Fall is here! Which means, for those of us living here in Seattle, rain. A lot of rain. Driving rain. Endless driving rain. I’m pretty sure that last November it actually rained every day. However, any experienced Northwestern cyclist can tell you that the best way to combat the crushing depression of the winter months (other than maybe buying a SAD lamp) is to keep riding your bike! And what this means, is fenders.
There are many different types of fenders. Because I insist on riding completely impractical bikes, my only option are the clip on, or “fairly ineffective,” type of fenders.
These fenders are convenient because they simply clip on to the seat stays and fork blades of the bike, and don't need any eyelets or mounting hardware. They’re inconvenient because they don’t really work very well, and as a result my bike is always dirty
and my feet are always wet and sad.
So, despite the more involved mounting process, full fenders are a better option. They provide much greater coverage, which is great for your bike because it keeps it clean, prolonging the life of your components, and great for you because it keeps you more dry, prolonging the life of your ride. A great example of full fenders are the ones that Fritz has on his bike. Look at that clean bike!
And look at those happy feet!
“But wait!” you might say. “I ride a racy road bike! I don’t have room for fenders! Or eyelets!” Not to worry! Both Fritz and myself have extensive experience putting together custom fenders to fit on even the most race-oriented carbon fiber speed machine. There are several ways we can do this, but our most common method is to actually fabricate some mounts out of rack struts (thin, rectangular pieces of steel) and use these to clear the tight spaces in between the tires and brake calipers. In the case of bikes without eyelets, we can use different types of clamps to keep the fender stays attached to the frame.
So why wait! Get some fenders! Keep your feet dry!