05 February, 2018

A Note on Fender Mud Flaps

By Igor


The combination of full coverage fenders and mud flaps serve two very important purposes: 1) keeping your feet and bottom bracket clean and 2) ensuring your riding friends will ride with you again by preventing road grime from spraying up into their faces.

Ideally, the front mud flap should be very low to cover the most spray area, almost dragging. I like curling the front flap so that curbs don't catch the fender when hopping off.


The rear flap should be sufficiently long as well. VO now offers matching Rear Mud Flaps in the same colors as the front: Black, Espresso, and Honey.


They're 24.5cm long and have a very similar silhouette as the front, just longer. They weigh 105g and include all the hardware needed to mount to your fender. All you need to do is drill two holes.

A side note: We work really hard to minimize waste from the hides we use, and that means we get a few "imperfect" flaps. These cuts are just as good and functional as the "perfect" ones but have more character - I prefer these. They usually have cuts, thinner sections, etc - these are cow hides, remember. If you want a flap has has imperfections and is wabi-sabi, let us know in the comment section of your order.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

How much weight can that rear rack take? It looks like it's mounted on the fender itself...

VeloOrange said...

Not that much - basically a dry bag with a sleeping bag or a heavy coat. It was a Constructeur Rear Rack that had the tangs cut too short for any bikes we're currently using, so I wanted to try this idea out.

Ritchie said...

That rack setup seems great for the little extra that you might like to being on a rando-style ride. Are you re-enforcing the underside of the fender with a used hacksaw blade or something to make the rack more stable, viable? I really like the idea, have the rack, but I'm not sure that I want to sacrifice the struts for the unknown.

Also, I'm still curious about the frame weight of a 54 polyvalent. I pre-ordered, I believe in strength over weight-shaving (evidence above) but I can't shake wanting to know...

Thanks!

VeloOrange said...

@Ritchie,

Indeed the bottom is reinforced with a pair of our fender reinforcements: https://velo-orange.com/collections/fender-parts/products/fender-reinforcement

The weight of the 54cm Polyvalent frameset is 7.8 pounds.

-Igor

Ritchie said...

Thanks Igor. Not too shabby. And I totally grant that my decision on how many bananas to bring along makes about as much difference as the frame weight. But I'm glad to know.

Anonymous said...

You did not say, how much a 2nd would cost. I'm game if the price is right.

VeloOrange said...

I wouldn't consider them seconds, the way a sweater may have one arm longer than the other. They're not defective. Some people like a uniform grain and texture, while others prefer a more natural look to their leather goods. So they're the same pricing, just two different styles.

-Igor

Zeus said...

Do leather mudflaps need any special care, such as Brooks Proofide, neats foot oil, or anything else to preserve their suppleness and appearance?

Andy said...

My front flap has been on since September 2014 and is still in good shape despite seeing plenty of rain. I treated mine with Sno-Seal.

VeloOrange said...

Our Saddle Care is great to maintain your flaps and leather saddle: https://velo-orange.com/collections/saddles/products/vo-saddle-care

Beau said...

I'm also curious how your rear rack solution works out. That looks like exactly what I want to do on my bike and I think the VO Zeppelin fenders I have are up to the challenge!

Unknown said...

The photo is worth a thousand words, showing how effective the flaps are

Anonymous said...

I make my own mudflaps out of thin rubber. I used to use Berthoud mudflaps but am just not comfortable using leather there, it seems too luxurious and tweedy to me or something. At first I copied the shape of the Berthoud fenders but I realized that they were not very effective when riding through standing water. In standing water a sort of wave of water would escape on either side and send water to the top of my shoes. I've since started making wider mudflaps. Oddly enough standing water was not much of an issue when I lived in the PNW but now that I live in southern california it is. When it does rain it does so in the form of torrential downpours resulting in flooding. Drainage is poor by design. The bike lanes are the first to flood, hence my concern for the performance of mudflaps in standing water. I would not use mudflaps as narrow as the ones in the photo above.

Conor said...

Just wondering what fender size you would choose if you had 47mm tyres in the frame? I presume anything less than a 52mm won't work.

VeloOrange said...

@Anon 2/15/18,

If you ride through flooded conditions, no amount of mudflap will be able to keep your feet 100% dry. Our flaps are designed to work for the vast majority of riders' needs, but you need to something specific, DIY!

-Igor

VeloOrange said...

@Conor,

I'd go with our 63mm Fluted Fenders if you're using 700c. If you're using a 650b, I'd get our upcoming Wavy Fenders in 58mm.

-Igor

PéPé said...

I'm thinking about getting mud flap, but I'm wondering about maintenance first. I'm sure it's not like a leather seat of course, but if you don't do nothing after a while does it tear around the wholes?

I'm guessing you need some maintenance (greasing it one a year?).

VeloOrange said...

@pepe,

The leather is sturdy and thick and will not tear. Every so often I'll clean the flap and condition it with our saddle care - usually if I have the bike in the stand anyway.

-Igor

Nik B said...

I can testify to the sturdyness of the flaps. I've done 3 UK winters (and Summers) and haven't done more than clean mine with soap and water. It looks used but in no way does it look like it might fail, rot or anything else.