Hi all, just crossing over into the touring world. I'm buying some stainless fenders and planning on running 26x1.5 tires almost always, but occasionally throwing on 26x1.95s for some mixed terrain trips. Would purchasing fenders to fit the 26x1.95s create issues when using them with the 26x1.5s? I'd rather get one set of fenders to save some cash, but I'd like to hear from a vet if there is an issue with running fenders sized for 26x1.95 on 26x1.5s.
A little extra weight, a little extra drag, they might look a little funny. If any of those are issues just ride without fenders when appropriate. Depending on road conditions and load you might want to go a little bigger than 26 x 1.5 for touring, having a set of fenders sized for 26 x 1.95 would give you more flexibility in choosing tire sizes.
I have Velo-Orange 26x60mm stainless fenders on my converted Trek MTB. They accommodate tires up to 2.0" and I've had 2" knobbies on with no problems. The tires in the pic are 1.75". They look OK, to my eye, although not as "clean" as closer fitting fenders. Better to have more fender than not enough, in my view.
Thanks to both of you for the replies. markf - yes, the bike should be fine as far as clearance goes, like pexio, I'm doing the MTB conversion route with a Dirt Research Kobuk w/cantilever brakes, so should be gtg
pexio - awesome looking bike, kudos to you and thanks for sharing.
I have some VO 26x60 aluminum fenders. I run 1.75-2.0" tires with them. Obviously you have to select fender size and then mount them with adequate clearance for the largest size tires you intend to use. I've mainly used 60/65mm fenders spaced for 2" tires, although I do have some 45mm and 50mm SKS sets installed on bikes where I don't exceed 26x1.5" and 1.75", respectively.
Fenders look better when they're more closely matched to the tire size you run. Leaving a big gap doesn't hurt anything, but it does end up looking like perhaps you don't know what you're doing.
If you've never installed fenders, you should know that it that it takes a lot longer to fit fenders properly than you'd ever guess, and it doesn't seem to get quicker no matter how many you do. Definitely plan on doing this job on a "down" day.
I found the 60mm aluminum VO fenders a little harder to install than the SKS plastic/metal laminate fenders I've installed on at least 4 other bikes.
I really like the extra length on the VOs, especially in the front. The lower extension seems to make a mudflap unnecessary, and they look better that way. Also, on the rear, I always try to mount the fender so it ends below the chainstay bridge about an inch, so that debris will deposit onto the road, and not on top of chainstays, some of which would eventually find way into drivetrain and accelerate wear.
The installation hardware is neater looking on the VOs, and at least with the 60mm Al fender set, the total fender set weight is less than a SKS 65mm fender set, with more tire coverage and seemingly more rigid, solid mounting. This is probably not the case with heavier VO SS fender sets.
The SKS fenders have a safety advantage, in that many sets (some of my older SKS don't have this feature) include stays or mounts that break away in the unlikely event that something becomes lodged between tire and fender. I figure if I pick up a big stick in the front with the VOs, the entire fender will crumple into a useless mess that will temporarily disable the bike, plus require purchasing a new fender set. If this happens on the SKS, you'll lose a mount or two only, the bike may not be wrecked, and perhaps a painful, serious injury will be avoided. I've read of a few people actually dying as a result of this type of accident, on high speed descents, so it's really something to think about when choosing fenders.
The VO (and I suspect all metal fenders) have a disadvantage to plastic fenders in that they are noisy and rattle constantly, especially in the front. Metal amplifies the noise, and plastic deadens the noise. I had to use leather and plastic washers sandwiched together at all mount points to create effective vibration dampening. Even then I still have some faint, occasional buzz. Plastic fenders just don't make this racket, even when installed half-assed.
Ideally, I'd like a SKS Chromoplastic fender set made to VO dimensions, with VO hardware and SKS breakaway mounts. I've emulated this by simply using 2 rear SKS fenders, so I have the extra length in front. IIRC even SKS rears are an inch shorter than VOs. My favorite SKS set has breakaway plastic mounts on the end of the stays, which fit in notches in the fender. They only made these for one year, then went back to metal brackets and SS nuts and length-adjusting bolts.
Metal fenders don't rattle. They CAN rattle, but that doesn't need to be an issue- use leather washers or a piece of innertube... I have metal fenders on three bikes, dead silent, even off road. The trick I used was to order a set of 4 extra "r clips" and to mount the stays to the fenders using two r clips (thus at two points near the edge) rather than the stupid single center bolt that VO provides. This makes the fenders MUCH more stable, and then they dont vibrate back and forth and will last much longer.
At the fork crown, use the daruma bolt, rather than the wrap-around metal bracket that VO provides.
Honjo uses two mounting points, VO only one. The fenders vibrate back and forth with only one attachment to the stays(but still dont rattle unless they hit the frame or tire. If your fenders rattle, they aren't set up right, period.
it takes about thirty minutes to set them up.
too big is not a problem, too small is.
SKS fenders crack, stainless do too, but only after many, many years. I got 7-8 years of dirt commuting on a set of berthoud stainless fenders