Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nifty Bike Fender

(Click on image to view close-up)
It is really irritating when I would like to draft the wheel in front of me when the roads are sloppy wet and/or it is raining and the spray flies right up in my face onto my eye glasses. It's cold and yukky and before long I can barely see. And not only that, my tush and all the way up the back of my jacket, clear up to the neck begins to look like, well, Sh** has been thrown at it. This disgusting brown slop (winter is especially the brown variety) sprays up from my own rear wheel.

Everyone in front of me needs a fender. If I ease up on my pace to avoid the spray from the bike in front of me, forget it, I lose my momentum and I'm sure to be dropped. On a recent ride the other day I saw Peg had outfitted one of her (many) bikes - a 'beater bike' - with a fender she had just bought in Ernie's Bike Shop. It was a seat post fender that telescoped to different lengths. She said it was very light weight too. Heaven forbid I add a gram of weight to my bike! So I tested it and ride behind her and it does a pretty descent job of keeping the crud off my face. Never seemed to make it in to the bike shop to buy one, so used the computer to look for them. REI has two pages of bike fenders, but couldn't find the one that was hers. I asked her what the brand was but I keep forgetting what she told me. But I saw this SKS Race Blade XL road bike fender set. It is a German company that makes these. I ordered it from Colorado Cyclist for $39.99. And free shipping for me too. Can't beat that . . .

What I like about it is that it took all of about 3 minutes to attach it to the bike. I was in a hurry the morning I put it on ready to go out on a club ride in heavy rain. I am glad it was so easy to attach. And it will be just a 2 second removal job too. It is very light weight too. Notice in the photo that the wires that come down from the fender have a piece of plastic that rests on the seat stays of the bike and two strips of rubber with holes (that can be cut to shorten to look better if you like) come around it and hooks it securely. It is light weight too. Another BIG plus with this one that I really like is it comes down a good way on the tire -- meaning it has great coverage and good shielding from keeping the rider behind me from the road spray. It past the test -- no one got any spray from my wheel. AND my jacket was perfectly clean - a little wet, but clean wet! I did not attach the front wheel fender. I need to fiddle with it some as the clearance between the tire and the down tube of the bike is narrow and I need to bend the wires I think. So there ya go -- another fine accessory for riding in the inclement weather.

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