I'm not about to say that all bikes need them (in fact, it would be difficult or impossible to mount them on a lot of bikes out there), but I will say that some bikes just don't seem complete until they've got fenders. There's just something missing.
I remember a time when I was young and didn't appreciate befendered bikes. To my racer wannabe friends and I they marked a rider as old-fashioned, a slowpoke, or even a "dork." Nowadays, I not only appreciate the convenience of fenders, but I enjoy the look. Close to half the bikes in my fleet have them. Some are plastic, and others are aluminum - but to my "matured" aesthetic, all of them add an element of class.
The Motobecane 650B conversion is pretty much done. The Velo-Orange Zeppelin fenders arrived and last week I got them installed.
(It's not just fenders - but bars are wrapped, and I've installed toe-clips and straps - so it's pretty much done)
|The Zeppelins have neat little ridges and creases that run their length - they add such a great visual interest point.|
|With the bike's fairly steep head angle and short-ish fork rake I thought that toe-clip overlap might be an issue. It doesn't seem to be, though.|
I've taken the bike out on some short rides. The 38mm tires do a great job of smoothing out the road and cancelling vibration from the Akron pavé. If I can convince myself to run tires closer to the clearance limits, I could probably fit 42mm in there.
I'll get it out for more (and longer) rides and get a sense of how well I like it. If I decide it's worth the investment, I may (some day) send the frame out for new paint and get some modest modifications done - cable stops, brake pivots, and rack mounts. But for now I'll just enjoy it as-is.