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Old 04-09-14, 08:50 PM   #1
KC8QVO
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Thoughts on fenders - what holds up?

I've seen a couple pairs of the plastic/molded fenders that the bike shops are selling these days where the mounts have broken out of the fender (the tabs like on the front fork that attach to the piece between the stem tube and the fork legs on top of the tire). The breaks were all after a lot of miles over the course of a year, but still has me leary of getting something like that since they dont hold up well. Are there any quality fenders that are mileage tested by those here?
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Old 04-09-14, 08:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
I've seen a couple pairs of the plastic/molded fenders that the bike shops are selling these days where the mounts have broken out of the fender (the tabs like on the front fork that attach to the piece between the stem tube and the fork legs on top of the tire). The breaks were all after a lot of miles over the course of a year, but still has me leary of getting something like that since they dont hold up well. Are there any quality fenders that are mileage tested by those here?
Go with the Planet Bike Cascadia Fenders. I have them on my DT and have had no real problems (or fake ones). The only slight issue is they are rather wide but only because I have a 26" tire and so I had to go with that size fender. I have taken them on a few tours and a lot of other riding.
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Old 04-09-14, 09:04 PM   #3
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So far I have had good luck with aluminum fenders I get from VeloOrange.
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Old 04-09-14, 09:14 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, I've come to view fenders like a disposable. The SKS last for a couple of months, but then get crosswise with a branch or something and then they are kaput.

For my 29er hard tail, I've ditched the SKS in favor of the new Topeak Defender XC-1's. These are more substantial and have much more thoughtful and secure points of attachment.
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Old 04-09-14, 09:54 PM   #5
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I think for a touring bike, I would go with Berthoud. I have seen too many of the plastic ones explode for no particularly good reason.

My Berthoud experience started with a long ride where a fender problem would have been a real issue. I hadn't mounted a large seat bag quite well enough, and it popped off on a bump. The resulting bang when it landed on my fender made me think I was going to have to take the fender off and chuck it, but it was totally unscathed. That made me a believer.
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Old 04-09-14, 10:40 PM   #6
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On my mountain bike turned drop bar tourer/ commuter I have been running Velo Orange stainless steel fenders for the better part of a year, rain or shine (or mud) and I have only had a few times when especially sticky mud or snow builds up under the fender and drags on the tire a bit. They hold up really well, are very easy to clean the outside and inside of, and keep the bike clean (though the ones I got are a bit shorter than some of the other Velo Orange offerings, so there is a bit more spray off the back of both wheels than I would like). As long as there is no toe overlap you have quality fenders and the fenders have decent mounting points I see little reason not to run them.

I have a set of narrower 700c hammered aluminum Velo Orange fenders I will be putting on my road bike once I get it built up. With a slightly longer length they have better wrap around the tires and should cut down on the spray.

If you are really worried about liking fenders, or durability, you can buy from Performance bicycle as they have a lifetime 100% satisfaction or your money back return policy.
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Old 04-10-14, 07:43 AM   #7
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I must be the exception, I've had fenders last for 10-15 years with the odd bend in them, unkink them and they keep on going. Never had a fender buckle under because of debris being caught in though, so maybe lucky, but all in all, I've been impressed with the toughness of the predominant plastic mix of fenders while not being overly heavy. Im not riding in mudfests so this is probably a big factor with them lasting, mostly on paved roads so sticks and such arent a huge factor either.
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Old 04-10-14, 08:31 AM   #8
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So, how do your mounting schemes work out over time ? in bike touring I slip the struts when I box the, bike to fly somewhere..
so the rear fender is against the back of the wheel .

when set came with too short a front mudguard, I got 2 and used both rears ..
I have 25+ year old SKS/Esge/Blumels [also chromoplast]


for my Bike Friday Pocket Llama, I got Planet bikes 20" and made up my own mounts ..
to pack for travel they come off ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-10-14 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 04-10-14, 09:56 AM   #9
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I have had zero trouble with Planet Bike Hard Core Road fenders. I did the TA and a few other long tours as well as a bunch of mileage around home. So I can recommend them if you want fenders, but that said I have been touring sans fenders the last few tours and have not missed them at all.
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Old 04-10-14, 10:16 AM   #10
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I have Planet Bike Hardcore Hybrid plastic fenders, for many years now, and thousands of miles, with nary a problem or rattle. I have installed many for friends with the same results.
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Old 04-10-14, 10:37 AM   #11
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Regardless of the fenders you buy, get ones with the safety quick disconnect on the front fender stays. It will save a lot of grief if debris is picked up and becomes wedged between the wheel and fender. I can tell you from experiece that it does happen.



This is on a rear fender. Something was picked up and wedged causing the fender to fold accordion fashion as depicted in the drawing. My back wheel locked up which was still pretty exciting. These are SKS fenders and they popped right back into shape. I've had them on some of bikes for over ten years and have found them to be very durable. They have been on bikes that have been in Amtrak boxes that were stood on end, with the weight of the bike in the rear fender, and have come out in good shape.


It did not do my tire any good either, but I did ride it 5 miles home, not realizing the tire was damaged.

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Old 04-10-14, 10:55 AM   #12
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I have had zero trouble with Planet Bike Hard Core Road fenders. I did the TA and a few other long tours as well as a bunch of mileage around home. So I can recommend them if you want fenders, but that said I have been touring sans fenders the last few tours and have not missed them at all.
I would miss them

We encountered 35 days of rain on a tour a couple of years ago. I was happy to have them. For me they are a small weight penalty for a clean drive train. Just personal preference.

A lot of the mud would have ended up on my wife's cranks and shoes.


Her cross tube and cranks are relatively clean.

Last edited by Doug64; 04-10-14 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 04-10-14, 11:26 AM   #13
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I would miss them

We encountered 35 days of rain on a tour a couple of years ago. I was happy to have them. For me they are a small weight penalty for a clean drive train. Just personal preference.

A lot of the mud would have ended up on my wife's craanks and shoes.
Yes definitely a personal choice and I won't suggest that others should do as I do.

I used fenders on my loaded touring bike and in fact they are still on it, but I have since started touring with lighter loads and on lighter bikes. My thought process was that I ride my road bike in all weather conditions and ride my MTB in horrendously muddy and wet conditions and never felt the need for fenders on them. So when outfitting bikes for lighter touring I didn't think it worth adding the weight of fenders. As I said, just a personal choice though.

I can't say that I have ever had 35 days of rain on a tour, but I have had a few rainy days on almost all of my tours.
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Old 04-10-14, 12:33 PM   #14
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My SKS fenders have outlasted their original bike frames, both pairs; they're now about 14 and 8 years old. I tend to stay on the roads, except for a few miles on the occasional MUP, so I avoid most killer sticks. YMMV.

I've folded the front fender a couple times, but it was a simple matter to pull the fender straight, reinsert the stays back into their quick disconnect, and ride on.
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Old 04-10-14, 01:25 PM   #15
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I've had many versions of SKS fenders on multiple different bikes and been happy with them through many years of touring and daily commuting. I'd recommend them to anyone. Living in Europe means that the Planet Bike version is not very available, but when I have looked at them when visiting N. America then they seem to be using very similar materials and almost the same design, so I assume they are equally good.

Be sure to get a version with a front mud-flap, or get an after-market one and attach it yourself. Rear mudflaps are only needed if you're going to be riding with other people.
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Old 04-10-14, 02:36 PM   #16
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Everything was fine till I did the Katy trail last October. The branches ripped apart my plastic sks fenders. The safety release mechanism worked like it should. There was an abundance of branches. I duct tapped everything up and they are still on there.
I ride daily without a problem on city streets. The trails are a different problem.
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Old 04-10-14, 03:39 PM   #17
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I guess having a lot of clearance would help with "stuff" not getting caught up? This more of a question so do any of you have better experience on dirt roads and such with a lot more space between tires and fenders?
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Old 04-10-14, 03:51 PM   #18
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I can't say that I have ever had 35 days of rain on a tour, but I have had a few rainy days on almost all of my tours.
It was not as bad as it sounds. We were riding for 3 months, so that was only about a third of the ride. One woman told us, "this is the wettest summer I can remember since I was pregnant with my oldest son in 1972."
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Old 04-10-14, 03:55 PM   #19
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My touring bike has about 40mm over the tire to the mudguards underside.


West Coast Of Ireland , when it was stormy I just stayed in the Hostels and drank with the Locals
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Old 04-11-14, 02:25 PM   #20
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VElo Orange makes the best full coverage fenders. Install can be a B**** but they look great. PLus, we arent all that concerned with keeping our rigs light.
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Old 04-11-14, 03:30 PM   #21
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SKS chromoplast. They've lasted longer than anything else I've tried. Nothing's perfect. Order them at least 10mm wider than your tires. I had Velo Orange alu fenders fatigue and crack in one season. When we tour, we only run front fenders. Keeps us and the machine cleaner and drier and we can still stand the machine on its back wheel for elevators, doors, etc.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:29 PM   #22
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Another vote for PB Cascadias. Have them in both 60 mm and 35 mm widths. The front mudflap is essential.
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