La Vie Velominatus: Flemish Tan Lines

A select group of people appreciate this look.

Clouds hang heavy in the sky, plump with a rain which contemplates the opportunity to hurl itself towards the Earth below. I get the sense that we wait for each other, the Rain and I; the rain relishes the opportunity to soak my clothes and skin, seeking to corrode my resolve while I cherish the opportunity to prove to myself that it will not be shaped by such things.

As a kid, I had an illustrated book of Aesop’s Fables. This time of year, I’m often reminded of one fable in particular, that of the Wind and the Sun. As the tale goes, the two are in the midst of an argument over which is the stronger when they spot a traveller on the road below. The Sun suggests that whichever of them can cause the traveller to take off his cloak will be declared the winner. The Wind blows and blows with all its might but the traveller only pulls his cloak closer. The Sun, on the other hand, beams with all its yellow glory, and the traveller soon finds it too hot for his cloak and discards it.

Aesop’s moral was that kindness is more effective than severity, but that sounds a lot like it would require introspection to really digest. Instead, I like to think of myself as the traveller and my resolve as the cloak; the worse the weather, the closer I pull it to me and the more determined I am to hold my course. In fact, this concept extends to any hardship in life; the greater the challenge, the stronger my determination.

So there we are, the Rain and I, waiting for each other; me with my cloak and the Rain with its severity. At this time of year, when the skies have turned grey but the chill hasn’t yet arrived to keep it company, I enjoy waiting for the rain to fall before embarking on my rides. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the questioning looks from the neighbors who descend from their homes in coats and hiding beneath their umbrellas for the journey from front door to automobile; they serve as further evidence that the public still has some distance yet to cover before understanding the Velominatus.

The rain pours down and in minutes soaks my clothes. Rain drops drip from the brim of my cycling cap; when I clench my fist, water steams from the fingers of my gloves. The roads are soaked; both the rain and traffic cast debris towards the gutters. My path crosses between the two and the grit and dirt afloat in the rain water are flung onto my machine and body.

When I return home from the ride, the evidence of my journey is carried in my clothing which is heavy with water and debris. Overshoes and knee warmers, once removed, reveal my Flemish Tan Lines via the clean skin beneath.

Perhaps Flanders is a place not defined by the borders between people, but between wool and flesh. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

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187 Replies to “La Vie Velominatus: Flemish Tan Lines”

  1. Frank – white Belgian booties though? Hmm, I reserve the white ones for cold but dry days and go black on wet, grimey days. Plus, then it gives me a reason to have two pairs of those DeFeet oversocks…

    * On another note I just moved into a new house. It has a washing machine, a perk I’ve been living without for a few years. See ya Sunday morning Laundromat trips, hello more Sunday saddle time!!

  2. @gaswepass

    Yeah I’ve been lazy, and admittedly the thought of cycling in the hectic evening traffic around Airport Way in the dark freaks me out a bit. It’s bad enough when it’s light out – I’ve seen lots of fucked up shit in the car and on my bike. Maybe I’ll get more lights and try it on dry days – I have nowhere to dry wet kit at my office, which is another issue.

    @Mikael Liddy

    One leg is closer to the camera, duh! Perspective.

    @Cyclops

    Yeah on/off showers are one thing, non-stop pissing rain is another. Trying my best to embrace the climate I’ve grown up in and HTFU.

  3. @ czmiel

    I know it’s against La Vie Velominatus but I really hate riding in the rain. Not for health’s sake but for my bike’s sake. I don’t complain about myself. I pity my bike.

    I recently rebuilt the Rain Bike as I was moving components around to make room for the CX-V. The amazing thing was that despite how carefully I maintain my rain bike, in what awful shape the BB and derailleur pulleys were in.

    For a Rain Bike, its got to be a good machine that you’re happy to ride, but for sure opt for cheaper parts and sealed bearings where you can; that grit that looks so cool on your legs is murder on your machine.

  4. @czmiel

    @xced Yes, I know. What’s more I totally agree we all should have (at least) one dedicated bike(vide Rule #12). For the moment however I’m happy to have my $1.500 bike… That’s all I can afford.

    You can swap out a cheaper chain and cassette and that will help preserve the good stuff for Summer.

    Which brings up another point; I destroyed a set of rims stopping on the steep Seattle roads all Fall/Winter/Spring; a beater set of wheels with good all-weather tires is a very good investment as well if you can’t afford a completely new bike.

  5. @scaler911

    Nice to see you out on #1 sans fenders. Good shit.

    I will never, ever ride with fenders. The Fendagelists can go fuck themselves. I indulge in the glory of Rule #9 and anyone on my wheel can suck it. Moreover, most of my winter training is solo anyway.

  6. @strathlubnaig

    I read this and some comments and came across some terms I do not know, please explain “fenders” , “knee warmers” and “overshoes”

    Well played, sir.

    @mcsqueak

    GaGa, now that’s a word I wasn’t expecting a lexicon auto-link for…

    Should probably be culled from the Lexi anyway…

    @Cyclops

    The Cyclops “Smile of Destruction” reigns once again!

    I’m a fat cow.

    Your bike looks like it was made for a tiny person. Your gut looks like it was made for a giant person.

    BOOM!

    Seriously, what’s the holdup? Get on a Deacon. Immediately.

    I also don’t understand the photo. Its Cyclocross, but no mud. Does not compute.

  7. Frank – just to be clear. The Fendagelists can go fuck themselves in regards to full fenders on a race bike being ridden on training rides, correct? You’re okay & even dig full fenders on commuter/touring/around town bikes, right.

    If not, I’ll have to go and try to fuck myself. My commuter bike has some full Planet Bike fenders and they make life much better when I’m cruising around town.

  8. @Gervais

    Dans ma tête je suis en Belgique

    Tres bon! Aside from the strange bidon bloat you have going on there.

    @Nate

    @frank

    I was very tempted to give you shit about the absurdity of running white Belgian booties in the rain, having the good sense to run black myself. Then I saw that the Flandrien gunk made a sort of distorted, cog-like pattern around the cuff, and I realized it was pure genius.

    You are correct.

  9. @Ron

    Frank – just to be clear. The Fendagelists can go fuck themselves in regards to full fenders on a race bike being ridden on training rides, correct? You’re okay & even dig full fenders on commuter/touring/around town bikes, right.

    If not, I’ll have to go and try to fuck myself. My commuter bike has some full Planet Bike fenders and they make life much better when I’m cruising around town.

    Yes, we are only talking racing bikes. Commuters etc should stay as close to dry as possible. But you should try to fuck yourself anyway, its good sport.

  10. @frank

    @Ron

    Frank – just to be clear. The Fendagelists can go fuck themselves in regards to full fenders on a race bike being ridden on training rides, correct? You’re okay & even dig full fenders on commuter/touring/around town bikes, right.

    If not, I’ll have to go and try to fuck myself. My commuter bike has some full Planet Bike fenders and they make life much better when I’m cruising around town.

    Yes, we are only talking racing bikes. Commuters etc should stay as close to dry as possible. But you should try to fuck yourself anyway, its good sport.

    Er…can I just point out that full fenders (mud guards to the rest of us) are very very cool when winter training!  On club runs they prevent too much Belgian Toothpaste from entering the gobs of your following buddies but more importantly on the front wheel (with extenders) they protect you bottom bracket from an awful lot of crap.  I am not just talking mud and shit, more importantly here in the wet and soggy UK everyone shits themselves every time the temperature goes anywhere near 0degC and the local authorities spray the world readily with Salt.  That shit is V bad for the underside of you bike any very corrosive on those wonderful bits of chrome and steel we spend so much time washing and polishing.

    I for one try to ride my bike in winter like my missus….bang on and with full protection.  Mudguards ARE COOL!

  11. @Deakus

    …mud and shit… …Salt. That shit is V bad for the underside of you bike any very corrosive on those wonderful bits of chrome and steel we spend so much time washing and polishing.

    It’ll all come off with a good clean which is essential in the pursuit of the principle of silence.

  12. @mcsqueak

    @gaswepass

    Yeah I’ve been lazy, and admittedly the thought of cycling in the hectic evening traffic around Airport Way in the dark freaks me out a bit. It’s bad enough when it’s light out – I’ve seen lots of fucked up shit in the car and on my bike. Maybe I’ll get more lights and try it on dry days – I have nowhere to dry wet kit at my office, which is another issue.

    Check out the serfas “true” series, pretty impressive light power, tiny, light, and usb chargeable.

    also, testosterone, other uses… kiddin…


  13. @mcsqueak

    @gaswepass

    Yeah I’ve been lazy, and admittedly the thought of cycling in the hectic evening traffic around Airport Way in the dark freaks me out a bit. It’s bad enough when it’s light out – I’ve seen lots of fucked up shit in the car and on my bike. Maybe I’ll get more lights and try it on dry days – I have nowhere to dry wet kit at my office, which is another issue.

    The issue of stashing stuff is a real problem. I’ve been fortunate that so far hasn’t been any complaining, and there are showers. drape all my gross crap over the bike, amazing how much detritus is sitting beneath it at the end of the day. had a rain commuter created from the repaired/broken waterford; I put a rack on it, guess one could stash the wet stuff in a bag in the pannier (not that you would ever rack your rig…), but boy that might not work out so well when you go to wash it later…

  14. @mcsqueak

    “Perhaps Flanders is a place not defined by the borders between people, but between wool and flesh. Vive la Vie Velominatus.”

    So, Flanders can be found wherever Minion is, then?

    I’ll be here all week. Try the veal!

    When is the second show?

  15. I have a Serfas 1 led headlight that I picked up on sale for $8. It’s an amazing little light, plugs right into your computer, puts out plenty of light for “be seen” purposes and around the city it’s actually okay to see as well. In the winter I strap mine on my helmet so I can turn and look and POINT it at drivers who refuse to slow down or give me right. Weighs next to nothing. The only problem is that the strap is so short it’s not happy on modern bars. I contacted them and told them roadies would buy the heck out of them, if the strap was longer. They were noncommital about working on this.

    Also recently picked up a Blackburn Flea, on sale for $9 in Giro pink. Light and bright and also USB chargeable, though not as well designed in that department as the Serfas. A bit finicky and run time seems so-so, but maybe that’s why it was on sale…

    Anyway, if you haven’t done so definitely pick up one of the newer usb headlights. Light, easily switched from bike to bike, or helmet, and very nice that you can recharge them at work or office, etc.

  16. @Deakus

    Quite right Deakus – they were mandatory on many audax rides until recently for exactly that reason and it is still regarded as extremely poor form to turn up to a winter ride without them.

    A winter / rain bike should be distinguished by its mudguards, and they should be full versions not those half-arsed race blades. The crowning glory of course is an extra mudflap at the bottom of the front mudguard made from a Fairy liquid bottle.

  17. @ChrisO

    @Deakus

    Quite right Deakus – they were mandatory on many audax rides until recently for exactly that reason and it is still regarded as extremely poor form to turn up to a winter ride without them.

    A winter / rain bike should be distinguished by its mudguards, and they should be full versions not those half-arsed race blades. The crowning glory of course is an extra mudflap at the bottom of the front mudguard made from a Fairy liquid bottle.

    I found that a 1 litre bottle of engine oil has the perfect width edge to add extensions to both the front and rear of my SKS crud catchers……

  18. @ChrisO @Deakus SKS now make “Longboard” fenders that extend further down, so no need for a dork flap like I run on mine. Everyone sniggered on group rides here, but then they chat to you when you are hanging with the group. It’s all in the legs…

  19. @Beers

    @ChrisO @Deakus SKS now make “Longboard” fenders that extend further down, so no need for a dork flap like I run on mine. Everyone sniggered on group rides here, but then they chat to you when you are hanging with the group. It’s all in the legs…

    1.  They will have grudging respect knowing that you installed those bad boys yourself…

    2.  They will be fighting like sprinters to get on your wheel during group rides so they don’t swallow half the countryside and go home with dengue feaver or parvo virus!

    I bet the worse the weather, the more popular you are on group rides!

  20. @gaswepass

    The issue of stashing stuff is a real problem. I’ve been fortunate that so far hasn’t been any complaining, and there are showers. drape all my gross crap over the bike, amazing how much detritus is sitting beneath it at the end of the day. had a rain commuter created from the repaired/broken waterford; I put a rack on it, guess one could stash the wet stuff in a bag in the pannier (not that you would ever rack your rig…), but boy that might not work out so well when you go to wash it later…

    Yeah, no showers at my office, no place for towels or anything like that, and no real place to drape stuff to dry. I just hide my bike in our manufacturing area and hope no one fucks with it. I have a little locker for clothing, but I have to keep my clean stuff in it as well so it wouldn’t be a good place to stash wet stuff.

    Overall my work gets a D- for cycling friendliness due to sheer indifference to it, even though 2/16 of us ride in during the spring/summer.

  21. @Deakus Heh, not that many people show up when Rule #9 applies, which is why I know looking uncool matters less than getting kms on the legs..

    Did mean to mention, 6,000k on the n+0 commute/trainer and the BB is still as smooth as butter thanks to the dork flap, the mechanical  beneifts can’t be understated. The aesthetic consequences are well known..

    Nonetheless, with weight weenie conversion, n+0 will do me around the puddle here on Nov 24th. Sacriligiously short of an Imperial Century (153km), I’ll add some warm up and down k’s to reach the magical 161km. I commuted on it in lightweight form today, totally different bike. As you say, working on it yourself, it just adds some pride to your bike.

    I would be inclined to ride sans fenders if I had a seperate rain bike to ride, chapeau to all who rock the Flemish Tan Lines, and apologies for the aside…

  22. Since there is no defending the fenders to y’all, it is the commuterford post “crash” repair (if you call spontaneously wedging a rock between crank and frame breaking both while riding double track), I post this upside down defying gravity. I do believe in its current form it weighs in at the sum of my 2 race rigs, perhaps more fully laden…

  23. @gaswepass

    Since there is no defending the fenders to y’all, it is the commuterford post “crash” repair (if you call spontaneously wedging a rock between crank and frame breaking both while riding double track), I post this upside down defying gravity. I do believe in its current form it weighs in at the sum of my 2 race rigs, perhaps more fully laden…

    Amazing how you got it to stick to the ceiling like that.

  24. Amazing how you got it to stick to the ceiling like that.

    I think this kind of power ties into the litany of torque related mechanicals I’ve had. always amazing to capture such a phenomenon with film…

  25. @Deakus

    If you really think your mud guards are keeping your bike in order, then I’d love to hear about the lollipop rainbows you have in the world you live in.

    Keep the steel and chrome for dry roads.

  26. @Chris

    @Deakus

    …mud and shit… …Salt. That shit is V bad for the underside of you bike any very corrosive on those wonderful bits of chrome and steel we spend so much time washing and polishing.

    It’ll all come off with a good clean which is essential in the pursuit of The Principle of Silence.

    Exactly, especially if you’re in a salted area, the fenders do you no good. Avoid that stuff like the plague if you’ve got steel anywhere near you. The use that shit in the midwest in winter and there is a reason the oldest cars you see around are all rusted out.

  27. @Ron

    I have a Serfas 1 led headlight that I picked up on sale for $8. It’s an amazing little light, plugs right into your computer, puts out plenty of light for “be seen” purposes and around the city it’s actually okay to see as well. In the winter I strap mine on my helmet so I can turn and look and POINT it at drivers who refuse to slow down or give me right. Weighs next to nothing. The only problem is that the strap is so short it’s not happy on modern bars. I contacted them and told them roadies would buy the heck out of them, if the strap was longer. They were noncommital about working on this.

    Also recently picked up a Blackburn Flea, on sale for $9 in Giro pink. Light and bright and also USB chargeable, though not as well designed in that department as the Serfas. A bit finicky and run time seems so-so, but maybe that’s why it was on sale…

    Anyway, if you haven’t done so definitely pick up one of the newer usb headlights. Light, easily switched from bike to bike, or helmet, and very nice that you can recharge them at work or office, etc.

    I’ve been using one of the Lezyne lights and its awesome. Can’t wait to get my hands on the double-headlight MegaDrive. Its like riding with the Eye of Sauron on your bike.

  28. @scaler911

    @gaswepass

    Since there is no defending the fenders to y’all, it is the commuterford post “crash” repair (if you call spontaneously wedging a rock between crank and frame breaking both while riding double track), I post this upside down defying gravity. I do believe in its current form it weighs in at the sum of my 2 race rigs, perhaps more fully laden…

    Amazing how you got it to stick to the ceiling like that.

    ++1

  29. @mcsqueak

    @gaswepass

    Yeah I’ve been lazy, and admittedly the thought of cycling in the hectic evening traffic around Airport Way in the dark freaks me out a bit. It’s bad enough when it’s light out – I’ve seen lots of fucked up shit in the car and on my bike. Maybe I’ll get more lights and try it on dry days – I have nowhere to dry wet kit at my office, which is another issue.

    @Mikael Liddy

    One leg is closer to the camera, duh! Perspective

    You will have to excuse my antipodean colleague.  You see, in our experience, you Americains are often sadly lacking thereof.

  30. @frank

    @Deakus

    If you really think your mud guards are keeping your bike in order, then I’d love to hear about the lollipop rainbows you have in the world you live in.

    Keep the steel and chrome for dry roads.

    Oh Frank we’ve been here before  – if anyone is showing delusional symptoms it is in your strange belief that a steel bike is not suitable for Rule #9  riding.

    Decades of cycling history suggest otherwise.

    There are only two types of weather – the weather you’re prepared for and the weather you’re not.

    Neither of them involves not riding because your bike is made of steel. In the UK they tend to actually be favoured as winter bikes.

    Using mudguards, especially on group rides, is just part of being prepared.

  31. It’s monsoon season here which means hot mornings but torrential rain in the afternoon and night. This great combination means a real tan overlaid by a Vlaamse one during our weekend rides. Showering after a ride is always a laugh trying to figure out what will and will not wash off.

  32. @ChrisO

    @frank

    @Deakus

    If you really think your mud guards are keeping your bike in order, then I’d love to hear about the lollipop rainbows you have in the world you live in.

    Keep the steel and chrome for dry roads.

    Oh Frank we’ve been here before – if anyone is showing delusional symptoms it is in your strange belief that a steel bike is not suitable for Rule #9 riding.

    Decades of cycling history suggest otherwise.

    There are only two types of weather – the weather you’re prepared for and the weather you’re not.

    Neither of them involves not riding because your bike is made of steel. In the UK they tend to actually be favoured as winter bikes.

    Using mudguards, especially on group rides, is just part of being prepared.

    A-Merckx to that! The mudguards do without at doubt help, if they are of the correct type and quality.  They will not prevent corrosion or prevent all negative impact on your frame, paintwork, gruppo, groupsan, chrome on the lower areas of your bike BUT it will most definately lessen it.  A good set well set up makes very little difference to the ride itself but with installed extensions shows you to be someone who:

    1.  Cares and loves their machine as something less than a discardable item.

    2.  Understands a little about how to look after a bike, which in turn will yield some respect from those checkbook cyclists out there who don’t have a clue.

    3.  Mark you out as a Hard Man who is so committed to Rule #9 as to have a bike specifically for the purpose of working the guns hard in ice rain sleet and snow over the winter months rather than sitting on a turbo listening to Kylie on the ipod and getting bored shitless.  After all without the guards how do people know you are on your “Rainbike”?

    The subject of mudguards is probably an area that splits those the ppl of the road primarily because they are not aesthetically pleasing and occasionally (not as much as you might think if installed correctly) rattle a little….

    After all, it is most certainly…about the bike!

  33. @frank

    For the moment I cannot afford buying stuff which brings me to the very question what comes first. the bike or the cyclist? Can I ask for clarification?

  34. @frank

    I’ve been using one of the Lezyne lights and its awesome. Can’t wait to get my hands on the double-headlight MegaDrive. Its like riding with the Eye of Sauron on your bike.

    I’d love to get one of the Lezyne lights. Not in the Budgetatus right now & I do have a great headlight for full-on rides in total darkness. It isn’t self contained though, so an upgrade would be nice.

    Light & helmets & locks…always on the lookout for new & improved ones!

  35. @scaler911

    @czmiel

    @frank

    For the moment I cannot afford buying stuff which brings me to the very question what comes first. the bike or the cyclist? Can I ask for clarification?

    Rule #4, Rule #11. Think that should cover it.

    Without a rider a bike is still a bike.

    Without a bike a cyclist is just a twat in Lycra…

  36. @Beers

    @Deakus Heh, not that many people show up when Rule #9 applies, which is why I know looking uncool matters less than getting kms on the legs..

    Does not compute.

    @ChrisO

    @frank

    @Deakus

    If you really think your mud guards are keeping your bike in order, then I’d love to hear about the lollipop rainbows you have in the world you live in.

    Keep the steel and chrome for dry roads.

    Oh Frank we’ve been here before – if anyone is showing delusional symptoms it is in your strange belief that a steel bike is not suitable for Rule #9 riding.

    Decades of cycling history suggest otherwise.

    There are only two types of weather – the weather you’re prepared for and the weather you’re not.

    Neither of them involves not riding because your bike is made of steel. In the UK they tend to actually be favoured as winter bikes.

    Using mudguards, especially on group rides, is just part of being prepared.

    Yes, we’ve been here before and you’re still wrong. Sure, you can treat steel, sure you can ride steel in the rain (I do when it happens) but you can’t work around this simple fact: steel is much more susceptible to corrosion than is aluminum or carbon.

    The point is, no matter how emphatically you deploy hope as a strategy, the mud guards might keep you a bit drier and keep a bit more of the gunk off your bike, but you still have to maintain it prodigiously or it will go to shit – no matter what material its made of.

  37. @czmiel

    @frank

    For the moment I cannot afford buying stuff which brings me to the very question what comes first. the bike or the cyclist? Can I ask for clarification?

    Or the chicken or the egg? They are inextricably bound.

    @Scaler911
    +1

  38. @frank I’m admitting it looks shit, but that knowing I will be more comfortable because of the guards, means I turn up while others snuggle under the duvet because it’s raining. That’s where I live anyway. I acknowledge there’s plenty of folk that proudly run without guards, and look better. Is that more legible?

  39. The whole mudguards/no mudguards thing is a cultural divide, as far as I can see. It’s historic in the UK to have a properly equipped rain bike, whereas in the US it’s all about having a bike that looks like it should be in a race, no matter what the weather. UK = function before form, US = form over function.

  40. @Oli

    The whole mudguards/no mudguards thing is a cultural divide, as far as I can see. It’s historic in the UK to have a properly equipped rain bike, whereas in the US it’s all about having a bike that looks like it should be in a race, no matter what the weather. UK = function before form, US = form over function.

    That sounds to me like a nail being hit firmly on the head….Sometimes forget that we are all over the world, it is strange when the forum seems quite quiet just before bed, yet I wake in the morning to entire conversations that have taken place in my absence.  Yep as you say, here in the UK you could well be berated for turning up to club runs without correctly fitting mudguards in the depths of winter and spat out the back of the group for the morning because of your spray…which is obviously bad because you are precluded from taking your pull and being able to lay down some V in the wind!

  41. @mouse

    @mcsqueak

    @gaswepass

    Yeah I’ve been lazy, and admittedly the thought of cycling in the hectic evening traffic around Airport Way in the dark freaks me out a bit. It’s bad enough when it’s light out – I’ve seen lots of fucked up shit in the car and on my bike. Maybe I’ll get more lights and try it on dry days – I have nowhere to dry wet kit at my office, which is another issue.

    @Mikael Liddy

    One leg is closer to the camera, duh! Perspective

    You will have to excuse my antipodean colleague. You see, in our experience, you Americains are often sadly lacking thereof.

    well played, I still think it’s weird cos the legs don’t look anywhere near that different in terms of distance from the camera.

  42. @Beers

    @frank I’m admitting it looks shit, but that knowing I will be more comfortable because of the guards, means I turn up while others snuggle under the duvet because it’s raining. That’s where I live anyway. I acknowledge there’s plenty of folk that proudly run without guards, and look better. Is that more legible?

    You’re talking to a guy who lives in Seattle. I know a thing or two about rain. In my experience you gain zero comfort (you’re still getting rained on, remember)…

    @Oli

    The whole mudguards/no mudguards thing is a cultural divide, as far as I can see. It’s historic in the UK to have a properly equipped rain bike, whereas in the US it’s all about having a bike that looks like it should be in a race, no matter what the weather. UK = function before form, US = form over function.

    I call bullshit on that completely.

    Perceived Benefit of mudguards: Less maintenance, more comfort (both of these are wrong; the maintenance is not significantly reduced and neither is the comfort significantly improved)

    On the other hand, mud guards (I’ll concede this is the proper name, not fenders, by the way) add weight, noise, make it hard to change tire, can no longer fork-mount it in the car, and make maintenance and cleanup harder. I also suspect they increase tire wear since they rarely can keep off the damn things, but I eighty-sixed my fenders before I could prove that to be the case.

    Riding without mudguards means my bike rides better, handles better, and is more simple to maintain. I would say that’s very functional.

    @Tobin

    @Oli fenders are one step away from a handlebar basket….they are sensible right?!

    Nice!

  43. I’ve kept my Cervelo S5 pristine since purchasing it in July…pre-dawn ride this morn in Melbourne Australia, didn’t check radar and got completely shat on by a fat lingering thundercloud hidden by the pre-dawn. Bike trashed and requiring total clean. The upside? Magnificent Belgian tan lines. Thanks for adjusting my expectation Velominatus!

  44. @frank It’s all good frank! I know your point of view, and it speaks volumes. I particularly liked having a drier ass, that’s all. Maybe I just have a sensitive tush.

    Def know you are from Seattle. I’ve been there and it is really nice. 900mm of rain a year apparently. Went to watch a Huskies game there, which was sick, never forget it.

    We also know a thing or two about rain in the Waitak’ Ranges

  45. A commuter machine that is designed as a whole mudguard.

    Imagine a wind gust hitting this!

  46. My thought about the fenders is pretty simple- the biggest difference riding the commute is not eating road contents. The rain gets you wet, no shit. But boy, the spray from The front wheel is just grody. I dont put em on my race rig nor cx/mtb rigs. And a 4hr group ride, other than quieting those who would complain about it, it is pissing in the wind to have em- they dont really stop the spray from teh paceline well. But for my 530am in the dark rain commute trying to wake up for an hour and keep eyes open- not ready to eat decomposed leaves and gravel. And i welcome the additional weight(the commuterford is one hefty bitch now) for these compacted training rides. Makes the race rigs seem that much more winged. So there u go.

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