Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

To guard or not.

Boy LardBoy Lard Posts: 445
edited June 2012 in Commuting chat
I've recently built a commuter up from an old mtb frame, put some road wheels and bigger chain rings on it, kept the disc brakes, put on a very flat bar with bar ends etc etc (see commuting bike pics). This was done solely because I couldn't bring myself to put flat pedals and mudguards and maybe even pannier racks on my road bike. I didn't want to have to carry a spare pair of shoes about with me to work, to the shops, to the bowling green (don't ask) and I was sick of having a wet bum.

Problem is, I think I prefer my commuter to my road bike. Yes it's a lot heavier, but there really is no discernable difference to my speeds when on road vs commuter. I feel so much more confident on the descents that I'm actually quicker on the commuter on the downs, and I can climb out of the saddle much easier on the flat bar, despite the extra weight. The 11-34 cassette also saved my bacon when the back wheel started sliding out on a 20% gradient climb Tuesday night (think there was diesel on the road). So now I don't want to spoil the bike with mudguards etc.

So question is, baring in mind that I hate any rattle or squeaking from my bike, do I put mudguards on the commuter, or carry spare pants & shorts everywhere? Will mudguards spoil the look of the bike, or is it already enough of an abomination that it doesn't really matter?

I appreciate that all this is subjective and none of it matters, was just interested in the consensus of forum opinion and I'm a bit bored at work.

Posts

  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,080 Lives Here
    Mudguards FTW.
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,473
    Mudguards FTW.

    What he said.........

    And for the winter weekend runs.
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,994
    Always guards on a commuter.

    On my way home yesterday after a downpour, i must of got sprayed half a dozen times by people without guards.

    Think of others.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • mudcow007mudcow007 Posts: 3,861
    i recently took the guards off my Sectuer

    it lashed it down today....i forgot to reattach the guards

    i got wetter than an otters pocket this morning

    i use SKS raceblades i stick a big cable tie around the mount as they seem to slide all over the place with just the strap an also i have had to stick a lizardskin frame patch under the mount as it was wearing the paint away!!
    Keeping it classy since '83
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    After 10yrs of commuting without mudguards, I put on a pair of SKS Chromeplastics last winter. I am never, ever going back to commuting without them. I hadn't realised just how much of the cold that you feel comes from having a soaking wet backside. Put them on carefully and there will be no squeaks or rattles. Indeed....'guards FTW.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,080 Lives Here
    Gussio wrote:
    After 10yrs of commuting without mudguards, I put on a pair of SKS Chromeplastics last winter. I am never, ever going back to commuting without them. I hadn't realised just how much of the cold that you feel comes from having a soaking wet backside. Put them on carefully and there will be no squeaks or rattles. Indeed....'guards FTW.

    This post makes me happy.
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    Gussio wrote:
    After 10yrs of commuting without mudguards, I put on a pair of SKS Chromeplastics last winter. I am never, ever going back to commuting without them. I hadn't realised just how much of the cold that you feel comes from having a soaking wet backside. Put them on carefully and there will be no squeaks or rattles. Indeed....'guards FTW.

    In winter perhaps, but its May...

    Whenever I'm on my road bike I'm wearing lycra and road shoes so I don't really care about getting wet unless its under 5C. My hybrid is fully mudguarded up because I'm usually wearing civvies when I'm riding it.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,080 Lives Here
    notsoblue wrote:
    Gussio wrote:
    After 10yrs of commuting without mudguards, I put on a pair of SKS Chromeplastics last winter. I am never, ever going back to commuting without them. I hadn't realised just how much of the cold that you feel comes from having a soaking wet backside. Put them on carefully and there will be no squeaks or rattles. Indeed....'guards FTW.

    In winter perhaps, but its May...

    Whenever I'm on my road bike I'm wearing lycra and road shoes so I don't really care about getting wet unless its under 5C. My hybrid is fully mudguarded up because I'm usually wearing civvies when I'm riding it.

    It's so uncomfortable being wet on the road.

    The biggest thing is that when the road is wet, yet the air is dry (not that uncommon) you stay bone dry, save for some chumps who are riding sans mudguards.

    What's the downside of having mudguards that outweighs their benefit IYO?
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    What's the downside of having mudguards that outweighs their benefit IYO?
    I'm sure there aren't any, I just haven't really felt compelled to put raceblades on my PX. My commute is only 10 miles so I don't mind getting a wet. Even on longer rides it isn't a big deal. I got soaked for ~90 miles on the Etape Cymru once and a wet bum was the least of my worries.

    I'm sure I'd gain some benefit from mudguards, but I personally don't think its worth having something else on the bike that can rattle. So in the mean time I'll be that guy you can't draft when its raining ;)
  • optimisticbikeroptimisticbiker Posts: 1,657
    I have SKS chromoplastics on the commuter; weight isnt an issue because its a heavy bike anyway, and on my commute wet roads are not uncommon even on a dry day - never fails to amaze me how much sh*t gets dumped in the gutter! And properly fitted, they don't rattle at all.

    I looked at raceblades for the road bike but more often than not its not the rain thats the issue but spray off the rear wheel on a damp surface - it seems it rarely rains on club rides but often the road surface is wet. My solution to this is an censored -saver from http://www.censored -savers.com ! Was bought on a whim when I saw it mentioned elsewhere on the forum but I have to say for £8.50 it works very well :) and is easy to store out of sight when not needed, though I leave it in place as its pretty unobtrusive (mine is red to match the bike).

    sa-2_slides_red.jpg
    Invacare Spectra Plus electric wheelchair, max speed 4mph :cry:
  • Boy LardBoy Lard Posts: 445
    I don't really see any other cyclist on my commute, so I'm not causing anyone else any inconvenience by not using them. I guess it's only the aesthetics and the potential for rattle that was putting me off. I don't really need to worry about the weight on my little tank. I guess I'll be getting some SKS Chromoplastics tonight, or maybe the weekend, unless anyone suggests something else.
  • Wrath RobWrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    +1 for guards. And they give you a +1 FCN modifier. What more do you need?
    FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    Mudguards are a necessity on any useful transport style bike. Its not a matter of opinion and there is nothing subjective.
    SKS chromoplastic are about the best and are rattle free but the fitting hardware has been cheapened and you can snap the hardware if you overtighten. For safety you should trim and round off the stays when you have decided on the correct length. Don't put those plastic caps over sharp edged ends, they always fall off.
    The chainstay bridge fitting is a bit suspect so use a bolt or a ziptie. I usually put a small ziptie though a small hole drilled 1cm from the tip. Sometimes you have to trim the mudguard to squeeze between narrow chainstays but make sure it is a tight fit or it will rattle. If you are crafty, you can trim slight indents in the mudguard so it holds itself in place
    Dremel tools are good for trimming, drilling and cutting stays.
  • cyclingpropcyclingprop Posts: 2,426
    Wrath Rob wrote:
    +1 for guards. And they give you a +1 FCN modifier. What more do you need?

    You know you don't get an extra +1 for white, right?
    What do you mean you think 64cm is a big frame?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,080 Lives Here
    Wrath Rob wrote:
    +1 for guards. And they give you a +1 FCN modifier. What more do you need?

    You know you don't get an extra +1 for white, right?

    Says the chap who has white leopard trek shorts (and who matches it with a trek bike).
  • MonkeyMonsterMonkeyMonster Posts: 4,628
    edited June 2012
    Woah random post glitch...

    as for mudguards I use raceblades too but take em off when the weather looks fine as to ruin the aesthetics... and mine came with clear pathes for attachment protection
    Le Cannon [98 Cannondale M400] [FCN: 8]
    The Mad Monkey [2013 Hoy 003] [FCN: 4]
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,147
    for a commute bike, it makes sense, though I haven't yet fitted any to the new bike since it's so dry at the moment.

    it saves getting wet feet and the badger stripe, realistically if folk behind are getting sprayed then they are too close for commuting.
  • Wrath RobWrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    Wrath Rob wrote:
    +1 for guards. And they give you a +1 FCN modifier. What more do you need?

    You know you don't get an extra +1 for white, right?

    Says the chap who has white leopard trek shorts (and who matches it with a trek bike).
    Wow, RC to my defense. Whatever next? ;)
    FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    For a commuter, stick 'em on. Any fool can be uncomfortable, as they say in the army. You can arrive at work/pub/whatever with a wet, badger-striped backside or not- seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Slightly OT: A friend of my wife's saw my commuter (with mudguards) leaning in the hall and scoffed that she thought I was a "proper cyclist". She seemed to pride herself on the fact that her bike (which probably comes out 2 or 3 times a year on sunny days) doesn't have mudguards. Very odd.
  • I have SKS chromoplastics on the commuter; weight isnt an issue because its a heavy bike anyway, and on my commute wet roads are not uncommon even on a dry day - never fails to amaze me how much sh*t gets dumped in the gutter! And properly fitted, they don't rattle at all.

    I looked at raceblades for the road bike but more often than not its not the rain thats the issue but spray off the rear wheel on a damp surface - it seems it rarely rains on club rides but often the road surface is wet. My solution to this is an censored -saver from http://www.censored -savers.com ! Was bought on a whim when I saw it mentioned elsewhere on the forum but I have to say for £8.50 it works very well :) and is easy to store out of sight when not needed, though I leave it in place as its pretty unobtrusive (mine is red to match the bike).

    sa-2_slides_red.jpg

    Interesting thread! Fenders or no fenders seems to be a divider in the biking community and not everyone believes that censored Savers actually do any good. For us it's as the ultimate solution if you prefer a ride without fenders but don't like a soaking wet bum. It won't save your censored in a heavy downpour but most of the time its sufficient. Would love to hear more comments from other riders. Do you think its a gimmicky piece of plastic or an innovative way of protecting your butt?
    All the best
    /Staffan - censored Savers
  • I agree that guards do nothing for the aesthetic of your bike, but they keep your censored and feet dry in the wet. They also help keep the rest of your bike surprisingly clean. The simple answer is 2 bikes, a wet weather one and a nicer one for when it's dry.
    Dolan Preffisio
    2010 Cube Agree SL
  • cyberknightcyberknight Posts: 1,238
    Crud mk 2`s + rack on the commuter all year round , i even carry a packable showerproof, rainlegs and overshoes all year round in the panniers as the british weather is to unpredictble .I am also carrying arm+leg warmers and boy do i wish i had put them on this week , commuting in the countryside at 5 am with cold mist with bare knees has given me aching kneecaps.
    FCN 3/5/9
  • cyberknightcyberknight Posts: 1,238
    I agree that guards do nothing for the aesthetic of your bike, but they keep your censored and feet dry in the wet. They also help keep the rest of your bike surprisingly clean. The simple answer is 2 bikes, a wet weather one and a nicer one for when it's dry.
    +1
    Although you need at least another one, a OMFG its snowing ,time to dig out the winterized bike :)
    FCN 3/5/9
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