Bicycle fenders: varieties, purpose and the right choice
If in the summer cyclists do not remember about protection from dirt, then in the autumn-spring season the problem becomes urgent. Regular rains, puddles and mud can ruin even the most wonderful bike ride. In this article, we will figure out whether you need fenders for a bike, and what to look for when choosing.
What are bike fenders for??
Puddles and mud are formed in rainy weather. During the ride, the spray falls directly onto the cyclist from under the wheels. As a result, without proper protection, it becomes completely wet and dirty.
In addition to dirt, fine sand and gravel flying from under the wheels are a serious hazard. Without goggles, they will get in your eyes, causing extreme irritation. The walk will definitely be ruined. For protection from splashes and pebbles, we recommend fitting bike wings.
Note that this accessory is not required for racing bikes or BMX. They will look ridiculous. At the same time, they will worsen the aerodynamic characteristics of the bicycle and make it heavier. However, for ordinary cyclists riding around the city, wings will come in handy.
Varieties of bicycle fenders
There is a wide variety of bicycle fenders on the market. Therefore, let’s figure out which bike wings to choose depending on the type of your bike, riding style and intended riding location.
Full size models
Provides maximum protection against water splashes and dirt on the cyclist. They completely cover the part of the wheel closest to the rider. Often they are installed directly in the road bike factories.
They are also available as a separate accessory. However, it will be difficult to install them yourself on a mountain bike. Special mounts are needed for them, which manufacturers do not provide for such bicycle models. Full size bike wings can be easily mounted on hybrids. The dropouts of the forks have the necessary holes for the threads, they are also located in the “gorilla”.
Quick release models
Ideal for mountain bikes. Manufacturers often install small quick-release fenders on them. They are easy to put on or take off. The front flap is secured with a plastic bracket. Mounting is done directly on the fork crown of the fork. At the rear, installation is done with a clamp directly to the seatpost. Mounting parts included with bike wings.
Shields for installation directly on the frame
These fender models additionally protect the bottom bracket with front derailleur from dirt build-up. Installation is done directly on the frame. This closes the down pipe.
Fenders for road bikes
Road bikes should be lightweight and aerodynamic. Therefore, the wings must be used here appropriate. They should be invisible while riding and resist dirt well. What’s more, be light in weight. Shorter type of adjustable wings is often used.
How to choose fenders for your bike
When choosing, you must first take into account the diameter and width of the wheels. You can find the dimensions directly on the wheel cover. It is worth remembering that dimensions are often quoted in inches. However, the French system is sometimes used. Keep in mind that the fenders should be slightly wider than the tires. Otherwise, they will not save you from dirt.
Additionally, when choosing, pay attention to:
- Fastening. Often they are standard, but it is worth checking if all the clamps, bolts with screws and rubber bands are in place.
- Wing type. We wrote about them above. Consider the weather conditions under which you will ride, the route and the appearance of the wings themselves.
- The presence of additional inserts at the bottom. They will additionally work as mud flaps.
Additionally, it is worth considering what geometry the front or rear flap has. Renowned brands work through every detail, using every inch to improve splash protection and maintain aerodynamic properties.
Pay attention to the material from which the wings are made. In most cases, plastic is found. It must be strong enough and, at the same time, plastic, flexible, because pebbles will often fly to the wings at high speed.
Do you need fenders on a bike
Why the word “wing” is used to refer to plastic or metal wheel covers on cars and bicycles is unknown to us. In the aircraft industry, the use of this word is more obvious and justified. In English, a wing is denoted by the words “fender” or “mudguard” (from the words “mud”. mud “and” guard “- protector). In this article, we will consider the topic of competent selection of this very mud protector for ordinary bicycles (we will leave professional sports and extreme disciplines behind the scenes).
The easiest way is to choose wings for cyclocross. you don’t need to choose them, they are not needed at all!
Two main parameters:
We are sure that you already know the diameter of the wheels of your bike, and you can easily find the width on the tire marking.
- Traditionally, the size of the wheel is indicated in inches: 16 “, 26”, 28 “, etc.
- If you see more impressive numbers, then do not be alarmed, this is the French sizing system, where both the outer diameter and the width of the tire are indicated. For example, 700C: 700 is the outside diameter of the tire in mm, and C is the width. If translated into inches, then for a 700C wheel (27.6 inches), fenders for 28 ”wheels are suitable.
It is important that the dimensions of the wings cover the size of the tire, otherwise the drops will fly to you from one side or the other. Thus, for a wheel with a diameter of 26 and 28, such a wing option, covering both sizes, may be suitable.
It is very rare when you need an exotic tool to fasten the wings: many of them are attached without tools at all. using your fingers.
The mounting holes for the fenders are surprisingly versatile. rest assured that fenders that match the diameter and width will work with the type of mount. It will not be superfluous to make sure that all the necessary fasteners are included in the kit, but most often everything is fine here. all screws, bolts, clamps and rubber bands are waiting for you in the package.
Fenders are available in full size and foldable.
Which one to use depends on the following factors:
- Features of routes;
In our opinion, the material of the wings is not so important and this factor relates rather to the appearance than to the degree of protection. Of course, for some, factors such as weight and aerodynamics are also important, but this category of people is unlikely to turn to this article for information.
These are solid wings, which often come in pairs: front and rear. Sometimes also complemented by an overlay on the bottom of the frame for great protection.
Despite their seriousness, they can be quickly removed. Most likely, you don’t even need a tool for such wings. It is very good when the fenders are equipped with an additional mudguard, such as these.
Do not assume that full-size fenders unambiguously spoil the appearance of the bike: some of them, on the contrary, can improve it, and some even complete the image.
Do you need wings at all?
At first glance, the answer is obvious. of course they are. However, things are not so simple. Firstly, the wings will not be able to protect you 100% from dirt flying from under the wheels, no matter how good they are. When it rains, you will still feel like dishes in a dishwasher. But the wings will save you from dirty drops on your back after driving through a lonely puddle and from a stream of dirty water from under the front wheel straight into your face.
Secondly, the wings are not always comfortable. They add weight and degrade the aerodynamics of the bike, and can collect dirt on itself, which can subsequently interfere with the wheel movement, forcing the cyclist to stop and waste time shoveling the dirt. In addition, the wings can touch the wheel either because of the peculiarities of the fasteners, or because of the quality of the material from which this very wing is made, which is also not a plus. Of course, these disadvantages are especially evident during competitions, where every second counts. For cycling in the park, all of this is insignificant.
Third, fenders can significantly degrade the appearance of a bike. At this point, as anyone likes, but most often a bike with wings looks worse than if the wings were not installed on it.
In addition, the wings are not suitable for all types of riding. Imagine, for example, a BMX with fenders, or a downhill bike with iron fenders. Isn’t that funny? In fact, fenders can be useful on walking city bikes, touring bikes and hybrids. in a word, where it is not about competitions or some kind of extreme. In some cases, road bikes are also fitted with fenders, but only during training. Many would say that the wings are still good for XC. If you mean a leisurely ride on forest or dirt paths, then yes, although this is not really cross-country at all. But in a sports discipline, which is cross-country, wings have no place.
In general, whether wings are needed or not, each cyclist decides for himself, based on his preferences and riding style.
What wings should be?
If you decide that you need the wings, then do not forget about the main thing. they must protect from dirt flying from under the wheel. And in order to understand whether the wheel will protect from dirt or not, it is worth remembering a little physics.
- Short front wing. In this case, dirt from under the front wheel flies in almost all directions. At the same time, depending on the length of the wing and landing, dirt can fly into the face of the cyclist.
- Short rear wing. At the same time, the dirt from the rear wheel along a parabolic trajectory, the height of which depends on the speed of the bike, flies up and falls exactly on the back and head of the cyclist. At the same time, at sufficient speed, dirt can fly over the cyclist and get into the face. Thus, a kind of mud shower is organized, pouring down onto the bike. In this case, there are no clean zones at all, since even if the dirt does not fly directly from the wheel, it can fall on the bike from above. With enough water on the road, the bike resembles a jet ski with a characteristic fountain at the back.
At the same time, it is easy to see that if you have short front and rear fenders, then you absolutely do not have to rely on them, since the whole bike ends up in a dirty area.
So that the fenders protect the rider sufficiently from dirt and water. They should be long enough. The longer the wing, the better.
Of course, all of the above applies to the case when the width of the fender is greater than the width of the tread of the wheel, otherwise the mud will fly in all directions, no matter how long the fenders are.
It would seem clear how to choose good wings and what they should be, but there is a catch here.
- Long wings are made in the overwhelming majority of cases from metal. and this is a significant increase in weight.
- If the bike has long fenders, the cyclist faces the problem of exiting the curb or other steep obstacles.
- Long fenders require adequate fastening at a minimum of three points and are not always easy to attach to bicycles with disc brakes or full suspension.
- The look of a bike with long metal fenders isn’t always good.
Thus, long metal fenders can be used on hybrids, city bikes, road bikes and road bikes. Otherwise, you should try to pick up the longest, but strongest plastic wings. When buying, evaluate how the water will fly from the wheels, and whether there will be wings in the way of this mud.
Clean dry roads and pleasant rides!
If you ride around the city 1-2 times a year, then a cheap one will be enough, with frequent use 3 years before a serious breakdown. If you take an average one, and your friends have two-suspension systems fast, then they will not be particularly interested in riding with you. Because you cannot make healthy competition with them, and if you try, you just fizzle out. At idle from a small hill, they will give you a head start of 3-5 times. Wake up for a long time to pedal, and they will all roll at idle. About extreme small bicycles and say no hunt, some show-offs. When everyone has the same, and you are not comfortable with them on the big one. The only plus is the development of dexterity. For children and adolescents. If you constantly ride for a long time and everywhere, it is better to take an expensive two suspension. Comfortable, fast and reliable, but if something happens to some delicate detail without a master it will be difficult to figure it out. My 7 years has served without breakdowns, just tuning and maintenance, Recently the rear suspension just started to knock, but I hope this is fixable, if we replace it. During the time that I ride on my own, a friend’s budget 1st bike bent, on the 2nd thread on the handlebars broke, in general it is not reliable. In order for the frame to serve better, take a lightweight aluminum alloy. And it will be strong and not hard to carry. Of the buns in the set there were only horns and wings, The wings, although not completely, provide little protection, since without them I added speed in the rain, my whole face and back were wet and dirty.
Bike fenders. yes or no?
Wings are useful when:
Wings are useless when:
- You have full-size fenders, and you also ride often on the ground. Wheels get clogged with mud, stop spinning.
- You have quick-release fenders, but there is no absolute rain protection on asphalt.
In any case, fenders provide protection against splashes, but at the same time worsen the aerodynamic properties, increase the weight of the bike, and often spoil the appearance. On the one hand, it is easier to leave without wings, endure the first 5 minutes, and then come to terms with the fact that you will be all wet and enjoy the ride. Especially it’s fun to ride like that in summer.
On the other hand, by installing the fenders on the bike, you can slowly drive to the desired point on business or work, and remain even dry.
How to choose fenders for a bike
When choosing fenders for a bicycle, it is enough to understand one rule: they should be as long as possible, wider (at least wider than your tires), and closer to the wheel, but so that when riding on soil there is enough room for the wheel to rotate in in case of dirt sticking.
At the same time, I want them to be light and also easy to install and remove.
Finding bicycle fenders that meet these criteria is not easy. Let’s go over some typical models and consider their advantages and disadvantages.
The rear wing, although easily attached to the seatpost with a screwdriver, is not secure and wobbles from side to side. The mud flies unhindered onto your back. The brakes, the system, the front derailleur are completely unprotected from dirt, respectively, and the legs too.
The front fender is attached to the gorilla forks. not the best option. It protects well from dirt flying into the face, but the legs and part of the body get dirty enough.
The front fender is mounted on a gorilla fork. It is long, but at the same time strongly moves away from the wheel, and therefore the dirt easily flies to your feet. Narrow and loose, and therefore does not work well in corners.
The rear wing has a special attachment between the two rear stays. To do this, you need to remove the rear wheel. Which, in turn, provides very good protection for the feet, front derailleur and system.
The wing is long, but very far away from the wheel at the end, and in addition it is also unbalanced. On bumps it tends to move to the sides, the dirt flies as if there were no wings.
The front fender is cleverly fastened with a strut in the hole in the head tube. precisely, a spacer is first installed, to which the wing separately clings. Installed and removed instantly. This type of fenders is located far from the wheel, but the large width, which is also increased at the ends, does not allow dirt and water to fly.
The rear wing fits easily onto the seat tube too. Thanks to the strap, it is suitable for any verb diameter. Then, with a slight movement of the hand, the wing snaps into the grooves. To prevent it from being removed just as easily, you can fix it with bolts.
The wing covers most of the wheel, has a flexible tilt angle and height adjustment. So it can be specially adjusted for different driving conditions. Higher. on ground, lower. on asphalt.
There is also a separate small fender that protects the front derailleur, and thus the legs. It is very effective.
So, obviously, the choice of fenders for a bike comes down to two options:
- Full-size fenders that cleverly fit but absolutely protect you from splashing on the pavement.
- Fenders like 3 which are wide, stiff and flexible.
Do you know other interesting options for fenders for a bicycle, or maybe you made fenders yourself? Write in the comments.
Experienced cyclists, of course, have long decided for themselves whether to install fenders on their two-wheeled horse or not. But beginners often ask the question. what are the wings for? So let’s figure it out together.
The main purpose of the wings is to protect against dirt, splashing water, and small stones flying from under the wheels. The front flap protects from dirt flying on the chest and face, the rear one. on the back. The rear fender also keeps the rider following you from getting mud from under your wheel. In addition, the front guard prevents clogging of the chainring.
It would seem obvious that you need this accessory! But you need to pay attention to some more points. Firstly, if you are in heavy rain, you should not rely on the wings to keep you dry. Shields effectively cope with puddles that come across on difficult tracks, but in a downpour you will still get wet. Secondly, the fenders are an additional accessory that makes the bike heavier, and for high-speed and extreme disciplines this is very critical. Thirdly, fenders impair the aerodynamic properties of the bike, which is also important when it comes to professional use. Fourth, many people think that shields are detrimental to the bike’s appearance.
From all of the above, we can conclude that shields will be quite useful for cyclists who prefer to ride around the city, parks, and simple country roads. And for sure, guards will be superfluous in road bikes and extreme bikes.
Since most of us use a bicycle for both city walks and cycling trips, it is still necessary to have bicycle wings in our arsenal. But you can use them as needed.
It is easy to guess that “standard” and “ordinary” wings do not exist in nature. They all differ in several ways. 1. By the diameter and width of the tire 2. By the places for fastening on the bike 3. Fenders for bicycles without fasteners on the frame 4. Full-size by the material of manufacture 5. Selection of fenders by the method of fastening 6. Exotic and home-made versions of the wings
However, the wings are not the same in diameter. Look at the width of the fender so that it can cover your entire tire. This is especially true for mountain bikes, where tires can be very wide, and even more so for fat bikes.
Fitting the fenders to the mounting locations on the bike Once you have decided on the diameter and width, look at your frame and fork. Are there any holes for the wing attachment? On the fork, they should be on the gorilla (the bridge connecting the 2 parts of the fork) and at the bottom where the wheel is attached. On the frame, the holes (or “ears”) should also be near the place where the wheel is attached to the frame, in the lintel connecting the upper frame stays, and also at the bottom on the lintel connecting the lower frame stays.
If there are holes, then feel free to take a set of full wings. this will be the most practical option. The most that can get dirty is your shoes. Although this can be prevented by installing a mudguard (it may be included). Don’t worry about the appearance of your bike, even if you have a mountain bike. Not the coolest appearance of a bike with fenders is easily compensated for by your neat appearance, regardless of the amount of water and dirt in your path.
Bicycle mudguards without frame fasteners If you have a mountain full suspension or a hardtail without frame fasteners, then we have bad news for you. It will not be possible to completely protect against dirt and water due to the lack of the necessary fasteners for installing full wings. But quick-detachable fenders can save you from total washing. With such wings, clothes below the waist will still be dirty, but if you went to a meeting with a girl, then you can hide behind a bush and give her flowers from there. After all, above the waist you will look impressively good. In general, of course, on mountain bikes, fenders are not the most practical accessory and rarely provide complete protection. This does not apply to city bikes, folding bicycles, and cruisers. There, wings are a necessary element, without which such bicycles cannot be imagined, because they are equipped with fenders from the factory. True, the wings offered by the manufacturer may not always suit you. After all, even full-size wings have significant differences, primarily in terms of material.
Differences between full-size wings by material of manufacture Steel. Perhaps the most impractical option. Their only plus is they are cheap. Everything else is a minus. They are heavy, making the bike significantly heavier. They are very unreliable on shaking. the mount in the form of a corner strives to fall off the wing and often does it successfully. When driving, they create annoying noise, constantly blurt out, require frequent tightening of connections. Aluminum. Lighter than metal ones, but they are very rare for the above reasons, and they are much more expensive. Plastic. Also a rather rare option. They are much lighter than metal ones, inexpensive, but also not very reliable. Reinforced plastic. The most popular, reliable and lightweight. Due to the thin metal base and plastic surfaces, they have high strength, they crack much less from many irregularities, and are quite elastic.
The rest of the wings differ in the way of fastening. Quick-detachable. The front fender is attached to the fork rod from below. The plastic sleeve is inserted inside, and thanks to the spacer mechanism, it is firmly fixed there. The rear fender is attached to the seatpost with a high-strength fabric clamp. Both wings can be removed in 5 seconds, which is why they got their definition.
Simple fastening. The front fender is screwed onto the gorilla forks. The rear is attached either only to the bridge between the upper frame stays, or it can have an additional hook to the seat tube of the frame.
Exotic and DIY Wings These wings can only protect a small part of the body, but they have a place to be. The flap on the frame will take away some of the dirt sent to you above the waist.
The guard on the fork will take away some of the dirt intended to get on your face, and also protect the working surface of the fork from heavy wear.
The spacer between the gorilla and the crown of the fork is also designed to keep your face clean.
Saddle guard keeps your butt dry and clean.
An excellent video about wings with your own hands.
Original publication. on the website bb30.ru
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Should you buy bike wings??
To find out whether it is worth buying fenders for a bike, let’s look at several accusations against these devices.
They add weight to the bike
Bicycle wings do make the bike heavier to some extent, but their weight is insignificant.
For bikes that are used for XC or urban use, the extra grams from the fenders does not affect dynamics.
It is advisable to take care of such trifles if you are a professional racer. Every fraction of a second counts there.
But racing bikes are already devoid of fenders. Therefore, this argument does not matter for lovers of ordinary “pokatushek”. What’s more, there are now carbon fenders on sale that weigh very little.
They spoil the look
On the bike accessories market, you can find many models that not only do not violate, but also decorate the appearance of your bike.
The main thing is to correctly consider the choice and purchase a suitable wing for your unit.
Prevents proper aerodynamics
As well as the difficulty with extra weight, this argument may be considered irrelevant for recreational travel. Things like this play a role in professional cycling.
They are useless
Others do not want to buy a wing because they believe that it is not fulfilling its function. splash protection.
Indeed, the fenders do not offer 100% protection from dirt and water, but they do significantly reduce pollution. And again, the efficiency of the part directly depends on the correct choice.
Types of Cycling Wings
Before proceeding with the selection of an element, it is necessary to consider its varieties. According to the material of manufacture, the wings are:
These are the basic materials. There are also carbon fiber fenders. Their advantage in better weight characteristics.
By the method of attachment, there are:
- Stationary (also called full-size).
These fenders are mostly made of plastic and are more suitable for mountain bikes. They attach to the front and rear forks through a hole in them. All bolts are included with the part.
However, it is important to make sure your bike forks have these holes before purchasing.
Otherwise, quick-release fenders with a different type of attachment will suit you. Rear fender attaches to seatpost with clip or strap.
The front piece has a bolt that screws into the front fork bushing to secure the piece. Wing design allows for height adjustment.
The advantage of this type of wing is:
- Light weight;
- Convenience during installation and dismantling;
- Ease of cleaning;
- Large clearance between fender and tire.
By the way, the same distance from the wing to the wheel has both pros and cons. Mountain bikes have serious tire tread.
If the distance to the wing is small, dirt will start to clog under it, and it will be problematic to get it out of there.
And with a large gap, lumps and splashes will begin to fly in all directions, reducing the usefulness of the bike wing.
The disadvantages of quick-detachable elements include:
- Low protection against dirt (the result of a large gap);
- Weak strength (most often made of plastic);
- Weak fixing of fasteners.
Since this type of wings is held on one bolt, and some parts are completely on a clamp, when driving over rough terrain, the height and position of the elements can get lost.
And given that “quick-couplers” are installed on mountain bikes, which rarely ride on flat asphalt, the wings have to be adjusted regularly.
Stationary counterparts are called full-size ones, since they fit snugly to the wheel and practically cover a large area of it. This gives them better protection against dirt and splashes.
In short, the advantages of stationary wings are the disadvantages of quick-detachable ones, and the advantage of the former turns into a minus of the latter.
The pluses include:
- Better protection;
- High strength;
- Reliable fastening.
The fixed wing is mounted in three places: on the fork, feathers and in the frame at the axle.
Disadvantages of full-size parts:
- Difficulty cleaning the inside due to the small gap;
- Not a universal mount.
Selection of fenders for different types of bike
For city and road models, classic full-size metal-reinforced plastic fenders are best suited.
They will provide the driver with lateral splash protection and will not corrode the surface of the part. Given the small gap between the wheels, it is better to drive exclusively on asphalt in rainy weather.
For lovers of cross-country and off-road it is better to use plastic “quick releasers”.
Thanks to the wide range of models on the market, fenders of the right thickness can be selected to provide side splash protection.
Although it is still impossible to leave perfectly clean in rainy weather.
Road bikes are the only type of bike where weight and aerodynamics are important. They use full-size plastic (sometimes carbon) fenders. It is uncomfortable to ride on wet city streets without them, so it is recommended to purchase reliable bicycle wings for road models.
We also recommend reading the article on choosing a bike for long trips.
As we have seen, bicycle wings are a very useful thing if you choose wisely.
Do you need fenders for a bike. Various types of bicycle mudguards and tips for choosing them
7 minutes Author: Mikhail Skvortsov 75
Despite the importance of an accessory such as bicycle wings, their use is controversial among cyclists. On the one hand, fans of radical bike relief refuse to just ride in the rain or neglect the cleanliness of their own back. On the other hand, numerous retirees and janitors, moving on road “Auchan-bikes”, always leave their regular fenders and ride with a clear conscience in the drizzling rain.
In the event that you do not exclude that you will ride in the mud, it is better to remember some physical laws. They state that:
if you have a short front bicycle fender, then this is not an obstacle for dirt to fly out in all directions, including into the cyclist.
In the case of a short bike fender at the rear, the dirt from the wheel will fly upward. Since it now moves at the speed of a bicycle, it soars up and dives down along the trajectory of a parabola at the cyclist, on his back and head. If the cyclist is traveling fast, this mud can reach the hands and face of the cyclist, and he is surrounded on all sides by a mud shower, of which he is the author. This can be spectacular:
We suggest clarifying the issue of bicycle fenders. In this matter, the practicality and expediency of installing the wings can be understood in exactly the opposite way.
Pros and cons
So, here are the main arguments for and against using cycling wings, put together in pairs to exacerbate the problem:
It is incomplete protection against dirt and moisture. If there is no rain, then it is not difficult to go around the puddle or take a drier path. Otherwise, you can drive slowly through the puddle. If it’s raining, you will still come wet as a mouse.
But the downpour rarely happens, more often the rain still “drips”, and the form dries out more often during movement. Without a rear wing, there is a high probability of soaking both cycling shorts with all pads and diapers, and ordinary jeans or underpants. You can thoroughly rub your wet crotch, and catch a cold, get, in extreme cases, cystitis, pyelonephritis or prostatitis.
Aesthetics: The best fenders are known to be absent from nature, and on a cool sports bike, fenders look much worse than aggressive disc brakes.
Yes, but there are types of bicycles, looking at which one feels the comfort and convenience of a trip just for business, for example, on a touring, the wings look quite organically, or the wings add brutal “Endurora charm”.
It is worth looking at the pictures.
If everything is clear with the bike in the first photo, then the second shows the Dutch Spyker Aeroblade bike. Limited to 50 cars, titanium frame, aluminum front fork, leather saddle, etc. Each bike costs 10,500 euros. And the wing on it is also an element of beauty. Is it possible to say looking at him that the wings on a bicycle are an ugly thing?
On a road bike, the wings look quite organic.
The problem of cycling “excess weight”. This point can only be critical for frantic calculators of won seconds, in return for donated grams of weight. But in the modern world, all but the cheapest metal shields are remarkably lightweight. and for 95% of cyclists, talking about “making the wings heavier” is nothing more than hidden bravado involved in the world of high achievement.
Bicycle mudguard significantly reduces aerodynamics.
But in races where tenths of a second are important, there are no fenders anyway. For lovers of cross-country and normal, friendly rides, it’s a sin to complain about air resistance due to the wings.
So, fenders are a decent bike accessory.
But not all bikes fit the same wings. Different types of bikes fit different fenders.
Fenders for road bikes and city bikes
Such wings are also called full-size, or classic, as they cover the largest part of the arc.
If you want to lighten the structure, you can put metal-plastic fenders. In this case, they acquire, besides lightness, also corrosion resistance, and some elasticity. For example, SKS wings (this is the name of the company). It makes a wide variety of guards for different types of bikes, from mountain bikes and road bikes to hybrids and downhill bikes.
The fixation of these shields is made on the bolt holes near the axles in the frame (dropouts), also on the fork at the top and on the frame stays from the top at the back. They are always available on road bikes.
Maybe these wings are not the most beautiful, but they are unsurpassed protectors from dirt.
What should be the shields for a mountain bike
Naturally, the above type of fenders are not suitable for mountain bikes, not just because they have an unsportsmanlike look, but because the mountain bike‘s powerful tread “sucks” the mud and clogs it between the wheel and the flap.
A good option could be, for example, the SKS Shockblade kit.
These are not full-sized, but mid-sized wings. Their plus is that they are easy to remove, protect well from dirt.
In addition, we can recommend a flap that covers the down tube on the frame in case of powerful splashes from the front wheel, for example, SKSMud-x (shown in the picture) or X-board.
In addition, the guard protects the carriage assembly and the front derailleur.
If you decide to do only with the rear wing, then you can tie a simple piece of elastic rubber instead of the front one to prevent splashes that are carried by the front wheel forward in the direction of travel, throwing up and then onto the cyclist.
Road bike mudguard
This is where lightness and aerodynamics are important, so “aerodynamic options” are quite appropriate, for example, such as those on the car shown below, namely the Crud RoadRacer Mk2.
These plastic fenders are very lightweight, resist the pressure of dirt well and are almost invisible. Their cost is about 30 euros.
Finally, a few words about whether it is possible to make homemade bicycle wings with your own hands.
Yes, there are many options. There are plastic tools at hand.
There are even metal made in an extremely time consuming way. Tin strips are cut out, and then straightened with a hammer on special forms, their production can do honor to any bike lover. for painstaking and investing their own efforts.
How to choose and install fenders on a bike, mounting methods
At home, craftsmen can do anything: even repair a car. over, tuning a simple transport will not take much time: every craftsman knows how to install wings on a bicycle. The nuances of work largely depend on the brand of the product. The set of tools required may also vary.
Varieties of wings
Bicycle fenders come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The specificity of the product depends on which particular model of transport it is intended for. The main varieties include:
Take the survey
- quick-detachable wings;
Some sports enthusiasts claim that fenders negatively affect the appearance of the bike. It is also widely believed that they have a bad effect on the aerodynamic properties of transport. However, in bad weather, these devices protect the rider’s back from splashing mud, therefore, they are indispensable when riding in the fall.
Made of plastic, fixed to the frame with a special clamp. They are located far from the wheel, therefore, they are not reliable protection from water during heavy rain. Of the advantages, it should be noted that such wings are easily dismantled; besides, they are difficult to clog with dirt.
Made of metal, sometimes combined with plastic, they are heavy. They cover about a quarter of the wheel and protect well from dirt in the off-season. They have a significant drawback: such wings quickly become clogged with debris, therefore they are unsuitable for use in a forest or park, while driving on a bad rural road or rough terrain.
They are lightweight, made of metal-plastic. Sometimes they are treated with a special water-repellent compound. Fix them to the frame. Advantages. increase the maneuverability of the bike. Disadvantages. high cost.
They have a long service life and organically fit into the design of the bike. Reliably protects from dirt in the rain. Pros. good aerodynamic properties, appearance. Of the minuses, it should be noted the complexity of installation.
Installing fenders on a bicycle is not an easy task, requiring certain knowledge and skills. The mounting method depends on the brand of the bike and its purpose. The wing type also plays a role. Front and back fixation methods may vary.
Recommended wing type
Front and back mounting features
All types of mountain bikes
In front, one-point fastening is practiced, with the exception of the design with a wire mustache. At the back are screwed to the tube under the saddle and frame
Any brand of hybrid bike
Attach to the fork (front, under the reflector bolt) and to the feathers (back, in four places, using bolts and clamps)
All varieties of a walking bike
The front must be fixed to the bottom of the frame. Behind. on the tube under the saddle. Bolts are used for fixing
Professional sports modifications of models Stels, Cube Touring
At the front, they are placed in the fork rod with a spacer. To put the rear fenders, they fasten them with a belt to the seatpost.
Quick release fenders can be equipped with mud guards. Full-size products do not need improvement in protective properties. For the safety of the fork, you can use special neoprene anthers.
When choosing fenders, preference should be given to models that come with detailed installation instructions. An additional graphical scheme is desirable. In most cases, Chinese products go on sale without accompanying texts, so installation may be difficult.
Quick Release Full Size Road Guard
Installation nuances, taking into account the type of bike
How you fit the fenders to your bike depends on the type of bike. Before starting work, you should prepare all tools and supplies. In most cases, installation will not take much time and effort.
For work you need a screwdriver and a wrench. A two-piece front fender connects to a metal plate. The long side is worn from the bottom, the short side from the top. A screw with a washer is passed through the iron panel, a spacer is put on it and inserted under the crown of the fork. The mount is tightened with a screwdriver.
At the back, the wings on a mountain bike are mounted with a clamp. It is connected to the fastening part, then the entire structure is tightened with screws. A threaded rod is placed in the extension retainer, it is connected to the base screw, tightened tightly.
The clamp is put on the pin, which is under the saddle, and pressed down with force. Then the screws are tightened in turn, gradually tightening them. Further height, angle of protection are regulated. Here are all the secrets of how to attach fenders to bicycles; nothing complicated here.
For work, you need screwdrivers and wrenches of different calibers. The rim brakes are released before installation. To fix the front wing, you need to unscrew the white reflector, place the first fixture under its screw. Paired clamps are mounted on bolts with washers.
The rear wing has four mounting holes. Pair clamps must be installed in the same way as in the front. Next, a bolt is put on the metal plate and the tube that connects the rear triangle plug. Finally, the last point is at the bottom of the seat tube.
Next, adjustments should be made. If the front fender is installed correctly, it should not rub against the wheel while driving. To do this, you need to slightly move the clamps, having achieved the desired position of the product. After that, you can finally tighten the bolts.
The necessary tools used in the work are a screwdriver and a wrench. For installation, you need to stick the front fender strut into the head tube from below, screw it all the way. Further, the protection is inserted into the groove. With proper installation, a characteristic click should sound. For better adjustment, you may have to slightly modify the resulting model with a file.
The anchor point for the rear wing on the bike is located on the seat post. If it is smooth, you should use a special rubber pad, otherwise the protection will constantly shift during driving, or, if there is insufficient rigidity, twitch in different directions, which can create significant inconvenience.
For city bikes, you should choose large models that cover almost the entire wheel. They are usually made from high strength metal. For fixation, long pieces of wire are used, resembling a mustache; they are caught by the ends of the axles.
You can use various materials to make your own bike protection. The easiest way is to take an unnecessary plastic pipe for this purpose. For work, you will need a jigsaw, sandpaper, for installation. a set of keys and screwdrivers, as well as accessories. Step-by-step algorithm of actions:
- Take a plastic pipe of the required length, this will be a blank.
- Draw with a marker the contours of the future bicycle wing.
- Use a jigsaw to cut out the workpiece of the desired shape.
- Heat the wing patterns slightly over the gas stove for roundness.
- Align the edges by sanding them.
- Attach the finished protection to the bike, mark the attachment points with a marker.
- Make holes in the right places.
- Paint the wings in the desired color, you can additionally apply a water-repellent coating; install on the bike front and back.
It should be noted that the plastic should not be kept over the fire for too long. If the material starts to melt, the wings will lose their shape. After that, they can no longer be used for their intended purpose.
Homemade fenders for a bike for riding on a bad road and rough terrain (the so-called swamp) can be made from a regular office folder for documents. First, a template is drawn on paper, then it is applied to the material for manufacturing and the protection is carefully cut out.
After that, holes should be made with a boot awl in the right places and the ties should be pulled through them. Next, the protection must be screwed onto the bike. Ends that are too long can simply be cut.
This model protects the fork and rear shock from water and dirt. The cost of similar industrial-made wings is quite high, so in this case, making an important device with your own hands is the best option.
By the same principle, you can make reliable protection from a five-liter plastic canister for gasoline or water. The front and rear fenders are cut out with a utility knife. Next, the holes for the ties are drilled, and the whole structure is attached to the bike. The clamp used for fixing fits onto superglue. This option has a long service life and original design.
Before attaching fenders to a bicycle, be sure to consider the specifics of a particular model. What is recommended for some models is not applicable for others. Before proceeding with the installation or manufacture of the wing with your own hands, you should study in detail the device of the vehicle; this will help prevent mistakes and breakdowns later.
From a plastic pipe From an office folder From a canister
Video. Rear fender for bike. Wings with your own hands
Homemade bike fenders can be made from many materials, such as wood, plastic, metal, plastic, even office supplies can be useful. It all depends on desire and money. The highest quality samples of shields are obtained from metal, plastic, or their combination with other components.
If we take into account the metal, then it is necessary to find metal sheets of small sizes. After taking measurements from the tire, apply them to the sheet and cut
Then, with the help of a hammer and special forms, give the desired shape to the metal shields. You should not rush, otherwise you can spoil the material, time and nerves. In accordance with the holes on the bike, make them on the fenders themselves and fasten with bolts.
Another great option would be a plastic wing. In this case, the plastic pipe will come off. The markup of the future workpiece is applied to it. In order for the plastic to take the desired shape, it must be heated either over a stove or with a gas burner. At the same time, do everything carefully and slowly. If overexposed, it will melt. After shaping, sandpaper the edges and sand the surface.
How to choose bike fenders?
This bicycle accessory is selected based on four main parameters:
by tire size;
at the place of attachment on the bike, or its absence;
by material of manufacture;
by fastening method.
The first criterion is the diameter and width of the tire. The diameter is indicated on the side of the tire and ranges from 12 “to 29”. Knowing the value of this value, you can accurately select the wings of the desired size. Also consider the width of the tire
The fender must completely cover it. on mountain bikes this is especially important to protect the cyclist from dirt flying from under the wheels
Next, look for the mounting holes for the wing. In miners, they are on the fork, in the part that connects the two legs, and at the bottom of the wheel mount. And on the frame. in the place where the wheel is screwed to it. If there are holes. buy a classic set of accessories.
On mountain two-suspension systems, there are often no ears for attaching the wings. Then cyclists use special quick-release products. They will not be able to completely protect from dirt, but they will significantly reduce its amount on your clothes.
As a material for the manufacture of a bicycle wing, use:
The former are the cheapest, but also the most impractical. They make the bike heavier and prone to rusting. Aluminum fenders are slightly lighter than steel fenders, but otherwise have no performance characteristics. Plastic products are lightweight, but not very reliable, therefore they are not very popular in the market. The last option is the most optimal: light weight, high wear resistance and flexibility.
And the last criterion is the method of fastening. Quick release: the front fender attaches to the fork shaft, the rear fender attaches to the seat post. Simple attachment is found in the classic kits described above.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cycling Wings
The task of this accessory lies in its main advantage. maintaining a neat appearance of the cyclist. After all, when driving off-road, dirt, water, stones and dust cannot be avoided.
But, the wings have their disadvantages:
they make the bike heavier;
worsen its aerodynamics.
Therefore, it is up to the cyclist to decide what he is willing to sacrifice: the ease of the cyclist or the cleanliness of his clothes.
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Difference of species
If you look closely, you will notice that the bike fenders do not look the same. There are several types of fenders that are suitable for different bicycles, for different purposes, easily removable and stationary. It is worth considering them in more detail:
- Short stationary specimens. These fenders are made of lightweight and ergonomic plastic and are easy to attach. They cling to the frame with one bolt; there are options in which the wing clings to the fork. They are put on once and are constantly on the bike, but they poorly protect the area of the switches and shins of the owner from dirt.
- Short removable pieces. Also made of plastic, these bicycle fenders are attached to the frame using a special small clip. Not the best option, as they poorly protect the owner from dirt and moisture. the distance to the wheel is large and the dirt can fly in all possible directions. As advantages, it can be noted that they are quickly removed if necessary and are not sensitive to clogging with dirt.
- Long stationary specimens. Such bicycle wings are usually made of light metals or metal-plastic materials. They are able to cover up to a quarter of the circumference of each wheel and provide the maximum possible protection from road surface troubles. The disadvantages include only the decent weight of such specimens and the fact that they are easily clogged with debris and dirt due to the small distance to the wheel. In the forest or on rough terrain, such wings should not be used.
When wings are needed?
The following factors can be distinguished when the presence of wings on a bicycle is very useful:
- You almost always drive on an asphalt road. In this case, the installed full-size elements will protect you from water flying from under the wheels by 100%.
- You often go for a walk on a dirt road. Then short, lightweight products are more suitable for you. They will not fully protect you, but they have more distance to the wheel and dirt will not accumulate between the tire and the fender, and the level of comfort will be higher than without this accessory.
Cycling wings are thought to be useless when:
- You have installed quick-release short versions, and you are driving on asphalt and do not have full protection against splashes.
- You have full-size versions on your bike, but you prefer riding on a dirt road and constantly experience discomfort because dirt gets clogged between the wheel and fender and you have to solve this problem by interrupting the movement.
Short, lightweight wings suitable for walking on a dirt road
Each cyclist decides for himself whether his bike needs such an element as a wing or not. For some, this is a necessity, but for others it seems that this is an unnecessary detail that not only spoils the appearance of the vehicle, but also impairs its aerodynamic characteristics.
Believe it or not, the attitude to such a simple accessory as bicycle fenders is one of the main points of controversy at bicycle forums.
On the one hand, there are bicycle fetishists and the “sportsmen” who have joined them, claiming that the shields spoil the appearance and aerodynamics of the bike, on the other hand, there are ordinary riders who cannot imagine riding in our climate without this useful addition.
Despite the fact that I have moved away from fetishism, I must admit that I remain in the first category. To this day, I can’t calmly look at a highway or mountain bike with full-size fenders. As for aerodynamics, the argument always seemed far-fetched to me, but the deterioration in appearance is obvious. I understand everything with my mind, but I cannot accept it with my heart.
But I am already a spoiled person, so I recommend to my readers, who are just at the beginning of their cycling career, not to believe the dogmas promoted on the forums. The most important thing is practicality and expediency.
Riding a bike in our climate without wings is always a lottery, how many times have I returned soaking wet and dirty just because the rain that started wetting the soil in the forest. Nonetheless, fetish-minded citizens agree to look like the Paris-Roubet racers.
In this article, I am not campaigning for or against bicycle shields. this is an absolutely master’s business. In the end, everyone will have to get wet (or not) personally, so the choice is yours. Just note that you should not aggressively defend your point of view on forums or general pokatushki, no matter which side you are in this issue.
Let’s go over the main arguments of the opponents of bicycle fenders.
Excess weight. In one of my articles, I expressed my attitude towards lightening the bike, but in short. do not engage in crap. In relation to the fenders, this means that nowadays all good fenders have perfectly acceptable weight classes. Metal as a material is a thing of the past long ago.
The aerodynamics are deteriorating. In my opinion, this item could only be used in time trial races, where every second counts. In ordinary pokatushki, at normal speeds, the influence of the wings on aerodynamics is vanishingly small. For those who really feel the negative effect, I can only advise you to exercise and eat more.
The appearance deteriorates. I can’t argue with that. for me the wings on a bicycle are disgusting, and I can not do anything about it. I will only note that I am talking about sports bikes, on city bikes and touring shields look quite harmonious.
Wings will not protect you from rain, you will still be wet. Sounds reasonable, but only in case of rain. Nevertheless, most often we have small rains, which are not a problem, as the bike dries before our eyes. It is quite another matter when the stream of water from the rear wheel beats gently into the sirloin, soaking the diaper. Riding with a wet diaper is quite unpleasant, and on many saddles, painful. I’m not even talking about possible health problems.
Citybike & Touring Fenders
I recommend everyone who rides city bikes, touring bikes, and other utility bikes to put on full fenders and close this question. On this type of two-wheeled vehicle there are always fasteners. these are bolt holes on the dropouts (near the wheel axles), on top of the fork and on the upper frame stays at the rear.
Now let’s move on to sports bikes. There are many easy removable solutions that can help the rider in rainy weather.
Mountain bike mudguards
Full-size fenders, in addition to looking wild and unsportsmanlike, are unacceptable for mtb due to dirt clogging the gaps between the protector and the flap itself. Therefore, if you are using your bike for its intended purpose, then I can recommend a good kit that I use myself:
Front wing Rear wing. I recommend taking the 29er version, even if you have a 26 ″ D-tube guard. protects against splashes from the bottom of the front wheel.
By the way, you can do without the front wing if you use such an exotic thing. It will intercept spray that is thrown by the front wheel forward, picked up by the oncoming air flow and sent to the cyclist’s face.
This piece of neoprene really works, tested for myself. Of course, it protects worse than a wing, but if you don’t want to spoil the appearance of a fetish bike. this piece is for you.
Road Bike & Hybrid Fenders
Here, the question of appearance is even more important than in the case of mountain bikes. There is a very elegant option that almost does not disfigure the road. the Crud RoadRacer Mk2. Personally, I haven’t had time to get one yet, but a roadie buddy recommended it.
The system is easily removable and adaptive; such fenders are almost invisible on a bicycle. According to my friend, they protect from water perfectly.
Alternatively, the classic SKS Race Blade can be supplied. I put these on a hybrid, with the onset of the rainy season in our Estonia. The design is also easily removable, impressions from several years of operation are positive.
In general, think with your own head, do not take other people’s dogmas on faith. If you think that full-size fenders should always be on your bike, so be it, and send all the arguments of fetishists about the appearance (like mine) away.
To ride comfortably, take care of the autumn cycling clothes, which I advised recently, it seems that even discounts are still valid. Rain outside the window is not at all a reason to put the bike in a stall, the main thing is to equip correctly.
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