Slower with mudguards?

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Samuel D
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby Samuel D » 17 Jan 2018, 9:20pm

I use mudguards on and off. Before long rides on dry days I take them off even in the winter. There is no doubt that my mudguards, on my bicycle, do slow me down slightly. This may be because the front doesn’t extend forward enough (thus throwing up water onto the front lamp and my face as andrew_s warns) and my tyres are narrow. Additionally, I am small and relatively aerodynamic, so any drag is more noticeable. For example, I can tell when I switch on my dynamo lamp, something most people claim not to notice.

Like willcee, I take a long time to set up new mudguards. It’s a finicky job to do right. But once the stays are set, adding and removing them is quick enough.

It would be quicker still if my brakes were external nut instead of recessed Allen key fitting. You need three hands for the job with recessed brakes! That’s another change I wish the bicycle industry hadn’t made.

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tykeboy2003
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby tykeboy2003 » 17 Jan 2018, 9:45pm

Since I don't like getting a stripe of mud down the middle of my back, I always have mudguards on my bikes. Couldn't care less if it makes me faster or slower.

amediasatex
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby amediasatex » 17 Jan 2018, 9:47pm

Samuel D wrote:It would be quicker still if my brakes were external nut instead of recessed Allen key fitting. You need three hands for the job with recessed brakes!


If you're a serial guard remover/fitter with recessed fitting brakes then well worth getting yourself some of the problem solvers 'sheldon nuts' or some of the Gilles Berthoud equivalents. You may need to re-position things a little but they'll save you having to remove your brakes each time ;-)

Brucey
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby Brucey » 17 Jan 2018, 10:08pm

that is a good idea. It is usually possible to rig up some kind of QD fittings or other. I've heard of folk using Dzus fasteners, but also, I have often wondered if lots of Secu-clips (with specially made brackets and fittings where necessary) might offer a means of setting up entirely tool-free QD mudguards.

cheers
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Roadster
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby Roadster » 18 Jan 2018, 12:10am

tykeboy2003 wrote:Since I don't like getting a stripe of mud down the middle of my back, I always have mudguards on my bikes. Couldn't care less if it makes me faster or slower.

Ditto. Where I live, it either has just been wet, is wet now, or else will soon be wet. There is no fourth condition which might allow not having mudguards.

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willcee
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby willcee » 18 Jan 2018, 1:01am

Wet wet wet,and now bloody snow, yeah.. hasn't been 2 dry days back to back since early August, haven't cycled on dry roads since God knows when, I am out each day looking for timber to start building an Arc.. so full guards are de rigeur over here...depressing it is.. will

steady eddy
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby steady eddy » 18 Jan 2018, 9:22am

Watch out for eye infections if you ride without eye protection behind bikes without guards. That road spray isn't very clean.If you have an aversion to sun glasses, there are some pretty stylish clear eye protectors in the builders merchants these days to keep the flys and muck at bay.

cycle tramp
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby cycle tramp » 18 Jan 2018, 9:24am

Depends on your point of view, if speed = distance divided by the time the length of the journey takes, then its possible depending upon your aerodynamic position and rolling resistance.

However....

If you consider speed = distance divided by the time the length of the journey takes + the time it takes to wash your bike & clothes after the completion of that journey then possibility not... especially on the lanes around Somerset, this time of year....

" i see 'em cows have been proper lively down that road again..."

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Mick F
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby Mick F » 18 Jan 2018, 9:45am

amediasatex wrote:
Samuel D wrote:It would be quicker still if my brakes were external nut instead of recessed Allen key fitting. You need three hands for the job with recessed brakes!


If you're a serial guard remover/fitter with recessed fitting brakes then well worth getting yourself some of the problem solvers 'sheldon nuts' or some of the Gilles Berthoud equivalents. You may need to re-position things a little but they'll save you having to remove your brakes each time ;-)
I don't have an issue about removing brakes. They come off easily and go back easily too, though you do have to rotate them into central position before tightening the bolt.

Never needed three hands. Simple and quick-ish.

Actually, you don't remove them at all, just move them so the securing bolts come out of the bridges. You don't even have to loosen the brake QR. The mudguards "thread" though.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Si
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby Si » 18 Jan 2018, 10:10am

I don't think that I ever time or monitor my rides so precisely as to notice whether they slow me down at any particular instance on the journey. But I am of the opinion that on long journeys in dodgy whether the guards make me faster as I stay warmer, drier and more comfortable, which reduces fatigue and improves temperament. Obviously YMMV, especially if you are a hardened roadie who thrives on adversity!

Samuel D
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby Samuel D » 18 Jan 2018, 10:38am

Mick F wrote:I don't have an issue about removing brakes. They come off easily and go back easily too, though you do have to rotate them into central position before tightening the bolt.

I’m not claiming it’s impossible but that you’re left with a wriggling, jamming mudguard in one hand and a brake calliper in the other, balancing the wheel-less bicycle on your nose while threading the needle. It’s easier to undo an external nut and fit the mudguard without having to remove (i.e. hold) the brake calliper. Of course I manage, but it could be easier. Those Sheldon Fender Nuts prove that.

And by fitting the mudguard at the calliper side of the seatstay bridge or fork, the brake position moves along the axis of the bolt unless you use a washer of identical thickness to the mudguard bridge when you remove the mudguards. This on top of my other grievances about brake pad position.

It’s all a bit messy and shows that the industry has not thought much about mudguards on lightweight bicycles.

But mudguards so tremendously improve comfort (and cleanliness of the brakes, lower headset bearing, bottom bracket bearings, and seatpost area) that they sometimes feel compulsory to me. This is especially so around Paris where dog poo and human pee abound.

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TrevA
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby TrevA » 18 Jan 2018, 12:24pm

nez dans le guidon wrote:I read somewhere (but can’t remember the source) that tummy upsets are common in the tdf peloton are thought to be caused by road dirt. Yuk.


I always use a bottle with a flip top covering the nozzle in winter. Even with guards, your bottle gets a liberal coating of road muck.

As an aside, I achieved one of my Strava top 10s on my winter bike with mudguards, so they can't make that much difference.

pwa
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby pwa » 18 Jan 2018, 12:39pm

I used to do longish audax rides, 300, 400 and 600km and if the weather forecast promised little or no rain I would take the guards off the bike. But I could feel no real benefit. I'm sure that on paper it must make a bit of a difference, but it was small. Too small to feel. And it does make me smile when I see a cyclist who looks like he/she has overdosed on laxatives.

Samuel D
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby Samuel D » 18 Jan 2018, 12:45pm

So why did you do it, pwa? One fewer thing to go wrong?

pwa
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Re: Slower with mudguards?

Postby pwa » 18 Jan 2018, 12:52pm

Samuel D wrote:So why did you do it, pwa?


In practice I only did it a few times, as most long rides in the UK involve some risk of rain. So on those rides that were more or less guaranteed to be completely dry I knew the guards would serve no practical purpose. It was worth the ten minutes it took to take them off and carefully bag all the bolts and washers. But it did not make a noticeable difference to my speed. What it did give me was a small psychological advantage when tired, of not having to look down at the front mudguard and think to myself "It's not wet, so I'm carrying that thing 400km for no reason". That's all.