Using my 29er (Niner Air 9) to commute - need fenders though . . .- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Using my 29er (Niner Air 9) to commute - need fenders though . . .

    So I've had a good run over the course of a few years using my single speed Torker as a commuter. However, it has rim brakes, with no possibility of adding disc brakes (unless I bought a new front fork, and then the rear still wouldn't have one). After another close call the other day with a car that pulled out into the middle of an intersection before stopping - I'm done commuting without disc brakes. Little bit of background - I live & work overseas, so my commutes are fairly short (around 3 miles each way), speeds are relatively low compared to riding/driving in the USA, and roads are a lot rougher due to poor asphalt/construction.

    I've been thinking of going the route of a Salsa Vaya or Fargo, but think getting a new bike could be a bit overkill when I've got a perfectly good Niner hard tail which I don't ride as much anymore on dirt (since getting a SC Tallboy LTc). The Niner is soooo close to being perfect to what I want in a commuter: I can run fatter tires than standard for commuting (like a 2.0), geometry is comfortable but efficient enough to commute on, and it's got XT disc brakes already. The ONE thing I haven't done is put fenders on - and for me that could be a deal breaker.

    I commute to work in my work clothes, and prob won't change that habit as anything else just adds more time and complication. I've found a rear fender that might work: https://www.themudhugger.co.uk - However, I currently run a reba 100mm fork on the front, and doubt that the mud hugger front would sufficiently protect me from mud/rain/dirt. So I'm looking for one of two things:

    1) Front fender with lots of protection that would mount up somehow with my reba. Not a mtn bike fender (i.e.: mudguard) but a proper fender

    2) or I could throw down for a new fork with fender mounts already on it - maybe a steel or carbon fork? (do they even make mtn bike forks w/ fender mounts? no idea at all . . . ) - FYI, the bike has a 1 1/8" head tube.

    Anyways, not concerned if I have to swap tires and get a new fork as that's much cheaper than a new bike. Plus I really like the Niner, and it has an XT drivetrain ready to go, which is perfect gearing for what I'm looking to do. Thanks in advance for any suggestions guys!

  2. #2
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    Booyah! Found something that will hopefully work: Universal Cycles -- Salsa CroMoto Grande Rigid 29er Forks

  3. #3
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    I use a couple 29er hardtails to commute (one in California, one in Germany).

    I have Toppeak's front fender on both. It bolts to the fork legs and it'll fit anything. It's not cheap, and it's a PITA to install, but it looks great and works well. The coverage is super.

    In the rear, I have racks on both bikes. A ghetto solution is to put a plastic shopping bag, folded flat, across the rack, only when it rains. In the US I put a mud guard on the back of the seatpost and then cut up an old landscaping black rigid plastic divider and zip-tied it to the underside of the rack. Coverage is total, cost was nil.

    In Germany, I also have a mud board on the rear of the seat stay, and I'm going to install a Beavertail XL fender under the rack... As soon as I get around to it.

  4. #4
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    Just an fyi, the cromoto grande is thru-Axel. There are a number of rigid forks with fender mounts. As you found, salsa offers several, as does surly. I am sure there are others as well. IMHO, a rigid fork its the way to go with a commuter anyways, unless you are riding some serious dirt on the way to work.

  5. #5
    Bandit 29 FTW!!!
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    I'm using my Niner EMD as my commuter. You won't be disappointed. I just ordered some Schwalbe Marathon Supreme's and it's almost complete. I'll be looking for a good set of carbon rims eventually. I've done as many as 35miles on it.
    Let's make like a Bike and get the Huck outta here...

  6. #6
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    Bum this make me think I should just use my Mtb ss for my winter set up. I have 2 wheel sets so that would be sweet. Thanks for getting me thinking
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cecald View Post
    I'm done commuting without disc brakes.
    Probably not what you're looking for, but have you thought of trying something like koolstop pads? Discs are great, but rim brakes have been working fine for people for a loooooooong time. Unless you're riding through a lot of snow it should be easy to get a reliable setup for commuting.

  8. #8
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    I commute on two different 29ers, I have a Surly KM with a Fargo fork and full fenders (PB full coverage), and a GT Peace 9er with a Fargo fork. I use a SKS Shockboard 2 on the front of the GT and it's actually pretty good, will work on a suspension fork too. That being said I highly recommend the Salsa Fargo fork for commuting uses, great product with tons of braze-ons perfect for fenders, etc.

  9. #9
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    Just ordered the quick release version of the Salsa fork, some new Schwalbe 2.0s for commuting, and a new set of 29er Planet bike fenders. I'm a pretty huge fan of disc brakes as I'm just used to their stopping power. I think the rim brakes are ok . . . if you have plenty of stopping distance, but I know as soon as things get wet again I just want the peace of mind from discs - especially my XTs!! And I have a little plan worked out for the snow this winter. While shopping for my commuter bling to throw on the Air 9 - I found that Schwalbe makes a winter tire already: Universal Cycles -- Schwalbe Marathon Winter Studded 29" Tire

    Getting pumped to set up the bike for heading in/out of work! Thanks for all your input guys - I'm taking it all in.

  10. #10
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    I'm not trying to pour water all over your upgrade-itis, but I solved the rim-braking problem on my SS-commuter by making it fixed-gear...

    rim-brakes + legs = fast stops.

    I also feel more connected to the road when riding fixed in snowy/icy conditions.
    We don't need more to be thankful for; we just need to be more thankful.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cecald View Post
    Just ordered the quick release version of the Salsa fork, some new Schwalbe 2.0s for commuting, and a new set of 29er Planet bike fenders. I'm a pretty huge fan of disc brakes as I'm just used to their stopping power. I think the rim brakes are ok . . . if you have plenty of stopping distance, but I know as soon as things get wet again I just want the peace of mind from discs - especially my XTs!! And I have a little plan worked out for the snow this winter. While shopping for my commuter bling to throw on the Air 9 - I found that Schwalbe makes a winter tire already: Universal Cycles -- Schwalbe Marathon Winter Studded 29" Tire

    Getting pumped to set up the bike for heading in/out of work! Thanks for all your input guys - I'm taking it all in.
    That tire sucks ass in real snow. You should be looking at ice spikers or nokian w240 or similar if you expect real snow and ice. I'm running w240 now and they roll much better than ice spikers, same good grip but the w240s don't feel dangerous while leaning into corners on pavement. As opposed to the ice spikers.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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    Specialized sucks ass.

  12. #12
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    Rim brakes don't have to suck. If they're setup properly, you get good pads and keep the braking surface clean, they can stop on a dime. I can easily lock up my tires if I want and they modulate pretty well. That's with Avid Shorty 5's with Koolstop Dual Compound pads. They actually stop better than the mechanical disc brakes on my CX bike. Even in the wet they're pretty good.

  13. #13
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    ^^^^ For the past few years most mt bike have come with disc brakes for a good reason, they stop better and faster in mixed conditions. The niner probably does not have the ability to run rim brakes. Please go back to 1988. Back to the OP. I have set up my Karate Monkey for urban assault, a beefy commuter. The front fork/ fender solution was solved by putting a star nut up from the bottom of the steerer tube. Then attach fender to the nut.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    The front fork/ fender solution was solved by putting a star nut up from the bottom of the steerer tube. Then attach fender to the nut.
    Dude, that's brilliant.

  15. #15
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    Yep, works like a charm.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    The front fork/ fender solution was solved by putting a star nut up from the bottom of the steerer tube. Then attach fender to the nut.
    Yeah, there are lots of options to mount fenders this way, but they they wind up several inches above the tire (above the fork crown), and then they don't "cover" as well...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmer74 View Post
    Yeah, there are lots of options to mount fenders this way, but they they wind up several inches above the tire (above the fork crown), and then they don't "cover" as well...
    Yeah, there are ways to drop a bolt down from the starnut with nuts both sides of the fender to get it as close to the tire as you want.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmer74 View Post
    Yeah, there are lots of options to mount fenders this way, but they they wind up several inches above the tire (above the fork crown), and then they don't "cover" as well...
    Problem Solvers

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    Rim brakes don't have to suck. If they're setup properly, you get good pads and keep the braking surface clean, they can stop on a dime. I can easily lock up my tires if I want and they modulate pretty well. That's with Avid Shorty 5's with Koolstop Dual Compound pads. They actually stop better than the mechanical disc brakes on my CX bike. Even in the wet they're pretty good.
    My first good bike had xtr v's and mavic ceramic rims, those were the best there was at the time except sachs ugly discs only seen in magazines.
    Ultra fast otb action worked good in rain and snow too. The bike after that had regular alu rims and magura hydro rimbrakes, even more power but control and feel was not as good, far far from it. worked ok in the snow too. But with discs they work just the same all the time, EXACTLY the same. so its more predictable and "safer" I'd say.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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