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Advantages of fenders (mudguards) on gravel bikes and how to choose them

Fenders are a major customary installation on gravel bikes that are ridden on unpaved roads. In this article, we summarize why it is a good idea to install fenders, their benefits, and how to choose them.

Modified at: 2023.7.4Posted at: 2023.5.17

Advantages of Fenders on Bicycles

The advantage of installing fenders on bicycles is to guard against the tires rolling up water, mud, and gravel from the road surface. The front tire winds up toward the rider’s face and the rear tire winds up mud and water on the road surface from the rider’s hips to back. The front tire winds up on the rider’s face, which is dangerous when driving, and the rear tire winds up on the rider’s back, which is uncomfortable because it stains clothing.

For this reason, most city bicycles are equipped with metal fenders, while sport bicycles usually do not have fenders to reduce weight.

However, even sport bicycles such as gravel road bikes can be customized to have fenders installed later.

Why do so many people install fenders on gravel road bikes?

Because there are a lot of puddles on gravel.

When riding a road bike on paved roads in open areas, puddles on the road surface are only present on or after rain, but on gravel, which is often covered with trees, puddles can be present even on sunny days.

It would be better if you could avoid puddles, but in gravel, the roads can be narrow, and you may inevitably end up in puddles.

Considering such a scene, it is safe to wear fenders on a gravel road bike.

Because they can handle sudden inclement weather.

When you ride a gravel road bike on unpaved roads, you are probably going to be in the mountains. In the mountains, the weather is more changeable than on the plains, and it may suddenly rain after a sunny day.

To cope with such weather changes, many gravel road bike riders wear fenders.

How to choose fenders for gravel road bikes

The fender you choose depends on how you mount it.

When mounting fenders on a gravel road bike, “How do you mount them?” is important.

There are three main ways to install fenders on a sport bike

  1. bolt-on
  2. tie-wrap type
  3. clamp type

Bolt-on fenders can be securely fastened, but require bolt holes in the frame or fork. On the other hand, it cannot be easily removed, so this is the method to choose if you intend to leave the fender attached.

The tie-wrap type is installed by wrapping the fender around the frame with tie wraps (tie bands), and its advantage is that it can be used on any bike. The disadvantage is that it does not look very sleek.

The last type, the clamp type, is the latest trend in rear fenders. The advantage of this type is that it can be easily installed and removed as it is simply clamped to the seat post, and it also has the advantage of placing less load on the frame.

Which type you choose will narrow down your product selection.

The size is determined by how much it covers.

The next most important factor is the size of the fender. The larger the size of the fender, the more securely it will guard the bike, but it will also weigh more and look more yobbish.

Smaller sized fenders have the advantage of not detracting from the appearance of a gravel road bike, but may not guard as well if there is a lot of wind-up.

This area depends on your preference, but if you want to be well guarded, you should go for a size that can cover about 1/4 of the tire.

Note that fenders for MTB may not be able to be installed

When it comes to fenders and mudguards (mudguards) for sports bicycles, there are a wide variety of products for MTB, but some products cannot be installed on gravel road bikes.

Particularly difficult are front mudguards, which are designed for MTB’s wide suspension forks and are too wide for gravel road bike forks.

Expand your gravel bike with accessories!

Gravel bikes with high carrying capacity can be expanded to include long rides, bull riding, bicycle camping, and other uses by adding accessories.

Enjoy Bicycle Travel and Bicycle Camping!

Gravel bikes, which have the carrying capacity of a sport bicycle, are chosen not only for cycling, but also for bicycle trips and bicycle camping. The following are some tips for customizing them.

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