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My bought-as-2nd-hand bikes have plastic fender-attachements which tend to break. When they break, the fender starts to make a lot of annoying high-pitched sound. So which fenders do you recommend to replace the plastic junk?

Please, do not interpret me wrong, the fenders can be plastic but the attachment-things must be designed the right way. I like the design by SKS in their Bluemells Matt fenders but not wanting to pay extra for the aluminum and branding, have used many plastic-mixture with proper attachments and they have never failed me (now not having the bikes at the hand). Not sure but perhaps price-worthy product, Sunny Wheels, but unknown brand -- cannot get it though. So which fenders are long-lasting price-worthy? 28" wheels.

[Update]

This question has strayed off-topic due to changes by different users and partly due to my ignorance, sorry about that. The main point is not product recommendations. I am looking for timeless/intrinsic tips to find/maintain/control/(or buy if you can justify properly) fenders. Before you say "XYZ, you are changing question.", no I am not: the junk description is not necessarily junk, it is to some extent in the eye of the beholder.

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Title edited because the original title was ignored in the accepted answer. –  user313 Feb 23 '11 at 6:15
    
@hhh - wdypdx's edit to the title was extremely clear. What was wrong with it that you've changed it? It's not not nearly as easy to understand. –  Neil Fein Feb 23 '11 at 22:50
    
@hhh - you are being hostile, and this is unnecessary. –  Neil Fein Feb 23 '11 at 23:55
    
Note: Comment above is in response to comments that were removed by user hhh, not to the question itself. –  Neil Fein Feb 24 '11 at 3:52
    
UPDATE cleaned the mess, I think this question is now fair. I think it pretty well addresses the indifference problem: one axe, like just buying new stuff, won't solve this problem. The problem is to survive with scarce resources over a long run. Please, see the summary and the procedure. –  user652 Feb 24 '11 at 3:56

6 Answers 6

I've had good luck with Planet Bike fenders. I've got these on my commuter, and they work nicely and don't rattle. When things do start to rattle, sometimes you can fix it with a few zip ties.

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+1 for recommending reuse, fixed one plastic-attachment fender this way (works great) but a bit more challenging is the next because it misses a metallic bar altogether. –  user652 Feb 11 '11 at 23:37
    
+1 for Planet Bike, I've used their fenders on both of my randonneuring bikes, no problems at all. –  darkcanuck Feb 12 '11 at 5:39
    
My Dahon came with these, they're very durable. –  Neil Fein Feb 14 '11 at 19:18

You mention that you do not like the extra cost of the SKS fenders, but I would say that I have had excellent luck with them lasting 3+ years with no issues at all.

They are incredibly well made, and while not the cheapest on the market, they are not Honjos @ $100/pair either.

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what do you think about the front safety clip? I think it is the most useful during winters to protect the tires, not to let snow to depress the tires, or is it just marketing gimmick? So does it work or just annoying to get your fender off? I am uncertain what are the intrinsic factors in the SKS that are not in discounters' fenders. –  user652 Feb 12 '11 at 0:02
    
I have had the safety clip release the front fender during the spring too when I misjudged debris in the road. I find these pretty easy to get off at least compared to metal fenders. I have never used the PlanetBike ones so I cannot say which is intrinsically better. –  john busteed Feb 14 '11 at 15:05

Try the Planet Bike Cascadia fenders. When you install them, use fender washers (they have the same inner diameter as regular washers, but the outer diameter is bigger) for more support. Space the fender so that it arcs over the wheel smoothly. Forcing it up to the brake bridge on the seat stays or the BB bridge will create a stress riser and crack the fender a lot quicker. For spacers, I've found the conical washers that V-brake pads use are the best, especially if the hole in the fender doesn't quite line up or the braze-on isn't perfectly straight. They allow the bolt head to still fit evenly and flush, whereas a plain flat spacer stack has to sit unevenly.

Safety clips are nice, especially if you need to remove your front wheel to put the bike on a fork mount style roof rack. Undo the clip and the fender can swing right out of the way.

If you don't leave the fenders on year round, invest in a set of Sheldon Nuts. They let you keep your brakes on when you install and remove your fenders. This only really applies to bikes with road bike style calipers, though.

Cheers

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+1 for many insightful lessons such as about safety clips, fender washes, BB bridge, conical washers and sheldon Nuts. Seems cheap and long-lasting ideas, thank you. –  user652 Feb 23 '11 at 23:23
    
seldon nuts are used not to take of brakes but could they be used to move the fender position backward? They may solve the high-pitched sound problem because the fender is so close to the tire: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/2697/…. It is very hard to get the fender to right position, have to try your tips. I have no idea which item use here but I think it is good idea to try cheapest alts before buying new fender. –  user652 Feb 24 '11 at 2:57

I've had a Zefal fender set on my regularly used hybrid/commuter for 10+ years and counting. Probably a couple of minor crashes during that time, I lock up at public bike racks, and I also occasionally use bike racks on bus transit. Otherwise, they don't get banged around very much. I don't know what attachment requirements you have, but Zefal has a few models on their site to choose from. Also, don't remember the price as it was quite a while back when I purchased. The fenders are amortizing well though.

At one point a strut became bent, but I just bent it back into shape. Occasionally, I need to adjust/tighten the mounts a bit. These fenders are and have been pain-free over that time and stand up to "normal" wear and tear, so I can definitely endorse.

In thinking of the "stingy" tag... I took a look at my bike files. I purchased the Zefal's for $42 in 2000, along with the hybrid/commuter, so I've had them for 10+ years. The fenders are black polycarbonate, stays are steel, and the front fender mounts to the eyelets with a rubberized bushing. I just took a good look at the fenders and there is no indication that I'll need to replace them any time soon. They don't rattle and basically the maintenance has been limited to slight adjustments after particularly rough rides. Anyway, I love bargains , but I tend to prefer quality products that last, as opposed to whatever happens to be the cheapest at the time.

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wdypdx22: what about in the case of problem? Are they then cheap to maintain, can you find replacements parts and support? If not, do you know for sure you can cheaply fix your fenders? I know many good trap-products the facade of which seem awesome but costs in the long-run far-exceed the initial price. I cannot underestimate your long usage but I like to plan long-term, it is essential to plan if something wrong happens even with "high-quality" fenders. You surealy have some experience. How did they work during tire-changing? Did any part become loose in the fenders? –  user652 Feb 23 '11 at 23:43
    
@hhh- First of all, I've had to do minimal maintenance with these fenders and that is basically occasionally tightening connections. This is a regularly used bike, so adjustments are to be expected. I've never needed any new parts, but considering LBS resources in my area and the Zefal site, that probably won't be a problem. On tire changing, which occurs with some regularity over 10+ years, I've never had any problems. The only significant repair was after a crash where I had to bend one of the stays back into shape. Beyond the original $42, I haven't spent a dime on these fenders. –  user313 Feb 24 '11 at 18:37

Velo Orange has good aluminum fenders with solid hardware in the $30-$60USD range. I haven't had any problems with the set I bought from them a couple years ago.

Note that they also carry the more expensive Honjos. Their house-brand models are all labeled "VO."

Also note that they sell just the attachment hardware, and none of it is plastic. Might be a cheaper solution in your case.

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Depends which bit broke. If it's the rear fender attachment that bolts to the frame most bike shops here stock a $2-ish flat metal attachment that's designed to be folded around the fender and up to take the mounting bolt (pic http://img651.imageshack.us/i/mudguardattachment.png/). If it's the stay to fender attachment there's too many options, your only real choice is to buy a decent set that you can get parts for. Sample sites selling parts: http://abbotsfordcycles.com.au/public/content/view/40/101/ and http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/fenders.html

Regardless, buying metal attachment parts is the better solution.

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+1 for suggesting more generic things (parts) besides fenders. They may be useful even with high-quality ones. –  user652 Feb 18 '11 at 5:50

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