I never used to consider cycling in the rain before I started cycle touring. Now, I sometimes have no other choice. While I occasionally find a cool summer rain refreshing, I generally prefer to stay warm and dry. Although it’s clear fenders make a big difference in keeping me dry, they are also protecting my bike from being deluged with a wet mixture of mud, sand, gasoline, oil and who knows what else that is kicked up from the puddles and rivulets along the way.
I have little doubt how damaging this concoction is on my bike since I can hear this abrasive mixture grinding away on my bike every time I apply the brakes. However, fenders are just as valuable at protecting my bike and keeping me clean when it’s not raining. While not as obvious, fenders also protect all my bike’s moving parts from the filth sprayed up while riding on dry dirt trails and roads.
All moving bike parts will last considerably longer and work more reliably if you protect them with fenders, rain or shine.