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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

View Poll Results: Fenders
Leave them on 94 79.66%
Take them off 16 13.56%
Doesnt matter either way 8 6.78%
Voters: 118. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-27-13, 09:05 PM   #1
12bar
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Fenders yes or no

I have been trying to decide weather to leave the fenders on my LHT or take them off to save a small amount of weight and make shipping disassembly / reassembly a little easier. So what are your thoughts on the subject of fenders.
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Old 01-27-13, 09:24 PM   #2
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The Serfas fenders I have on my touring bike are easy to remove. The back one stays on 90+% of the time but the front one only goes on in wet weather. They are polycarbonate so they are very light. I don't think the rear fender is a significant weight penalty and since it is a 3/4 fender, not full length, it really doesn't add significantly to wind drag at touring speeds.

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Old 01-27-13, 09:45 PM   #3
WMcCready
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I like, and use fenders on most of my bikes, Have full type on LHT, think it protects bike frame & rider.
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Old 01-27-13, 09:55 PM   #4
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I'm all for fenders, but see your point about them being an inconvenience when shipping a bike.
How long are you going away for?
What's the probability of rain while you are gone?
I lean towards having fenders, but have never packed a bike for shipping.
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Old 01-27-13, 10:01 PM   #5
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Good fenders, properly mounted, are a real PITA. Mine are mounted more-or-less permanently and only come off in extrema. So I voted "leave them on".

Bad fenders are available which are easy to install and remove. That is good, because you can't wait to remove bad fenders after you've installed them. So you've been using bad fenders, you should probably take them off at every opportunity.

HTH!
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Old 01-28-13, 12:39 AM   #6
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I've never toured with finders save for a mid-winter/early spring overnighter. I put fenders on in the rainy season as a courtesy to my fellow cycling commuters, but not on tour. They are added weight (not too very much). The added wind resistance is noticeable. With panniers and racks in place when touring and my fat aluminum down tube, fenders become kind of redundant. Plus I can't switch to dirt tires on if I decide to go off road.
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Old 01-28-13, 01:44 AM   #7
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Big Amtrak/United boxes , in one direction and KLM box coming Back and the fronr wheel mudguards and rack stayed on..

but my last tour was feb to nov ,in wet countries.. only bike , home, without mudguards
has not been ridden much, in the last couple years..
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Old 01-28-13, 02:17 AM   #8
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i like fenders, but they aren't necessary. i wouldn't leave them at home for weight reasons, but i might leave them if they were inconvenient to transport or (dis)assemble. i might bring them despite the inconvenience, depending on the duration and destination of the trip. i recall riding a rainy col where sheep and cows roamed free. they pooped everywhere and it made a nasty gravy on the road. i wish i had fenders that day. good times...
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Old 01-28-13, 04:10 AM   #9
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Living in an area where the roads can get wet or dirty any time of the year, I hate riding my LHT (or any of my other bikes) without fenders, so they stay on year round. Not getting your clothes, gear and the bike covered in mud makes quite a difference when using the bike to go places instead of only for sports. And also on sporty rides, staying clean/dry is nice of course
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Old 01-28-13, 04:33 AM   #10
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12bar, The weight (and aerodynamic drag) of a pair of fenders on a touring bike is really insignificant I feel. I am one of those people that don't like the looks of fenders and rarely mount them, but realize that they are a comfort item and I do use them when the weather may turn on me for my daytripping. For anything longer than an overnight tour I'd have a set mounted.

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Old 01-28-13, 05:07 AM   #11
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Take them off. You will still get completely soaked with fenders, it just takes slightly longer. Also, fenders recycle the water back on to your wheel so your wheel has to shed it more than once. No fenders is more efficient, less hassle, less money less weight, and easier to maintain the wheel and brakes.
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Old 01-28-13, 05:56 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies that's one of the many great things about this forum everyone is willing to share and the depth of experience is huge. The two trips I have planned are the Atlantic coast in May and Alaska in July. For the Alaska trip I wil be switching to a tire with a more aggressive tread pattern and probably a little wider than I am currently running. The fenders I have on now are Woodies fenders they work well and look great but are a royal pain to adjust.
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Old 01-28-13, 05:57 AM   #13
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BWF, you will only get soaked with fenders as long as it's raining. Without fenders you'll get wet and dirty during and after the rain, for as long as the roads are wet. You don't get dirty with full coverage fenders.
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Old 01-28-13, 06:23 AM   #14
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I have mostly stopped using them and have not missed them. They are still on my heavy touring bike and will probably stay there, but I have been using a road bike for my road touring and a mountain bike if there is an off road component to the tour. Since I have been going very light, I am not sure if I will tour on the heavy touring bike again.

I didn't vote, but if you use them at home, I'd leave them on for touring. If you didn't use them at home I probably would skip them for touring as well.

BTW, when I used them I didn't find it that big of a hassle to remove them when packing for air travel or boxing the bike for shipping.
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Old 01-28-13, 07:11 AM   #15
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I find fenders useful for berries, wild cherries and goose droppings, not to mention the occasional puddle. We use SKS fenders which work very well. The rear fender stays on all of the time because its a bear to mount, the front fender is generally off the bike unless we are touring or expect to hit weather. I find the weight, as a percentage of total weight, to negligible.
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Old 01-28-13, 07:22 AM   #16
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Fenders, Don't leave home without them.
They help to keep everything cleaner and dryer.
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Old 01-28-13, 07:41 AM   #17
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I've just removed front and rear fenders from our bikes. They are SKS versions, and they have taken a beating because of all the packing and unpacking we've had to do. They were damaged.

To be honest, I am not sure that they served their purpose beyond being a nuisance -- and this comes from someone who has used fenders on touring, rando and commuting bikes for many years.

Frankly, if you have to pack and unpack a bike from a box, get on and off trains, shove the bike on to a bus, or simply get it through hotel doors and into elevators, the fenders become a liability. I cannot understand anyone touring with aluminium or steel fenders; maybe they don't have to cope with the situations I mentioned.

Certainly, the hassle wasn't compensated for with the heavy rain we rode through in the UK... we got as wet as we would have without them, and the Topeak rack on the rear with its solid platform, would ensure no skunk tail.

Anyway, on future overseas travel, we likely will be on Bike Fridays, and won't be worrying about fenders on them.
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Old 01-28-13, 08:05 AM   #18
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Never used them. Doubt I ever will.
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Old 01-28-13, 08:40 AM   #19
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I voted "leave them on" and have never even considered removing them before this poll. Maybe the "take them off" people are running really thin slicks, would that make a big difference from thicker tires with more tread?
I will consider removing them from my classic racer because I got them for free, but I remember the reason I put them there in the first place was because I had road dirt on the back of my shirt even after a short ride on a rainy day.

BTW, does plastic fenders EVER align perfectly? Both my sets are sort of bent and do not want to play ball.
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Old 01-28-13, 08:55 AM   #20
imi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12bar View Post
I have been trying to decide weather to leave the fenders on ...
that's it innit!
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Old 01-28-13, 09:06 AM   #21
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I'd prob remove the woody's for the Alaska trip. I "used" to love my Woody's, that was before I had a stick get stuck and break my fender. I am going to order another pair but I will not use them when a chance of breakage exists.
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Old 01-28-13, 10:06 AM   #22
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I voted doesn't matter either way because after reading the posts is really seams a personal preference. I, personally, never use fenders, but I live in Tucson, AZ with about 10 rainy days a year. When I've toured, racks and panniers worked as finders. So decide what works best for you.
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Old 01-28-13, 10:32 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy cheste View Post
Fenders, Don't leave home without them.
They help to keep everything cleaner and dryer.
Echo that.
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Old 01-28-13, 12:21 PM   #24
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On my mtn bike commuter/everything bike, I have an easily removeable front fender made for front suspension

http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...ontent=Default
which works well and has survived many years and dings and such.

on the rear I use two of these flexible thingees,

http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...tor-shield.jsp

one tiewrapped to the seatpost frame area+chainstays, the other tiewrapped under the rack, sticking out the back enough to stop a rooster tail getting me---this front and rear system is easy to remover and or just flex, making it easy to schlepp the bike into cars or whatever, and does a good job as fenders.

*my take on fenders is that they keep a good amount of gritty crap off the front derailleur (and maybe the chain too abit) that can build up and really gunk up the fd. For this I really like fenders.

On my drop bar bike, I have a rear fender only, a Planet Bike one, which is that tough plastic stuff that lasts and lasts, but is flexible enough for being dinged around. I dont use a front one as I do like being able to bung my bike into the rear seat of a car with the front wheel off (like others have said) and not having a front fender certainly makes this easier (or into a car trunk or whatever)

so basically Ive traded off the convenience of no rigid front fender against having two that keeps gunk down and probably helps keep a fd working longer and better over time.

caveat, if I rode in the rain all the time, I would want the front one as well, keeps crap off your feet better too (a heck of a lot less crap at that!) and I can always put my Planet Bike front fender on the bike if needed. Just have never done it.
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Old 01-28-13, 12:32 PM   #25
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Young Belgian racers-in-training, model themselves after the Pro racers of the Spring Classics.
so don't use mudguards lest they be mistaken for Tourists..
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