Planet Bike Hardcore Fender Review
SKU 7046 and 7048
Price Paid: $39.99
Link: Planet Bike Fenders
Both Carol’s Jamis Aurora and my Trek 520 are sporting Planet Bike Hardcore Fenders. Carol bought the Hardcore Road and I bought the Hardcore Hybrid, the difference being that the Hybrids are wider, 42mm vs 35mm. The reason I bought the Hybrids was that I was thinking that I might be putting on some slightly bigger tires in the future. Both sets have been in service for approximately 1500 miles. Carol’s old Raleigh Comfort bike also had Planet Bike mountain bike fenders and those fenders have 3000+ miles on them.
With the background set, here are my observations:
Overall, for a set of $40 fenders, these are a really good product. They work well and are durable and have a nice shiny black finish that really stands up to abuse..
Attaching them to the bike is fairly straight forward. The stays attach to your bike’s threaded braze-ons and there are two clips for the rear fender and one for the front. The front fenders have quick release safety mounts that will pop the stays off if something were to get jammed in the front wheel. There was some sort of a fit problem on Carol’s Jamis because of her front rack and I removed the quick release clips on hers to make it fit. Now they’re just old fashion front fenders.
Update, Sept. 2013: I want to make it clear that you really should use the quick release mechanism supplied with the fenders. On our last tour of the OtE this past spring, Carol hit a bump that caused her front pannier to jump off the rack, which in turn caused the front fender to get caught by the tire, sucking it up under itself, thereby causing the wheel to stop spinning which in turn abruptly stopped forward progress of the bike causing it to flip. Carol was pretty lucky and didn’t get hurt (low speed) and the bike was not seriously damaged, but the fender was trashed. Read the blog entry HERE.
Adjustments are simple- just hold the fender in the position that you want it, then tighten the nuts. Once it’s all in place you can fine tune the adjustments, setting the fenders as close to the tire as you like. A second set of hands can make this job a little easier.
The rear fenders also have an adjustable clip that attaches to the seat-stay crossover bridge. The fender can slide into it or snap into it. There is also a clip that snaps tightly over the chain-stay bridge. Using it slightly increased the gap between the fender and wheel, but the look doesn’t bother me. It’s sturdy. Alternatively, there is a hole in the fender so you can bolt it to the chain-stay bridge if that is your preference. In addition to the two clips, there are two sets of adjustable steel stays.
The front fender has one set of adjustable stays and a clip that mounts to the hole through the fork crown. On my Trek, the fork crown is closer to the tire than on Carol’s Jamis, allowing me more adjustability in getting the fender closer to the tire. If the bracket was just a little longer, I could do the same for Carol’s bike. Maybe if it came with some sort of bracket extension…?
In use, they work pretty well. We have ridden through rain showers and storms and remained pretty comfortable, our shoes and our bikes staying relatively dry. The only quibble I have is that I wish they were a little longer, maybe 4-6 inches. I found that following Carol in the rain, I was riding with her spray hitting me in the face, so I had to stay back far enough to lose any and all effects of drafting. I think a little longer front fender would help too, in both the forward and rearward direction. I’m sure that would require a second set of stays and increase the price, but it would be worth it. I’d pay an extra ten bucks for these improvements. That said, I can’t really find any other fender in this price range that has this amount of coverage, and I’m not the kind of guy that’s gonna spend $150 on a set of custom fenders.
As far as durability goes, you can lean them against stuff and not have to worry. Rocks and sticks go round and round, leaving not so much as a scratch. (Road debris, another reason for fenders.) Once, I had to jam my bike in the back of an SUV for an emergency portage, sans the front wheel. When we arrived at our destination an hour later, I saw that my front fender was folded in half, backwards. The emergency stay release did its job, popping the stay free. I was bummed. When I pulled the bike out, the fender went “boing” right back into shape and looked as if nothing ever happened. No crack, no crease, nothing. I was amazed. All it took was about ten minutes of fiddling to get the stays re-attached and to re-allign the fender. Awesome.
Also, there are little rubber boots that go over the ends of the stays to protect you from poking yourself. You’ll lose them in a week. I guess you could glue them on, but then it would make taking the fenders off nearly impossible in some situations.
We have had no issues of interference with our center pull or V cantilever brakes.
Bottom line pros:
-good bang for the buck
-easy to install
Bottom line cons:
-could be longer 4-6 inches
-needs a more adjustable fork crown bracket