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Full-coverage fenders on rough terrain

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Full-coverage fenders on rough terrain

Old 11-20-14, 03:16 PM
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Full-coverage fenders on rough terrain

Hi folks,
I recently got a new cross bike which I use primarily (mileage wise) for commuting and as my primary mode of transportation around town. However, I don't exclusively ride for commuting- I am also an avid recreational road biker, and, up until a few years ago, mountain biker. Since getting this new bike, which has thicker, knobbier tires than my (now deceased) road bike (new tires are 35mm, I believe), I've been getting the urge to take it on some single-track / cross-country trails. No extreme downhill or technical mountain biking or anything, but I've been riding exclusively on the road for half a decade now and I'd love to get back out on some dirt . Anyways, I've outfitted the cross bike with both a rear rack and full coverage front and back fenders (given its primary commuting/transportation function), but I'd love to be able to hit some basic off-road trails.

My main concern is that the fenders on the wheels are very close to the tires themselves (pic: https://ecom1.planetbike.com/planetbike/media/7016.jpg), and I'm concerned that, under bumpy offroad conditions, they may not be happy, and may bang into the tire or be damaged. I've never ridden with fenders up until now, though, so I'm not sure what they can handle; again, these being of the full-coverage, close-to-the-wheel as they wrap around, style. I'm in Colorado (meaning snow and slush everywhere around town for much of the winter/spring), so I don't want to have to remove them if I can avoid it in order to ride off-road.

Does anyone have experience with how these types of full-coverage fenders might hold up on a bumpy trail? I don't bike competitively/race, so I'm not concerned with weight/racing functionality/etc., but rather functionality and versatility.

Apologies if this would fit better in the commuter or MTB section- was hoping that some folks here might have good input on multi-function use with cross bikes!

Thanks!
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Old 11-20-14, 04:03 PM
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I have fenders on one of my bikes. There is a risk of the tire becoming locked by debris. In my case, the trails are smooth and clean enough that I've never had a problem.
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Old 11-21-14, 08:04 AM
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I'm more than happy to ride well groomed trails on my all-rounder equipped with stainless steel fenders; but in my case "well groomed" means basically a dirt path without roots, rocks, etc. Unlike metal fenders, plastic ones like yours are generally supported by keeping the fender itself under tension, so I would be very, very leery of causing stress cracks in them by exposing them to torques they're not designed to handle.

And, as BarretBV notes, debris being caught in a front fender carries a high risk of an endo and an unplanned visit to your orthodontist. It can happen with a small stick just a couple of inches long.
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Old 11-24-14, 12:09 PM
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Thanks for the feedback- looks like I'll be taking them off in the future before doing any off-road riding.
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