Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fender Install Issues

Despite rumblings that we were getting snow this week, I still planned to ride today, snow be damned. (Of course I hadn't anticipated the snow totals topping a foot.) I have a new rear fender that is supposed to keep my butt dry on wet roads -- although it won't keep the gunk out of my chain. (It's a clip-on type that I can remove when not needed, because I hate fenders.)

But there's a story behind this new fender. It is the second one I've purchased in 2 weeks. I've never been a fan of fenders. I like the slick, clean look of a bike without added junk. No bike racks. No trunks or bags. No fenders.

I broke down and picked up a pair last month, after several rides on wet, sandy, salty roads. Ethan, (who works in a bike shop), struggled to get fenders on his road bike last month, as his frame lacked the eyelets required. Not wanting to go through the same hassles, and wanting the option to remove them when not needed, (without the assistance of my bike shop), I bought a pair of Avenir Clip-ons -- which, contrary to the name, do not "clip on". (Take note of that.)

I checked several online reviews before purchasing. The Avenirs got very mixed reviews. The majority of negative complaints were 1.) the 700c fenders for road bikes do not actually fit road bikes, 2.) they were a piece of crap, and 3.) they were not worth the money. Being the sunshine-y person that I am, I decided that I liked the positive reviews better(!) -- because people who can't install a pair of clip on fenders must be idiots!

Bwah ha ha ha...

So I spent three hours trying to install these stupid cheap plastic fenders. They don't fit! They can't possibly be made for road bikes -- there's no clearance under the brake! Even after taking a utility knife to the bloody thing to cut away a large chunk of the plastic, they still don't fit! And geesh, "clip on?" Nooooo! If it requires three tools and the removal of your rear wheel, chain, and brake to install the fender, it doesn't qualify as a "clip-on" in my book.

See that picture above? Those are the fenders in the recycling bucket. If you happened to google Avenir fenders and came across my site, don't waste your money. (If you're looking for a true clip-on, the SKS X-tra Dry is your baby.) The Avenirs are total junk.