I was going to build up a used MTB that I bought for winter riding but the cost to upgrade is becoming prohibitive: I would need new rims (the steel ones w/cantis don't allow me to brake worth a crap in wet weather.) The bottom end is making all kinds of ugly noises and the chainrings wobble no matter how much I tighten the nut on the crank arm. The cables are already rusting and need to be replaced before being subjected to snow and ice. It's turned into a project for another day.
Instead I plan to convert my Schwinn hybrid which is still in good shape. The OE tires are 38s and the studded tires that I would like to install are the Nokian W240's. The only offering for 700c tires are 40mm wide. I bought some plastic fenders from my LBS and after installing them I am concerned that my desired tires will not fit. I can squeeze my pinky finger inbetween the tire and the lowest point on the fender, but that's it. In fact, the little rubber "hairs" left over from the molding process brush the fender. Plus, they are only as wide as the tires themselves. I would hate to order in these tires just to find out they won't fit. I want to keep full coverage fenders - are there any fender options I should consider? Front tire clearance doesn't seem to be an issue; except that the v-brake rests on top of the fender surface and pushes it to the left when I apply the brake. I suppose I could buy a v-brake set with longer actuator arms to give me more clearance over the fender if needed.
Alternatively, I am considering the Nokian W106's or the Schwalbe Marathon Winters. They are both available in 35mm sizes and their less aggresive tread pattern might give me a better fit, but I am still concerned that even these wouldn't fit. I would prefer to use the W240's rather than compromise with the other two choices (although from what I've read here they are both competent tires). I know that a "pinky width" is not a very scientific measurement, but I'd like to hear from anyone who's faced a similar problem and has found a solution.