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I would like to get a used road bike on a budget. However, I need to ideally fit full coverage fenders due to frequent rain.

Do I simply need to save up for a bicycle with disc brakes, or should I look for a particular type of fork, frame, gap between the wheel and fork, that would allow the fitment of full coverage fenders?

I'm trying to avoid making this an opinion based question -- surely this must be a well-known problem with an equally well-known solution? It seems like most road bicycles have V-brakes, hence many would experience this exact problem?

  • You don’t mean v brakes for most road bikes – Swifty May 22 at 15:29
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    If they're actually v brakes, then yes. A big advantage of V brakes is the room for mudguards. But I share @swifty's doubts: v brakes are common on hybrids and were common on mountain bikes, but have never been common on road bikes. I'm not even sure whether you'd get road bike levers to operate them. – Chris H May 22 at 17:38
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    @DavidW "Road bike" means what most non-experts would probably call a "racing bike". I've never seen one with V-brakes. – David Richerby May 22 at 18:37
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    @DavidRicherby The Trek 520 did: archive.trekbikes.com/us/en/2005/trek/520#/us/en/2005/trek/520/… – DavidW May 22 at 19:04
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    I’m not convinced yet what the question is. I’d say v brakes are the easiest rim brake to fit a mudguard around - I thought it was a selling point. It would be helpful if AlphaCentauri you could illustrate the question with some pictures for what you mean by road bike and V brake, and maybe mention if there’s a cultural difference where you are to the meaning of road bike. – Swifty May 22 at 20:44
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The main thing you need to look for is sufficient space around the tyre, at the chainstay and at the seatstay, as well as at the brakes.

It is also helpful if there are threadded holes down in the front and rear dropouts for mounting the mudguard/fender's stays. Full-length fenders need a bit more support than stubby ones.

Most mudguard/fenders expect to mount to the brake bridge too, so your bike should have a through hole in the crown of the front fork, and through the brake bridge over the rear wheel even if its got V brakes. Most frames have this, but do check.

You can also bodge much of the mudguard functionality using a rear parcel rack.

V brake arms are normally long enough to clear the guards. However mini-V brakes may not be long enough.

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    I've had that issue with mini-V brakes before. I ended up running the cable underneath the mudguard, and cutting away the sides of the mudguard at that point – John M May 23 at 13:17
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It would help if you clarified what you mean by "road bike", since I've never seen a road bike with V-brakes. "Road bikes" are what many people would call "racing bikes" and they come with either disc brakes or caliper rim brakes; bikes with V-brakes tend to be either mountain bikes or hybrid/city bikes.

Nonetheless, it's perfectly possible to fit full fenders to a caliper-braked (or disc-braked) road bike, and also to a bike with V-brakes. Many road bikes don't come with the mounting bolt-holes for fenders but you can still fit fenders using other types of mount (e.g., clips or zip-tie-like straps around the forks).

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It's definitely possible to put fenders on a bike with V-brakes; my old Trek 520 had V-brakes and the fenders fit just fine. (It was a bit tricky attaching the fenders, since I had to take the rack off to get access to the fender braze-ons, but once the fender was on it was fine.)

Depending on the geometry of your bike there are other clearances that may be more of a problem than the brake clearance, TBH. (Some road bikes are really tight for space between the seat tube and the rear tire, for instance.)

For reference, this is the 2005 Trek 520 you can see there's plenty of space above the tire below the brake cable (more space in fact than between the tire and the rack):

2005 Trek 520

The picture isn't very clear, but it came with Avid SD5 brakes:

Avid SD-5 brakes

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