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Do You Need Mudguards on a Road Bike?

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For a long time, I was not a fan of having fenders on my road bike. I often found them unappealing and noisy.

Do you need mudguards on a road bike? You need fenders on your road bike to protect you and your bike from dirt, mud, and water flying off the wheels as they spin. Fenders are available in different shapes and sizes and are designed to protect the rider as well as the bike.

Road bike designs are becoming increasingly diverse and dynamic. It is essential to understand the types,
features and uses of road bike fenders.

Road Bike Designs

Many bikes feature wider rims, greater tire clearance, and disc brakes. In addition, they often have adequate space for full-length fenders.

However, some road bikes do not have either the clearance or mounts for fenders. Fortunately, many clip-on fenders on the market work on almost all road bikes.

Features to Look For

Look for several features when shopping for a fender for your road bike, including:

  • Weight
  • Durability
  • Strength
  • Size
  • Ease of maintenance

Durability is an important consideration when looking for a fender. In addition, it is essential to
consider the strength of the fender you intend to buy.

Although both features are important, consider paying more attention to durability than strength. Durability ensures the longevity of the fender, while strength protects from collisions.

Weight

Like other bike parts, the weight of the fender will affect the bike’s performance. Fenders are directly connected to the wheels and can throw you off balance if they are too heavy.

If your new fenders are heavy, consider practicing with them before going off on a long ride. Large fenders can make your ride uncomfortable, especially on hilly or sloppy terrain.

Size

Some fenders are designed to fit specific wheels and frames. Bike fenders come in different makes and models.

Be sure to measure your bike wheels before you buy the fenders. Some fenders are designed for specific frames and attachment points, which may limit some bike owners.

Measuring the wheels will give you a great idea about the type of fenders to buy.

Ease of Maintenance

Fenders require regular maintenance, including cleaning and oiling metal parts. If cleaning your fenders regularly sounds too much like hard work, consider buying fenders with smooth inner surfaces that can be easily wiped before going for a ride.

In addition, choose fenders that do not require detaching before cleaning. If cleaning the bike fender does not bother you, then you have many options to choose from.

You may choose simple, easy to clean fenders or more complex fender designs that require careful cleaning.

Length and Shape

Fenders come in different shapes and sizes. The ones with more coverage provide better protection from sprays.

Flat fenders do not provide sufficient protection from flying road gunk. Choose fenders with contours and rounded shapes.

Even full-length fenders do not offer sufficient protection from flying dirt when you are at full speed. Consider fitting a flap to the end of your fender to provide better coverage.

Tire Snug

Fenders should be fitted close to the wheels to provide better coverage and protection. Consider the tire clearance when installing a fender.

Avoid fitting your fenders too close to the wheels because small rocks and stones between the tire and the fender may cause the bike to stop suddenly. Rocks trapped between the fender and the wheels may
cause the bike to come to a sudden stop, which can be quite dangerous, especially if it involves the front wheel.

Fender Types

Braze-On vs. Clip-On

One of the easiest decisions you will have to make when buying fenders for your road bike is whether to use braze-on or clip-on fenders. Some bikes will have eyelets for braze-on fenders.

On the other hand, clip-on fenders come with brackets or straps for secure attachment to the seat posts or stays. Fitting a fender onto a bike may require some patience.

Some road bikes do not have attachments for bolt-on fenders. In such cases, you can create an eyelet on the
seat posts using P-clips.

Be sure to use insulation tape at the point of contact between the seat post and the P-clip. The tape will prevent damage to your bike’s paintwork.

Reasons for Using Bike Fenders

Many riders do not understand the exact functions of fenders. Here are some reasons why fenders are essential bicycle accessories.

Keep You Dry

Although this may sound obvious, many people underestimate the amount of dirt and water that fenders trap. Fenders provide excellent protection against road spray.

Without the fenders, you are likely to become very wet when riding on a wet surface. Getting wet from road spray is not only unsightly, but it can also be quite unsettling.

Protects Other Riders and Road Users

Fenders do not just protect the person riding a bike, but they also protect other riders and road users. If you often ride with your friends, they will be grateful for the fenders on your bike.

However, fenders offer varying levels of protection for the rider and other road users. Consider getting full-length fenders with additional flap for sufficient protection.

Good for Your Bike

Road bikes can become quite dirty, depending on the cleanliness of the surface you ride on. Without fenders, you may spend significant amounts of time cleaning yourself and your bike after each ride.

All that road spray goes somewhere if fenders do not block it. Without the fenders, the road spray will go to your chain rings, derailleurs, brake calipers, and the chain of your bike.

Longer Rides

Fenders prevent road sprays from coming in contact with the rider. They help riders remain dry and warm during their rides, which allows them to ride for longer.

Fenders can also increase your performance on the bike. Without the fenders, road sprays can cause you to
become wet, which may force you to spend more energy trying to keep warm.

Easy to Fit

Fenders are easy to fit on almost any type of bike. For the best protection, consider fitting full-length fenders on your bike.

If you are looking for a fender that is light and easy to mount, consider buying a clip-on fender. However, this type of fender may not fit some bikes.

Attaching Fenders to a Bike

Fenders can be attached to a bike in different ways. Some connect to the back of the seat while others can be attached to the front of the handlebars.

Some fenders can be attached to the frame close to the wheels. Different fender brands have varying connection points.

Choose a fender with a connecting point that you are most comfortable with. Clip-on fenders are easy to fit but can be unstable. On the other hand, regular fenders are more stable but require more space to attach.

How Long to Keep Fenders on Your Bike

Fenders will have little impact on the performance of your bike. However, you do not need to keep them attached at all times.

Leave the fenders attached to your bike if you ride often. However, you may remove them from the bike if you ride occasionally.

Consider removing the fenders if they weigh the bike down or get in your movements while riding.

Fenders are essential road bike accessories. They block road sprays and help to keep your feet drier.

Fenders also make it more convenient to pack ride. In addition, the accessory protect your bike parts from water and dirt.

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