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Fenders are for sissies, but they keep your back dry when the roadswet



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 27th 08, 01:33 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
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Default Fenders are for sissies, but they keep your back dry when the roadswet

I got a funny look the other day for having a traditional set of
fenders on my bicycle, but I didn't care, the road was wet and I
didn't have a wet strip of dirt up my back. So in the grocery store I
got into a conversation about bicycles and the clerk said "I don't
think bicycles are such a good alternative to a car, because I get my
back all wet when it rains." There you have it, a whole new generation
that never owned a bicycle with fenders. I'm old enought to remember
when all bicycles had fenders. No extra charge.
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  #2  
Old June 27th 08, 01:55 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
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Default Fenders are for sissies, but they keep your back dry when theroads wet

I just purchased a new bike, and it happened to come with fenders. As
long as they do not present some type of mechical problem (harder to
change a tire or something) I really do not care. I have had a number
of bikes, and none had fenders but that was because they did not come
with any. On one bike I bought some fenders to put on, but they never
fit very well, and I returned them.

There are always snobs, but I figure snobs were invented by Madison
Avenue so we would purchase things we do not need at a higher price
than is necessary.

tom
  #3  
Old June 27th 08, 02:41 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
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Default Fenders are for sissies, but they keep your back dry when the ?roads wet

Tom Bates wrote:

I just purchased a new bike, and it happened to come with fenders.
As long as they do not present some type of mechanical problem
(harder to change a tire or something) I really do not care. I have
had a number of bikes, and none had fenders but that was because
they did not come with any. On one bike I bought some fenders to
put on, but they never fit very well, and I returned them.


Just so you don't think that fenders present no hazards, let me
explain why and why some manufacturers work hard to avoid this hazard
with break-away fender braces. If a derailleur stick flips up into
the rear wheel, it can rip the derailleur off its dropout if it
engages the right part of the chain. That's why riding over a 3/8"
foot long sturdy curved twig is not a good idea.

However, if such a derailleur stick gets in the front wheel, it can
jam between the spokes and fender brace, sucking the fender into the
tire with sufficient force to buckle the fender and stop the front
wheel. I've watched it happen and it occurred on a dirt road with a
road bicycle. We had warned the rider, but he thought we were only
opposed to riding with a "fender geek".

There are always snobs, but I figure snobs were invented by Madison
Avenue so we would purchase things we do not need at a higher price
than is necessary.


The snobs just have the wrong reasons for their opposition to fenders,
they haven't ridden to work often enough in the rain. On the other
hand, drawing a tangent from the downward pedal to the front tire
should make clear that without a "mud flap" your shoes will be filled
with water.

Jobst Brandt
  #4  
Old June 27th 08, 02:52 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
David L. Johnson
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Posts: 1,048
Default Fenders are for sissies, but they keep your back dry when theroads wet

wrote:
I got a funny look the other day for having a traditional set of
fenders on my bicycle, but I didn't care, the road was wet and I
didn't have a wet strip of dirt up my back. So in the grocery store I
got into a conversation about bicycles and the clerk said "I don't
think bicycles are such a good alternative to a car, because I get my
back all wet when it rains." There you have it, a whole new generation
that never owned a bicycle with fenders. I'm old enought to remember
when all bicycles had fenders. No extra charge.


Well, most fenders are pretty much garbage. The constraints of a bike
fender design, very light weight, close tolerances between frame, brake,
and wheel, and limited mounting options give you a fender that either
breaks from fatigue soon after it's installed (I have one of those), or
which rubs against the wheel half the time, or which does not do the job
for which it is designed.

On top of that, most recreational cyclists do not ride in the rain,
anyway, and those are the ones that actually buy equipment. Most
commuters use 20-year-old bikes.

--

David L. Johnson

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on
no account be allowed to do the job.
-- Douglas Adams
  #5  
Old June 27th 08, 04:48 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_2_]
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Default Fenders are for sissies, but they keep your back dry when theroads wet


wrote:
I got a funny look the other day for having a traditional set of
fenders on my bicycle...


Worrying about people's "funny looks" leads to a very dull, unpleasant
life!

On Jun 26, 9:52 pm, "David L. Johnson"
wrote:

Well, most fenders are pretty much garbage. The constraints of a bike
fender design, very light weight, close tolerances between frame, brake,
and wheel, and limited mounting options give you a fender that either
breaks from fatigue soon after it's installed (I have one of those), or
which rubs against the wheel half the time, or which does not do the job
for which it is designed.


???

Since about 1977 (when I started commuting by bike) I've had fenders
on my bike whenever I thought it might rain. Since about 2000, I just
leave them on all the time. I've had none of the problems David
describes.

I think I've broken three, maybe four fenders over the 31 years. That
includes on my mountain bike (the only one to ever swallow a stick).
The front fender that came with my Cannondale touring bike (Esge
Chromoplast) cracked after about ten years, because of the way I was
forced to flex it when I carried my bike on a roof rack. Its
replacement has been perfect.

Mounting takes only moderate mechanical skill, but details can be
finicky. Just take the time to get them right. Remember it's
possible to trim them or (in some cases) warm the plastic to re-shape
them if necessary. I prefer to use blue Loctite on the mounting
screws, unless I'm doing a sort of quick-release configuration. It's
usually a good idea to add a front mud flap - say, cut from a milk jug
and bolted in place. This keeps your feet much dryer.

On top of that, most recreational cyclists do not ride in the rain,
anyway, and those are the ones that actually buy equipment.


It's true that if you are more into just biking for play, plus trading
parts to match Buycycling's "gotta have" list each month, you're not
likely to bother with fenders. I'm not so much into fashion; I'm more
into practicality. YMMV.

Most commuters use 20-year-old bikes.


Oh, and that relates to David's comment about "The constraints of a
bike fender design, very light weight, close tolerances between frame,
brake, and wheel, and limited mounting options..."

Fashionable racer bikes are built to reduce every gram of mass, and to
pretend to be aerodynamic. Those, and other elements of fashion,
forbid attaching threaded bosses to mount fenders (2 grams each!!!) or
leaving enough space between the tire and frame or brakes for anything
but a $50 bill. (You could test it with a $1, but that ain't
stylin'!)

Before "playing Lance" was fashionable, bikes had more clearance for
fenders. They were more practical. Commuters (and tourists) prefer
that practicality. Hence the older bikes. But again, YMMV.

See http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Practic...yofFenders.htm

- Frank Krygowski
  #6  
Old June 27th 08, 06:39 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
David L. Johnson
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Posts: 1,048
Default Fenders are for sissies, but they keep your back dry when theroads wet

Frank Krygowski wrote:

Since about 1977 (when I started commuting by bike) I've had fenders
on my bike whenever I thought it might rain. Since about 2000, I just
leave them on all the time. I've had none of the problems David
describes.

I think I've broken three, maybe four fenders over the 31 years.


I've broken 2 in 4 years, which is much worse than your experience.
Most of my problems are on an old road bike -- lots of clearance for a
road bike. The rear fender has broken from fatigue twice. I have the
broken end jammed into the bracket, along with the other piece that was
there originally, and it works pretty well now. But the fenders
(plastic) flex quite a bit while riding, thus the fatigue. The mounting
brackets, long steel bars that clamp to the dropout, are too weak to
hold the fender still.

These mounting brackets also go out of adjustment regularly, leading to
the fender rubbing on the tire.

I have to admit that my mountain bike, which I only use for snow&ice
commuting, has softer-plastic fenders that just snap on, and they have
worked much better than the fancier ones on the road bike.

Most commuters use 20-year-old bikes.


Oh, and that relates to David's comment about "The constraints of a
bike fender design, very light weight, close tolerances between frame,
brake, and wheel, and limited mounting options..."


No, it relates to the fact that fenders, which would be most useful to
commuters, are a difficult sell to the guy who buys his bike from a
garage sale. It is a rare old bike that has fenders, except for old
cruisers.

--

David L. Johnson

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on
no account be allowed to do the job.
-- Douglas Adams
  #7  
Old June 27th 08, 01:31 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
dgk
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Default Fenders are for sissies, but they keep your back dry when the roads wet

On Fri, 27 Jun 2008 01:39:34 -0400, "David L. Johnson"
wrote:

Frank Krygowski wrote:

Since about 1977 (when I started commuting by bike) I've had fenders
on my bike whenever I thought it might rain. Since about 2000, I just
leave them on all the time. I've had none of the problems David
describes.

I think I've broken three, maybe four fenders over the 31 years.


I've broken 2 in 4 years, which is much worse than your experience.
Most of my problems are on an old road bike -- lots of clearance for a
road bike. The rear fender has broken from fatigue twice. I have the
broken end jammed into the bracket, along with the other piece that was
there originally, and it works pretty well now. But the fenders
(plastic) flex quite a bit while riding, thus the fatigue. The mounting
brackets, long steel bars that clamp to the dropout, are too weak to
hold the fender still.

These mounting brackets also go out of adjustment regularly, leading to
the fender rubbing on the tire.

I have to admit that my mountain bike, which I only use for snow&ice
commuting, has softer-plastic fenders that just snap on, and they have
worked much better than the fancier ones on the road bike.

Most commuters use 20-year-old bikes.


Oh, and that relates to David's comment about "The constraints of a
bike fender design, very light weight, close tolerances between frame,
brake, and wheel, and limited mounting options..."


No, it relates to the fact that fenders, which would be most useful to
commuters, are a difficult sell to the guy who buys his bike from a
garage sale. It is a rare old bike that has fenders, except for old
cruisers.


My first bike or two had fenders, around 1960. One was a Rollfast or
something. Then they seemed to go out of style. I always thought that
a bike without fenders looked naked but other folks thought they
looked cool.

Now I commute by bike and I used to install the plastic MB type of
fender that clips into something under the fork whenever rain
threatened. Of course, I often forgot to do that and got wet. I really
only removed it because I was afraid it would get stolen when left
outside all day.

Luckily, the cheap front shock (Trek 7100 hybrid has a very cheap
shock) has now frozen in the down position, making it impossible to
remove the fender without using a pry bar to force the shock up. So
now the fender is there all the time; it can't easily be stolen.
  #8  
Old June 27th 08, 03:13 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Peter Cole[_2_]
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Posts: 4,572
Default Fenders are for sissies, but they keep your back dry when theroads wet

wrote:
I got a funny look the other day for having a traditional set of
fenders on my bicycle, but I didn't care, the road was wet and I
didn't have a wet strip of dirt up my back. So in the grocery store I
got into a conversation about bicycles and the clerk said "I don't
think bicycles are such a good alternative to a car, because I get my
back all wet when it rains." There you have it, a whole new generation
that never owned a bicycle with fenders. I'm old enought to remember
when all bicycles had fenders. No extra charge.


I use fenders on several of my bikes and can't recall any "funny looks".
Fenders are readily available and very inexpensive. The major difficulty
with fitting them is that so many modern bikes don't have sufficient
frame/fork/brake clearances.

Jobst did a good job of explaining the pros/cons/caveats of fenders. I
often notice how little regard cyclists have for running over sticks,
particularly in group rides where a leader can kick up a stick into a
follower's wheel. Sticks and fenders can be a dangerous combination.

Fender fitting usually requires a bit of tinkering, and most don't come
with an adequate (or even any) mud flap. Fenders are useful in a number
of scenarios, probably the most useful was back in the days when "mud"
was a euphemism. I find fenders most useful not during driving rain
(where it's difficult to keep dry in any way), but rather when roads are
wet, particularly in the late winter/early spring around here (Boston)
when there's lots of grit and melting snowbanks can keep roads wet on
sunny days. I find grit-embedded shorts much more uncomfortable than
simply wet ones.

For moderate speed cycling, the traditional combination of fenders and
rain cape (with shoe covers) is pretty hard to beat. The cape, being
open from below, gives plenty of ventilation (the absence of which is
the bane of most rain gear), but require fenders to keep water from
splashing up from underneath.

Given the trade-offs and the reality that most cyclists don't encounter
or ride in real "fender weather", it doesn't surprise me that fenders
are relatively rare. For all-weather commuting and touring, I think they
are justified, but otherwise are of marginal utility. If I had only one
bike it would have fenders, but with several at my disposal, I put
fenders on perhaps half of them.

As for the aesthetics of fenders, it still seems like anything that
indicates utility cycling becomes associated with the "too poor to own a
car" image. Ironically, there seems to be no self-consciousness about
riding $5K bikes in garish uniforms, because that clearly indicates the
riders are "serious" about "training", "performance" and "improvement".
I love riding fast in pace lines, but eating the guy in front's gritty
rooster tail is not something I enjoy -- particularly if he's clueless
about riding over some nasty road kill.
  #9  
Old June 27th 08, 05:32 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_2_]
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Default Fenders are for sissies, but they keep your back dry when theroads wet

On Jun 27, 1:39 am, "David L. Johnson"
wrote:
Frank Krygowski wrote:
Since about 1977 (when I started commuting by bike) I've had fenders
on my bike whenever I thought it might rain. Since about 2000, I just
leave them on all the time. I've had none of the problems David
describes.


I think I've broken three, maybe four fenders over the 31 years.


I've broken 2 in 4 years, which is much worse than your experience.


I'm curious - what brand are you using?

I've had uniformly good luck with a variety of brands. Currently,
we're using old Esge Chromoplasts (are those still available?) on my
wife's touring bike, Planet Bike Freddys on my touring bike and our
Bike Fridays, and what may be ancient Bluemels (very thin black
plastic) on my commuter and our tandem. I can't tell the brand on my
mountain bike, but it looks Chromoplast-ish.

The Planet Bike fenders on the rear of the Fridays end up inverted and
partially supporting the bike in the "quick fold" mode, but they've
stood up to even that just fine for at least a year now.

- Frank Krygowski
  #10  
Old June 27th 08, 06:49 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Jeremy Parker
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Posts: 522
Default Fenders are for sissies, but they keep your back dry when the roads wet


wrote in message
...
I got a funny look the other day for having a traditional set of
fenders on my bicycle,


[snip]

I guess that you are not writing from here in London.

It's not just the rain. It's the horse dung, too.

Jeremy Parker


 




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