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...



4 responses

14 01 2011

Oooh… thanks for the reminder. I want to take the VK2 and see if I can fit fatter than the 28mm that are on it now. Currently a 28mm Stelvio up front, would be great if I could fit a 35mm Kojak or such. Somehow I doubt it, that VK2 fork is fairly tight. I’m also curious about the rear. Currently running a 28mm Durano on my disc wheel, but plan to build up a new wheel for everyday use and again, would like to do 35mm.

Got a strong suspicion that I’ll be limited to 28mm front and rear. Ah well… still more appropriate than the 23s that most folks run on that bike.

(And mostly have the fender issue covered. Frame is the fender up front, and have a tailbox on the rear.)

15 01 2011

Big rubber? Only 30mm? :0) I switched to 35’s a few years back and really, really loved the difference. Now I have 2″ wide Schwalbe Marathon Supremes on my Long Haul Trucker. Because I can. Necessary for my commute? No, not really. But they’re super comfortable and I can ride right over whatever the hell I want. Not full-on mountain biking perhaps, but they work well for being an urban hooligan ;0)

15 01 2011
Aaron M

Ahh the skinny vs. fat tire debate. Far too often I witness people buying the latest carpet fibre racing bike only to turn around & request fenders be installed & an enormous seatpost bag. Nothing makes more sense & warms my heart like seeing the right tool for the job. I too ride a cyclocross bike with 28mm tires, full fenders, & rack eyelets should I so choose to swing that way. In fact even my non-fendered “racing” bike, which is steel, has 28mm tires & fender/rack eyelets.
Even with these perceived “detriments”, I can still hang with the guys who weight 30 lbs. less than me after 80+ kms of riding. All my fillings are intact and my butt is happy, priceless. Be honest with the type of riding you want to do & don’t buy yourself into a corner.

15 01 2011

@Joel – for a road bike 30mm is massive rubber…especially with fenders. The only reason that works is the Cannondale is a cross bike. On a Cannondale road bike it would be crazy talk even without fenders.

I like the 35mm 700c XRs on my LHT. With 700c wheels bigger tires slow down the steering too much and 35mm is a lot of air volume for my weight.

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