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Tight fender clearance benefit

Old 12-09-21, 08:04 AM
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pdlamb
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Tight fender clearance benefit

TBH, I normally am sloppy with my fenders. Give me 1/2" to 3/4" clearance, and nothing ever rubs, and there's plenty of space for gravel, sticks, etc. to clear the wheel.

But last week I put on a tire the next size up from my normal. And a couple days ago, the fender started rubbing. Found a spoke had unscrewed, and fixed it. If that hadn't happened, I'd have found out when the spoke broke -- which takes a lot longer to fix than a loose spoke!

(But when this tire wears out, I'm still going back to my 32s, because I've got another year's worth plus a bit in storage!)
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Old 12-09-21, 08:27 AM
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Germany_chris
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I run them tight because I prefer the way it looks
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Old 12-09-21, 11:46 PM
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You run into a problem when you pick up some mud onto the tire.
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Old 12-10-21, 06:21 AM
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I have fenders on one bike. The clearance for the tires is somewhere around 1/3 on an inch, except for one spot on the rear wheel. From the seat stays going rearward, it is only 3 or 4 mm due to the fit at the stays. All of my riding is on roads, with a bit of gravel, mup, easy trail thrown in. Never had a problem, but they are break away fenders. I definitely like the looks of a tight fit much better. I think there is a "sweet spot" size for minimizing spray coming off of the tires.
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Old 12-10-21, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
TBH, I normally am sloppy with my fenders. Give me 1/2" to 3/4" clearance, and nothing ever rubs, and there's plenty of space for gravel, sticks, etc. to clear the wheel.

But last week I put on a tire the next size up from my normal. And a couple days ago, the fender started rubbing. Found a spoke had unscrewed, and fixed it. If that hadn't happened, I'd have found out when the spoke broke -- which takes a lot longer to fix than a loose spoke!

(But when this tire wears out, I'm still going back to my 32s, because I've got another year's worth plus a bit in storage!)
Good old-fashioned rim brakes with minimal clearance also provide this benefit.
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Old 12-10-21, 03:58 PM
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Moe Zhoost
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
I run them tight because I prefer the way it looks
Yes, I used to prefer a tight, clean fit; however I changed my opinion when my front wheel picked up some debris that jammed in the fender and launched me over the bars. Nowadays I use 3/8" (9mm) as the minimum clearance.
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Old 12-11-21, 02:23 PM
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JayKay3000
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I run them close. My fenders have a disconnect tolerance inbuilt. If a stick big enough to jam the front wheel gets stuck the fenders fail before the bike has enough momentum to send me otb. I've had it happen before and this feature has saved me from an accident, but I always keep some extra metal so I can pull the fenders out if I want to use bigger tires.
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Old 12-16-21, 07:01 AM
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For commuting bikes I like them loose as well. I don't know if it makes any difference in the coverage and protection from rain, snow, slush spraying up. My guess is there is no difference. I just find it's easier to fit different sized tires on it.
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Old 12-16-21, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Good old-fashioned rim brakes with minimal clearance also provide this benefit.
In theory, yes. But in practice, I've ridden 20 or 30 miles and felt like I just didn't have "it" in my legs, only to find out when I got home that a brake had been rubbing most of the ride.
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Old 12-16-21, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
In theory, yes. But in practice, I've ridden 20 or 30 miles and felt like I just didn't have "it" in my legs, only to find out when I got home that a brake had been rubbing most of the ride.
Been there. A few years ago I threw a spoke wrench in my commute bag, and I have become obsessed with keeping my wheels true.
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