I have a Bianchi Metropoli Uno XL (frame size 55cm). As you can tell from the attached pictures, the back tire (37-622/700x35C) needs replacement (at least I would say so as the profile is barely visible anymore).

I use my bike mostly for commuting. My way to work is just under 20 km, with a third on flat gravel roads and the rest on asphalt. I cycle all around the year, except if there is snow.

Would you have any advice for me? There seems to be a rather large choice. Among this list, would you have any recommendations (e.g. the Schwalbe Energizer Plus)? Can I eventually use the same tire also for the front wheel (which I think is less urgent to replace)?

PS. As you can see on the pictures, my back fender is broken. Would anyone know of a compatible spare part?

Rear wheel with broken fender [Rear wheel with broken fender[5] Rear wheel low profile Front wheel still in good shape

  • 3
    Honestly, the easiest thing to do is to just take it into a bike shop and say "I need a new rear tyre and fender, please." The tyre doesn't actually look too bad -- the tread on bike tyres is mostly cosmetic anyway and there still seems to be a solid layer of rubber over the carcass. Aug 10, 2019 at 21:47
  • A bike shop has incentive to sell whatever they have in stock whether it is good or not. We're avoiding product recommendations because they obsolete quickly and devolve into arguments, but there are many product review sites out there.
    – ojs
    Aug 10, 2019 at 23:21
  • 1
    Your rear tyre looks worn but okay-for-now. I'd suggest replacing it when your incidence of punctures goes up suddenly - two or three in a week would imply its time for a new tyre.
    – Criggie
    Aug 11, 2019 at 1:21
  • 1
    Do take a moment to read the tour - generally specific product recommendations are off topic because they're of little longterm or global use. All you need to do is ensure the size of your new tyre matches the old ones ( 37-622 ) and you're good.
    – Criggie
    Aug 11, 2019 at 1:22
  • 2
    And let's not forget that even though we don't do product recommendations, some products are way better than others and some are horrible. My personal opinion is that basic Schwalbe Marathon is a huge improvement over almost all OEM tires. For other models, Schwalbe quality is more hit or miss.
    – ojs
    Aug 11, 2019 at 9:04

2 Answers 2


Fenders/Mudguards are more important on a commuter bike than any other style of bike. That's because it helps keep you clean for wherever you're commuting to.

So the features you're looking for in a mudguard / fender are

  • Length - a rear mudguard should stop water and muck flinging off the back tyre from hitting you or your bags. To do that, the rear mudguard should be long enough to finish at-or-below the level of your rear axle. The front guard can be even longer because its job is also to protect the bike's BB area from road muck. Its not uncommon to see front guards dropping even lower.
    Some have a leather or rubber "curtain" or mudflap that continues down where the guard stops, increasing its effective length.
    Also, the front of the rear mudguard should ideally finish below your BB. The longer front stops road-water from hitting you in the face while turning.

Example of an overall excellent design for mudguards. The silver L brackets at the top go into the stackup of your rim brakes, either on the nut or on the brake side. So they will require a bike frame with a brake bridge.
Also see the two stays in a triangle. They help support the guard. Some designs simply flap in the breeze, which lets them rub the tires but does look slightly more sporty.
The guard is also a great place to add reflectors, sticker-reflectors, or lightweight lights. https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/02/madison_158959132_2514415912.jpg

Good front guard example (note its not well-fitted to this bike, because the stays are curved, and there's an inconsistent gap between tyre and guard, and its mounted so the front edge is too high... it should bend down more on the leading edge.) Front guard

  • Clamping system - you need to inspect your dropouts and look for a spare hole for mounting the stays. Examples: enter image description here The two yellow holes to the left are for stays. Some bikes might have one, two, or even three holes. Some have none.

For your bike, I can't see any but they may be hidden by the trailer mount.

If you don't have holes for mounting, you'll need either P Clips which look like this: enter image description here
Or you may need to limit your mudguards to those which attach to the stays. Downside of these is there's a lot more unsupported length so they flap a bit, and don't last as long.

Notice this one is too short in the front, and should have a second piece that goes from the brake bridge down to the bottom bracket.

  • Width - a wider tyre needs wider guards. You should have guards that go further sideways than your tyre so they can catch water flung.

  • Material and colour - its completely up to you. Steel, Aluminium, and plastic are the two common materials for guards, and you can get combinations like "chromoplast" which is a chromed plastic, being lightweight. Some people have made wooden guards, but they tend to have one curve whereas a good guard is curved in two directions to follow the tyre.
    As for Colour, whatever suits your bike. Black, bright chrome, and matt chrome are common, but you can paint them any colour you want. Matching or contrasting your frame to suit your taste.

Less-good mudguards there are times where compromise is required. You should avoid "ass savers" because while they're better than nothing, they're not anywhere near as good as a full guard.

Ass saver There are some designs that attach to your saddle - I have one and road water still drenches the back of my thighs.

Motor-cross style - these are intended to stop mud from packing up between the tyre and the fork bridge on a MTB. Instead they help ease mud through the gap to be thrown off. No practical use on your commuter. enter image description here

Further information and reading here: Very basic mudguard question and https://www.sheldonbrown.com/fenders.html

  • I see you have a parcel rack too - there's the possibility of cable-tying a piece of plastic to the underside of your rack, so it helps reduce the amount of flung water that hits you. Again its not ideal, but its very cheap fix.
    – Criggie
    Aug 11, 2019 at 1:23

Sheldon Brown had a great article on his site about various tire characteristics, including some of the science behind them. Reading that will help you be better informed when purchasing new rubber.

Your rear tire doesn't look like it needs to be replaced, in my opinion. It probably has at least 20% of it's life left before you "should" replace it.

But, if you want to replace it, here is what I do: Buy 1 new tire, and put it on the front wheel. Put the used front tire on the rear wheel.

Why should you do this?

Well your front tire is "more important" than your rear tire. Whether your are braking, or cornering, or going over bumps, it is more important for your front tire to maintain "grip" on the road surface. Over time and usage, tire rubber compounds tend to degrade, which decreases the amount of traction they provide. Newer tires will also (in theory) be more resistant to punctures. It is "better" if your rear tire blows out compared to your front.

Your rear tires will probably wear out twice as fast compared to your front tires (due to the heavier load on them), so by always putting the new tire in the front, you can ensure the front wheel always has good traction, which gives you a safer bike.

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