In defense of fenders

In truth, fenders don’t need defending. Wait, could removing fenders from your bike be called defending? Har har.

Fenders don’t need defending because they’re ignored. They’re ignored by most riders and they’re ignored in the industry. In fact, they just need some love. They need someone to sing their praises. And that’s what I’m here to do.

Fenders on a custom steel ultralight touring bike

Cyclists in the Pacific Northwest and those living east of the Mississippi regularly deal with rain. Those of us in the dry West don’t see rain all that often. Regardless, if you commute to work or school and in general rely on your bike for transportation, or if you’re planning a tour, you’d be wise to install some fenders on your bike.

We all know that fenders keep grimy water on the ground from splashing up your backside, into your shoes, and all over your drivetrain. Your bike and you can get super messy. And yet there are plenty of cyclists who would rather deal with this discomfort and extra maintenance than deal with installing fenders.

Fender installation

I don’t blame these cyclists for ignoring fenders. They can be a pain to install, especially on a bike not designed with them in mind. Or they may have tried some of those clip-on fenders, quickly broken them, or realized that they barely do anything to keep you dry.

That’s why it’s important to install proper fenders. If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right. The fenders from Velo Orange, Rene Herse, and Sim Works are all made by Honjo in Japan or are clones of the Honjo fender. They offer full protection, they are rigid, and they are surprisingly lightweight.

Here at Manzanita world headquarters, all of our touring bikes sport these wonderful guardians against grit. We use these bikes for tours of course, but also for transportation. It’s nice to know we can ride on wet streets and get to our destination looking as dapper as when we left.

This means that if you choose to have me add fender mounts to your new Manzanita bike, you’ll know that the mounting points will be equidistant from the tire. And on complete builds, I’ll gladly install the fenders for you. That way when you receive your new bike, they’ll look good, won’t rattle, and protect you and the bike for the adventures to come.