For transportation cyclists, fenders aren’t a strict necessity, but they are an incredibly functional accessory for any city rider or commuter. Fenders (or “mudguards” as people outside the U.S. call them) are what will keep you from having a skunk stripe on your backside if you ride in the rain, and a front fender will help protect your feet and ankles from spray if you’re riding in the rain or even through a puddle. If you’re riding in a torrential downpour, they probably won’t do a lot to keep you dry, but even in a light drizzle, you’ll be dryer, warmer, and more comfortable with fenders than without.
That said, fenders aren’t a must for every cyclist. While they certainly have their place, and are useful to some, others will be encumbered by their presence. If you’re unsure whether fenders are for you, consider which of the following best describes you and your cycling practices:
You should probably consider adding fenders to your bike if:
- You ride in the rain.
- You ride in the winter (fenders help keep road sand and salt off your clothing).
- You’re a weatherizing enthusiast.
- You’re not planning on carrying a change of shoes, socks, and pants with you.
- You’re going on a group ride on wet roads (fenders keep the rider behind you from eating dirt…literally).
You can probably skip the fenders if:
- You plan to ride only in dry weather.
- You’re riding primarily off-road (if you’re out for a trail ride, you probably expect to get a little dirty).
- You prize clean lines and simplicity above all.
- You’re racing (fenders add extra weight).
- You’re planning to change clothes at your destination and don’t mind wet feet and ankles en route.
And to answer the question you’ve all been dying to ask: YES! You can put fenders on your Montague bike.
Fenders already come standard on a couple of the pavement models – the Boston 8 and the Navigator. If you’ve got a Crosstown, Boston, or Fit, you can add fenders as an accessory – the same fenders that come standard on the Boston 8 and Navigator (we don’t spec fenders on all our bikes because – see above – not everybody wants/needs them). And the nice part about these fenders is that they’re quick release – easy to remove if you decide you don’t want them, or if you want to take them off when the bike is folded.
If you’ve got a Montague mountain bike, the fenders we offer for the pavement bikes won’t fit. They mount on the bolt of the caliper brake (our MTBs have V-brakes and disc brakes – no caliper bolt to mount on) and they’re also a little narrow for the MTB tires. There are a number of companies out there that make great mountain bike fenders though, and you can easily find some through your local bike shop or by searching online.
Ride How You Like…
Regardless of where you fall on the fender spectrum, the most important thing about your bike is that you like it. Think fenders look dorky? Leave them off. Worried about getting caught in a downpour? Put some on. If you’re not comfortable, you won’t ride – and as always, Ride Safe!