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Commuting/fender(s) question...(13 posts)

Commuting/fender(s) question...jtferraro
May 23, 2003 9:51 AM
I have a 8 mile round-trip commute to work. I usually don't bother commuting if the weather isn't cooperating, but would like to start commuting more often...even on days where it "could" rain, or days where it's just misting/sprinkling in the morning, when I leave home. I commute on a hardtail mtb w/1" slicks and a locked out front suspension. I'm now interested in purchasing fenders, so I can commute more often (the weather in the northeast has been real lousy lately!). Would just the rear suffice, or should I buy both? I'm interested in the clip-on ones that I can keep in my courier bag and just clip-on, if/when needed. I plan to also keep a shell jacket in my courier bag for that same purpose. Any recommendations out there re: if I need just the rear or both fenders, your experiences, your brand recommendations, etc.?

As usual, thanks gang...

-Jeff
I like front and rear fenders....Gregory Taylor
May 23, 2003 9:58 AM
I find that the front fender is just as necessary as the rear. The rear fender keeps the crap off of your back, while the front keeps the crap off of, well, your front. I find that I get a spray off of the front tire that blasts up past the down tube and winds up sending a spray of water on to my feet and legs.

I'm using a set of Planet Bike Freddy Fenders. They are detachable. They are okay, but not great. My problem with them is that they don't cover enough of the circumfrence of the tire. They are also too big (and too crap-encrusted) to stuff into a messenger bag. A fender that small would probably be useless. I'm eyeing some SKS fenders...
fenders!rockbender
May 23, 2003 10:25 AM
I discovered fenders this winter! They freaking rock! It sounds like this bike is a dedicated commuter, so why not put them on and leav them on year round? instead of getting clipons that compromise coverage and rattle around, get some good old fashion full coverage jobbers and make 'em secure.

These fenders are staying on my commuter/cx bike all year. the extra 1/2 pound of weight will only make me stronger. Not being wet and muddy, though, is awesome. I even raced this bike with the fenders and guess what - I had a lot less crap build up on my frame at the end of the race than the other mountain bikers did.

sorry about the crappy pic, but you get the idea.
not a dedicated commuter...jtferraro
May 23, 2003 10:52 AM
it's actually a mtb that I have 2 wheelsets for. One set of Mavic 517's/XT w/mtb tires and one set of Velomax Climax wheels w/the 1" slicks. Last season I was swapping them out constantly b/c it was my only bike. This season I have a road bike so I'm now using this bike just for commuting to work, etc. I still plan on using it for mtb'ing, but need to give my knee more time to heal before hittin' the technical trails of the northeast. I expect to be back in the woods by September, at latest(had knee surgery in March). Anyway, thanks for your post. Also, nice set-up - those fenders look great on that rig! What kind of bike is that? I do hope to *maybe* buy a roadbike commuter this fall (maybe ss or fixed) - the Bianchi Pista, Surly CrossCheck or Steamroller...or even a Jamis. We'll see.

-Jeff
hmmm.rockbender
May 23, 2003 11:08 AM
I understand your predicament with having full time fenders on the mountain bike and what they would be exposed to. However, I have been totally amazed at what I have gone through with the fenders on, and they are still on! I had originally planned on taking them off for the summer, but I think they will stay on - they really don't bug me a bit.

The bike is an Alpine Designs, which is a small frame builder/bike shop in Sandpoint Idaho. This frame is 853/zona and is just magic for me - I love it!

Also of note - I don't have braze-ons on the rear for fenders, so I used a rubber pipe type clamp for mounting that has worked great - I would even put a rack on it I think. Its amazing what you can do with zip-ties, too!
Get Fixed!PdxMark
May 23, 2003 11:24 AM
I've had my Pista for a week and I can't believe how fun it is to ride. I'd never ridden a fixie before.
I can say second that!rockbender
May 23, 2003 11:28 AM
Build up a fixie and then put the fenders on THAT!

I just recently aquired a fixie too... and though i lusted the Pista that PdxMark and others have, I was able to build one up for under 75 bucks, which really made more sense until I knew how much I would ride it and like it. It's definately a fun ride... simple and cheap!
Happy with Planet Bike ...Humma Hah
May 23, 2003 10:52 AM
... although I'm sure there are several good brands available. Plastic, tough, flexible, clip on. I had a much earlier vintage of plastic fenders that were a pain and not durable, but the new ones seem to work.

Buy both. The rear is the most important if you could only have one, but you need the front for the best protection from mud.

I'll bet you'll end up leaving them on for weeks or months at a time.
re: Commuting/fender(s) question...PdxMark
May 23, 2003 10:57 AM
Get front and rear. They both help alot. I mounted permanent fenders - or leave the clip-ons on the bike. Glory be the commuter bike. Ride in all weather. In addition to a shell, I carry gore-tex socks year-round. They are tiny and the comfort of dry feet/socks is very nice.
Don't forget to add a mud flap up front.lonebikeroftheapocalypse
May 23, 2003 11:24 AM
It will greatly reduce the amount of spray your feet and drive train will be subjected to. I bought some Zefal fenders from Nashbar for commuting to school and rode all winter in upstate NY. I was amazed that even in the rain I stayed relatively dry even without special rain gear.
I like the SKS that straps on the seatpost.dzrider
May 23, 2003 12:27 PM
It does the job quite well and goes bike to bike very easily. I haven't found a good clip on for the front yet, but I'll try more when I see one that looks good. My new, fixed, commuter has neither eyelets nor enough clearance for real fenders, so finding a front fender may be tough. My one experience with a fender that clipped to the down tube was not a good one. Too little coverage to be worth while or interference with turning the front wheel.
re: Commuting/fender(s) question...MWM
May 23, 2003 12:38 PM
I'm not a regular commuter but I try to ride every day when it's warm, rain or not. My mtn bike is equipped with city tires and I have an ancient set of Zefal mtn fenders on it. They look the same as Planet bikes current models and have held up extremely well. You definitely need both fenders and home made mudflaps (from milk jugs) help a lot too. As much as I like to ride my road bikes, it makes life much easier by having only one bike that goes out in the rain/mud. Nice to ride different bikes once in a while too.
re: fenders are great.Fredrico
May 23, 2003 1:37 PM
They never slowed me down. In fact, sometimes I think the slight weight penalty is overcome by a possible aerodynamic advantage, as if a little fairing over the spinning wheels reduces the egg-beater effect. (Chew on that one, folks)

One of my road bikes is with its second set of ESGE fenders, plastic, full coverage, permanently screwed on. The amount of time it takes to change out wheels isn't much less than it would take to remove or mount permanent fenders, but a dedicated bike is ideal. I use mine on rainy days, group rides, fitness, commuting, errands, touring, anything. The rear fender keeps water off your seatpost, butt, and back. The front keeps water off your bottom bracket, headset bearings, feet, legs, and crotch. The headset on my fendered bike is now about 18 years old and is still okay. That's phenominal, and only because the front fender has kept the bearings clean for all that time.