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Best Bike Fenders For Commuting

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If you’re going to be more than a fair-weather bike commuter, fenders make a vital addition to your bike.

Fenders shield you from all that muddy water and slush your wheels spin up in wet weather. They keep your bike frame and parts clean as well as clothes and shoes.

However, not all fenders are created the same.

This article looks at the best bike fenders for commuting. It’ll help you find the best fenders for you and your bike.

Top Picks:

Top 9 Best Bike Fenders For Commuting

If you’re in the market for commuting bike fenders, we have some suggestions for you. Most types of bikes are catered for among the reviews below.

1. SKS Speedrocker Gravel Fender Set (best overall)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Fits Wheel Size: 23 to 42mm width

Suitable for disc-brake gravel, CX, road and hybrid bikes, the SKS Speedrocker Gravel Fender Set is lightweight at just 408g for the pair and it’s easy to install. The fenders are made from robust impact-resistant plastic.

These are fenders that don’t require mounts or eyelets on the frame. The front fender attaches with hook-and-loop (Velcro) rubberized straps, while the rear fender fixes with telescopic stays and robust rubber straps.

The fenders incorporate the ESC Vario Safety System, which enables the fender stays to easily detach if an object like a stick becomes trapped in the spokes.

What We Like

  • Versatile – suitable for several types of bike.
  • Install – no eyelets or mounts needed on bike for installation.
  • Safety system – objects caught in spokes will unlatch fender stays.
  • Planet Bike Hardcore Hybrid Fenders (best for hybrid bikes)

What We Don’t Like

  • Limits – can’t be used on bikes with caliper brakes or front suspension.

2. Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders (best for road bike commuters)

CHECK PRICE AT TREK

• Fits Wheel Sizes: 700c x 18-23mm, 700c x 25-30mm, 700c x 28-35mm

When you’re riding a road bike into work and need as much protection from road spray as possible, Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders offer a solution. They’ll shield everything from your shoes up as well as protect any cyclists behind you.

To ensure the best coverage possible, the fenders come with durable rubber mudflaps.

The larger of these fenders will work for many CX bikes as well as road bikes, obviously, depending on the tires you have on. They’re well made from anodized aluminum and stylishly finished with laser graphics.

You can install the PDW Full Metal Fenders around caliper brakes and under forks and then into the fender eyelets near the dropouts. If your bike doesn’t have these eyelets, the supplied hardware lets you add them.

What We Like

  • Construction – satisfying build quality inspires confidence.
  • Install – ideal for most road bikes (spacers may be needed for disc-brake bikes).
  • Mud flaps – full protection from spray to protect your shoes and clothes.
  • Safety – fixture tabs open if struck by an object caught in wheel.

What We Don’t Like

  • Cost – on the expensive side, though you are buying high quality.

3. SKS P45 Chromoplastic Longboard Fender Set (best full-size)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

• Fits Wheel Size: 700c x 28-37mm

SKS is a German manufacturer with a good reputation for delivering durable products, and the SKS P45 Chromoplastic Longboard Fender Set upholds that status.

Chromoplastic consists of a super-thin aluminum and copper foil enveloped in plastic, making it resistant to corrosion and UV degradation. Accompanying accessories are made from lightweight and durable stainless steel.

Like many rival products, these fenders include safety clasps that unclip from the bike if they are struck by an object stuck between the spokes. Thus, you shouldn’t be hurled from your bike by the abrupt stopping of a wheel.

These 689g fenders suit tire sizes of 700c x 28mm-37mm, so you’re looking at road bikes with wider clearances or hybrids, CX bikes, and gravel bikes.

The extended full-length coverage offered by this SKS fender set includes mudflaps to protect yourself and anyone behind you from the low-level spray.

What We Like

  • Price – attractively priced for the quality you get.
  • Coverage – complete protection from grimy road spray.
  • Durable – chromoplastic material made to last.
  • Versatile – usable with disc-brake or rim-brake bikes.

What We Don’t Like

  • Eyelets – you need eyelets on your bike for installation out of the box (or you can improvise with P-clips).

4. Planet Bike Hardcore Hybrid Fenders (best for hybrid bikes)

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Fits Wheel Sizes: 700c x 35mm or 27″ x 1.25”

A robust set of impact-resistant polycarbonate fenders for hybrid bikes are the Planet Bike Hardcore Hybrid Fenders. These 45mm fenders suit tires up to 700c x 35mm (or 1.25” on similar 27” diameter tires).

These fenders offer full coverage and a bit more thanks to the 40mm mudflaps. They give you the confidence to commute in non-cycling work clothes.

Note that you may have to improvise installation if you have disc brakes, as disc-brake assemblies don’t always allow enough clearance. Planet Bike also offers the Cascadia fenders, which come with longer bolts and spacers for disc-brake clearance.

As with most good fenders, the stay tabs on these hybrid fenders are designed to release when the wheel is fouled by stray sticks or other objects.

What We Like

• Rugged – durable polycarbonate blades and stainless-steel stays.
• Mudflaps – extended coverage protects your shoes and riders behind you.
• Safety – quick-release tabs prevent the wheel from becoming jammed by sticks.

What We Don’t Like

• Non-disc – may cause installation problems on disc-brake bikes.

5. Portland Design Works Soda Pop Fenders (best for MTBs)

Portland Design Works Soda Pop Fenders in Black, Clip-on

CHECK PRICE AT JENSON USA

• Fits Wheel Size: up to 65mm wide (MTB)

Available in City or MTB widths, Portland Design Works Soda Pop Fenders are an eco-conscious pair of fenders made from 97% recycled beverage bottles. Hence the name. These fenders are stylish in name and looks, but they’re also light and strong.

With their simple installation process and well-designed hardware, the Soda Pops will fit most MTBs. You do need to check your bike has the requisite bolt holes before buying.

These fenders are fitted to the front via the hole in the fork crown. At the rear, they’re bolted to the seat-stay mount and clipped to the seat tube and seat stay bridge. (You may not need to use the shorter rear bolt.)

What We Like

• Eco-friendly – these are made from 97% recycled soda-pop bottles.
• Installation – quick and easy to install on compatible MTBs.
• Lightweight – add very little to bike weight.
• Assurance – supplied with Lifetime PDWarranty.

What We Don’t Like

• Bolts – bolt sizes may not suit all bikes.

Read more: Mountain bike commuting

6. SKS S-Board Bicycle Front Fender (best front fender)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Fits Wheel Size: 38mm max width, 650b or 700c diameters.

Intended for road bikes, gravel bikes, CX bikes, and hybrids, the SKS S-Board Bicycle Front Fender robustly protects you against spray on wet and muddy roads or tracks. This fender is unusually easy to install with its quick-release fitting.

The fender is made from impact-resistant plastic. It doesn’t offer full coverage, but it will protect you and the bike from most spray. The S-Board’s minimalistic fitting complements sleek drop-handlebar bikes in terms of style.

You can fit this fender onto aero forks, too, so there’s no requirement for circular profiles like there might be with a clamping or clip-on system.

Available separately is the matching SKS S-Blade Rear Fender, which is similarly easy to install.

What We Like

• Easy – installation more straightforward than average.
• Aero-friendly – you can strap this fender to any fork shape.
• Clean – simple style without stays suits drop-bar bikes.
• Paint – comes with paint-protection film.

What We Don’t Like

• Coverage – you may want full coverage if you’re riding to work in smart attire.

7. Ass Savers Clip-On Ass Saver Regular Fender (best rear fender)

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

• Fits Wheel Size: 23mm to 35mm

One of the primary aims of a rear fender is to keep water spray off your butt and back. The minimalistic Ass Saver Regular Fender does that admirably and clips onto your saddle rails with ease. No tools are required for fitting.

The Ass Saver is made from 0.8mm thick Polypropylene (PP), so it’s absurdly light at just 19g. This is one thing, apart from its discreet appearance, that makes it attractive to many road-bike users and speedy commuters.

Modern versions of the well-known Ass Saver fender include the patented FLIP-TIP™ attachment system. Once you’ve folded the fender into its required shape for installing onto your saddle rails, a final flip of the tip holds the Ass Saver in place.

This is a fender that prevents the classic streak-of-dirty-water-up-the-back look when cycling on wet roads. The only downside, if you commute among other cyclists, is that it does nothing to protect anyone behind you.

What We Like

  • Simple – possibly the easiest of all fenders to install (no eyelets needed).
  • Cheap – pocket-money price.
  • Unobtrusive – No stays or long blades to encumber the bike with.
  • Protects – stops a lot of spray, despite modest dimensions.

What We Don’t Like

  • Unsocial – spray still hits cyclists behind you.

8. Crud Roadracer Mk3 Clip-On Mudguard Set (best lightweight fenders)

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

• Fits Wheel Size: up to 38mm, 700c diameter

Sleek and incredibly lightweight at just 260g is the Crud Roadracer Mk3 Clip-On Mudguard Set. These UK-made fenders are easy to install using the Duotec “Interloc” fixing system, which requires no tools.

The fenders are equally at home on bikes with rim or disc brakes and require a 4mm minimum clearance for installation. The mentioned Duotec system involves attaching Velcro-style patches to your pre-cleaned bike frame (cleaning is paramount).

Installation must take place at room temperature above 15°C (59°F), so the fenders shouldn’t be hurriedly fitted in a frosty garage.

Coverage of these Crud fenders is good, even though it falls slightly short at the rear. Front-wheel coverage is excellent. If you’re after lightweight fenders for a road, CX, gravel or hybrid bike, you’ll struggle to find a better, more universal option.

What We Like

  • Universal – suitable for use with any type of brake system.
  • Lightweight – half the weight of many fender sets.
  • Smart – streamlined look that will complement many bikes.
  • Firm – fenders stay firmly in place provided you follow instructions.

What We Don’t Like

  • Rear coverage – coverage is very good, but some spray may hit riders behind.

9. Bestevery Universal 3-Piece Fender Set (best budget)

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Fits Wheel Size: up to 65mm width, 28” diameter (29er, 700c)

If you want low-cost protection from road or trail spray, consider the Bestevery Universal 3-Piece Fender Set. These fenders offer broad coverage for any width of the wheel from MTB downward.

You’ll receive this fender set in three pieces. Two pieces go on the front: one behind and one in front of the fork crown. A connection plate joins them together, and a bolt screws into the hole under the fork crown to secure the ensemble in place.

The rear fender fixes easily to the seatpost. Shims are supplied to ensure a snug fit with any post diameter. Although they have a typical MTB design, you can fix these fenders to road bikes, urban commuters and cruisers as well as mountain bikes.

Note that identical fenders are sold and well-received under alternative brand names.

What We Like

  • Cheap – a low-risk investment that should last on commutes.
  • Versatile – easy to fit and suitable for various bikes.
  • Adjustable – angle of rear fender is adjustable.
  • Strong – plastic construction is flexible yet strong and shatter resistant.

What We Don’t Like

  • Coverage – MTB-style coverage leaves the lower wheel exposed on other bikes.

Commuting Bike Fenders: Features To Look Out For

Now that we’ve proposed a few fenders and fender sets for your consideration, how should you go about making your buying decisions? There are a few things to think about with fenders.

Ease Of Installation

When choosing fenders, it’s wise to closely study all provided installation information. It might take you five minutes to install some fenders, while others will steadfastly refuse to go onto your bike. The more you know about requirements beforehand, the better.

In particular, study the following before buying:

  • Brake systems – disc brakes may have many benefits, but they can complicate installation of fenders. In particular, the mechanism can obstruct fender stays, making it hard to install fenders without bending the stays or installing longer bolts (not usually supplied). Caliper brakes can also present problems if they don’t leave sufficient clearance under the fork crown or seat stay bridge.
  • Mounts or Eyelets – fenders may or may not require the use of eyelets on your bike frame for installation. Often, you can add eyelets to the frame by installing P-Clamps, but these may not be supplied with the fender (available from hardware stores). There may also be occasions where you have to bend or coerce the fender stays before they’ll reach your bike’s fender mounts.

The easiest fenders to install are usually those that clip, clamp or strap onto the bike. A potential downside with those is slippage (particularly straps). These fenders usually give you less coverage, because full coverage normally requires fender stays.

Video: Installing Fenders Onto A Bike With Eyelets

Coverage

An important consideration when picking fenders is the amount of coverage they offer. This is closely related to the clothes you intend to wear on your commute (like your pants) and who else rides the same route. There is also the question of protecting your bike.

Full-coverage fenders (or full fenders) cover most of the wheel, reaching below the wheel hubs at front and back. This coverage may even be enhanced by mudflaps.

Choose full coverage if you want to protect important bike parts as well as all of your attire from the shoes up. When you wear bike-specific gear for your commute, there’s less concern about clothing.

If you ride a popular commuting route, full-coverage fenders also protect riders behind you from the spray. You need the rear fender below hub level for that.

As alluded to already, fenders with partial coverage tend to be easier to install and will shield you from the worst of any spray. MTB fenders always have partial coverage to avoid off-road mud and debris from accumulating between fender and tires.

Materials

Fenders are normally made from metal (stainless steel or aluminum alloy) or polycarbonate. Many think of polycarbonate as cheap, but it’s ideal for fenders.

Polycarbonate fenders can flex without harm, which often makes them easier to install. They’re also lightweight and shatter-resistant.

Metal fenders have masses of classic appeal (Velo Orange hammered alloy fenders are a case in point). Because they’re more rigid, they tend to stay silent in use, so you won’t often hear any creaking from them.

Most fenders for racy road bikes are polycarbonate, but you might choose a metal fender for a city bike, a touring bike or a cruiser, for instance.

Some fenders combine plastic and metal to achieve rigidity and corrosion resistance in one, though stainless steel and aluminum are not metals that rust or corrode easily. The nuts and bolts that fix fenders to bikes are more likely to rust.

Safety Tabs

The tabs or clasps that attach fender stays to your bike should release when struck by an object trapped in wheel spokes. If they don’t, the bike will either skid or abruptly stop, potentially sending the rider over the handlebar.

Most fenders made by reputable manufacturers are going to have this feature, but it’s something worth verifying before purchase. Clip-on fenders are able to side-step this issue completely.

Video: SKS Fender Stay Safety Release System

How About Reflectors?

A relatively rare feature but one that does exist is the inclusion of a reflector on the rear fender. You’re more likely to find this on full fenders, as they extend far enough for the reflector to be perpendicular to the road.

Bike Commuter Fenders FAQs

Below, you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions about bike fenders.

Will Fenders Fit Bikes With Disc Brakes?

The fenders that won’t necessarily fit bikes with disc brakes are those with stays that need the same space as disc-brake mechanisms. It’s all about clearance, which can sometimes be created by bending the stays, using washers or using longer bolts.

Do Both Wheels Need Fenders?

Ideally, yes, because spray from both wheels will hit you, riders near to you, and various bike parts. It will hit your shoes, lower legs, drivetrain, and down tube from the front; and from the rear, it’ll mostly spray your butt, back, and underside of the saddle.

My Bike Frame Has No Pre-Drilled Eyelets, Does That Matter?

It only matters to the extent that some fenders are designed to be used with these eyelets and won’t necessarily come with hardware for alternative methods. As well, some fenders do not have stays and do not use the eyelets for installation.

What Width Of Mudguard Or Fender Do I Need?

Fenders should be about 10mm or wider than the tire width. Bear in mind that some tires are wider on the bike than their specified width, so it’s best not to risk going much narrower.

Will A Set Of Fenders Protect Me From Rain Or Wet Ground?

Fenders will protect you and your bike from the wet ground but not rain. An important thing to remember is that spray from the road or trail is far more damaging to your bike than clean rainwater.

Should You Put Fenders On A Road Bike?

Yes, if you want to reduce necessary maintenance time and costs or commute in work clothes without getting them dirty. Alternatively, use minimalistic options like the Ass Saver and be ready to clean the bike often!

Read more: Guide to fat bike fenders

Conclusion

Looking back on our fender reviews, the SKS Speedrocker Gravel Fender Set takes the top spot for its blend of versatility and high quality. No eyelets are needed here for installation.

In the second place, the Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders give panache to your bike and keep you looking dapper, too. Robust mudguards help protect your clothing from shoe-level up.

Taking bronze is the SKS P45 Chromoplastic Longboard Fender Set in our best full-size category. Each fender offers full coverage and the benefits of a rigid metal interior enveloped by a plastic housing.

All of these fenders are great at protecting you and your commuting bike, especially in the winter months!

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Bike Push - Mark W
Mark W
I’m a cycling enthusiast, and the founder and chief editor of Bike Push. If I’m not working on this website, then I’m out on the bike clocking up the miles. I want to help others get the most out of cycling.

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