Sunday, September 24, 2006

fenders

The simplest way to outfit your bike for water protection is by adding fenders. Whether you are riding in the rain or through standing water and puddles, fenders keep a large majority of the water off of both you and your bike. For the best protection, install both front and rear fenders. Most of the tire spray comes from the water that your tires pick up from the road, pulling it up the back of the tire as it rolls forward. This means that fenders that cover the more of the back of the tire (both front and rear) will be more effective.

ท Front fender/mudflap: keeps your feet dry and helps keep water and salt off your frame, chain, and shifting cables. The front fender can also help block side splash when riding through standing water. Without a fender, the water goes out and up from where the tire hits the road right to the level that your pedals pass after the tire, making for cold, wet feet.
ท Rear fender: keeps you from getting a muddy stripe on your back, as well as helping to protect your bike and any panniers or other bags in which you transport things.

The style and brand of fender that will work best depends on your bike. Local bike shops can help figure out what works best. If others have brand recommendations, they can post them here as comments.

Much of this info was taken, with permission from the WBWC carfree wiki

1 comment:

HomelessDave said...

I would echo the sentiment that fenders are the real key to keeping your feet dry cycling in wet weather.

I can't remember specific brand names off the top of my head, but I'd suggest that if you're going to to put fenders on, then just get the permanent mounting kind that have the metal 'stays' so that the fender is supported at multiple points around the circumference. All the models I've ever tried that are 'Easy on and Easy Off' twinkie snap-on sort of deals definitely live up to that slogan but suck as fenders or else they rattle, click, etc. so that their only advantage (namely, that you don't have dorky fenders on your bike in dry weather ... if you can motivate to actually swap them on and off) is somewhat diminished. It's one of those deals where you just gotta sacrifice the style points and go for full funcitonality, or else don't put fenders on at all.

Right now I'm rolling with no fenders at all, but if and when I do put some one, they'll be the full-blown kind.

And I'd suggest that if your tolerance for coming up with custom solutions to mechanical problems is not your idea of fun, buy the fenders at a bike shop and have the bike shop install the fenders. It's worth the extra cash for labor. Pretty much no matter what the fender or the bike, some amount of creativity or perhaps an extra bracket here or there will come into play. And the guy who works in the bike shop has a whole bin-full of doo-dads exactly for that sort of thing.