By Jeff Chan
My Vancouver cycling calendar has two seasons: fender and no-fender. I don’t like those things. They rattle, they catch on my toes, and they look clunky. But fenders are a necessity in this city and the cyclist who eschews them for whatever reason foolishly opens the door to a host of unfortunate consequences including, but not limited to, looking like they either had an “accident” or are wearing a pair of those pre-faded jeans.
Fenders come in many styles, with the “gold standard” being the full-wrap variety. Their increased coverage means that full-wraps keep you drier than snap-ons while also decreasing maintenance time by reducing the amount of crap spraying into your drivetrain, transmission and headset. But there’s an obstacle between you and the ultimate in foul-weather protection: many manufacturers feel that instructions aren’t necessary to make sense of the bags full of parts that accompany their full-wrap fenders. My mission today is to make your rainy season much more comfortable by demystifying this installation process. We’ll start at the front:
1. Remove wheel.
2. Unfasten and remove brake caliper from fork crown. Position fender mounting tab between fork crown and caliper. Reattach wheel. Reattach caliper.
3. Attach wire fender stabilizers to fork end eyelets using included nuts and bolts.
4. Adjust stabilizer length to prevent tire rub.
5. Repeat for rear fender.
A few notes:
* Grease all threads during installation or fender bolts may rust in place.
* Some front fenders interfere with brake. Fix by switching to thicker brake pads or trimming fender edges.
* Clip-on brackets included with some rear fenders give the option of attaching fender with zip-ties without removing brake.
* Zip-ties can be used instead of bolts, but you may have to pinch stabilizer eyelet holes closed with pliers to keep them from slipping off.
* If your frame and/or fork lack mounting eyelets, half-wrap clip-ons might be best. Zip-ties can hold fenders on without eyelets, but fenders may slide around causing tire rub.