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Teach me on fenders

Old 12-03-14, 09:20 AM
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ze_zaskar
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Teach me on fenders

Hello,

I have a bike that is being used for everything, from mtb to road biking, with commuting in between.

One acessory I have been contemplating are fenders.

However, some questions come to mind:
- are they a really bad idea on off road trails?
- are they a really bad idea on mud or muddy gravel?
- due to the variety of uses, the bikes ends with a few different tire sizes, from 2.0 Race Kings to 700x28 road tires. Is there a fender width that fits the bigger tires and won't look too goffy with the smaller ones?

Thanks in advance for the help
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Old 12-03-14, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ze_zaskar View Post
Hello,

I have a bike that is being used for everything, from mtb to road biking, with commuting in between.

One acessory I have been contemplating are fenders.

However, some questions come to mind:
- are they a really bad idea on off road trails?
- are they a really bad idea on mud or muddy gravel?
- due to the variety of uses, the bikes ends with a few different tire sizes, from 2.0 Race Kings to 700x28 road tires. Is there a fender width that fits the bigger tires and won't look too goffy with the smaller ones?

Thanks in advance for the help
If you're going anywhere that has any sticks or other debris that you might run over, then a front fender is a really bad idea. They tend to fold up, locking the wheel, and you get a chance to visit your orthodontist or physical therapist.

Mud is fine of course--that's a perfectly fine reason to have fenders. :-) If it's really thick you might have to clean it out every now and then.

Big gaps between the fender line and tire will always look goofy.
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Old 12-03-14, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
If you're going anywhere that has any sticks or other debris that you might run over, then a front fender is a really bad idea. They tend to fold up, locking the wheel, and you get a chance to visit your orthodontist or physical therapist.
If I decide on fenders, I'm probably going with the SKS Chromoplastics, which have a safety release on the front stays.
Is this enough?

Thanks
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Old 12-03-14, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ze_zaskar View Post
If I decide on fenders, I'm probably going with the SKS Chromoplastics, which have a safety release on the front stays.
Is this enough?

Thanks
I have the SKS Chromoplastics on my winter commuter bike. The safety clips add some measure of help, but I still wouldn't ride them anywhere rough--plastic fenders, unlike metal ones, keep their shape by being constantly under tension via the stays. That's a recipe for fatigue cracks.

If you're really set on having fenders on a bike that's used for everything from MTB to commuting, I would probably use clip-on styles. They don't do anything significant for keeping crud off the drivetrain ( which is my primary usage ), but at least it will keep some of it off you.
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Old 12-03-14, 12:11 PM
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I really dislike those clip-on fenders, have used lots of them in the past.

Aren't the Chromoplastics a plastic/aluminum laminate? The supposedly should reduce fatigue isses
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Old 12-03-14, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ze_zaskar View Post
I really dislike those clip-on fenders, have used lots of them in the past.

Aren't the Chromoplastics a plastic/aluminum laminate? The supposedly should reduce fatigue isses
They are a laminate, but I wouldn't necessarily assume they're going to reduce the fatigue problem with rough handling.

It really boils down to how you're going to be using the bike most of the time; if you're using it primarily as a commuter/rec riding during the week and a MTB on the weekend then it would make more sense to just pull them off when you're going offroad--once you have fenders aligned/drilled/installed it takes just a small amount of time to remove and re-install them. But if you think about it, if full fenders made sense on an MTB people would have been using them at some point in past couple of decades, and since you never see them, there's a good reason for that. :-)
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Old 12-03-14, 01:05 PM
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If your various uses are seasonal, and maybe even if it isn't, I would just remove the fenders when the bike is going to see mostly off-road use. Putting fenders on and taking them off doesn't take much longer than a wheel change and I would say it's quicker than changing tires.

I don't think you're going to find a fender that fits over a 2" tire and doesn't look goofy on a 700x28. I happen to have a picture from a time I made this exact swap on one of my bikes. I took the picture just for fun. I had smaller fenders to use with the smaller tires.

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Old 12-03-14, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
But if you think about it, if full fenders made sense on an MTB people would have been using them at some point in past couple of decades, and since you never see them, there's a good reason for that. :-)
I come from a deep MTB background, and believe me, MTB people generally aren't 100% oriented by logic when it comes to choose components (not bashing anyone). Also, pure MTB bikes tend to more of weekend toys, with fewer practical day-to-day details, so fenders fail to make sense

Anyway, Andy_K, the bike's uses are not seasonal.
Do you have a sideways pic of that bike?

By the way, the frame is a VO Camargue, which has a fantastic array of eyelets and fender attachments. This kind of brings the question of why not take advantage of all those features
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Old 12-03-14, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ze_zaskar View Post
Anyway, Andy_K, the bike's uses are not seasonal.
Do you have a sideways pic of that bike?
Only with properly matched tires and fenders.



I obviously could have lowered the fender in the "mismatched" picture from my earlier post and it wouldn't have looked quite as bad, but there would have been some compromise as the curve of the fender wouldn't match the curve of the smaller tire once it was moved in.

Also, adjusting the fenders every time you change tires would be a bit of a hassle.
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Old 12-03-14, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ze_zaskar View Post
I come from a deep MTB background, and believe me, MTB people generally aren't 100% oriented by logic when it comes to choose components (not bashing anyone). Also, pure MTB bikes tend to more of weekend toys, with fewer practical day-to-day details, so fenders fail to make sense

Anyway, Andy_K, the bike's uses are not seasonal.
Do you have a sideways pic of that bike?

By the way, the frame is a VO Camargue, which has a fantastic array of eyelets and fender attachments. This kind of brings the question of why not take advantage of all those features
Well, you might not want to take advantage of all of the features if doing so results in an endo. :-)

Just to be clear--are you asking about using this on singletrack? Or is your intention to do gravel/forest road/etc riding? I'm perfectly happy to ride gravel and fire roads with metal fenders, but I wouldn't take that bike out on the trail.

It really boils down to one question; how willing are you to risk a faceplant if your front fender folds? It truly does take just a small branch a couple of inches long for that to happen--ask me how I know! :-)
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Old 12-03-14, 02:11 PM
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I do have a picture of another bike that shows the sort of curve mismatch I mention above. This is my LHT with 26x1.25 (~30mm) tires using SKS P50 fenders.



And here are the same fenders on a different bike with 26x1.6 (~40mm) tires.



That's not terrible I guess, but you can imagine that to 700x50 and 700x28 tires it gets more exaggerated.
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Old 12-03-14, 02:35 PM
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A few data points....

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...struction.html

https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...bars-pics.html

https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/94...nder-woes.html

https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...dbye-moto.html
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Old 12-03-14, 02:42 PM
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Ouch! That last one in particular...
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Old 12-03-14, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
Ouch! That last one in particular...
What I thought was interesting was that in all three cases where the front fender crumpled it was because a stick got caught between the fender stay and the spokes, so the clearance between the fender and tire wouldn't seem to have been an issue. I understand that fenders make this more likely because they collect debris and bounces it around as the wheel rotates, but it seems like this same sort of thing should be possible just from a stick getting caught between the spokes and the fork though I haven't heard of that happening.
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Old 12-03-14, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
What I thought was interesting was that in all three cases where the front fender crumpled it was because a stick got caught between the fender stay and the spokes, so the clearance between the fender and tire wouldn't seem to have been an issue. I understand that fenders make this more likely because they collect debris and bounces it around as the wheel rotates, but it seems like this same sort of thing should be possible just from a stick getting caught between the spokes and the fork though I haven't heard of that happening.
My endo was the same thing--a stick between the stay and spokes using Planet Bike fenders ( with quick-releases, which didn't work. ) The stick was probably no thicker than a pencil, but it stopped the wheel cold anyhow.
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Old 12-03-14, 04:37 PM
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Yes, I was speaking about singletrack

Andy_k, thanks for the pics. I would think the differences would be more dramatic, but stil wonder how would that translate to the 700c wheels

Regarding those accidents, they se em more related to a simple stick into the spokes than to the fenders. That happened to me at least 3 times on single and dual track, without fenders, and saw that hapen to others a good deal of times.

One of those times I was way over 30km/h on a sandy track and then suddently flew o ver the bars. Turns out a bamboo stick got into the spokes... Escaped unscratched and amazingly the el cheapo 29er wheels I used at the the time survived to.

It's amazing how confused and sometimes agressivelly people react (me included) when that happens, as the brain enters the "who hit me?" mode
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Old 12-03-14, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
And here are the same fenders on a different bike with 26x1.6 (~40mm) tires.
I was actually wrong about the size of the bigger tires here. They were 26x1.75 (~45mm). I just looked them up because the pictures seemed to show more difference than I would have expected with the sizes I claimed.
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Old 12-05-14, 01:27 PM
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Wow, I've been riding with fenders for years and never knew the result could be this dramatic. I'll definitely be more careful from now on.
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Old 01-22-15, 12:36 PM
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Well the bike evolved from a VO Camargue to a Surly LHT 700c (which fits 29x2.0 Race Kings like a dream).

I'm using it daily and this rain wont stop, so I'll go with fenders.

Seems that SKS discountinued the P50 Longboards, the only P50s I can find are Bluemels and Chromoplastic leftovers.
Anyone can confirm this?

Thanks
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Old 01-22-15, 02:21 PM
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As to your 1st 2 worries , if you set your Mudguards Up with More clearance over the tire* , the less issues you will have ..

the front strut should have a Breakaway clip to the fork , in case you pick up a small twig along your path.

its that little black thing in AndyKs 2 pictured Bikes..

On my Winter Ice Bike* I split the front mudguard at the back of the fork and put the remaining Piece on the front of the fork
so the fork crown itself was the lowest Point.

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Old 01-22-15, 02:24 PM
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my 2 cents: don't rush installation, take your time and get them adjusted just right. don't lose your patience it can be a little frustrating and surprising how delicate the adjustments seems to be. also once you get them on and ride a little they might need a tweak, but then you should be all set. I'm talking about regular full fenders like for hybrid bikes
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Old 01-24-15, 06:25 AM
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Pulled the trigger on a set of SKS Chromoplastic P50s

I'll post some pics when its done
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Old 01-24-15, 07:14 AM
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Shown: P45 Longboards with 700X32 Gatorskins.

SKS Longboards are a great choice for commuting and light trail riding. I've used them on dirt/gravel roads and single/doubletrack and haven't had any issues. I've ridden D2R2 eight times, Honey One Hundred twice, F2G2 and while I didn't have fenders on those ride, I saw numerous riders with SKS, Berthoud, Honjos, you name it, and never saw or heard of any issues.

If you're concerned about the long front mudflap on the SKS Longboards picking up debris, you can swap out a short mudflap.

Edited to add: I went to the hardware store and picked up black rubber washers and use them behind the metal washers to protect my eyelets and reduce rattling.

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