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Old 09-13-07, 08:07 AM
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macdonwald
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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fenders vs. wider tires on a road bike

I'm riding a 2001 Jamis Quest--no rack, no fenders, 23 mm tires. My medium term plan (within the next year or so) is to get a cyclocross or tourer, but in the meantime I'd like to make the Quest more suitable for commuting. Here's my commute: 1.75 miles on pretty quiet residential streets, 3 miles on gravel (Forbidden Drive in Philly), 7 miles on a paved MUP, followed by 1/4 mile or so on busy downtown streets. (BTW, I love that I have a 12 mile commute entirely within Philly proper, 10 miles of which is entirely free from cars.) I can take an alternate route that avoids the gravel path, but my preference is to ride on it if I can--I've done it with my current setup and its workable, just a bit bumpy and dirty and I have to ride pretty conservatively for fear of skidding out.

I can add a rear rack no problem as the Quest has eyelets for it. But there's not a whole lot of room for wider tires + fenders. I gather the consensus here is for Gatorskins or Marathon Plus tires--are those good for gravel as well? I imagine I can get at least 25 mm or maybe 28 mm tires on my Quest, but is it worth doing if that sacrifices my ability to add a fender? Anyone have experience with wider tires and fender setups on a Quest? I don't mind getting a bit dirty as I shower and change at a gym before work, but is not having a fender going to screw up my bike?--once I get more of a commuter, I'd like to keep the Quest around for weekend rides, triathlons, etc.

Thanks!
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