To install or not to install: Fenders on winter/commuter

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by LouisN

I'm juggling the idea of adding fenders to my winter/bad weather trainer/cyclocross/commuter bike.

But in the first place I certainly wouldn't do it based on aesthetics and weight.

Can you guys (the ones that use them, like them, wouldn't ride or commute without them) convice me it's necessary to install such a thing, even outside of the UK :lol: ?
When the snow will melt, we'll have the sides of the road with water patches, and also a day of rain here and there. But mostly, I'll ride on dry tarmac.

Louis :)

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by welkman

Yes and no :D I have used several brands and the crud race guards are ok. You will find they make a bit of noise and can rub if you `get an accumulation of crap inside them. If you have a proper commuter you can use the sks guards with a brooks leather flap attached for total dryness.

Personally I have removed mine after 6 months on my CAAD 8.

by Weenie

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by HillRPete

I've had SKS full size ones for the first winter. Never thought they would make that big a difference. Wouldn't bother with a commuter/rain bike without them any more, except in summer.

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by LouisN

welkman wrote:Yes and no :D I have used several brands and the crud race guards are ok.

Like this one, on a road bike ?

Louis :)
Last edited by LouisN on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by bm0p700f

Living in the U.K I have a wet weather bike with proper mdguard mounts and SKS mdguards. When its wet I will only ride this bike. When the roads are dry I will use my other bike which has no mudguard monts and short drop brakes. My wife's commutor is also a frame with proper mudguards.

If your bike can only take those silly clip on guards I would not bother. Instead observe the N+1 rule and buy a bike that can take proper mudgards. Then you can also use wider tyres and have no rubbing ever.

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by LouisN

Well my "office" is 45 km's from home, so it's a pretty long ride to commute, almost 100 km's /day.

So if it's pouring rain outside, I'll just drive :oops: .

And if I hit a few rain patches, or wet spots, I don't really mind dirty clothes, I'll shower and change once arrived at work anyways.
My main concern is do mudguards really prevent water being carried by the tires, and filling the shoes and lower body. I remember a ride back from work a year ago, with rain, headwinds (I couldn't reach 20 km/h :shock: ), and also pretty cold weather(6-7°). Bad memories.

Louis :)

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by Privateer

Yes, they certainly work. They stop water being sprayed up your arse and lower back from the back wheel, and save your feet from spray off the front wheel.

Whether or not they are worth it to you simply depends on how often you ride in the rain.

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by mr_tim

In terms of the quandary you have - if its properly wet, it sounds like you don't ride when you should / could be.

Decent guards will give you no reason not to ride. You also don't end up properly wet / drenched if its wet on the road with guards - so you won't get cold & tired so easily. With no guards you get that full on spray that drenches your kit, whereas just rain alone will tend to run off more & certainly penetrate a whole lot less. It also means you can ride in lighter kit that is more light rain proof vs. full on rain proof, but which would otherwise have you sweating a lot more due to being less breathable.

Its just a practical option to have.

I'd recommend you don't go with crudguards, they always are noisy & end up brushing the rim or tire at some point. I've used raceblades for a few years & have recently moved across to raceblade long - which attaches under the brake pivot & QR's. The 'long' version really is a much better guard & more securely held / free from vibration vs. the standard raceblade.

FWIW I think planetx have them atm at about the most economic source although with postage I don't know how it will work out for you. They do weigh a lot though - something like 400gr.

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by LouisN

From what I read it seems like they take a few minutes to install.

Do you think it's worth it to install them only when needed ? Really that simple (SKS) ?

Remember, not UK reality here. I go to work with plain shoes. I use rubber on my feet only twice a year :lol:

Louis :)

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by euan

Mudguards are the best thing you can put on your bike period.

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by photocycler

Once you rude with fenders you will be happy you did

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by Kastrup

If you have a dedicated winter/commuter/snow/whatever bike i would mount those fenders asap! You will soon forget the weight penalty and looks, which i acutally doesn't think is that bad. A dedicated bike like that should have fenders on. period.

As far as fenders go, nothing beats a set of standard fenders mounted on a frame/fork which allows for generous clearance even with wider tyres. If your frame/frok doesn't have that, i can recommend the raceblade long.
"Stay cool and try to survive" A. Klier to the other members of the Garmin classics squad the night before P-R.

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by dvincere

Fenders are an amazing addition to a commuter and/or winter training bike. You need to go full fenders and you usually need to extend the mudflap they come with via a longer one (like the one Planet Bike sells, or cut up a 2L bottle, etc). It especially makes riding over roads with melting snow so much better!

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by Musiker

I use sks raceblade fenders on my Winther/commuter racebike and they take around 2mins to install/remove.. During summer i mostly commute the 30kms to work without them. Spring, autum and winter they never comes off, they sure do minimize the water in my shoes and everywhere else.

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by juanacity

To echo previous comments: do it. Sounds kind of stupid, but before I wisened up and rode a bike with dedicated fenders, I didn't realize just how much of the wetness you get from riding in the rain comes up from the ground instead of down from the sky.

Get the most full coverage fenders your tire/frame combo can take. SKS raceblade long are the best for bikes without much coverage in my experience. Not that big of a deal to take on and off, but I've grown so used to them I won't take them off until June when wet rides are very few and far between.

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