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Fenders, rack for Surly LHT

Old 07-22-08, 02:01 PM
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Fenders, rack for Surly LHT

This is my first touring bike, and I am a new returnee to bicycling in general.

I had a question about fitting fenders on this bike. It seems that most fenders are either black or metallic in finish. Is there a reason that folks don't try and match the color of the bike?

Can anyone recommend some fenders for this bike? I am going to be commuting mostly, but would like to stay clean. I found a set of SKS P35 fenders from REI for a good price. Is this a decent fender?

It seems mounting a rack should be pretty easy. It seems aluminum racks go for around $30-50 and steel racks go for >$100. Is steel necessary? Surly makes a rack that I am certain will fit, but it is a little more than I would like to spend. Of course, I want to buy a rack that will last as long as the bike. Help?

Thanks for all the help that I am sure I will get.
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Old 07-22-08, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by spaceballs
This is my first touring bike, and I am a new returnee to bicycling in general.

I had a question about fitting fenders on this bike. It seems that most fenders are either black or metallic in finish. Is there a reason that folks don't try and match the color of the bike?

Can anyone recommend some fenders for this bike? I am going to be commuting mostly, but would like to stay clean. I found a set of SKS P35 fenders from REI for a good price. Is this a decent fender?

It seems mounting a rack should be pretty easy. It seems aluminum racks go for around $30-50 and steel racks go for >$100. Is steel necessary? Surly makes a rack that I am certain will fit, but it is a little more than I would like to spend. Of course, I want to buy a rack that will last as long as the bike. Help?

Thanks for all the help that I am sure I will get.
Colored fenders usually have to be painted by the owner...you. There are lots of fender options for spiffy fenders out there just look around. Most of them are not cheap.

While aluminum racks will get the job done, a good tubular steel rack is stronger and less flexible. I have Tubus front and rear on my bike and they are definitely much better than any inexpensive aluminum rack.
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Old 07-22-08, 11:14 PM
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There are a number of good fenders and racks out there, and an even greater number of unbelievably crappy fenders and especially racks. Go to a reputable bike shop, preferably one that's oriented towards transportational, rather than sport, cycling, and ask for help. Don't be afraid to keep looking until you get exactly what you want. For racks especially, don't settle for crap, and be prepared to pay a bit more; it's totally worth it.

On my LHT, I have a Jandd Expedition rack, which I'm very happy with, and Planet Bike fenders, which rattle every time I ride over rough pavement, which drives me totally mad. (The front fender only has one pair of support struts, which is clearly not enough.) I plan on replacing them as soon as I can.
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Old 07-22-08, 11:36 PM
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I just let the LBS install what fenders they though would work best on my LHT. Ended up with SKS P45s. They work great, and the silver fender is a great compliment to the rest of my bike.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:23 AM
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I use the SKS P65 fenders on my LHT (54cm frame with 26" wheels, 26x1.75" tires) and they are quiet and durable. (Also have P35's on another bike with similar good experiences.) I have the Tubus cargo rear rack (as well as the Tara front rack) and, having tried aluminum ones in the past, recommend steel ones because they are stiffer and don't wobble the bike as much under heavy load.
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Old 07-23-08, 08:18 AM
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Crome-moly steel racks also have the benefit of being repairable by just about anyone with a (steel) welder. Someone who welds aluminum is much harder to find. But Cro-mo is very strong and will take a lot to break.
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Old 07-23-08, 08:57 AM
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If you are going to be riding on big tires, check the fender mounts to make sure there's room. I say that because I bought some fenders years ago after a tour where it rained, but I never got around to installing them. Then I bought a new bike (LHT), put some Schwalbe 32's on it, and got the fenders out. The metal pieces that hold the support rods to the fenders have a 90 degree bend in them to allow the support rods to slide through. The bends are very close to the tire. There's just enough room for my 32s, but if I were running 35s there might not be. Rebending the metal supports would be a pain, though probably not too difficult.

I bought Tubus racks, front and rear and liked them very much. I got a Cargo in back and a Tara in front. They are strong and not too heavy. Then I got a hankering to try a front rack with a platform. When Jandd had a sale I bought an Extreme.

On my recent tour I used the Tubus Cargo in back and the Jandd Extreme in front. I have no complaints. The Jandd was a bit clunky to install. I needed spacers. Luckily, the Tubus Tara came with some, so I moved them over. One problem with the Jandd Extreme is that the top rear corners bump into the frame when you turn the steerer too far. It's never a problem when riding, but when you are off the bike and manuevering it around (like when parking or leaning it against a picnic table) you have a limited turning radius. I think Jandd should re-engineer this, because the part that rubs doesn't do anything. They could put a different bend in it, fix the problem, and the usefulness wouldn't be hurt. (It might not look as aesthetically pleasing to put another bend in it, but who cares?)

I liked having the platform in front. I put my Big Agnes Air Core Mattress there and it was perfect. I could also stick my windbreaker under the bungee there when I got hot, which was handy.
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Old 07-23-08, 11:23 AM
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the Surly racks will certainly fit an LHT and are probably completely bomb-proof, however, they are much heavier than the alternatives. They're sort of expedition-class stuff that is truly excessive for normal commuting or light/medium touring.

For commuting only, take a look at the Axiom racks. . .very affordable, seem very well constructed. I don't have direct experience yet but recently installed the Streamliner Sport Tour on my LHT and expect it's going to suit my needs fine. It's not designed for a trunk pack so it may not meet your needs. Their other products seem equally well made, but again, I don't have direct experience and can't speak to their durability yet.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:59 PM
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I use the jandd extreme front and expedition rear. Rear fit great and the front needed a pair of 1/4" spacers and 1/2" bolts from the hardware store for the mounts built into the fork. They are strong (I sat on both at 200lbs like an idiot at a bar, with no damage) and they look good. The front will hit the bar-end shifter plastic adjuster on the downtube shifter mounts at exteme non riding turning. You can get them for 110-130 for the pair. If you paint the planet bike fenders dont paint the rubber mudflaps like I did (idiot), itll just crack and fall off.
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Old 07-23-08, 10:04 PM
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but you read this already from bigbluetoe...
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Old 07-23-08, 11:14 PM
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Picked up a blackburn rack. It seems like it will be a good, solid rack, and the price was right. I checked fender clearance, and I am going with some SKS 45s, which ought to be plenty of room to grow.

If only my search for new tires was going as easily...
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