INADAQUATE FENDER DESIGN

just arrived back home from a trike ride. It is misting out so the streets, sidewalks and trails are all wet. I have always had fenders on my trike. I would not care to ride without them. I get plenty wet with them. I would be totally soaked riding without them. Even with them I get pretty wet as water still is flung off of the tires and the fenders do very little to stop it. The outside of my upper leg and my hip area get wet as do my arms. The water goes thru 3 or 4 layers of clothing and my arms are constantly wet., especially my left arm

Above is a picture of my sweatshirt sleeve. You can see the wet area and some stains from muddy water which got splashed up on me.

The problem is very obvious … poor fender design. Most manufacturers just don’t care that their fenders are inadequate.. They just don’t care that their fenders don’t do the job. There is one exception that I know of and that is HP Velotechnik. The fenders for their Scorpion are excellent and are the way all fenders should be designed. So trike manufactuers … if you are paying attention … please care enough about your product to improve upon the  design. Your customers will appreciate it. I love my Catrike but I would surely enjoy it a lot more if I could ride it without getting all wet.

I ride a Catrike.Trail. I ordered it with fenders and at that time Catrike used the cheap plastic Planet Bike fenders. They would flop around like a chicken with its head cut off.

They were poor quqlity and the mounting system used was lousy. Finally Catrike came out with aluminum alloy fenders and fender mounts similar to what ICE trikes have.

This is a vast improvement over their previous mounts. So I ordered a set and installed them when they arrived. They are much better but I still get wet. I would love to see Catrike and other trike manufactuers offer fenders like the HP Velotechnik fenders I mentioned. Then I could ride on wet surfaces and not get wet. A fender set is not an inexpensive purchase and I don’t want to spend more money for another set of fenders, but I would if they were available. I thought of buying the HP Velotechnik front fenders but I don’ know if I could mount them on my Catrike or not.

Using wider tires such as Big Apple or Big Ben adds to the problems as the fenders are not made wide enough to accommodate them. But just being wider in and of itself would still not solve the problem. They need to come down on the inside like these examples. Then the water being flung off of the tires could not land on the trike rider.

If I were much younger I  might try fabricating my own or at least an add on piece which would provide this “wall on the inside”. Maybe I could make them and sell them. But alas I am an old man now and my fabrication days are far behind me. I no longer have my welding shop and all the equipment I had in it. Oh, I could still do the work, but my eyesight is quite poor making it very hard if not impossible or me to do a lot of things I used to do.

Here is a trike with homemade fenders which are unusually large to accommodate wide tires.

So unless Catrike and other manufacturers wake up and produce and sell fenders that actually work I guess I will just go on getting wet. It is bad enough when it is warm outside but getting wet in cold weather just is not all that pleasant and enjoyable.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (@gmail.com)

3 thoughts on “INADAQUATE FENDER DESIGN”

  1. Have you considered water resistant outer wear? I own a Catrike trail as well, no fenders. Here in SF bay area standing water is not much of an issue . When I rode diamond frame bikes I found cycling specific clothing most comfortable and was able to enjoy longer rides . Of course the shorts and jerseys from that activity are not comfortable in the recumbent position. So what do you wear? How about a blog on personal gear?

  2. Steve, My thought for the problem was a pair of mid length “croupier sleeves” of a water proof fabric. Velcro strap above the elbow and elastic at the wrist. Slide them off when the rain stops.

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