Fenders aren’t often a top priority when you’re buying a new road bike, but you’ll definitely wish you had them when you’re trying to power through a muddy field and feeling the wet dirt splatter on your back. A casual cyclist could spend dozens of hours a year cleaning their bike and clothes after an encounter with some rough weather, and it only takes a few minutes to screw on some mudguards to solve the problem.
Below are six of the best bike fenders we could find, along with some reasons why you might want to pick them up yourself.
View The Best Bike Fenders Below
1. Planet Bike Cascadia
These durable fenders can keep your bike’s wheels clean and mud-free in any weather, and will even take a few small impacts all by themselves. At 130 millimeters long, they cover a surprising amount of the wheel without getting in the way of your bike’s movements, and the way they’re designed means that they won’t slip further down the wheel after long periods of use.
Although they’re recommended for tires about 28-35 millimeters wide, the fender has a full 45 millimeters of width and can cover half of the rear wheel, giving you plenty of protection from mud, sand, and other annoyances kicked up from behind.
+ Simple Shape
+ Covers a lot of the wheel
+ Easy to modify
+ Won’t slip
Why We Liked It – The Cascadia fenders are simple, effective and do their job as intended without relying on any strange design choices, making them great for all kinds of cyclist especially endurance riders!
2. Planet Bike Full
These Planet Bike fenders are incredibly easy to modify, using minimal parts to stop the process from getting too complicated. The all-weather polycarbonate shell can withstand both sun and rain without wearing out or suffering any internal damage, and the front fender’s release tabs mean that it can automatically snap away from the bike if something gets wedged between it and the tire.
Both 45mm fenders use quick-adjusting hardware to easily accommodate most standard tire sizes without modifications and can be easily rigged up to third-party mounting points or struts if your bike already has some installed.
+ Easy to adjust
+ Heavily modifiable
+ Release tabs
+ Flexible, won’t snap easily
Why We Liked It – These fenders can block out all weather-related issues with equal effectiveness, making them great for cyclists who want a bike for all seasons.
3. Planet Bike Hardcore Hybrid
These flexible fenders use weather-resistant materials to keep you and your tires protected in less-than-ideal conditions, and the double-riveted design makes them much more durable than the thin shell suggests. The mounting hardware included with these fenders is capable of attaching to almost any bike without extra modifications, meaning that you can easily swap them to a new bike if you decide to upgrade.
Thanks to the thin and lightweight polycarbonate used in the design, these fenders barely add any extra weight to your bike, so it won’t suddenly feel bulky after you install them, even if they’re positioned close to your tires.
+ Double-riveted for extra durability
+ Versatile mounting hardware
+ Can fit many different sizes of tire
Why We Liked It – The biggest strength of these fenders is the mounting hardware, which you can use to attach it to almost any bike – even your own heavily-modified custom bikes.
4. Planet Bike Hardcore
As with most of Planet Bike’s products, these fenders are incredibly resistant to bad weather and small bumps, but these Hardcore fenders come with a whole 60mm of width on both the front or back – making them capable of catching and blocking a lot more mud, dirt, dust and other annoyance that might get kicked up during your ride.
Their mounting system makes them compatible with almost all bikes on the market at current, although it’s not hard to modify them if they don’t quite fit on yours, and thanks to the double-riveting they can take quite a heavy impact before showing any signs of damage.
+ Durable polycarbonate shell
+ Stainless steel mounting hardware
+ 60mm wide
+ Can mount to almost all types of bike
+ Excellent at catching mud and water
Why We Liked It – These fenders are much wider than you might expect – a simple change that allows them to block far more than smaller fenders without getting in your way.
5. SKS RaceBlade Pro XL Black
These Raceblade fenders are designed to be as long as possible, giving them extra coverage without impacting your bike’s performance. They can easily be altered to fit different the radius of a new wheel using the adjustable stays and use a quick-release system with two hinges to make attaching and removing them incredibly simple.
The way these fenders are designed makes them compatible with multiple different types of brakes and wheel variants, so you’re much less likely to have problems attaching them than with fenders that are purpose-built for a certain frame or wheel type.
+ Longer, covers more area
+ Easy to adjust
+ Compatible with most brake types
+ Easy to attach and remove
+ Uses lightweight materials
Why We Liked It – The RaceBlade fenders cover more of your wheels than usual, giving you plenty of protection from mud and other annoyances. They’re great for racers but can also work well for any other kind of cyclist.
6. SKS Velo 65 MTB Snap-On
These snap-on fenders are incredibly convenient, especially if you don’t want to keep them attached 24/7. Being able to snap them on before you leave home without having to break out all your multi-tools can save plenty of time, and cleaning them takes far less effort than usual. The optional U-stay kit allows you to make the connection more permanent – but still removable – if you decide to keep them attached more often.
The universal mounting system allows the fenders to fit a huge variety of frames and bike types, and they can cover up tires of any width between 37mm and 62mm, meaning that they can be used on hundreds of different bike and tire brands with ease.
+ Universal mounting system
+ Easy to attach
+ Fits a wide range of bikes
+ U-stay kit for conversions into ‘regular’ fenders
+ Extremely lightweight
Why We Liked It – These fenders are excellent for cyclists who want an easier way to set up their fenders, as well as those who’ve never used fenders before and want a simple way to try them out.
Bike Fenders Buyers Guide
Durability is the most important part of any fender or mudguard, and not just in terms of collisions. Weather-resistant fenders will be able to take much more damage from daily use, whereas physically strong designs won’t offer many benefits unless you crash in a very specific way. Prioritize resistance over strength unless you know you’ll need the extra physical protection.
The weight of a fender will affect your bike like any other part, but remember that it’s essentially connected directly to your wheels – the extra bulk won’t be in the center of the bike, but at both ends, which could throw off your balance. If you’re buying fenders that use heavier materials, make sure you practice with them before throwing yourself on a difficult trail or into a long ride.
Very few fenders will fit every size of tire and every frame, so you still need to be careful when making a purchase. Make sure you’ve measured your tyres and gotten a good idea of what kind of fender size you’d need, since not all brands and makes come in every size – some might also be limited to certain types of frame or attachment points, which could limit the options available to you if your bike isn’t a very popular or well-known make.
Remember that you can always modify fenders to make them smaller by cutting their size down, although this could be risky if you don’t think you’re skilled enough to carry it out – damaging the fender too much might make it less effective at blocking mud.
You’ll have to clean fenders no matter what, but some designs will be much easier to clean than others. If you feel like cleaning them will be an annoying waste of time in your eyes, go for something with a smooth inner surface that can be quickly wiped without needing to be detached from the bike. If you don’t mind the cleaning, then feel free to get something with a more complex design or setup, since it will usually take longer to clear out the mud and dirt, especially if it’s a fender that stretches out to cover much more of the tire.
How should my fenders attach to my bike?
There are a few different ways fenders can be attached, but there’s not much of a difference between them. Some might connect to the back of the seat and front of the handlebars, while others might be connected to a lower point in the frame near the wheels. There will obviously be a difference between brands and design variants, but you should generally choose a connecting point that you feel comfortable connecting them to.
In terms of full attachments vs. clip-on fenders, make sure you’re considering the pros and cons before committing. Clip-on designs take less time to attach, but will usually also be less stable. Regular fenders, on the other hand, are more reliable but may take up more space to attach, which could interfere with other bike accessories and parts.
Should I keep fenders on my bike permanently?
Fenders won’t generally impact your bike’s performance, but there’s still not always a reason to keep them attached. If you’d prefer to only use them when they’re necessary, you’ll probably find yourself leaving them at home if you go cycling in a paved urban area with very little bad weather. If you often cycle in the countryside (or another natural area), it’s a good idea to keep them on so they can block dust, stones and anything else your tires kick up.
The only time you really need to remove fenders is if they start getting in the way of your movements or weighing you down, but this won’t generally happen unless you’re using modified or heavy-duty fenders all the time.
Should I modify my fenders?
Modifying some fenders or mudguards can make them far more useful, but it can also damage them and make them worse at their intended purpose. Lengthening them is difficult, especially without spare parts from another fender, but shortening them can be fairly simple as long as you still let them cover key areas of your tire. Widening them is similarly tricky, but narrowing the average fender is possible if you have the right tools.
The only modification you should generally avoid is to the mounting system unless you have the experience and parts to fix it. Breaking the mounting components means that you won’t be able to attach the fenders to your bike, meaning that they’ll be effectively useless until you can repair them. In terms of painting and other cosmetic changes, they usually won’t lead to any issues, so feel free to redesign your fenders as much as you want.