Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Fenders or no fenders ?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Fenders or no fenders ?

Old 04-20-16, 11:16 PM
  #1  
BikeyGuy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 53
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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 ?
BikeyGuy is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 11:26 PM
  #2  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 12,658

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 99 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5400 Post(s)
Liked 2,644 Times in 1,546 Posts
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.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 11:32 PM
  #3  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4365 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 29 Times in 28 Posts
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.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 11:51 PM
  #4  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 18,489

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 158 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5097 Post(s)
Liked 1,670 Times in 1,098 Posts
The only thing more annoying than fenders is riding all day in the rain on a tour without fenders.
bikemig is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 01:54 AM
  #5  
saddlesores
Senior Member
 
saddlesores's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangkok...and....Hainan
Posts: 3,285

Bikes: inferior steel....and....noodly aluminium

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 865 Post(s)
Liked 162 Times in 110 Posts
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.
saddlesores is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 05:32 AM
  #6  
edthesped
Senior Member
 
edthesped's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 745
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 188 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
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.
edthesped is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 05:55 AM
  #7  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,946
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1481 Post(s)
Liked 175 Times in 116 Posts
Fender line is all important.



alan s is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 06:02 AM
  #8  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 10,044
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 528 Post(s)
Liked 146 Times in 117 Posts
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.
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 06:07 AM
  #9  
Colannon
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.
Colannon is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 06:17 AM
  #10  
intransit1217
Senior Member
 
intransit1217's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Kenosha , Wi
Posts: 1,226

Bikes: 2013 specializes secure sport, Salsa vaya, Masi giramondo

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
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.
intransit1217 is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 06:24 AM
  #11  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 2,096

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 436 Post(s)
Liked 168 Times in 132 Posts
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.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 09:14 AM
  #12  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,211

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2256 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 521 Times in 426 Posts
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.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
20IMGP4247.jpg (102.1 KB, 155 views)
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 09:19 AM
  #13  
jefnvk
Senior Member
 
jefnvk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Metro Detroit/AA
Posts: 8,212

Bikes: 2016 Novara Mazama

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3634 Post(s)
Liked 74 Times in 44 Posts
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
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.
jefnvk is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 09:28 AM
  #14  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 11,539
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2069 Post(s)
Liked 494 Times in 419 Posts
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.
djb is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 10:14 AM
  #15  
gauvins
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: QC Canada
Posts: 1,420

Bikes: Custom built LHT & Troll

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 554 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 26 Posts
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.
gauvins is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 10:15 AM
  #16  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,317 Times in 827 Posts
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.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 11:00 AM
  #17  
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 3,040

Bikes: Bianchi Lupo (touring) Bianchi Volpe (commuter), Miyata On Off Road Runner

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 45 Posts
No Fenders ... or Gibsons for that matter.
whoops, wrong forum
imi is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 11:02 AM
  #18  
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 3,040

Bikes: Bianchi Lupo (touring) Bianchi Volpe (commuter), Miyata On Off Road Runner

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
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
imi is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 11:24 AM
  #19  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 11,539
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2069 Post(s)
Liked 494 Times in 419 Posts
Originally Posted by imi View Post
No Fenders ... or Gibsons for that matter.
whoops, wrong forum
Chuckle. You and your bad jokes, in a foreign language no less.
djb is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 11:28 AM
  #20  
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 3,040

Bikes: Bianchi Lupo (touring) Bianchi Volpe (commuter), Miyata On Off Road Runner

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 45 Posts
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.
imi is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 11:36 AM
  #21  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 24,029

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 122 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4127 Post(s)
Liked 1,617 Times in 990 Posts
Originally Posted by BikeyGuy View Post
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.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 11:41 AM
  #22  
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 3,040

Bikes: Bianchi Lupo (touring) Bianchi Volpe (commuter), Miyata On Off Road Runner

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
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
imi is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 11:51 AM
  #23  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 24,029

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 122 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4127 Post(s)
Liked 1,617 Times in 990 Posts
Originally Posted by imi View Post
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.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 12:00 PM
  #24  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,081
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1000 Post(s)
Liked 402 Times in 236 Posts
Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post

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.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 04-21-16, 12:01 PM
  #25  
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 3,040

Bikes: Bianchi Lupo (touring) Bianchi Volpe (commuter), Miyata On Off Road Runner

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 45 Posts
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
imi is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.