Fenders, or mudguards, are a useful addition to a bicycle because they shield the rider and the bike’s most vital components (such as the chain and suspension) from spray and mud. And the psychological benefit of staying dry and comfortable on your bike is substantial on longer rides.
But how do you choose the right fender or mudguard for your bike? And how much should you spend on a new mudguard?
In this article, I’ll recommend five of the best bike fenders available today and provide details about their features to help you decide which fender is right for you. I’ll also show you how to choose the right one for your needs so you can ride safely. These fenders are available at various prices, so there’s something for everyone, no matter what riding you do.
Below are just three of my featured favorites. Scroll further down to see my full roundup, or click here.
What is a bike fender?
A fender (sometimes called a mudguard) is a cover that fits over the wheels of your bicycle and keeps you dry when it rains. If you ride with fenders, you won’t get a muddy water trail up your back.
Bike fenders are perfect for rainy or muddy rides since they can be put on and off as needed. There are multiple fenders, with models designed for various attachment points, dimensions, and bike styles. Depending on the conditions and your riding style, there are smaller, lighter variants and full-coverage models.
State Bicycle Co. Black Label 6061
State Bicycle Co. Black Label 6061
How does a bike fender work?
Bike fenders and mudguards catch water, filth, and mud that sprays off the bicycle tire. As a result, the fenders limit the quantity of wet waste splashed onto the bike. They also reduce the grit that can stick to the bicycle’s moving components while riding in wet conditions. This saves time and money on maintenance, assuring the longevity of your equipment.
Their effectiveness is partially dependent on their length. Generally, the longer a fender is, the more protection it can offer.
What are the benefits of bike fenders? (advantages)
Upgrading to a high-quality bike fender can be an easy way to enhance your riding experience. Bike fenders are an excellent way to protect your bike from rain, snow, and ice. They also assist in keeping your bike clean and clear of mud and dirt. The following are some of the advantages of utilizing bike fenders:
1. They keep your bike clean
If you ride in bad weather, you’ll get dirty and muddy. Bike fenders keep your bike clean and free of messes, making it easier to ride and looking great.
2. They keep your clothes clean
If you cycle when it’s wet out, you will find a streak of mud on the back of your shirt. This is caused by the mud on the er wheel being tossed upwards and doesn’t your back. A mudguard will protect you from this nuisance.
3. They help your equipment last longer
Rain and snow can be hazardous, especially if they get into the gears or brakes. Bike fenders keep your bike safe from the weather and running smoothly.
4. They’re adjustable
Because most bike fenders are adjustable, they’ll suit most bikes flawlessly. In this manner, you can be confident that they will adequately cover your bike regardless of the weather.
5. They’re inexpensive
Bike fenders are inexpensive, making them an excellent choice if you seek a low-cost way to protect your bike.
6. They increase visibility
They may (marginally) increase your visibility by increasing your surface area. And, glow-in-the-dark bike fenders can make you more visible when riding, which is especially crucial at night or in low-light settings.
What are the different types of bike fenders?
There are a few different bike fenders, each with unique benefits. Here are the four most popular types:
Front bicycle fenders
These are the most common type, protecting cyclists and bikes from rain and snow. They’re also typically wider than the other types, which means they can cover more ground.
Rear bicycle fenders
Like front fenders, rear bicycle fenders protect cyclists and bikes from rain and snow but also help keep cyclists cool in warm weather.
This rear mudguard is the simplest design and goes beneath your saddle between the rails to shield your behind from the elements. It doesn’t do much else, but setting it up and taking it down is a breeze. by far, the most popular saddle-mounted mudguard is the ass-saver.
If you want even more tips, check out this video called “How Effective Are Fenders At Keeping Cyclists Clean? | An Ode To Mudguards” from GCN Tech YouTube Channel.
The five best bike fenders of 2022
Below are the best bike fenders that you can buy right now.
Ass Savers Smartass Bicycle Rain Fender
You can ride your commuter bike, tour bike, cyclocross bike, etc., all day without worrying about your butt getting wet, thanks to the latest generation of Ass Savers normal mudguards.
The Ass Saver is the simplest fender to install, as it just slides under your saddle and locks into place on the rails, protecting your butt from the rain. And better protection from the elements, including rain, mud, and soil sprays, means a more pleasant ride.
The Ass Saver, which comes in two sizes and is lightweight, doesn’t provide nearly as much protection as heavier road bike mudguards.
Ass Savers offers a tiny polypropylene front fender, inspired by the Mucky Nutz Fender Bender flexible front MTB mudguard, to further protect your derriere from the elements. It attaches to the fork legs using Velcro and rests just beneath the fork crown to prevent road spray from reaching your face.
And while we’re talking about mountain bikes, why not check out Bike Perfect’s guide to the best MTB mudguards(opens in new tab) while we’re at it?
Ass Savers Fendor Bendor Bicycle fenders
For maximum protection and quick installation, this one is ideal. The Fendor Bendor BIG is fully self-supported and may be mounted on bikes without the sideways support of the seat stays or the support of a brake bridge, thanks to the newly developed attachment construction. Or, you could put it above your caliper brake to keep it out of the way.
The FLIP-TIP technology allows the mudguard to be firmly fastened to the saddle with the flip of a tip, much like a cycling cap. To release the lock, just rotate the prong downward and pull it back. A carbon-based material for railroads All carbon saddle rails can be used with the FLIP-TIP system.
It was designed for off-road cycling on gravel and adventure bikes but worked well as a protective covering for cross-country and mountain bikes. Because of its longer and wider dimensions, it is ideally suited to the longer wheelbase typical bikes in this category.
The fender’s rigidity and strength come from tightly folding along the score lines. If you want your Fendor Bendor to work, you must ensure the edges are folded. Only 61 grams, Fendor Bendor big, is featherlight (0.13 lb). Folding Fendor Bendor BIG in half allows for compact storage in a bag or on backpacking equipment. And the Fendor Bendor will not scratch your favorite bike.
SKS Raceblade Long mudguards
These 475g full-coverage chromo plastic guards have robust steel supports with innovative clips that allow you to adjust their position once they’re attached to the bike.
They come with Ikea-style instructions and are simple to put together, though not as easy as the short version. They fit into steel brackets that attach to your wheels’ quick-release skewers and brake calipers. The brackets reduce the amount of tire clearance required. So you should be able to fit 25mm of rubber.
The Raceblade Longs keep your buttocks and feet dry, and the extra rear extension makes you stand out on group rides. They simply unclip from their mounts, making them ideal for sunny riding or bike cleaning.
Unlike standard Raceblades, patching a puncture is a little complicated because you have to locate the brackets in the quick release when you change the wheel.
The Raceblades’ design prevents spray from entering your brake. However, we’d also be concerned about the steel brackets’ edges biting into the carbon forks; some bending or rubber lining would be in order.
SKS P45 Black Chromoplastic Fender set
These are the greatest mudguards you can buy if your bike has mounting points. Full-length and kept in place by steel struts and stainless hardware, they’ll give excellent cover once chopped and bolted into position.
The blades are plastic with a small layer of aluminum foil combined inside for strength, with a rubber gaiter at either end. The stainless steel supports make installation simple, and the quick-release clips are safer than ordinary fasteners, eliminating front wheel lock-up if something gets caught between the guard and the wheel.
You’ll need a hacksaw and plenty of patience to install a difficult product. But, they’re as excellent as it gets, infinitely adjustable to follow the curvature of your wheels, and durable enough to withstand decades of rough use.
Crud Roadracer MK3 mudguards
The Crud Roadracer mudguards have long been a favorite among riders with bikes lacking mudguard eyelets, and the MK3 version does an excellent job of keeping you dry, but they are not without limits.
Pros: Tool-free installation on bikes without mudguard mounts; keeps you generally dry; aids in component wear reduction (and is cheaper than a rain jacket);
Cons: less coverage in the front leaves the frame open to winter muck; the nosepiece can work free on tough terrain; gravel riding is limited.
The Crud Roadracer MK3s are an excellent option for bikes that don’t have the mounting points for standard full-length mudguards. However, if you enjoy riding on quiet muddy paths, don’t expect to get home with a sparkling bike.
What to consider when buying a bike fender(things to look for)
Though they may not appear to be the most exciting accessories, bike fenders and mudguards are available in various styles and sizes. Below are some things you must keep in mind when shopping for a new bicycle fender.
Your fender selection is determined by the bike you ride, but the ones discussed are mostly geared for road and commuting fixed gear and single-speed bikes. Traditional bike fenders provide maximum wheel coverage and are ideal for touring, commuter, and road bikes. However, it is entirely up to you if you want a fender on your mountain bike. Mountain bike fenders will be shorter and accommodate suspension and a wider range of riding terrain than other bike fenders.
Most bike fenders are composed of plastic or metal, with some combining the two. Bike fenders are also commonly made of polycarbonate plastic, which is flexible yet robust and attaches more easily than their metal counterparts. However, the struts aren’t as rigid as metal fenders, so that they can rub or jostle over rough terrain.
Metal fenders are stiffer and have less vibration than plastic fenders. As a result, they stay longer, but they are more difficult to install and heavier than plastic.
Correctly fitting and mounting your fenders will prevent them from catching on your front tire and sending you flying off your bike (OTB). However, since fender types and brands differ, installing them according to the manufacturer’s guidelines is recommended.
Installing the old-school, bolt-on fenders will take a bit more effort. A bolt-on fender/mudguard is the most robust and solid alternative and is ideal if you intend to leave the mudguard on for extended periods. However, Bolt-on choices are more difficult to install, and you must have the proper setup with fender eyelets.
Clip-on mudguards are a fantastic option if you intend to take the mudguards on and off frequently or if you only intend to use them for group rides. These are more lightweight than bolt-on mudguards. Look for strap-on fenders, which attach to your bike’s seat tube, fork, or seat post with a hook-and-loop or zip-tie style clasp.
How I chose these bike fenders(ranking criteria and methodology)
I studied hundreds of reviews from real buyers and testers to determine which fenders performed best and were dependable. I selected bike fenders at various price ranges to ensure that everyone could find a fender that would suit their needs. I judged these bike fenders by the following criteria:
Average price (10%)
While this article covers bike fenders with varying price ranges, a fender should be affordable. Thus, I highlight affordability and price as prime benefits.
Every bike fender has a unique set of features. Some are better than others. I considered their unique features when evaluating these bike fenders.
I selected these based on how durable and functional they are. I used real customer reviews and my experience to evaluate their advertised functionality and durability.
Because let’s face it—we all want a good-looking bike fender.
I considered positive and negative reviews when evaluating these bike fenders.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about the best bike fenders.
What if my bike frame lacks pre-drilled eyelets?
If your bike frame lacks pre-drilled eyelets, you can use a clip-on mudguard set or partial fenders.
Will mudguards keep me dry in the rain?
While mudguards protect from stagnant water on the road during light showers, they may not be as effective in blocking water as full or partial fenders. Therefore, consider purchasing full fenders if you ride your bike in an area that usually receives heavy rain.
Is it necessary to have fenders on both wheels?
Yes. If you only have a fender or a mudguard on one wheel, the other wheel will spray you with water. If you can’t find a fender set that fits both wheels, think about using clip-on mudguards or front guards.
Should I alter my fenders?
While changing certain fenders can make them more useful, it can also cause irreparable damage. Shortening them is simple, but lengthening them might be challenging, especially if you don’t have extra components from another fender. Similarly, they may be difficult to broaden, but shrinking a standard fender may be feasible with the correct equipment.
How do I know what size fenders I need?
If the diameter of the fender is the same as the diameter of your wheel, you may have wheel friction. Similarly, if the fender is too large, the water will splash all over you, getting you wet. Measure the diameter of your wheels, and then look for a fender set that fits that size.
How wide should bike fenders be?
At the very least, a fender needs to be 8 mm wider than the tire; ideally, it should be 10 to 12 mm broader.
How much should you spend on a new mudguard?
Depending on the materials used and the size, you may expect to spend anywhere from $20 to $160 for a bike fender.
After going through the list of fenders above, it is clear that there are many great options to choose from. Just be sure to pick one with the features you need that can fit your budget properly.
One final tip: Instead of buying one from any random brand, consider checking online recommendations or product reviews before making your choice. This way, you can rest assured that what you buy is worth it!
This article covered my top five picks for the best bike fenders and how to choose one that’s best for you. Here are some key takeaways:
- The best fenders for fixed gear bikes are:
- Ass Savers Smartass bicycle fenders
- Ass Savers Fendor Bendor bicycle fenders
- Portland Design Works Full Metal bicycle fenders
- SKS Raceblade Long Mudguards bicycle fenders
- SKS P45 Black Chromoplastic bicycle fenders
- Bike fenders and mudguards catch water, filth, and mud that sprays off the bicycle tire.
- Bike fenders are an excellent way to protect your bike from rain, snow, and ice.
- You can find the best-fitting bike fender on Amazon according to your needs.
So, which bike fender do you have? Did I cover everything you wanted to know? And what do you think of my list? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on fixed gear and single-speed bikes. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed!