We find traditional fenders or mudguards are not the best solution for bike touring. Instead, we use the simple deflectors sometimes used by mountain bikers. We have several reasons:
- Deflectors are a major weight saving over a set of fenders.
- Fenders are a real nuisance when boxing the bike for shipping.
- During logistical moves when moving a bike (unboxed) by bus, train, or boat, fenders tend to get caught, and can become bent or misaligned.
- Other touring cyclists we know who use traditional fenders are forever tightening loose screws and adjusting alignment. The deflectors are held in place by cable ties, and we have never touched these.
- In extreme conditions mud can clog up under the traditional fenders and impede rotation of the wheel.
- A forward deflector doesn’t create the toe overlap that some find is an issue with a front fender.
The rear deflector mounts under the rear rack with cable ties. Its extension beyond the rear of the rack is remarkably effective in preventing water and mud from going up your back.