I ride to work most days. If I'm getting a cold or something, I sometimes hop on the bus. I save no time by riding the bus, so I rarely do it.

About a month ago, I installed Planet Bike full-coverage plastic fenders on my bike, a mid-80's Schwinn Tempo. I've got the Hardcore fenders. http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Hardcore-Road-Fender/dp/B002KCFSPI

I'm pretty sure that the bike racks on public transit buses are fairly universal, in the U.S. anyhow. They appear to be the same on all of the transit buses I've used throughout California and in the Chicago area. Maybe there are different ones--but in these two areas they appear to be the same. http://bicycling.511.org/transit.htm

My question is this. Will the fenders interfere with the bar that goes over the front wheel?

I haven't tried it because I don't want to inconvenience other bus users by futzing with a bike that might not fit.

  • 1
    When the bike racks were new on SF Muni, I remember that Muni had a rack at some office (Van Ness?) where cyclists could try out the rack. Even if you're not a Muni rider, it might be worth a call to the transit service to see if they have a try-out rack available somewhere, then you can try out your bike with fenders.
    – Johnny
    Apr 3, 2015 at 17:37

3 Answers 3


Probably fine

I have a bike (Surly LHT) with 700c wheels, wide tires (35mm) and full fenders (I think same model, but next size up). The local buses have 2 or 3 different types of rack, and it works on all of them. On some of the 3-bike racks it's difficult to get the arm over the tire in the middle rack, but the fender isn't really a problem; usually I can just move it to the front rack if it happens to be one of those busses. I think this problem might have more to do with maintenance, since with otherwise identical racks some the arm pulls out far enough and some it doesn't.

One caveat: you have a choice between slowly damaging your fender by putting the arm over the fender, or possibly having a slightly less secure grip by putting it at the front tip of the fender. On mine that bit of fender seems to be fine despite me smashing a bus rack arm on top of it frequently; worst case I could trim that off, since the bit of fender that sticks forward of the fork crown doesn't seem that essential.

Basically, the racks are designed to be able to handle the cruiser and commuter type bikes, and a road bike with fenders is a lot like that for these purposes. There's a type of rack, but there's definitely some differences, so it's possible your bus bike racks are different somehow.


I've had my folder on the bus racks, with it's fenders, and it wasn't a problem. But that's with smaller wheels than your Tempo, so I'm not sure if that really answers your question. FWIW, the bar always seems to extend further than I need for the road bikes, so I don't see why it wouldn't extend enough to go past your fenders.

  • It does answer my next question, which was whether MY folder would fit in those racks, should BART ever fail! I guess you'd be the guy to ask about that!
    – DC_CARR
    Jan 14, 2011 at 19:44
  • Ha - I never did try taking your folder on the buses. I think I'd opt to fold it and either take it on the bus or store it under it. I don't like how short the wheel-bar is on the rack, though I guess it's not that bad if you hook it PAST the stem on the frame, instead of to the wheel.
    – zigdon
    Jan 14, 2011 at 21:40

I just tried my new large-size cruiser bicycle on the bus yesterday and the front wheel fender wasn't damaged, but buses constantly transmit forces in varying directions from bumps, potholes, turns, accelerations, decelerations and braking, so my concern is regular use of the bus racks over time. There's also a problem with the bike's back fender but it has to do with our light rail trains, not buses. Our Minneapolis light rail trains have vertical racks inside each rail car (you hook the front wheel at the top and the bike's rear wheel fits into a vertical slot at floor level). These vertical racks therefore put the entire weight of the bike, once secured in the rack, on the rear tip of its rear fender, bending the fender, stressing the fender brackets, possibly eventually breaking the fender's paint, and/or throwing the fender out of alignment. I wish transit admin staff, bicycle designers and bicycle rack designers could all be locked in the same room when the engineering specs for these vital accessories are put into a Request for Proposal.

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