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Old 05-29-09, 09:02 AM   #1
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Fenders or Not for Casual Riding?

Getting a ladies bike for casual riding (neighborhood and bike paths). I was looking at a style like the bikes I had as a kid: women's with fenders. I don't plan to go "off road" but thought the fenders would still be a good idea to keep any dirt or occasional puddle water from splashing up on me. Not in the immediate future, but there is a possiblity I could ride to work sometime (neighborhood roads to get there)

However, I'm finding that having fenders is limiting some of my inexpensive/light weight car carrier options (example was the Saris Thelma). So I'm trying to decide if having fenders would be worth it or not. Opinions?

On a bike I got my Mom many years ago, we ended up with no fenders but got a bike rack that had a solid it supposedly would act something like a back fender. She never really took it out in any conditions I would know if that works or not.
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Old 05-29-09, 09:39 AM   #2
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I love fenders. I was going to say if you only ride when it's not raining that would reduce the need for fenders, but the road/trail stays wet for longer after it rains too (like you mentioned with puddles). Fenders keep the drive train clean as well as yourself, which is very nice if you want to keep maintenance as minimal as possible. For me, not allowing fenders would be a deal breaker in a car carrier.

We use a saris bones rack, which is light, easy to sling around, easy to attach bikes to. My wife's bike has a step-through/women's frame, we use one of these things so it can still hang off the car carrier as if it had a top tube.
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Old 05-29-09, 09:46 AM   #3
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Unless you plan on riding in the rain, for your purposes a rear rack with a solid top would probably be adequate. It won't keep your feet or drive train clean, but it will keep the skunk stripe from puddles off your back.
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Old 06-09-09, 06:17 AM   #4
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fenders isnt only for rain. I need a set for my bike, but they would have to come down pretty low in the back. when I pull my kids in the trailer, they get peppered with road debris.
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Old 06-09-09, 01:54 PM   #5
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I have several bikes with fenders. Most of mine are seventies and older. I think my car rack is a grabber 2 bike trunk rack. Its a hand me down so I don't know exact make; similar style to ones at sporting good stores. The fenders have never given me a problem. However, the bikes shape can make mounting tricky. My advice is keep the fenders. Get one of those bars that extends across your bike making the missing top bar that mens bikes used to have. I am sure a local bike shop can get you one. That solved my mounting issues. The only problem I had is that i didn't secure it properly once and broke the latch piece. I wish I had gotten mine a lot sooner. It is nice to be able to just slide it on there.
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Old 06-09-09, 10:04 PM   #6
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I sort of vacillate on fenders--I'll leave them on for awhile, then take them off for awhile. But when I'm riding with them on, I've never wished I didn't have them, while every time it rains and I DON'T have them, I wish I did. I'm going to pick one bike and put them on permanently as soon as the weather changes this fall (we get no rain here in summer).
If you look around, you can find clip-on fenders that work fairly well. The ones I used to have on my singlespeed required a small bracket that stayed on permanently, but then you could install or remove the fenders in a few seconds.
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