Autumn, but also other seasons, brings heavy rain usually, but that does little do deter us from pedalling. A swell set of fenders might work magic, since it allows us to ride a long distance and time without getting soaking wet and unspeakably messy. In the following, we’ll have a look at the main types of fenders, explain what are they for and show their pros and cons.
Full length fenders with frame and fork mount
These are the best type of fender as far as water repelling goes. They allow us to ride in wet conditions without having to get soaked. They are long, covering a great portion of the wheel, and follow closely the shape of the wheel so as water particles hit the fender as soon as they take off from the tire. City, trekking and road bikes are the main categories of bicycles that make the most of this type of fenders. The drawback is the they are difficult to mount, an operation that involves a lot of bolts. On top of it all, the frame needs special mounts, so in their absence, this fenders can’t do anything for you. There are some quick-mount models. Anyway, this fenders don’t get along very well with full-suspension bikes and, in the case of a mis-adjustment, they can touch the tires. Also, any small impact in this sense generates the same outcome, and you shouldn’t forget they add some weight to your bike.
Light-, easy-to-mount fenders
They rely more on providing the sense of protection, than actually being effective, however, these fenders offer decent performance, easy mounting and are light on your wallet. Lightweighted and cheap, do not expect them to work any miracles.
This type scores well in terms of versatility, the rear fender being compatible with virtually any type of bicycle. In the same time, the front one is designed for suspension forks only. Protection is marginal at best, and you should expect only your face and lowwer back to avoid contact with water and mud. Also, mud might stick on the sealings of the fork, which is not good news. Their biggest advantage is that they can be mounted in no time at all. However, they have a hefty number of grams and don’t come cheap. The front fender is fixed, while the rear one can be raised or lowered depending on the distance you want it to have from the wheel, which makes them perfect for full-suspension mountain bikes.
Quite ingenious in its design, it started out as an option for mountain bikes and ended up as an universal solution for any bicycle. You can mount it easily, even if cable hoods attached on the downtube get in the way. Protection is only on when you keep the front wheel straight, in which case your face and chest avoid contact with the elements. The fork feels no difference, however, and neither do you when you take a turn.
Thin, reduced-surface fenders known as mudguards have gained popularity and in the eyes of many, they are an ideal item for sporty persons and sporty bikes. They weigh next to nothing, can be mounted in a blink of an eye and provide more than decent protection. The rear guard, commonly knows as the ass-saver, keeps our bibs dry, while the front one guards the fork from all that mud and your face as well. Not to mention, they come at a low price.
Suspension fork mudguards
Keeping mud off the suspension fork is a daunting task, but these so-called fenders, which are actually a piece of cloth, do a terribly nice job, stopping mud from sticking to the fork and the face.
According to the design of the frame, the shock of the full-suspension mountain bike can also be protected thanks to such a guard, that is, in this case, made out of a tougher material.