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  1. #1
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    How much fender clearance do I need?

    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.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  2. #2
    Recovering mentalist Randochap's Avatar
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    Likely to get icing under the fender and clogging. A bike for winter cycling should have maximum fender clearance possible.

    I'm thinking in Ontario you're likely to get those freeze-thaw cycles that cause maximum icing. I have an old appropriately-named Rocky Mountain Blizzard that gives enough clearance for the worst icing situations. To use your measuring protocol, I have a good thumb of space between tyre and fender.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member kccommuter's Avatar
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    Hey irclean,

    I had a similar question. I found the answer (about 10 mm) from Peter White at the following website - read down a ways until you come to the heading "How to fit the fat ones."

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.asp

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kccommuter View Post
    Hey irclean,

    I had a similar question. I found the answer (about 10 mm) from Peter White at the following website - read down a ways until you come to the heading "How to fit the fat ones."

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.asp

    Good luck!
    Thanks, kccommuter. Peter White definitely has some good information on his website. I decided to go with the Schwalbe Marathon Winters. Their low tread profile combined with the 35mm width left lots of fender clearance. The Nokian W106s would likely be better in the snow but I like the Schwalbes higher stud count, reflective stripe, and kevlar guard for puncture protection. So far they've been great. Lots of grip on the ice I've encountered but we've had no real snow to test their merit yet. Ideally I'd like to eventually have a 2nd bike with more aggressive spiked tires on 26" wheels for really adverse conditions but I have a hard enough time justifying what I've spent on this bike to my better half.

    Gettin' my Fred on.

  5. #5
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Well, I was always from the school of putting the fender as close as is safe to the wheel... the reasoning behind that being the tire will clean the inside of the fender and prevent large quantities of slush from collecting. I recommend experimentation of course...

    I think you need some nice mud-flaps on your fender(are those full-size?) setup irclean, you will end up with some wet feet/shins without them when you blast through pothole puddles and slush piles.

  6. #6
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    I think you need some nice mud-flaps on your fender(are those full-size?) setup irclean, you will end up with some wet feet/shins without them when you blast through pothole puddles and slush piles.
    I believe the fenders are full-size (45mm?) for a hybrid. I have some Planet Bike Cascadia fenders with built-in mudflaps coming to me this week from MEC:

    They are also listed as being 45mm wide. The mudflaps will hopefully give me that extra level of protection that you mentioned. As a bonus I also have a buyer for my current fenders!
    Last edited by irclean; 12-07-09 at 09:59 PM.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  7. #7
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Those give much better splash protection, hope you don't get too wet this week


  8. #8
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    :-) !
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