If you commute, you may have had the embarrassing experience of arriving at work during or after a rainstorm, or after cruising through a few puddles, with an unfortunate mud or water “rooster tail”—a messy stripe up the center of your back and butt that that one guy in your office will doubtlessly comment makes it look like you messed yourself on your ride in.
You may have even tried to fix the problem. Sure, a change of clothes is the easiest, but maybe you slid half a two liter bottle between your seat stays, or maybe you bought one of those plastic shields that tucks beneath your saddle rails. But often, it just isn’t enough. That’s when you turn to some real fenders. And for our money, and ease, we love the Axiom Flascheguard.
The Flascheguards come in pairs, with a designated front and rear fender. What you will first notice is their obscene tire coverage. If any part of the tire is facing you, from any angle, the Flascheguard is going to cover it. Both front and rear fenders also have a flared out bottom piece to help water and muck run off the fender and stay off of you, and your shoes, even if you are turning through a puddle.
And unlike other metal fenders, the Flascheguard is incredibly light. That’s thanks to construction from recycled polycarbonate made from old water-cooler bottles. And the recycling continues with the mounting equipment made from 100-percent recycled stainless steel. The construction is tough enough to handle rocks and muck, but we appreciate the flexibility of the plastic. It especially helped in the mounting process.
And mounting is easy. You don’t need to be a bike mechanic, or even handy at all. All it takes is tightening a few bolts, and we do think you are capable. The clever design is compatible with caliper or disc brakes. All you need to do is tighten the rack down on eyelets near the axles that exist on most bikes, and tighten the top of the fender on one of many mountain points including caliper brakes or frame mounts. Put the guard over the wheel, position it so it covers the tire uniformly, and tighten into the eyelet. But fear not! If your frame doesn’t have eyelets, Flasheguard gives you equipment to mount to the rear axle itself and to add mounting points on your front fork with small feet secured by zip ties. It gives you flexibility and ease to make the system work with almost any bike.
But making it work with your bike means making sure it will fit your tires. Buying the right size is the most important part of attaching your fenders. Flascheguard are sold based on tire size, both the tire diameter and width. To know what you need, check your tire size on the tire’s sidewall. It’s crucial to get the right size, especially for those with caliper brakes, since the guards will slide between the clearance of your fork, and under caliper brakes if you have them.
After installation, you’ll notice the benefits of the fenders almost immediately. No longer will you have to swerve out of the bike lane to avoid a puddle. Your shoes won’t soak through with the spray from a recent rain, and thankfully, your back will be safe from the dreaded rooster tail.
What makes these fenders so great though, is just how light they are. You can get the benefits of spray protection, without feeling slowed down. It gives the comfort of a beach cruiser or that old Schwinn, with the performance of a modern commuter.
axiomgear.com; $60-$66 depending on size