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Giant ToughRoad SLR 2 - Touring setup and Mudguards

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Giant ToughRoad SLR 2 - Touring setup and Mudguards

Old 12-29-19, 04:14 PM
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Giant ToughRoad SLR 2 - Touring setup and Mudguards

Hello folks,

I'm about to take ownership of a Giant ToughRoad SLR 2 and looking to kit it out as a commuter and weekend touring bike.

Firstly, I wanted to know if other owners had successfully fitted full coverage mudguards that can fit over the stock 50mm tires? If so which brand did you purchase. I'm also curious if others have attempted loaded touring on this bike? I've heard concerns about the strength of the wheels.

As a bit of background, I've toured for the last 10 years on steel road bikes, so the ToughRoad is an attempt at mixing things up and hopefully expanding my tours into off road territory.
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Old 12-29-19, 04:59 PM
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dont have direct experience with the bike, but as an experienced bystander, it looks like it would be a great bike to set up as a touring bike--the frame and fork are light but will still be sturdy, and its fantastic that its setup with the gearing that it has, a mtb crankset 44/32/22 and 11-34. Especially on dirt roads and whatnot, Ive toured a loooot on a bike with the same gearing (slightly lower because it has 26in wheels) and you will find it really nice having the 32 mid ring and the 22 small ring.
In real life, and especially on rougher roads and very hilly stuff like you have in the UK, ie steep, these two chainrings work great for the 90% of average speeds that we plonk along at with a bunch of kit on a bike.

Now of course comes the caveat--this price range of bike has middling quality wheels, rims , spokes, and will be factory built stuff not necessarily tensioned properly. Add on front and rear panniers, maybe have too much weight, and yes the wheelset could be problematic--having wide 50mm tires is a big help though--lower pressures make things easier on wheels and spokes, so make sure yoiu get the spoke tensions checked out after a while by someone competent, and while you are at it, at first actually, make sure the hub cones are adjusted properly--its super common for this price range of bike to not be adjusted properly, ie too tight usually.
Ive toured lots on similar tires, 50mm, and reasonable pressures have helped my 32 spoked wheels, which as 26in wheels are probably a bit stronger than 700 wheels, and mine are better quality that what is on your bike, so do be sure to get them adjusted properly after some riding.

re fenders, sorry like i said, no direct experience with your fork, so you'll have to measure stuff and or visit bike shops and see yourself. My bike has loads and loads of clearance, so it wasnt too hard for me to set them up.
I would highly recommend leaving lots of tire to fender clearance, especially with those tires and riding in raining muddy Scotland, if not you'll risk jamming mud in and maybe damaging fenders, but you will know better than us in this regard.

re front fork and racks--I have one bike with a cf fork and mounting holes for low rider front rack, and Ive always been careful of not overloading the front rack, being wary of cf and the bolt mounting hole strength etc.
cheers
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Old 12-29-19, 07:34 PM
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Planet Bike makes full coverage Cascadia fenders in 29" x 65mm size, which would be right for your Toughroad. The standard Cascadia is a hard plastic fender and the more expensive Cascadia ALX is made of aluminum. I have the Cacadia (plastic) fenders in a smaller size (29" x 45mm) and I've found them to be high quality pieces that were easy to fit. I had to modify mine some to work correctly with a suspension fork, and it was easy to make work. I've also dealt with their customer service group, buying various rack attachment adapters for some of their tail lamps, and parts were shipped quickly. They seem like a good company to deal with.

Cheers!
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Old 12-29-19, 07:35 PM
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PlanetBike makes monster fenders for this size. The Cascadia line comes in aluminum or plastic. I have the plastic ones and they're great. PB will also sell you replacement parts very cheaply with free shipping (in the lower 48 I believe). They're very much a repair not replace company.

Edit: Haha! hokie beat me by one minute! Almost the exact same post too.
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Old 12-29-19, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by maximum01
Hello folks,

I'm about to take ownership of a Giant ToughRoad SLR 2 and looking to kit it out as a commuter and weekend touring bike.

Firstly, I wanted to know if other owners had successfully fitted full coverage mudguards that can fit over the stock 50mm tires? If so which brand did you purchase. I'm also curious if others have attempted loaded touring on this bike? I've heard concerns about the strength of the wheels.

As a bit of background, I've toured for the last 10 years on steel road bikes, so the ToughRoad is an attempt at mixing things up and hopefully expanding my tours into off road territory.
I used to have Planetbike full fenders, but took them off. they fitted well with 20mm clearance.
Note that the downtube splash-shield needs to be removed for the front fender. i also noticed my feet hit the front fender on occasion.

The wheels are not bad. Well, don't listen to me, since I replaced both wheels. The rear freehub made problems (it wiggled the cassette sideways) and I built a new wheel with wider 25mm rim. The front wheel was OK, but i wanted a wider rim and built a wheel with 30mm rim and 2.15" tire. Just a smoother ride that way.

I don't have racks. But the fork only has one treadded point to attach a front rack. I know giant makes front racks, so there may be a way to attach generic racks as well.
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Old 12-30-19, 03:20 AM
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Many thanks both. I don't think those Planetbike mudguards are available over here which leaves me with the diminished option of trying to fit 60mm SKS Bluemels.

I would also consider a quick release/ clipon type but have never been convinced they'd keep me dry.

I've never needed to use a front rack on my travels as I use extra large Ortliebs on the rear. Sounds like I'll need to watch the weight due to the rear wheel strength.

I'm sorted on the rear rack as a Topeak Endurance will fit and it's got an upper and lower rails for mounting - something I've always considered essential for a decent rack.

Last edited by maximum01; 12-30-19 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 12-30-19, 06:06 AM
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Re sks, I have sks on my bike that I've toured a lot on with 50mm tires and ended up using the slightly smaller versions, not the 60mm or whatever 26in versions they had. I found them to be just too heavy and bulky so went with the size that just covered those tires, and even with the gap i purposely set them up with, they work fine.
a friend used wider fenders and they are massive, I'm glad I went with the others.

As mentioned, toe strike could very well be an issue with your frame, especially with larger front fenders.
sks make great fenders but they are finicky to install. I use planet bike ones also on other bikes and they are fine, although I believe you said you can't find them in Scotland.

this will give you an idea of clearance I put, but very specific to this frame. These are 50mm tires. Fenders are maybe rated to 45 or 50. Next ones up I think were for 65 or so and massive.
I don't have toe strike with the fenders BUT because of 26in wheels.

ps my c.f. fork bike doesn't have that pass the bolt through hole at top for easy fender mounting, so you better check out your fork and or ask giant about this.

probably easier just to ask them, they'll know

Last edited by djb; 12-30-19 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 12-30-19, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by maximum01
Many thanks both. I don't think those Planetbike mudguards are available over here which leaves me with the diminished option of trying to fit 60mm SKS Bluemels.
SKS do make a 65mm "Velo" mud guard. Linked here. Depending on your definition of "full coverage", these may or may not work.

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what these come with. They seem to have minimal stays pictured as part of the standard kit, but the website also refers to an optional kit that I don't see referenced anywhere else. Amazon does seem to have this kit, linked here. Looking at pictures of the mud guards themselves on Amazon, it looks like they don't have stays -- so the SKS website may be a bit misleading. I ordered a set of these from my local bike shop last Friday, and I should get them later this week. I'll be happy to let you know exactly what comes in the kit, what I think about them, and some pictures of them on my bike if you are interested. I want something that will offer decent protection but also has some clearance for mud...I'll be using them on a 27.5" MTB. They do seem to get good reviews on Amazon, with most noting that the front guard is fine by itself, while the rear guard needs additional support. My bike has a rear trunk rack and I hope to be able to somehow support the rear guard with the rack.

The Planet Bike fenders are available on Amazon, at least in the US. You may be able to get these shipped to you in Scotland.
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Old 12-30-19, 08:01 AM
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setting up fenders with space like I did will help with mud buildup/jamming problems--you said you'd like to do more off road stuff, so this is a legitimate concern. I was planning to ride my bike I show in all kinds of conditions, in far off countries, so purposely wanted to avoid bunging up and possibly breaking my fenders if I had to ride through muddy sections, or at least to minimize buildup issues.

that said, even with this clearance, in regular rain the fenders do a good job of doing what fenders are supposed to do--keep water and gunk off us and our bikes.

Also, this bike has horizontal rear dropouts, so I to remove the rear wheel I have to slide the wheel straight out backwards, so the extra space gives me room to do so without having to loosen the rear fender attachments.
I also wanted rear clearance in case I ever had to put on more knobby tires or simply even wider tires than 2 inches, and not have to change fender setup.(havent done this yet, but that was the idea)
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Old 01-02-20, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
Re sks, I have sks on my bike that I've toured a lot on with 50mm tires and ended up using the slightly smaller versions, not the 60mm or whatever 26in versions they had. I found them to be just too heavy and bulky so went with the size that just covered those tires, and even with the gap i purposely set them up with, they work fine.
a friend used wider fenders and they are massive, I'm glad I went with the others.

As mentioned, toe strike could very well be an issue with your frame, especially with larger front fenders.
sks make great fenders but they are finicky to install. I use planet bike ones also on other bikes and they are fine, although I believe you said you can't find them in Scotland.

this will give you an idea of clearance I put, but very specific to this frame. These are 50mm tires. Fenders are maybe rated to 45 or 50. Next ones up I think were for 65 or so and massive.
I don't have toe strike with the fenders BUT because of 26in wheels.

ps my c.f. fork bike doesn't have that pass the bolt through hole at top for easy fender mounting, so you better check out your fork and or ask giant about this.

probably easier just to ask them, they'll know
Thanks. Did you have any issues mounting the rear fender due to the front mech placement?
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Old 01-02-20, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by maximum01
Thanks. Did you have any issues mounting the rear fender due to the front mech placement?
I did not, but do realize that this is completely dependant on the specific frame shapes etc.
I did however use an aluminum spacer to move the fender back towards the tire near to the FD about a cm or 2.
Perhaps a much wider fender would have been an issue but again, this is completely situation specific, frame, fenders.... And someone's work around situations must be found---and only will know in real life with your bike and fenders. Experienced mechanics will know work arounds.

​​​​​ Good luck
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Old 01-03-20, 06:54 PM
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I bought the cheep plastic mini fender for my bike. Has worked OK for me. I would actually love a ToughRoad, but I haven't had this one very long.

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