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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 01-09-18, 02:02 PM   #1
work4bike
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What Good Are Fenders?

I've been riding for >30 years and I do remember buying fenders years ago (from a bike shop, not a box store), not long after I got into riding. I wasn't impressed and probably only had them on my bike for about a year; I got so disgusted with them, I just threw them away.

The other day I was riding in a very soft rain, just a drizzle, but enough rain to have a very slight pooling in areas. I have a rear rack for my panniers, but still I got the dreaded Skunk Stripe on my back, which I was wearing my brand new high-viz yellow shirt

This got me thinking...why do people still bother with fenders?

Tell me what I'm missing here...
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Old 01-09-18, 02:09 PM   #2
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There are a lot of worthless fenders out there. In order to do much good, they should extend to within a few inches of the ground in front, and be at least as wide as the tires in front and rear.

Unfortunately, many people's opinion of them was formed through crummy fenders that fail to do both.
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Old 01-09-18, 02:10 PM   #3
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They don't always help, but sometimes they help a lot. They definitely keep your bike cleaner, leading to longer drivetrain life. A front fender keeps some water from being flung from the front wheel to your feet. A rear fender keeps water from being flung from the rear wheel to your back and butt. In a heavy downpour, if you're out for any length of time, you'll get drenched, but not all rains are downpours. In light and moderate rain, they reduce the speed at which you get wet. And the rear one definitely keeps dirt off your back and butt.
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Old 01-09-18, 02:17 PM   #4
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Mine work rather well.
But then I do have sizeable mudflaps, and properly attached fenders, with stays.
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Old 01-09-18, 02:41 PM   #5
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you threw out your fenders & now are unhappy that you got a skunk stripe, but are asking why anyone would want fenders?
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Old 01-09-18, 02:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
Tell me what I'm missing here...
Aside from already answering your own question, re: skunk stripes etc, is this the first time in your >30 years of riding a bicycle that you've noticed this phenomenon?

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Old 01-09-18, 03:06 PM   #7
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25+ years ago, while touring in Belgium, I learned the young Aspiring Racers in training, did not use mudguards ,

Just to not be lumped in with the cycle-tourists..
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Old 01-09-18, 03:21 PM   #8
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As others have noted, seems like you have answered your own question. You do not have fenders and riding in the rain you got a skunk stripe that did not make you happy. Yet you wonder why people use fenders???
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Old 01-09-18, 03:22 PM   #9
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The surprising thing for me with the fenders was how much drier my feet stay - no more squishy socks at work.

My trunk bag kept the stripe off my back.

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Old 01-09-18, 04:19 PM   #10
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Fenders would be the first thing i’d get for commuting every day. Before pants.
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Old 01-09-18, 05:39 PM   #11
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Fenders would be the first thing id get for commuting every day. Before pants.
I don't even wear pants for commuting if I can avoid it.
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Old 01-09-18, 05:48 PM   #12
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Could it be that we... are we posting in a t-t-troll thread?? Nah... can't be. O.p. has over 1,000 posts... <snap> I know! An alien abduction. Yeah, that's the ticket. So... erm... whoever has taken the o.p. return him please, and thank you...
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Old 01-09-18, 05:54 PM   #13
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In my experience, even a cheapo fender like this can prevent the skunk stripe...and allow one to ride without waterproof clothing when there's just splashy stuff on the ground but no splashy coming out of the sky.

For years, I wondered why people used fenders. Turns out that I'd either been in arid climates, where there's no splashy stuff on the ground, or semi-tropical climates, where there's always splashy stuff coming out of the sky. Now I get it!
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Old 01-09-18, 06:13 PM   #14
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I don't even wear pants for commuting if I can avoid it.
Agreed. Its so easy to over or under gear for conditions. But fenders with no pants is pretty much perfect for everything.
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Old 01-09-18, 06:54 PM   #15
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here's why I decided to get fenders. getting absolutely soaked & filthy from riding in the rain & just a few puddles









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Old 01-09-18, 07:02 PM   #16
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Old 01-09-18, 09:29 PM   #17
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There has been a surge in silly OPs recently, what is going on?
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Old 01-10-18, 06:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
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The surprising thing for me with the fenders was how much drier my feet stay - no more squishy socks at work.

My trunk bag kept the stripe off my back.


That's some extensive fender coverage. Did they come with those flaps or were they makeshift additions?


Do they get in the way for things like maintenance, i.e. changing tires or whatever?




.
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Old 01-10-18, 06:31 AM   #19
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There has been a surge in silly OPs recently, what is going on?
People must be getting cabin fever in the dark days.
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Old 01-10-18, 08:03 AM   #20
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Fenders would be the first thing i’d get for commuting every day. Before pants.
To be fair....pants are about 14th on my list regardless of biking.

As for fenders, there are good fenders and bad fenders. (Or more accurately, properly sized fenders and improperly sized fenders)

A good set of properly sized fenders does a fine job of keeping disgusting roar grit off of you. They aren't perfect. If you ride in the rain you're going to get wet. (Science!)

Personally I use fenders to keep the random puddle I go through from splashing me. I don't ride in the rain (on purpose) much but there's always that random puddle or wet spot that has oil and dirt and road grit in it. My fenders do a fine job of keeping that splash off my pants so I can wear my khakis on the bike and not have to change when I get to work.

On a trail my rear fender keeps the skunk stripe off me just fine. My front fender doesn't come down as far as it should to keep my feet totally clean but I don't care. As long as my back in clean we're good. That's fine enough for my riding conditions. I don't go out on 50 mile trail rides in thunderstorms on purpose. Fro the mostly dry trails I ride, my half decent fenders are a game changer. If I rode every day in the rain, my half decent fenders would probably be insufficient.

See post #15 in this thread. With even half decent fenders, that doesn't happen.
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Old 01-10-18, 08:09 AM   #21
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I think those are "longboards"? been thinking about changing the fronts on my bikes, cuz if it's worth adding fenders, it's worth adding those
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Old 01-10-18, 08:23 AM   #22
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Because it isn't always water you're riding through. Dog pee, human pee, garbage truck pee, etc.
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Old 01-10-18, 08:35 AM   #23
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SKS Longboard fenders are the absolute bomb!! Love them on my cross bike. The front flap is about four inches off the ground--more than enough cover to prevent spray from the front wheel to get to your feet and bottom bracket area. The rear flaps are really long too, but that's not as important as the front, unless you ride with other behind you.
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Old 01-10-18, 08:36 AM   #24
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Despite the trollish nature of this posted thread, I gotta chime in.

Upthread, rum posted some pretty convincing pics. Imagine if the mud was actually something even more disgusting; rotting vegetables, fish and rancid dumpster drippings.

Swing through Oakland's Chinatown or the produce market region and you'd be happy to have a skunk stripe that was only mud.

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Old 01-10-18, 08:48 AM   #25
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Gr8 b8 m8
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