Saturday, February 6, 2010

The FUNctional side of Fixed Gears and Winter Riding

Winter has been relatively easy for Boulderites this season as far as snow is concerned, but that doesn't mean we won't be seeing some possibly huge snowstorms in the coming months and the one thing I can whole heartedly recommend for anyone who has to venture out is to buy a set of full fenders. The Planet Bike Hardcore Hybrid fenders(shown below on my Crosscheck) are the most readily available from local bike shops and for those who don't have massive tire clearance and fender mounts, the Planet Bike SpeedyEZ clip-on fenders provide plenty of coverage for even the most aggressive track frames. Planet Bike has been in the game for some time and offers something that will fit any frame style or tire size(recumbent to 29er) with costs being relatively cheap at $40 to $50. A small price to pay for staying dry(and clean).

For those who have the clearance and fender mounts, the Honjo-Koken and Honjo copy Velo Orange fenders are the weapons of choice. A little more costly, but Honjo's are custom made and fit to your frame and with supplied stainless steel mounting hardware, your bike will probably quit before they do. The aluminum and stainless steel main body construction is a bonus too because they can be bent and straightened back to normal after a collision, fall, bike rack mishap, etcetera whereas plastic will most likely snap depending on the severity of the bend. I put a crease in a front PB fender when my front wheel low sided into a curb and it cracked before I could get it halfway back. The Honjo's and Velo Orange's can also have hammered, matte, or polished finishes that compliment a different style of bike much nicer than flat black. The Velo Orange fenders also have a price point on par with Planet Bike so I find it really hard to not get a pair of those. I'll be using some VO fenders in the near future and the only reason I don't have them already is I haven't put the order in; I'm waiting to go home to Annapolis and pick up a pair in person. While I'm waiting, my current fenders are working great and will finish this season strong.

Bottom line, get a pair of fenders and once you ride the bike lane with that dirty, wet, sloppy snow you'll wonder how you ever rode before.


1 comment:

owen said...

personally i enjoy getting the shit stains on my back when the roads a wet...