired out of self-interest / vanity as I recently finished customizing a set of SKS full coverage fenders so they could be installed on our Calfee. On the surface that may not seem like a big deal but -- given the somewhat constrained size of the wheel opening and the lack of eyelets on the Alpha Q fork, never mind the equally tight quarters around the rear wheel -- I was really pleased with how they turned out and even more pleased with how well they worked on our weekend rides. Like most fenders, the front one created some toe overlap issues that I need to be mindful of but aside from that they should work just fine during the winter months, when rain looks likely at an event, or when we go touring.



    I should note, we do have a set of SKS Racer Blades that we used on our previous tandems and they were certainly better than nothing. However, nothing really compares to full-coverage fenders when you find yourself riding on wet roads.

  2. #2
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    No because I don't want to/need to ride in wet conditions. Main reason I live in SoCal and am retired.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    No.
    If we get caught in rain . . . so what?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    No.
    If we get caught in rain . . . so what?
    In a long soaking rain, no, it doesn't matter one way or another, just get wet. But in a light rain, or when the road is just wet, they keep the drivetrain clean and the feet dry. So yes for us. At some point as we went from summer to fall, I stopped taking the fenders on and off for the daily conditions, and now they'll stay on till the spring.

  5. #5
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    I have fenders that will fit the tandem, but they live on my commuter. I'd only put them on the tandem for touring or for an event that looked wet.

  6. #6
    Live Everyday
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    Got them for our C'dale Tandem after doing the Allegeny Passage and C&O Canal on my Cross Bike But so far we have not been able to get the Tandem back to Pa. to do the ride on it... so the fenders are collecting dust.

    Bill J.

  7. #7
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    Being in the Pacific Northwest, fenders are on all the time. Don't bother to take them off in the summertime.

  8. #8
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    Fenders no only protect the riders from rain, they also keep the bicycle and gear cleaner. They are prety much essential for extended unsupported touring, and a nice-to-have for local riding out of your home, where you can more easily clean up when you arrive.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]www.tangotandem.org

  9. #9
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    Hell yes we have fenders.......
    All year long in the Pacific Northwest, on our KHS Roma Ultegra.










    2Fer

  10. #10
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Mudflaps, everyone! Never run fenders w/o mudflaps. Front mudflap keeps your feet drier. Rear is for courtesy. Best mudflaps end 2" from the ground, but 5-7" is acceptable. If your fenders are too short (Race Blades), pop rivet on some extensions made from old fenders. Intro to mud flaps here:
    http://phred.org/~alex/bikes/fendermudflap.html

    That is some serious toe overlap all right, TG. Getting rid of those little rubber thingies and putting on flaps will help. The flap should hang straight down when going slow enough for it to be a problem.

    I run Race Blades on our tandem when necessary, but no mudflaps, having lengthened the fenders as much as a mudflap would. I heated and flattened the extensions slightly to make them more effective. The downside of that is that one has to be more careful of them when tire changing. Since they are Race Blades, I demount them for transportation.

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Although an offroad Tandem- We have found that the type we have on the front is very effective on the road against rain. Unfortunately- we use nothing on the rear due to the seat post mounted Pannier. We just have a drip-dry stoker.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  12. #12
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    I just got a WoundUp carbon tandem fork (V-brake model), and I'm amazed that there are no fender mounts on either the crown or dropouts. Come on, we don't all live in Southern California! I'm sure no-one would mind the extra 10 grams for the convenience these would provide for many people. It won't be the first or last time that I'll have to get inventive with P-clips and covered pipe strapping, but I would really prefer not to have to revert to such things. Before I get into it, does anyone have any good tips for doing this? The fenders are standard SKS, full-length jobs.

    Plus, why does Co-motion Speedster have the bolt hole on the seat stay bridge facing downwards, towards the hub. It would have been so much easier if it faced rearwards, as do all other such fixing points that I've seen, and as is necessary to mount the SKS fenders normally. I'm guessing there is some sort of reason for it facing towards the hub, but I couldn't think of one.

  13. #13
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Poaching from one of my own, earlier posts in a different thread... I've found at least one work around for carbon forks and rear stays that don't have eyelets for fenders: zip ties.

    This is what I did with Debbie's custom Ritchey Road Logic which was built without any braze-ons or screw-eyes for fenders/racks. Individually, they are pretty flimsy. However, once you have all of the attachment hardware tighted-up it makes for a pretty durable installation. Debbie's had hers on full-time for over 10 months and 2,500 miles without a hiccup. To protect the paint finish and to give more "bite", I put a strip of vinyl electrician's tape down before mounting the zip ties.

    Black plastic "mounting" zip tie:


    SKS Front fender with break-away mounting clips attached to zip tie on fork end.


    SKS Rear fender attached to zip tie on rear stay.


    I've used the same technique for mounting the fenders on my Calfee Tetra Pro (single bike) and the Tetra Tandem pictured in the first post of this thread. There was also some major surgery on the fenders relative to creating sufficient clearance to pass under the tandem's rear brake bridge and under the crowns on both bike's forks. While not as rock-solid as fenders mounted on true eyelets, they keep the fenders in place just fine and wheel rub has never been a problem due to any shifting as the zip ties are really quite secure so long as you install them on top of electrician's tape.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 11-25-08 at 07:03 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
    I just got a WoundUp carbon tandem fork (V-brake model), and I'm amazed that there are no fender mounts on either the crown or dropouts.
    On the WoundUp disc fork there are also no cable guides. They told me to use the stick-on cable guides which didn't stick. So, I had to use a zip tie. Rather than using electrical tape underneath I used a small piece of cork handlebar tape. It provides a bit more protection from wear and the zip tie doesn't move around since it is not slick.

  15. #15
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
    Plus, why does Co-motion Speedster have the bolt hole on the seat stay bridge facing downwards, towards the hub. I'm guessing there is some sort of reason for it facing towards the hub, but I couldn't think of one.
    Ask and ye shall receive....

    Quote Originally Posted by Nearly verbatim from the friendly folks At Co-Motion
    We face the mounting hole, which is threaded M5x .8 toward the axle, so you can [eliminate the metal clip normally used to attach the fender to the brake bridge], drill a hole in the fender, and mount it nice and solidly with a 5mm bolt. It's much cleaner and more secure that way.

  16. #16
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    In the Denver area, we very seldom get rain. If the only time we avoided riding was due to rain, we would be riding most of the time. If it is raining or threatening to rain, we just wait a while.

    I think the only time we've got caught in the rain was on multi-day tours where not riding wasn't really an option.

  17. #17
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    While fenders and mudflaps serve a purpose they won't keep you dry when trucks pass you at 65 mph and inundate you! Like a free shower with all your clothes on . . .
    Been there, done that and actually threatened to drill drain holes in our shoes to let the water out!

  18. #18
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    While fenders and mudflaps serve a purpose they won't keep you dry when trucks pass you at 65 mph and inundate you! Like a free shower with all your clothes on . . .
    Been there, done that and actually threatened to drill drain holes in our shoes to let the water out!
    True, but that's clearly not the strong suite for fenders, nor is it in the warmer climates where they are most beneficial.

    Instead, it's for those colder climates and days when the roads are wet and will stay wet given either high humidty and overcast conditions or light / intermittent rain and you'd still rather be riding than not. In these conditions, water, moisture, and crud from the road that is thrown up by your tires makes for an awful mess that can easily be eliminated by fenders.

    Again, if someone rarely rides in cold and wet conditions then it's probably a non-issue and the entire concept of fenders makes no sense.... which is actually true for off-road tandems as well. For example, I find mud guards are invaluable on our off-road tandem when there's been any recent rain or if we're venturing into deeply wooded places like Tsali where patches of mud will remain for days after a good soaking rain. For someone who rides Slickrock or in other arid or semi-arid places with great drainage, why bother.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 11-26-08 at 08:14 AM.

  19. #19
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    TG,

    Do you have a source for the "mounting zip tie" referenced above?

    Thanks

  20. #20
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornucopia72 View Post
    Do you have a source for the "mounting zip tie" referenced above?
    I found the ones I'm using in the wiring section at Home Depot. I was actually looking for some small rubber-coated clamps to use for the same purpose when I stumbled onto the zip ties with the screw holes and figured I'd give them a go first. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they worked once everything was bolted up.

    For reference, they're very similar to the 7" or 9" ties that appear near the top of this Web page:
    http://www.wiringproducts.com/index1.html

  21. #21
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    Very clever indeed.

  22. #22
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    You can also use P-clips (I did on my commuter).

    Not my pics (mine are a bit more beefy):



    Mine are very secure.

  23. #23
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    Agreed on the function of fenders. Its not the stuff falling out of the sky that messes up the drivetrain - its the stuff thrown up from the road. If it was just a matter of getting a bit wet & a bit cold on a ride and having to wipe down the frame when you're done - no problem. What creates a lot more work is having to try to get the grit out of the drivetrain.

  24. #24
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uspspro View Post
    You can also use P-clips
    That's what I was looking for when I found the zip ties...

    Anyway, here are some photos of the zip ties holding the older style of SKS fenders on my Calfee Tetra Pro

    Rear Fender Mount with heavy vinyl tape around carbon stay / under zip tie:


    Front fender mount with zip tie / regular electrician's tape around aluminum drop-out, above axle opening & skewer contact point.


    Note, that bright metal strip you see in the photo are two aluminum strips riveted together and to what are now separate front and rear sections of the original SKS fender. The stock brake bolt mount and a 3" section of fender that it was connected to were removed such that the only thing going under the fork crown is the 2mm thick aluminum strip that connects the two fender sections. The aluminum strip used up front was drilled and bent 90 to form a new brake mount. I still trying to figure out the right solution for filling the gap. I used some 2" wide vinyl tape on the tandem which is fine in warm weather but will likely shred or simply come off in cold & wet conditions. A fiberglass insert is the most likely, permanent solution... well, that or nothing since the metal strip will knock down the water coming off the center of the tire.

  25. #25
    I like old stuff
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    I will stick with my PNW peers and state: fenders of course. Another reason to use a rear fender on wet road days is out of kindness for those following you in the paceline.

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