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Fenders or no fenders ?

Old 04-20-16, 11:16 PM
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Fenders or no fenders ?

I'm sure it depends on what part of the country and time or year one is touring....but..
Does it make a difference in average speed ?
Interfere with panniers...etc.
Pros & cons ?
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Old 04-20-16, 11:26 PM
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Depends on the fenders and how they are mounted. Somw interfere with wheel removal and racks. Depends on the bike frame too.

I have a fendered bike and get annoyed at it because i cant get a consistent fender line! But thats purely vanity.

Fenders dont slow you down and they reduce mud and water speay. Pretty good benefits.
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Old 04-20-16, 11:32 PM
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The functional drawbacks of having fenders are nearly negligible unless one is cruising along at a pretty good clip -- 20-25+ mph.

However, they can become an annoyance on bikes that see rough service, with braces that get bent and rub tires, hardware that loosens and falls off, etc. One major headache with fenders applies to those who routinely remove the front or both wheel to stow the bike in a car or other place. Fenders negate the space saving benefit of doing so, plus are very prone to damage when not protected by the wheel.

So, it's up to each person to consider his needs and decide either way for himself.
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Old 04-20-16, 11:51 PM
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The only thing more annoying than fenders is riding all day in the rain on a tour without fenders.
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Old 04-21-16, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
The only thing more annoying than fenders is riding all day in un-fenced sheep country on a tour without fenders.
there....that's better.
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Old 04-21-16, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
there....that's better.
Is that because the temptation is too great when there's no fence???

I personally love fenders mainly because my drivetrain stays so much cleaner. But agree with mstateglfr that the inability to get a good fender line can cause a bit of anxiety for the first few rides, then I forget all about it. The issue I'm having with my recently fendered Vaya is toe strike which might not be as much of a problem touring as it is on my constantly starting, stopping and maneuvering around obstacles at low speeds. I've almost went over a few times in the week or so since I put them on.
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Old 04-21-16, 05:55 AM
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Fender line is all important.



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Old 04-21-16, 06:02 AM
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Does it make a difference in average speed ? Not enough that I have noticed it.
Interfere with panniers...etc. Not much.

I have used them on a couple long tours. Overall for me they aren't as big of a deal that I feel strongly either way.

They are kind of a pain to deal with when packing a bike for shipping, not a big deal but a bit more trouble. They tend to rattle a bit. There is always the chance that the odd stick will jam in them possibly breaking the fender or even crashing the bike. They are a few more bolts that can potentially rattle loose. The biggest problems I have had with them was in conditions where they clog up and rub the tire. That has happened to me twice on tour once with mud and once with tar and gravel in 100+ F heat where the over applied the tar on some fresh chip seal. It actually stopped our wheels from turning and required digging it out with a stick more than once. Not sure it it would have been worse having the tar on the rest of the bike and gear.

Personally I never found it to be that huge of a problem to ride in the rain without fenders so while I have them on my heavy touring bike (which I seldom use any more), I have had no desire to put them on my lighter bikes (that I tour on since I started packing lighter and lighter). I guess I'd say that for me the cons slightly outweigh the pluses for touring.
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Old 04-21-16, 06:07 AM
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fenders are good, because you feel like the road is separate and far away.

i had fenders, and was always thinking about if they were aligned with the tire correctly. if fenders get knocked or misaligned, they will rub against your tire. when you are removing your wheels, you will not enjoy fenders. removing wheels means you try to not lett your fenders get smashed by the ground.
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Old 04-21-16, 06:17 AM
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If it does get wet, others are more likely to ride with you because you can rotate without spraying everyone.

I'm definitely pro-fender.
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Old 04-21-16, 06:24 AM
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I've had the tar and gravel clog up fenders in 100+ degree heat before, really the only con I've experienced on long tours with fenders. Generally I don't leave on a multi-month tour without them, though I always end up in a love-hate relationship with them. In my commuting days, I put them on seasonally, depending on climate where I was working. A huge pro is how much cleaner everything stays--components, gear, me. I don't mind getting wet, or I wouldn't spend so much time on a bike. But cleaning is a different story.
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Old 04-21-16, 09:14 AM
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All my bikes have fenders except my foldup bike and my errand bike. The errand bike is not used on rainy days, fenders would make it a hassle to fold the folding bike.

That said, when I set up my expedition bike for mountain biking with suspension fork, etc., I have left the fenders off of it. If you have knobby tires and mud, fenders might not be such a good idea, so I felt it was best to leave the fenders off.

And my next tour might be without fenders because I have to pack the bike in an S&S case to get there. I am trying to decide if I should bring fenders or not.

There are a few gram counters out there that do not like to use fenders. One of them is a friend of mine, his bike is in the photo. But he did use one of those plastic shield thingys under his downtube when he saw the forecast for rain where we were going.

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Old 04-21-16, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
One major headache with fenders applies to those who routinely remove the front or both wheel to stow the bike in a car or other place.
^ This. I've got the little quarter fenders on one of my bike (purely aesthetic, came with the bike and I like the look, but they don't do squat) that are coming off. Normally I take my front wheel off, slide it in the trunk and turn the handlebars sideway, but that fender prevents me from turning the handlebars to make it fit better. Can't imagine my fun with full front fenders.

That said, it is all situation dependent.
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Old 04-21-16, 09:28 AM
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I've had bikes with full fenders, great for the chain, FD, your face, and back in wet and dirty roads.
My mtn bike has a removable front fender made for suspension that works well and in the rear those flexible fender thingees, I use two, keeps crud off FD.
My other bike only has the rear fender on as I do like being able to e easily take off front wheel and pop bike into the back seat or trunk of my car. For me this is an advantage. Front fenders without the wheel on do get treated roughly with any packing and can make it a lot more difficult using the back seat of a car.

Touring, it's going to keep things cleaner. It's always good if possible to have as much clearance as possible, but toe strike needs to be watched for.
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Old 04-21-16, 10:14 AM
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I had full fenders but replaced them with SKS trekking 65 (somewhat flimsy but very easy to remove) because full fenders they are a PITA when the bike has to be packed for traveling (car/train/plane). Both fenders had to be removed to fit the bike inside the flight bag.

I doubt that fenders make a significant difference on riding comfort -- when you ride 100ks under driving rain, you'll get wet.

I am not sure either that fenders make a major difference on component wear, as even though I do use fenders, lots of grit end up on the drive train.
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Old 04-21-16, 10:15 AM
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why the speed obsession ? this us not the racing bike section.

Bike touring is about a mode of travel to go see places of intrest, not brag about how fast you rushed past them.





I got 2 rear mudguards.. so the longer front goes from the low rider hoop in front, to the mudflap,
down fairly close to the ground.

wheel spray off wet road is caguht so feet dont get wet even when rain stops..

And finally what is in the puddle may Not be water, ( Urban landscape with out public restrooms , )

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-22-16 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 04-21-16, 11:00 AM
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No Fenders ... or Gibsons for that matter.
whoops, wrong forum
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Old 04-21-16, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
why the speed obsession ? this us not the racing bike section.

Bike touring is about a mode of travel to go see places of intrest, not brag about how fast you rushed past them.
For some, touring can be the joy of riding as far and as fast as possible everyday.
Ain't no rules
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Old 04-21-16, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by imi
No Fenders ... or Gibsons for that matter.
whoops, wrong forum
Chuckle. You and your bad jokes, in a foreign language no less.
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Old 04-21-16, 11:28 AM
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haha, sorry about the bad joke djb... I'm actually born and raised in South London 'tho

Last edited by imi; 04-21-16 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 04-21-16, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeyGuy
I'm sure it depends on what part of the country and time or year one is touring....but..
Does it make a difference in average speed ?
Interfere with panniers...etc.
Pros & cons ?
None on my bikes, thanks. It really has nothing to do with average speed and more to do with the hassles of dealing with fenders. My road touring bike already has toe overlap without fenders and would be a nightmare with them. Mountain bike touring bikes shouldn't have them at all due to the pounding that the bike experiences off-road and you don't need one more thing that can fall off and get wrapped up in the wheel.

As to the "protection" that fenders afford while riding, I've never noticed if I'm more or less wet while riding in the rain since...well...it's raining. I'm going to be wearing a rain suit anyway and the rain is falling from the sky. Keeping a little bit of the water from splashing back up is mostly using a teaspoon against an ocean.

And I simply hate rattlely fenders.
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Old 04-21-16, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Keeping a little bit of the water from splashing back up is mostly using a teaspoon against an ocean.
Not sure how much water there is in that muck being splashed up
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Old 04-21-16, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by imi
Not sure how much water there is in that muck being splashed up
It depends on where you ride and what you ride in. If you ride on pavement, there's not much muck to begin with. If you can still ride the bike...i.e. pedal it forward and not just push it...on something that is not pavement, there still isn't much muck to splash up. If you can't pedal the bike forward because the muck is too thick, then it hardly matters if the bike has fenders anyway and, if it does have fenders, you'll be carrying the bike through the muck which isn't a pleasant job at all.
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Old 04-21-16, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores

Quote Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
The only thing more annoying than fenders is riding all day in un-fenced sheep country on a tour without fenders.
there....that's better.
You are almost correct; however, a fenced sheep pasture is worse


I would not leave home without them. On a tour a few years ago, we had 35 days of rain.


Note the relatively clean drive train. Guess where all the mud would have ended up without fenders.

Last edited by Doug64; 04-21-16 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 04-21-16, 12:01 PM
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No I meant mucky water as in 'grimy gritty oily' from the road, not 'muddy' which is terrible if it gets stuck between tire and fender.
In the summer I don't bother about fenders, as a light shower won't muck things up too much, but day after day of constant rain in autumn/winter is a pain without fenders ime
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