With the weather showing no signs of relenting (c'mon, New Year's was months ago, winter should be over - jeez), knowing how to stay clean when you're riding in the rain is as important as ever. In today's post we'll talk fenders and the best way to keep the wet and grimy road off of your clothes. Toss on your rain coats and let's dive in!
If you live somewhere where rain is more of an occasional surprise than a regular reality, a temporary fender will provide some last-minute wet-ride protection. Compact, easy to install, and light enough that you can leave them in your bike bag or backpack, you never have to worry about being caught in the rain without protection. Consider an Ass Saver or a Fendor Bendor if you sometimes get caught out in the weather but want your bike to be fender-free on most days.
And if you want something more permanent, but don't want to go full-rain boots, a mini-fender might be just what the bike doctor ordered. Perfect for when tomorrow's forecast calls for rain so you've got prep-time, the mini-fenders mount to the brake bolts, so it's still a speedy install, but you'll need a wrench and bit more time than the instant velcro-and-go of the temporary solutions above. They also a offer a bit more coverage, sloping down with the path of the wheel, so they'll do a bit more to keep that spray off your backpack and the front of your jeans too.
The Full Monty
But when the weatherman's saying "storm" and there's not a single sunny icon on the 5-day forecast, you're ready for the real deal. Full fenders wrap around your wheels, front and rear, to keep the road grime off of you, your bike, and the riders behind you.
If you commute in a cycling city, full fenders will be appreciated by everyone tailing you in the bike lane (and yourself when you step into work clean). Even better, lightweight materials like aluminum and bamboo mean the old days of clunky, heavy, steel fenders are behind us, and the new class of fenders are as stylish as they are useful!
Whatever you choose, grab a pair and leave the skunk stripe to the unprepared. We'll see you out there.