Bike fenders, also known as mudguards, are a crucial accessory for any cyclist looking to stay dry and mud-free on their ride, especially when commuting to work. These simple devices attach to the front and rear of a bike and prevent water and debris from spraying up from the tires and ruining clothing. Nobody likes that familiar muddy streak up the backside. Fenders not only protect your own self, but they can also help to keep gunk away from bicycle components preserving them for future use.

When shopping for a fender, it’s important to consider the materials for weight, durability and quality. As with most things, you get what you pay for. A simple plastic fender with flimsy mounts may be more affordable, but it might mean replacing it rather quickly. Does the rear fender have double seat stays to add stability or just a single mount? It makes a difference.

Fenders come in a variety of materials and designs, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Here is a look at the most popular:

Full coverage fender

The most common type of fender is the traditional, full-coverage fender. These fenders are typically made of plastic or metal and attach to the bike with brackets that are bolted to the bike. They provide the most coverage and are ideal for wet and muddy conditions. They are also the best option for touring or commuting, as they keep the rider and their gear dry. Although they can be fitted to the vast majority of bikes, it’s important to check the clearance and make sure you have enough room.

Portland Design Works offers some of the best and most stylish bicycle fenders on the market. For example, this full metal fender set is available at,

bike fenders

Portland Design Works full metal fender set

Clip-on fenders

Another popular type of fender is the clip-on fender. These fenders attach to the bike with simple clips most often on the seat post, making them easy to install and remove. They attach to the front fork, seat post, down tube or rear seat with simple mounts made from rubber, plastic or velcro. So installation is a breeze. They are a popular choice for road and racing bikes or anyone who doesn’t want a permanent addition to their bikes, as they are lightweight and provide enough coverage to keep the rider dry without adding much drag. They are easy to pop off and clean as well. Clip-on fenders are generally more for the rear of the bike, although they are available for the front as well. This type of fender is also good for those who lack the necessary pre-drilled mounting points for bolted fenders.

This model from SKS is ideal for urban cyclists, The quick-release design is super-easy, and the angle of the rear fender adjusts for optimal use.

bike fenders

SKS S-Board and S-Blade Quick-Release Fender Set

Good old ass-saver

Another increasingly popular option is the “ass-saver” or “road” fenders. These fenders are small and attach to the seat post, they are designed to protect the rider’s backside and the rear of the bike from water and road spray, they are lightweight and easy to install, which makes them a good option for road and racing bikes. .

This model from Zeitbike is literally called the Ass Saver and is super light and easy to use, portable and just snaps right under the seat. A great option for those who cherish portability, and ease of use.

bike fender

The Ass Saver from Zeitbike

In the end, ahem, it all depends on the most common uses. If a regular commuter, then obviously a full set of fenders is key. If not, then maybe it’s enough to have a clip-on or another style. To some degree, it’s a matter of personal preference and bike type. But remember, whether you’re commuting to work, touring, or racing, fenders are a great way to stay dry and mud-free on your ride.

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