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Topic: Fenders or No Fenders?

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Fenders or No Fenders?

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Anyone mount fenders to their racers

Fenders or no fenders?



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Fenders for daily rides and, no fenders on Sunday rides.

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I think it looks great on tourers only. And maybe vintage rides too.

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Pretty much all I ride are vintage lightweights. Fenders, to me, look rather classy on many pre-70's racers and sports touring bikes...plus, there's the purely pragmatic side: fenders make good sense - they keep the muck off of the rider and the frame, good weather or bad. They begin to look a little out of place as the curve of the front fork begins to disappear in the 80's, not to mention that many frames no longer have fork eyelets for fender installation; too, the spacing becomes much tighter, thus less room for wider tires and fenders. I run fenders on my 1966 Paramount during the winter months, on my 1971 Raleigh International and my OT Boulder Brevet all the time.

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To me a bike without fenders is like a car without fenders. Would you drive a car without fenders? What use could that possibly be? A very small percentage of cars built per year do not have fenders. These are racing cars, both Formula 1, and some of the local spec categories. Why do cars have fenders? Because cars are driven in the rain, and fenders make driving in the rain safer and more pleasant. I live in Seattle, and my bikes are ridden in the rain, or at least the damp, a lot. The only time I am riding without fenders is when I am racing. My racing bikes without fenders get hardly any miles on them because where I live it usually either just finished raining, or is threatening to rain. If I lived in California the situation would be different. I have found that well mounted lightweight fenders detract not at all from any of the riding I do. The times I have had problems with fenders have been getting things caught up in them, denting or marring them which makes the bike look shabby (same with cars), or rattling, which is easily fixed.

I understand vanity, and I understand that many bikes look better without fenders. I don't understand the need to look like a rider in the Tour when you are training, commuting or putzing around. The problem is, racing bikes are fun to ride for a variety of reasons that do not include fenders (they are light and responsive), and many bikes that accept fenders are NOT fun to ride for the same reasons that racing bikes are fun. Who wants to ride a bike that isn't fun? I understand that the crossover between fun and fenders is still a small one.

One more thing to add. I love the look of racing bikes with tight clearances, where the front tire is close to the down tube, and the rear tire is close to the seat tube. If your bike has fender eyelets, it will look MUCH better with fenders because the clearances will appear smaller, and it will look sportier overall (in my opinion). Well done fenders class up almost any bike, but poorly done fenders, where the line is off or they rattle, will make the most beautiful bike ugly. Just my opinion.

Andrew

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KJPoon wrote:

Anyone mount fenders to their racers

Fenders or no fenders?


 One bike with, the rest without. That's the whole idea of N+1 bike ownership. :)

 

Of course, that doesn't explain why I have four cyclocross bikes. :)



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