A fenderless creature emerges from the bog of the Forest of Arenberg.

A fenderless creature emerges from the bog of the Forest of Arenberg.

Fendangelism

by / / 143 posts

Mudguards (fenders) and saddlebags are two subjects that are sure to get our collective ire up as Cyclists. When I wrote in one of my columns for Cyclist that saddlebags should never be used, my editor told me that he received a record number of emails threatening to cancel their subscription on the basis that my column was a “black eye” on an otherwise sterling publication. I don’t disagree with the premise; but the fact that it was this statement that brought it about brings to light how much people love their saddlebags. The Pros use them in training, so how dare I claim that we should not.

The fact is, we’re not trying to look like Pros; we are trying to Look Fantastic at All Times and just because the Pros do it doesn’t mean it looks good. In fact, the Pros often look as rubbish as the typical cyclotourist; they just go faster than us. But Fournel’s Theorem is not commutative; just because you’re fast doesn’t mean you look good.

And so, saddlebags are banned on the premise that they are ugly, no further discussion required. Mudguards, on the other hand, are banned for the fact that are ugly, noisy, and are an implied contravention of Rule #9. The Nine is about submitting to the deluge, about embracing the misery of training in the cold and wet; it is about dedication and discipline above the creature comforts found at home. Post-ride, the bicycle is carefully and lovingly cleaned and made ready for the next ride. Rider and machine bonded together through mutual commitment.

Mudguards protect the frame and bottom bracket from road grit, it is true enough. But I don’t care. They also deflect the grime cast up by the tires as they carve their solemn trough over the wet tarmac. Still don’t care. On group rides, Fendangelists preach to anyone who appears to the ride without mudguards about how rude they are, forcing the others to chew on their rooster tail while riding in the bunch. To this I suggest that if you’d like to avoid a rinsing with Belgian Toothpaste there is usually an open spot for you on the front of the bunch..

Half the satisfaction of a hard Rule #9 ride is your appearance upon your return home, further mystifying The Cyclists to the rest of the world. I lovingly admire my mud-spattered bicycle and take in my flemish tanlines as I remove my kit. To ride with noisy mudguards would not only be a violation of the Principle of Silence, but more importantly I would be depriving myself of this greatest of pleasures.

// Accessories and Gear // La Vie Velominatus // Look Pro // Rantings from the V-Bunker // Tradition

  1. @frank

    Blimey, @frank uses a doped front wheel.

  2. @hudson

    @chuckp

    my commute in is dark year round, and my ride is mostly rural, I’ve had the bejesus scared out of me numerous times by deer i haven’t seen until the last second (who at this point have got to be doing it on purpose). I’ve yet to find a front light i’m happy with that doesn’t eat batteries like crazy. My rear is a Specialized Stix Sport Tail light, and it fulfills a tall order for such a tiny thing, the USB charger is a big plus. I’d like a nice bright wide headlight. open to suggestions.

    Both the Ion 700R and Flare R are USB charged lights. Here are some reviews of the Ion 700R.

    https://www.bikelightdatabase.com/bontrager/ion700/

    https://www.bikelightdatabase.com/bontrager/ion700/

    This YouTube vid will give you an idea of how bright the Ion 700R is, as well as the beam pattern. Go to 6:33 mark.

  3. [IMG]http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c332/wazgilbert/bikes/DSC_0942_zpsu7ldxvic.jpg[/IMG]

    Commute or winter training – this bike cannot be added to enough to avoid the shite coming off the roads, the front mudguard is extended to protect the BB even more, and I wrapped some plastic around the rear wheel at the seat tube to protect it from the rear wheel and the mech.

    USE Exposure Flash/Flare all the time and a Strada for seeing where I’m going when it is properly dark.

    [IMG]http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c332/wazgilbert/bikes/FC09348F-E37D-4153-864C-C7127DD72E4F_zpsdmogzdcf.jpg[/IMG]

    those little lights are surprisingly good, especially on the pulse style flash setting.

    @hudson

    Not having lights is like not wearing a helmet in my opinion, at least a rear light, something small but with the power of the Eye of Sauron.

  4. @Waz

    [IMG]http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c332/wazgilbert/bikes/DSC_0942_zpsu7ldxvic.jpg[/IMG]

    Commute or winter training – this bike cannot be added to enough to avoid the shite coming off the roads, the front mudguard is extended to protect the BB even more, and I wrapped some plastic around the rear wheel at the seat tube to protect it from the rear wheel and the mech.

    USE Exposure Flash/Flare all the time and a Strada for seeing where I’m going when it is properly dark.

    [IMG]http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c332/wazgilbert/bikes/FC09348F-E37D-4153-864C-C7127DD72E4F_zpsdmogzdcf.jpg[/IMG

    those little lights are surprisingly good, especially on the pulse style flash setting.

    @hudson

    Not having lights is like not wearing a helmet in my opinion, at least a rear light, something small but with the power of the Eye of Sauron.

    newfangled comments options. tsk.

  5. Jeez, this is only my second post here, but I’m already going to get into trouble. I had a lovely purpose built Rando style bike with fenders and dynamo lights and all. It was absolutely amazing in the wet. I’ve done my share of hardcore rides, but after realizing fenders exist, it seems pointless to suffer needlessly. That and properly installed fenders are not at all noisy. Careful shopping results in fenders that aren’t absolutely hideous, but I’m not going to pretend they’re optimal in the looks department.

    I guess it depends on the ride, as well. For truly nasty rides that involve a little gravel and dirt, fenders can actually become a hazard. But for winter training rides on damp roads? That just means I get colder faster and do less miles. Not interested.

    But a huge no to the saddle bag. Utterly useless and ruins the lines of a bike. Jerseys have pockets for a reason. If you can’t put your flat kit in a jersey pocket with room to spare, you’re carrying too much crap.

  6. @chuckp

    That’s a bontrager product.

    @Waz

    We scienced the fuck outta this place, son.

  7. @Jonathan

    Jeez, this is only my second post here, but I’m already going to get into trouble. I had a lovely purpose built Rando style bike with fenders and dynamo lights and all. It was absolutely amazing in the wet. I’ve done my share of hardcore rides, but after realizing fenders exist, it seems pointless to suffer needlessly. That and properly installed fenders are not at all noisy. Careful shopping results in fenders that aren’t absolutely hideous, but I’m not going to pretend they’re optimal in the looks department.

    I found that despite how carefully they are installed on a racing bike, the clearance is so low that if they don’t make noise themselves, then they at least will make noise when road grit gets in there.

    I guess it depends on the ride, as well. For truly nasty rides that involve a little gravel and dirt, fenders can actually become a hazard. But for winter training rides on damp roads? That just means I get colder faster and do less miles. Not interested.

    Or you can get colder faster and do the same distance because of Rule #5.

    But a huge no to the saddle bag. Utterly useless and ruins the lines of a bike. Jerseys have pockets for a reason. If you can’t put your flat kit in a jersey pocket with room to spare, you’re carrying too much crap.

    Finally some sense!

  8. @Teocalli

    I’ve said this previously but I know it’s been a “good” ride when the VMW says “get straight in the shower and don’t bother getting undressed first”. Though oddly this seems to be becoming “you might as well hose yourself down too while you are cleaning the bike”.

    I enter the house through the basement where the washer/dryer is. I love it when I take the kit off and my body still oozes water for a while.

    @Patrick

    So, after lurking for a year. I have to spill my guts now. IMHO looking good is not the primary aim of riding a bike. It’s to ride a bike! As much as possible, as often as possible and as far as possible. The rules should support that goal. And mudguards and saddlebags support that primary goals. So if needed, I ride with a saddlebag and I can go further and ride more.

    I don’t understand how mudguards or saddlebags make you ride farther; no one needs to carry all that shit. I do solo unsupported 12 hour rides without an EPMS or mudguards. That seems long enough to prove the point.

  9. @Oli

    @minion

    Don’t be so offendersive!

    Gawd, you’ve kept that one tucked up your mudguard waiting for the right moment haven’t ya?

  10. @frank

    @Jonathan

    Jeez, this is only my second post here, but I’m already going to get into trouble. I had a lovely purpose built Rando style bike with fenders and dynamo lights and all. It was absolutely amazing in the wet. I’ve done my share of hardcore rides, but after realizing fenders exist, it seems pointless to suffer needlessly. That and properly installed fenders are not at all noisy. Careful shopping results in fenders that aren’t absolutely hideous, but I’m not going to pretend they’re optimal in the looks department.

    I found that despite how carefully they are installed on a racing bike, the clearance is so low that if they don’t make noise themselves, then they at least will make noise when road grit gets in there.

    Maybe you should leave the tools to someone who knows what they’re doing?

  11. @frank

    I enter the house through the basement where the washer/dryer is. I love it when I take the kit off and my body still oozes water for a while.

    Methinks we just got to the “too much detail” point.

  12. @Uncle V

    Here we go . I have 4 road bikes . 3 of them drool worthy,spotless and looking fantastic .One under 15lbs with pedals ,the other 2 steel and under 17lbs. The 4th is a 25lb steel Norco with full Portland Design works fenders. Guess which bike I ride when its raining or below freezing with wet salty roads . Guess which bike has taken me through more shit than any bike I have ever owned. Guess which bike is a work horse . Guess which bike keeps my feet and body relatively dry in wet conditions. Guess which 3 bikes have minty clean drive trains . Guess which bike keeps me strong with its 25lb heft . Guess which bike makes my others feel like rocketships with their light weight.Guess which bike has served me well through mud and grime with its blessed fenders . Guess which bike has become one of my favorites .I could go on and on . Its ok to love your beater bike with its full fenders rules or not .

    If it requires you to put out x Watts to ride your #1 at 30 kph, it will require +/- 2 additional Watts to ride your heavier bike (accounting for the additional mass alone, assuming no change in effiiciency, etc.). This is from some calculator I found on the webs, so let’s just assume it’s roughly accurate.

    Moving from the science to the real question: if you’re willing to put out 2 additional Watts to push around a heavy bike at a given speed, why would you not want to apply those two additional Watts on your #1 and go a little faster? I get the psychological effect of your bike feeling fast and light under you come race day; but aren’t the effects of riding faster all the time just as valuable? I’m thinking something like the effects of moto-pacing.

    Here’s where I see a difference: the light-as-fuck feeling fades almost immediately, and you settle back into the slower pace you’re “used to” from spending your time on a heavy bike. When you’re racing #1, you want to think “this feels right.”

  13. We don’t have lights on our bikes when we race so wtf are they doing on your bikes at all? Rule #5 people.

  14. @Oli

    Good people are looking after you while racing and no one is watching you train.

  15. Don’t allow Rule #5 to become debased by meaning *dumb the fuck up*!

  16. @frank

    @Jonathan

    I guess it depends on the ride, as well. For truly nasty rides that involve a little gravel and dirt, fenders can actually become a hazard. But for winter training rides on damp roads? That just means I get colder faster and do less miles. Not interested.

    Or you can get colder faster and do the same distance because of Rule #5.

    If you’re getting cold you’re wearing the wrong kit.

    Rule #5 is obviously important; if you stop and start whining about the conditions you’ll get cold, if you keep going you’ll stay warm.

  17. @Oli

    We don’t have lights on our bikes when we race so wtf are they doing on your bikes at all? Rule #5 people.

    To see in the dark, Im not fkn Bat Man !

  18. Oh my goodness. I totally did not expect anyone to take that one seriously in the least. I’m embarrassed and sad that you think I’m really that stupid.

  19. @Oli

    Oh my goodness. I totally did not expect anyone to take that one seriously in the least. I’m embarrassed and sad that you think I’m really that stupid.

    I didn’t, sarcasm is all I’ve got also. Carry on, nothing to see here !

  20. @Barracuda

    No, but @universo clearly did. Sheesh.

  21. @Oli

    I wuz wrong to say those wurds.

  22. @Marcus

    @Neil

    This isn’t a website for cyclists, it’s a website for two wheeled fetishists.

    No mudguards in winter? In a bunch? Fuck everyone else just as long as you look good? That’s cuntish behaviour of the highest order.

    *prepares for incoming*

    Glad I’m not alone in this. Back in the day when we would train all winter in Seattle, if you showed up to a team ride without fenders and mudflaps in off season, you either got sent home, or had to ride at the back, but far enough off that you werent getting a draft.

    Hey Marcus,

    Fuck off. I was here first.

    Marcus

  23. @Oli

    Oh my goodness. I totally did not expect anyone to take that one seriously in the least. I’m embarrassed and sad that you think I’m really that stupid.

    Well I wasn’t gonna say nothin, but as long as you bring it up…

  24. @Barracuda

    @Oli

    We don’t have lights on our bikes when we race so wtf are they doing on your bikes at all? Rule #5 people.

    To see in the dark. I’m not fkn Bat, Man !

    …and I corrected your post

  25. @litvi

    I never said I wasn’t stupid, just not THAT stupid.

  26. @chuckp

    @hudson

    @Ron

    @frank

    And yup on the lights. Though there is no telling when a text will get in the way of not ending my life, I feel better having front/rear lights when I’m riding on open roads.

    Not having lights is like not wearing a helmet in my opinion, at least a rear light, something small but with the power of the Eye of Sauron.

    Except during peak summer/daylight, most of my riders (after work) carry over into the waning hours of daylight and sometimes into darkness. Plus I live in and ride in (or transit through) a dense, urban area with a lot of cars/traffic. So lights have become a “must have” for me. I have a Bontrager Ion 700R front light. Three steady state modes (250/450/700 lumens). 700 lumens is actually too bright at night in an urban setting (blinds oncoming traffic), but 450 provides both enough light to see and be seen. The 50 lumens irregular strobe is great to use to be seen during daylight (there’s also a regular flash mode).

    My rear light is a Bontrager Flare R, which in bright mode is supposed to be visible in daylight from 2km. I can’t say for sure if that’s true, but the first time I ever used it on a small group ride and got out ahead just for fun (maybe a kilometer), when we re-grouped everyone said you could see the flashing/strobe and quite a distance (there’s also a steady state mode). In bright mode it’s actually too bright if you’re riding in close quarters. My wife has asked me to “tone it down” when she rides with me. And when it gets dark out, the less bright setting is definitely more than enough to be seen.

    These are exactly what I use.

    For reasons that may (or may not) be revealed later I am Training Properly which means a lot of high(ish) speed solo night riding. I live near the Middle of Nowhere so dark here is really dark and the pool of light out front seems to keep the owls off as well as allowing one to see where one is going.

    The 700 setting eats the battery in about 45 minutes but is handy for bursts on descents. The 450 I haven’t got to the bottom of yet and is fine for most purposes. I use a big battery Nite Rider front light too – always feel better with two lights up front and I get 750 from it if needed – its like having your own patch of daylight.

    I use two Flare’s on the back – one on steady and one set to stun – never run out of juice yet. Minor niggle is I’ve had to warranty two as when they get sprayed in salty shitty water they can leak if the seals aren’t set just so. The seal on the front is excellent so why the seal on the rears is relatively crappy beats me.

  27. @the Engine

    I’ve had to warranty two as when they get sprayed in salty shitty water they can leak if the seals aren’t set just so.

    You know, a rear mudguard might solve that issue! (runs for cover . . . ) And anyway, you live in Scotland, home of wetness. Back in my day, mudguards were de rigeur on your winter bike. The #1 was for those fleeting, rare dry days or racing. Doing the Three Lochs or going down the coast to Largs and West Kilbride in the wet was miserable enough in wool without being soaked by tire spray. (sorry, tyre spray).

  28. Nice! Glad to read that I’m not the only one running multiple rear lights!

    LOVE how many lights are now usb rechargeable, can’t just plug them in during the day at work and make sure I’m topped up for longer road rides.

  29. @wiscot

    aye a rear fender may help keep the road shite off the light but I have yet to be behind anyone sporting a rear fender and not get sprayed anyway, good for the rider not the guy behind and it just looks naff anyway, but each to their own. Key point is to really make sure the charging point plug is fully secure, and a wee dab of silcon grease wont hurt either.

  30. @Ron

    Nice! Glad to read that I’m not the only one running multiple rear lights!

    LOVE how many lights are now usb rechargeable, can’t just plug them in during the day at work and make sure I’m topped up for longer road rides.

    Eh? If you don’t use a ‘puter you just need a USB wall socket adapter.

  31. @Oli

    @litvi

    I never said I wasn’t stupid, just not THAT stupid.

    Again, I left this community for a short term and returned without all my faculties being together. Total reverence for Oli’s wisdom and merit. I for one still suck and have a long way to go.

  32. @chuckp

    I’m researching and testing a new secret weapon for riding my machine at dusk and nightfall.

  33. @universo

    Hey mate, don’t worry about it, I’m just yanking your chain! It’s all cool.

  34. @universo

    @chuckp

    I’m researching and testing a new secret weapon for riding my machine at dusk and nightfall.

    Most of the nighttime mtb crew I ride with use Exposure lights for full on off road night rides. Never had any problem with them and they will melt rabbits in their tracks.

  35. @Teocalli

    USE also offers a 26.0 handlebar bracket – super clean.

  36. @Oli

    @universo

    Hey mate, don’t worry about it, I’m just yanking your chain! It’s all cool.

    Good. We can revert back to “hey fucker!”

  37. @Oli

    meant to reply “hey fuckhead!”

  38. @universo

    Yup I have one of those for my bar mounted rabbit cooker.

  39. @Teocalli

    @Ron

    Nice! Glad to read that I’m not the only one running multiple rear lights!

    LOVE how many lights are now usb rechargeable, can’t just plug them in during the day at work and make sure I’m topped up for longer road rides.

    Eh? If you don’t use a ‘puter you just need a USB wall socket adapter.

    @Ron can’t plug into any wall sockets at work though. He works in a coal mine just for the Rule #5 cred.

  40. @universo

    Fuckstick?

  41. @Oli

    Now I concede.

  42. @Marcus

    @Marcus

    @Neil

    This isn’t a website for cyclists, it’s a website for two wheeled fetishists.

    No mudguards in winter? In a bunch? Fuck everyone else just as long as you look good? That’s cuntish behaviour of the highest order.

    *prepares for incoming*

    Glad I’m not alone in this. Back in the day when we would train all winter in Seattle, if you showed up to a team ride without fenders and mudflaps in off season, you either got sent home, or had to ride at the back, but far enough off that you werent getting a draft.

    Hey Marcus,

    Fuck off. I was here first.

    Marcus

    Who the fuck are you?

  43. @minion

    @Marcus

    @Marcus

    @Neil

    This isn’t a website for cyclists, it’s a website for two wheeled fetishists.

    No mudguards in winter? In a bunch? Fuck everyone else just as long as you look good? That’s cuntish behaviour of the highest order.

    *prepares for incoming*

    Glad I’m not alone in this. Back in the day when we would train all winter in Seattle, if you showed up to a team ride without fenders and mudflaps in off season, you either got sent home, or had to ride at the back, but far enough off that you werent getting a draft.

    Hey Marcus,

    Fuck off. I was here first.

    Marcus

    Who the fuck are you?

    Marcus and Minion bickering, have I just been transported back to 2013?

  44. Minority report: fenders look less worse than skunk stripe (which just makes you look like a dilettante who forgot to check the weather forecast), especially if you ride dirt roads in spring and fall or at all in the snow. Especially especially if you make a cafe stop afterwards. They also imply you invoke Rule #9 regularly enough to make it worth the hassle of installing them.

  45. @chris

    @minion

    @Marcus

    Marcus and Minion bickering, have I just been transported back to 2013?

    God I hope so!

  46. @Pluvius maximus

    Minority report: fenders look less worse than skunk stripe (which just makes you look like a dilettante who forgot to check the weather forecast), especially if you ride dirt roads in spring and fall or at all in the snow. Especially especially if you make a cafe stop afterwards. They also imply you invoke Rule #9 regularly enough to make it worth the hassle of installing them.

    No one should really know about your Rule #9 episodes. Service in silence. No one should know or would care anyway.

  47. @Pluvius maximus

    Next time I get caught in the beloved rain, then I’ll turn my jersey around backwards. There.

  48. I’ll probably find a few kindred spirits here amid the lambasting but summertime is when I ride with friends. I ride alone in the winter to avoid the outcomes that riding without mudguards would have ion my fellow riders. I personally cannot stand anything superfluous on the bike.

  49. @universo

    Haha!

  50. @brett

    @chris

    @minion

    @Marcus

    Marcus and Minion bickering, have I just been transported back to 2013?

    God I hope so!

    We’ll see. Fucking Marcus sticks his nose above the parapet once every now and then, gives me a break from trolling Fhrohnhk.

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