Fenders for city riding\commuting - I'm perplexed- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fenders for city riding\commuting - I'm perplexed

    Short story- I recently moved from Cali to Seattle Wa - I live in town, ride around town, out of town, exploring and commuting. I've read a lot of info on Seattle bike blogs, etc - most sites recommend full coverage fenders.

    Question - For those of you who ride in cities, do you care about full fenders? Or is it good enough to just have enough coverage to keep yourself from getting drenched?

    The perplexing part for me, when I ask most local shops what fenders they suggest they all say full fenders. I've never been concerned about fenders in past (cali), wasnt concerned much in Seattle either, till I started reading the blogs, all which say to be considerate of other commuters and peds, use full fenders. I'm just curious do most people who ride in cities actually care or is it just one of those things everyone tells you to be "PC"?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mister.dvx View Post
    Short story- I recently moved from Cali to Seattle Wa - I live in town, ride around town, out of town, exploring and commuting. I've read a lot of info on Seattle bike blogs, etc - most sites recommend full coverage fenders.

    Question - For those of you who ride in cities, do you care about full fenders? Or is it good enough to just have enough coverage to keep yourself from getting drenched?

    The perplexing part for me, when I ask most local shops what fenders they suggest they all say full fenders. I've never been concerned about fenders in past (cali), wasnt concerned much in Seattle either, till I started reading the blogs, all which say to be considerate of other commuters and peds, use full fenders. I'm just curious do most people who ride in cities actually care or is it just one of those things everyone tells you to be "PC"?

    Thanks
    Six of one half dozen of the other.

    Most on this forum swear by them and then discuss various ways to attach and fix them...

    I gave up years ago....i just kept breaking them. I have riding outfit that I change out of and then go upstairs to work.

    I do see plenty of shorty fenders on cummuters around here though

  3. #3
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    Everything about bikes is a matter of preference. I prefer fenders so I don't get a spray of water and mud up my back. Here's a good, concise article on fenders:

    Bikes For The Rest Of Us: #1: Fenders

  4. #4
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    How clean and dry do you need to be when you get there? Full coverage will keep your shoes and lower legs much dryer than the short front and rear fenders i have on my snow/ mud ride.

    As for courtesy, do most commuters in Seattle run full fenders?

  5. #5
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    I live on the eastside and commute into Seattle daily year-round. I use full coverage fenders. It has nothing to do with being considerate. In the winter it's wet here a lot (don't judge by this winter, all those poor souls back east are getting our water in frozen form this winter). Along with the wet you are going to get a lot of road grit and grime. While you'll get wet from the rain no matter what, full coverage fenders will help keep the road grit and grime off you and off your drivetrain.

    I've been riding the same set of fenders since 2009 (Planet Bike Cascadia's). Never broke them, never need adjustment.

  6. #6
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    I live in central Texas where it doesn't rain THAT much and I run full coverage fenders at all times. I mostly to cut down on the road grim slurry getting on me and my bike. The worst is the crunch you get between your teeth after bombing a hill.

  7. #7
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    I use a long (mudflapped) fender in the front, regular "full coverage" (which only really comes to about halfway up the wheel) in the back. There's nobody else riding here to extend courtesy to. I'm sure if other people rode in inclimate weather around here, I'd give it more thought.

    The mudflap in front is key. Unless you want to wear gaiters over your shoes/pants, the spray from the wheel on a normal "full coverage" fender is more than enough to soak your feet. If there's more than a few inches between the fender terminating and the ground, you're gonna get wet.

  8. #8
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    It's a lot more pleasant to follow someone with a rear fender. More so if it has a buddy flap.

    That may give you a reason to forego the buddy flap, though. I can't help feeling responsible if I take out someone I didn't know was sitting on my wheel or half-wheeling me. So I'd rather they didn't do it in the first place.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    I use full fenders with mudflaps on my commuter.Obviously if its pouring rain or big puddles, fenders won't help. For me a full fender on the front helps keep grit and dirt away from the drive train and prevent rocks from damaging the frame. But after a rain full fenders work pretty good, as long as puddles aren't too large.

  10. #10
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    I can't remember where I saw it (Bikesnobnyc?) but someone once published a photo of a puddle on the street with the caption, "fenders: because that might be dog piss." water from the sky is clean, so that would not bother me too much. the stew composed of feces, motor oil, tire debris, dead bugs, urine, and God knows that else, splashing up my leg and into the socks is what bothers me.

    that said, I have fenders on my bike now but rarely "use" them.

  11. #11
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    Fenders for city riding\commuting - I'm perplexed

    I think it's been mentioned, but I think it's worth repeating that Seattle gets into a mode in November or so when it's just damp all the time, usually until April, although it's being uncharacteristically dry right now.

    Even if it's not actually raining, the roads are wet enough to get someone riding an open-wheeled bike wet and dirty.

    With fenders, I can take advantage of a sun break and don't really need to wear water resistant clothes. That's also nice for being able to commute in casual clothes - I think bike commuting loses a lot of its utility if I have to change in and out of some special outfit to do it. Adding a front mud flap keeps my shoes drier. I still keep some gore-tex pants stuffed in the bottom of a bag, but I'm just as happy not to struggle in and out of them.

    OP, I'm not sure how long a commute you're thinking of and if you want to use your bike for other kinds of trips too. But if you want to run errands, go out, etc., some things that are okay for commuting to and from the same place every time are more annoying.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    ^ along those lines, I like have to one bike with fullfenders, so that I can wear casual clothes if I want to. But normally I wear commuting-specific clothes, and if it's really raining or it's the spring melt (like it currently is) I know I'm going to get soaked either way - I really just want a fender to keep the possible dogpiss out of my face.

  13. #13
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    I'm so used to fenders now, I don't like riding without them. I ride year-round and in all weather, but there's guys that ride all the time in my city that don't use fenders.

    The biggest pro for fenders is if you want to truly ride for transportation all the time. Commuting to work, its not a big deal to have a bike costume and your work clothes. When you are going to a movie, bar, grocery store, post office, etc having to put on a special bike suit is annoying. Fenders let you just get on in your clothes and ride.

    but that said, the fenders are one of my biggest maintenance headaches.

  14. #14
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    With lots of livestock trailers and Liquid Manure Spreaders on the roads around here, there are things worse than a little dog pee for fenders to fend off. Homeless people's contributions I have not noted. I have a bad feeling it is not only in Alaska.

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