Friday, April 30, 2010

Planet Bike Mud Flaps

Those following my 1972 Fuji Finest build will recall that I opted for 45 mm SKS silver chromoplastic fenders.  There were a variety of reasons for this - they fit the look of the bike, I've sort of had my fill of metal fenders for a while, and so forth.

I ended up being pleased with these fenders with one exception - the front fender doesn't have a mudflap and doesn't extend particularly low.  So while this is good enough to protect the rider, it provides only a minimal shield  from the abrasive laden gunk that sandblasts one's drive train when riding in the wet.

The chromoplastics are strong enough to support a leather mudflap, of which I have several lying about.  However, just as with metal fenders, I'm a bit cool on leather mudflaps these days.  They look sharp when first installed, but after some time being put to their intended purpose - i.e, being sprayed with mud - they get limp and floppy.

The sleekly shaped mudflaps on the Planet Bike fenders recently installed on the 1981 Fuji America weren't helping the case for leather mudflaps either.

On a whim, I went looking around the Planet Bike website and, goodness gracious, they sell mudflaps (and other replacement parts, such as stays) for their fenders.  So I ordered a 45 mm set, a deal at USD 5 with free shipping.  For informational purposes, they sell these in sets of two with plastic attachment rivets.

Planet Bike must have sensed that I was having a serious mudflap crisis because only two days later the mudflaps arrived on my doorstep.  I installed one on the front fender this afternoon in about 5 minutes:

Since I only care about myself (ask Mrs. Otaku about this sometime), I didn't put one on the rear, although I may should I ever feel an unfamiliar stirring that I identify as concern for others.

Anyhow, these are very nice looking mudflaps at an unbeatable price and, if this is what one is after, much more form-fitting than a leather mudflap. They come in a number of sizes.

Being aware that many readers do not share my current ambivalence about metal fenders, I test fitted one of these mudflaps to a Velo Orange 45mm aluminum smooth fender and it was quite a nice fit. Although I didn't have samples to test, I expect they would work with hammered and fluted fenders just as well, as the mudflaps are rather flexible.

Sometimes the good things in life might not be free but are at least cheap and have free shipping.  Kudos to Planet Bike for selling these as individual parts.


JPTwins said...

Sweet! I didn't really feel that the leather mudflaps worked well with my bikes, and didn't know that these would fit with the SKS fenders, so I just ordered two sets! thanks for the tip!

Keith Hatfull said...

Just got mine yesterday for the SKS fenders of my Fuji Touring Series III. They DO fit like a charm. Now just to permanently mount them. Thanks a TON for the tip.