Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: fargoman on January 27, 2010, 09:20:10 pm

 
Title: Are fenders useful on Great Divide?
Post by: fargoman on January 27, 2010, 09:20:10 pm
I would appreciate input from anyone who has ridden all or parts of the GDMBR regarding the use of fenders.  In the trip reports that I have read, few people seem to use them, even though they ride in the rain frequently.  It seems to me that fenders would keep a lot of trail/road crud off of the bike, rider, and gear and help keep everything in better working order on such a long, difficult ride.  What are the pros & cons?  Thanks.
Title: Re: Are fenders useful on Great Divide?
Post by: Successor to the Professor on January 29, 2010, 12:12:58 pm
I would lean towards fenders for the great divide.  The biggest pros towards fenders are exactly what you mentioned.  Reducing the amount of crud that ends up on your seat tube, cables, and gears will reduce the amount of time you spend washing your bike at the end of the day.  Unfortunately, to get the most out of fenders, you really need to have full coverage, and most full coverage options aren't built to stand up to this kind of abuse, and will rattle around quite a bit.  In the end, something is better than nothing, and they really don't add a ton of weight, considering all the gear you will probably be carrying. 
Title: Re: Are fenders useful on Great Divide?
Post by: Cyclesafe on January 29, 2010, 07:34:57 pm
I have mud guards for my hardtail destined to be my steed this year on the GDMBR.  Up front I have an SKS 29er Shock Blade and an SKS Mud-X and on the rear a cut-out plastic sheet that I have zip tied to the inside of my rack.  I couldn't get any commercial fender to work with the rack and still have clearance for the rear wheel.  Upsides are being able to keep my feet and drive train cleaner.  Downside with fender other than incremental weight is the greater chance of jamming something like a branch between the tire and the fender or there being a buildup of mud between the raised tread of the tire and the fender.  This latter disadvantage is minimized with the fender stles I have chosen.  Watch out if you have "full coverage" fenders!
Title: Re: Are fenders useful on Great Divide?
Post by: fargoman on January 29, 2010, 11:57:59 pm
Thanks for the insight.  My main concern was with sections where the trail was rendered unridable due to mud, as I have read in several accounts.  Mud build-up on the wheels, even when pushing the bike, could be an issue with full fenders.  My bike will accept full fenders, but I could use mountain bike type fenders as you mentioned, which might be a better alternative.
Title: Re: Are fenders useful on Great Divide?
Post by: Cyclesafe on January 30, 2010, 08:48:54 am
Of course, if the trail is unrideable, you won't need fenders!  :D