Full Metal Fenders for Reals

Extending that quip from Twitter, and until that actually happens, I defer all fender matters to the experts at Portland Design Works. Despite having Portland in their name, they’re not a group of millennials that moved to not actually work in Oregon’s largest city, that sits on the Columbia and Willamette rivers, in the shadow of snow-capped Mount Hood. Instead of being rewarded for just showing up and having consultants try to figure them out, they’re hard at work designing quality bike kit; including, the full-metal fenders that have replaced all plastic fenders across my current quiver of rain and adventure bikes.

If you’ve been following along, I’ve shared photos of the full-metals on my demo Roubaix, and Boone. The Boone being the most interesting, because Mark V also attached a rack to the front for an all-day ride and mostly to carry beer. I’ve covered the Boone at length here, on Medium Bicycles, and in our mag. And, now specifically to the fenders, they’re doing double duty keeping me drier in the wet AND preventing debris picked up by the tires from flying off the wheels and hitting me or the cyclists near me.

Since they were installed, the fenders have held up to hundreds of miles of riding. That’s because, as the name implies, being all metal, they can withstand vibrations. Plastic fenders will eventually fail, some sooner than others, from vibrations at the attachments. Metal is stronger than plastic, right? Attaching the PDWs is as difficult as any fender install: get a beverage, put on some ambient music, and take your time. Relax knowing that while fiddling with the proper strut length, that these fenders will likely last the life of your bike, and are well worth the cost compared to plastic.

I like the full metals so much, I wrote PDW suggesting they devise a suspension/elastomer vibration reduction system for dirt roads to extend the fender’s life further; also, to consider a less-malleable metal that was less finicky during portage in and out of a truck or car. My usage of the fenders is at the far end of their purpose, sure but for commuting they’ve got plenty of room for 32 tires, and a curve in the left strut to clear the brake.


I asked Mark V about installing the PDWs, and he said

Stronger, simpler than Honjo in 45mm Full Metal, but 35mm are a dodgy fit.

He continued

The 45s are J Lawrence. Versatile, looks good fancy, but not afraid to get dirty. Good times.

35s are J Lopez. Looks good but never a good fit for the role

The Specs

  • 45mm wide
  • Fits bikes with 700×28-35mm tires and fender eyelets
  • 510g (18 oz)

and how PDW lovingly describes them

Made of anodized aluminum and adorned with laser graphics and an embossed alloy head badge, the Full Metal Fenders™ are a beautiful complement to any bike. They provide full-wrap coverage, even shielding riders behind you from tire spray thanks to the sturdy rubber mudflats.

Safety release tabs ensure your wheels will keep turning even if debris gets lodged between the fender and tire.

City size Full Metal Fenders™ are designed for touring and CX bikes with 700×35 tires maximum.

Order them from PDW directly or at a bike shop near you. Get the 45s and don’t be cheap about it like a millennial. They’ll last longer than a millennial’s next “real” job, in the gig economy.

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