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Please read the information below about bolt on vs quickrelease and various mounting question which will help you make a decision regarding compatibility. On each fender product page, there are fender selection filters that will also help you choose the best fender. Of course, we can’t know every frame geometry and bike componentry, but these tools will definitely get you headed in the right direction.
There are typically two methods for attaching fenders to your bike, bolt on (also referred to by SKS as full fenders) and quickrelease fenders.
If your bike is suitable, an advantage of a bolt-on fender setup is rigidity and security. Obviously, a fender bolted on is more stable and rigid. This is particularly helpful when riding on rough roads where extreme vibration is a factor. The bolt on fender is also more difficult to remove, a clear theft deterrent.
Bolt on fenders are perfect if you often ride in wet conditions. Think Seattle, where you need fenders more than you don’t, a shower might pop up, and puddles are usually full.
Typically, bolt on fenders can be longer (because they are attached more firmly) which means they offer more splash coverage for your feet and the rider behind you.
Bolt on fenders require frame eyelets or frame clamps (if eyelets are absent) on which to mount the fender. Bolt on fenders also require adequate frame clearances at the seat stays and sufficient vertical and lateral clearances at the fork crown and between the brake and tire.
SKS recommends having a bicycle shop mechanic install SKS bolt on fenders. They are quite adept at making small adjustments and fine tuning the fender set up so that it looks great and performs well.
If your bike doesn’t have eyelets, or adequate clearances to run bolt on fenders, a quickrelease, (also sometimes called a clip-on) fender will work in most cases. These fenders are a best option for riders who only occasionally ride in wet conditions as the fenders can be put on/off very quickly.
The quickrelease fenders are also typically lighter weight and can be easily removed from the bike when they are parked in public places (preventing theft) or for transport on a car or bus rack. The quickrelease fenders are generally not as long and don’t offer as much splash coverage as bolt on fenders.
It is important to make sure the fender you are interested in will fit correctly through your frame arches. The width of the fender profile will need to be narrower than the distance between the seat stays and between the fork legs.
Furthermore, when using caliper brakes there needs to be enough clearance between the brake caliper/brake bridge and the top of the tire (typically 15-20mm).
Often times racing road bikes or track bikes do not have the necessary clearances as the frame has been minimized to reduce weight and improve aerodynamics. For bikes with very little clearance, we suggest fender models such as those in the Raceblade series.
We recommend cutting the stays with bolt cutters or by putting them in a vice and using a hacksaw. Remember, measure twice, cut once. If you botch the job, contact us, we have more stays.
Fenders (especially full fenders) look best when they are mounted close to the tire. However, there needs to be at least 15mm between the inside of the fender profile and the top of the tire.
Again, a fender profile that fits closely to the tire, looks best aesthetically. The profile needs to be a minimum of 5mm wider than the tire (7mm is better). Always make certain the whatever profile width you choose will fit between your fork legs and seat stays.
Almost all SKS fenders are disc brake compatible. SKS fenders which include stays, or stay kits (sold as an option) include shims for use with disc brakes. The shims can be “stacked” at the eyelet to push the fender stay outward to avoid the disc brake caliper.
Fenders such as the Raceblade Long and Raceblade Pro and Pro XL series are extremely adjustable and adjust around the disc brake caliper.
We have solutions for these situations. Please feel free to call or email us. Pictures are worth a thousand words and we can probably suggest an adapter that will allow you to still mount an SKS fender to your frame. Meanwhile, take a look under fender parts and check out the 11259, 11260 or frame clamps. These might be just what you are looking for.
There is a potential hazard with front fenders bolted to the frame as debris caught between the fender and tire, or between the spokes and fender stays, can cause the fender to crumple and lock up the front wheel. SKS full fenders and any SKS fender with a front stay includes a breakaway mount (which will release the fender if debris becomes caught). Always use the front breakaway for your own safety. DO NOT forego the breakaway mount, it is provided for your safety and is necessary.
WHOA Man! No way are we going to tell you to take a drill to your frame! Check with your local bike mechanic and proceed at your own risk.
Glad you asked! First of all, the information below is valid for only standard Commuter II /Bluemels, it is not accurate when considering special edition Bluemels like the Stingray, 75U, 75U Long or Reflectives.
In most cases, the Chromoplastic Longboard is longer, providing more coverage, you can check the fender lengths on the SKS fender comparison guide by CLICKING HERE. The Chomoplastic Longboard fenders all feature a removable mudflap which helps to increase the length and coverage. This mudflap is also available as an accessory and could be purchased separately and fastened to the Commuter II/Bluemel Fenders if desired. The Chromoplastic Longboard fenders feature edge protectors on the front of the front fender to make it look a bit more finished and pro. The Chromoplastic Longboard series features 3.4mm stays, whereas the Commuter II Bluemels are 3.0mm stays. The 0.4mm increased diameter of metal makes the stay more rigid. The Chromoplastic Longboard front safety release is called a Secu Clip while the Commuter II Bluemels front safety release is called an ASR clip. Both are absolutely effective in providing safety. The Secu Clip is a bit beefier which can also help with reducing vibration. Both fenders feature the same plastic material sandwiching foil for strength and stainless steel hardware.
Fenders will work with most front suspension setups. Both bolt on fenders and QR fenders like the Shockboard, Shockblade, Dashboard, etc. all work well with front suspension.
The QR Front Fenders (Shockblade, Shockboard, Shockboard XL or Dashboard) can still be mounted to your fork with a zip tie system that goes around the fork crown (item 8208) or you can order the Shockboard Vario system which straps around the fork crown with rubber straps and is adjustable for a 26” or 29er setup.
Cannondale Lefty’s are compatible with the X-Board, Mud-X or X-Guard downtube mounted fenders.
We don’t recommend leaving fenders on bikes that will be transported on a car or bus rack. Plastic fenders were not made to withstand highway speeds and the wind force may cause breakage during transport or may compromise the plastic due to the strong vibrations, which will cause breakage later. We do not offer warranty coverage on fenders that have been damaged as a result of being transported on a vehicle. Please consider a QR fender if you are going to be racking often.
E-bikes do not require special fenders. Fender compatibility is based on wheel/tire size and mounting options, not pedal vs. power. However, SKS does offer a special downtube mounted fender with long enough straps to go around the E-bike downtube with battery attached (X-Guard). We are also the distributor of MonkeyLink fenders which use the E-bike battery power source to light the fender’s safety light, only if the E-bike is OEM equipped for compatibility with MonkeyLink.
Please click here for this information.
We are more than happy to help you. Below are ways it is easy to reach our support team or find your local SKS dealers using our Dealer Locator below.