Got room for fat rubber and fenders?

14 01 2011

Surly LHT with 30mm rubber and Berthoud fenders...

One thing I read online over and over is someone trying to fit bigger rubber and fenders into a frame not designed for them.  It’s particularly sad when someone buys an expensive performance bent/DF and realizes narrow high pressure tires aren’t as well suited to their needs as wider rubber, but the frame can barely accomodate 23mm tires without fenders so they are stuck with narrow rubber and either have to hack up a DIY fender solution or forego them entirely.

My advice is if you are buying a new bike – especially an expensive one – make sure you can fit at least 30mm tires and full coverage fenders on a 700c and 40mm tires and full fenders on a 26″ wheel frame.  If you don’t need or want anything bigger than 23mm for now no big deal the extra room doesn’t hurt, but you’ll have options for down the road.

Road bikes need fenders as well...

Back in Calgary I got some strange looks when I put road tires and fenders on my Bow Cycle 24 cross bike.  In Victoria everyone has fenders on their road bike.  Using a cross bike as a road machine is smart because there is lots of room for fenders.  Not only that, but I’m going to replace the 23mm racing tires with 30mm Grand Bois Cypres [instead of putting them on my LHT] since it will make a better rando bike for me.  On most road bikes there is no room for anything more than 23mm tires while on this rig 30mm tires and fenders will play nice.

Grand Bois 30mm tires installed - just needs a mudflap...