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Here is why you need fenders

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Here is why you need fenders

Old 10-28-09, 08:35 AM
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pharasz
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Here is why you need fenders

When you are new to bicycle commuting you learn from experience. Like the need for fenders. When I first started commuting (two years ago), I soon realized the importance of fenders. After a few days of riding home in the rain, I found the water spun up off my front wheel and landed right in my face.

As I rode past the road kill that had been laying there for three months and had dessicated to the point of just being few patches of fur on the shoulder of the road, I suddenly and sickeningly became aware of all the bacteria in that road wash that was spinning off my tire and right into my face. From there I began to imagine dog feces that was washing down off the grass and onto the shoulder of the road, only to be launched into my face by my front tire. Or the drunken woman that was puking out the car window on Friday night, yeah, that's spraying right up into my face right now - right into my mouth.

The first time riding home in the rain with my new fenders was sheer joy after that.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:50 AM
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well, that bacteria was there before the deceased rodent expired there. But its still a valid point. Only God knows what's getting on you when you ride in the rain without fenders.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
well, that bacteria was there before the deceased rodent expired there. But its still a valid point. Only God knows what's getting on you when you ride in the rain without fenders.
why do you hate cooties?

imagine what's in the air you are breathing when it's not raining.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:06 AM
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Old 10-28-09, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
why do you hate cooties?

imagine what's in the air you are breathing when it's not raining.
well, based on the sinus infection setting in, I'm pretty sure there are some cooties in the air when its not raining.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:14 AM
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All that's probably cleaner than your fingers, or what's already living in your mouth.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:16 AM
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I've ridden with and without fenders. I leave them on from mid fall through winter but once I take them off on in the spring, they usually stay off for several months.

Whether or not you get spray in the face depends on your tires, your bike, and you.

I've never been sprayed in the face from my own tires. Not even close.

Feet yes. Face no.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I've never been sprayed in the face from my own tires. Not even close.

Feet yes. Face no.

If you rode faster you would.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
If you rode faster you would.
How fast? I'm sure I go slower in the rain and maybe even slower still through a significant puddle but I've probably ridden through some small ones at 20+
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Old 10-28-09, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
All that's probably cleaner than your fingers, or what's already living in your mouth.
I'll have you know that I took a shower this morning, so his fingers and mouth weren't polluted by ME.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
How fast? I'm sure I go slower in the rain and maybe even slower still through a significant puddle but I've probably ridden through some small ones at 20+
I think it depends more upon where your head is in relation to the front tire, what you have on your bars, and the type of tire.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
I think it depends more upon where your head is in relation to the front tire, what you have on your bars, and the type of tire.
Yea, I guess if you're sitting bolt-upright riding 40mph it still won't happen.

I guess I was assuming that at over 6" my head isn't typically closer to the wheel than anyone else. It's not puddles that do it though. You need enough a fairly consistent layer of water on the road. As in, it's raining so hard that the spray from your tire is the least of your worries.

Maybe I'm just lucky.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:58 AM
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The worst stuff is the "liquor" that drips off garbage trucks when they are loading.

Fenders also keep you from getting a skunk strip up your back when the roads are wet. They also keep your bike a lot cleaner, which I consider the biggest plus.
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Old 10-28-09, 10:23 AM
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Bikes with wide downtubes block the front tire spray most of the time. When I have the front wheel turned enough that the spray comes up the side of the frame, usually I am going slow enough that it doesn't reach my head.

There is some spray that gets thrown out the front of the bike that I ride into, but I don't have a high enough airspeed for it to hit above the handlebar level.

I rode in today with full-length fenders, which I still say are overrated and a pain in the ass... clip-ons still get my vote. (ducks and covers)
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Old 10-28-09, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
I rode in today with full-length fenders, which I still say are overrated and a pain in the ass... clip-ons still get my vote. (ducks and covers)
Featherweight clippy fenders have their place: Bikes that can't clear full fenders, or don't get used in bad conditions very often so you want the option to easily remove the fenders.
They're great for keeping spray off your bottles and backside... but that's about it.

Full fenders can be a PITA to mount properly, especially Honjo/VO/Berthoud fenders which require drilling, etc. The benefit, IMO, is when you add a long mudflap to full fenders. A long & wide front flap keeps from getting spray on your feet as well as mucking things up on your drivetrain. A long flap in back is a courtesy to anyone your ride with, as you won't be spraying them with road grime. The drawback is difficulty to remove them, so most people just leave them on, even in the summer. (I joke with riders who comment about my fenders during sunny summer rides, saying they're to protect my tires from UV damage.)
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Old 10-28-09, 10:57 AM
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This thread reminds me of a century I did a couple of years ago. I was in a small paceline, less than a foot from the wheel ahead, when something hit me right on the upper lip. I quickly spit it off and looked back--we had both just run over some road kill and his tire kicked some of it up and onto me.

Yeah, it's gross but, I lived....
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Old 10-28-09, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by pharasz View Post
When you are new to bicycle commuting you learn from experience. Like the need for fenders. When I first started commuting (two years ago), I soon realized the importance of fenders. After a few days of riding home in the rain, I found the water spun up off my front wheel and landed right in my face.

What is this "rain" you speak of?

Seriously, I've ridden home in the rain or snow maybe three times in the past three years, despite cycling nearly every day for much of the year. Fenders may be mandatory some places, but folks, please quit telling newbies that they're a must-have thing for any commuter.
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Old 10-28-09, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mjw16 View Post
This thread reminds me of a century I did a couple of years ago. I was in a small paceline, less than a foot from the wheel ahead, when something hit me right on the upper lip. I quickly spit it off and looked back--we had both just run over some road kill and his tire kicked some of it up and onto me.

Yeah, it's gross but, I lived....
unplanned feed station, kewl!
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Old 10-28-09, 11:39 AM
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I've just ordered SKS full fenders for my bike since fall and spring are rainy season and we get a fair amount of snow. Once they're on, I suspect I'll leave them on year round.
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Old 10-28-09, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
unplanned feed station, kewl!
he just had bad timing and had his mouth closed...
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Old 10-28-09, 11:56 AM
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And if you want clean shoes and drive train, get front mud guards. And if you want to keep your friends clean when they pace you, get rear mudguards.
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Old 10-28-09, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Featherweight clippy fenders have their place: Bikes that can't clear full fenders, or don't get used in bad conditions very often so you want the option to easily remove the fenders.
They're great for keeping spray off your bottles and backside... but that's about it.

Full fenders can be a PITA to mount properly, especially Honjo/VO/Berthoud fenders which require drilling, etc. The benefit, IMO, is when you add a long mudflap to full fenders. A long & wide front flap keeps from getting spray on your feet as well as mucking things up on your drivetrain. A long flap in back is a courtesy to anyone your ride with, as you won't be spraying them with road grime. The drawback is difficulty to remove them, so most people just leave them on, even in the summer. (I joke with riders who comment about my fenders during sunny summer rides, saying they're to protect my tires from UV damage.)
I put a big mudflap on my front clippy. It keeps the junk off myself and the drive train nearly as well as a full fender with mudflap would (I have that set up on a different bike).

The downside with clip-ons is that they don't protect your brakes or the underside of your fork. The front derailleur gets some grit thrown on it by the rear tire as well.
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Old 10-28-09, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
Bikes with wide downtubes block the front tire spray most of the time. When I have the front wheel turned enough that the spray comes up the side of the frame, usually I am going slow enough that it doesn't reach my head.
That might explain it. My road bike does have a wide downtube.
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Old 10-28-09, 01:00 PM
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SKS and Planet Bike fenders are excellent full fenders. I've had no problems with mine.
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Old 10-28-09, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by pharasz View Post
As I rode past the road kill that had been laying there for three months and had dessicated to the point of just being few patches of fur on the shoulder of the road, I suddenly and sickeningly became aware of all the bacteria in that road wash that was spinning off my tire and right into my face. From there I began to imagine dog feces that was washing down off the grass and onto the shoulder of the road, only to be launched into my face by my front tire. Or the drunken woman that was puking out the car window on Friday night, yeah, that's spraying right up into my face right now - right into my mouth.

OP-

I really enjoy your way of thinking about things. Thanks for making me laugh at work.
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