“Dans ses écrits, d’un sage Italien Dit que le mieux est l’ennemi du bien”
“In his writings, a wise Italian says that the best is the enemy of good.”
The perfect fender is a wonderful thing. Water from the ground gets loaded onto the tire and is flung into this magical shield and then it just falls back to the ground. Not a drop ends up on you, the rider, or even the rest of the bike. We want this when we ride in the rain. Imagine the comfort!? It’s a great idea. The problem is that we can spend an amazing amount of time, money and frustration chasing this dream, never to achieve it.
Do the best you can but remember; When you ride in the rain you are going to get wet. It’s a given. The primary goal then, is to keep water and dirt out of your eyes. If you can see, you can ride. In mountain biking, we don’t try to keep our asses dry. It’s a wasted effort. If you were to figure out a way to do it, you wouldn’t be mountain biking properly with this giant thing in the way. We need that space to drag our asses on the tire.
I wrote a bit about fenders back in 2014. Not much has changed since then. The Mudhugger is still the very best front fender on the market, but now, the Long Front Mudhugger is the specific model to choose. It provides more protection than anything else out there and it’s super solid.
I’ve upgraded to the new models on front of my and my wife’s bikes. One of my old shorter Mudhuggers was cut down for a mini-rear to help protect droppers, shocks, and feet from the deluge of water and filth sprayed ahead of the wheel while railing soaking wet trails. Will it stop all the water and keep you nice and dry? Hell no. Will it be better than nothing? Far better.
It’s been a nice improvement over the bare wheel. The little fender takes the edge off of the harsh conditions and I figure that I stay a bit more comfortable. Cold water dumping on feet for the duration of a downhill gets old. I started to think that it was time for me to look into a mini fender like this for my wife’s bike. She needed it because I want her to be happy as she can when she comes out riding in winter storms with me.
I sat down and geeked out on the task for a long while. I went through five “paper dolls” before getting to a template for a real fender that was then cut up a little bit more. Here’s what I ended up with:
ABS is easy to scribe. It’s very soft. It’s also easy to cut and shape. Like when you’re on water, red means port (left) while green means starboard (right).
- Red snips cut left.
- Yellow snips cut straight or left and right.
- Green snips cut right.
It fit up very well. One-Piece Hook & Loop, 1/2″ Width x 30′ Length, Black (McMaster 94905K32). This is nice stuff for removable plastic. It is important that we can add or remove fenders as conditions warrant. It can be ordered in many widths and long lengths. It’s different than the standard velcro you might have around. It looks and feels nicer and it’s double sided for wrapping.
The new fender turned out really well. Even better than the modified Mudhugger; although not a low profile. It’s more solid and provides much more protection. I’m now jealous and need to get some more material and have some laser cut versions done. I may move over to 1/32″ nylon sheet or maybe source some 0.020″ carbon fiber.