I just came back from a ride on my new rando rig. Total distance ~60kms. About 20kms of that was damp dirt trail including numerous mud puddles and another 20kms was various wet paved surfaces. We even made a couple poor routing choices and had to ride through sections of thick juicy mud…=-( I was a little horrified to subject a new bike to such treatment, but as you can see from the photo above that’s the result after splashing my way through puddle after puddle and cruising over a wet dirt trail. Luckily my bike sports full coverage Honjo metal fenders that fit the tires diameter perfectly. A bunch of that splatter isn’t even from my bike as Aaron and I kept passing one another and his rear fender was fairly short so it was shooting crap at me if I wasn’t careful about my bike positioning. I also do not have a full front mud flap on this bike yet so the fender protection factor can be improved.
Good fenders not only make wet weather riding more pleasant they drastically reduce the amount of maintenance you need to do on your bike.