5 Key Mountain Bike Fender Parts, Their Functions, and Pictures


A mountain bike bender is an essential bike part. It protects the rider, the bike frame, and the drivetrain from water, stones, and mud that is flicked up by the wheels, which is why it is also commonly known as a mudguard.  Choosing the right fenders and installing them correctly is very important and we will be discussing the five most important mountain bike fender parts and how they work.  

The most important mountain bike fender parts that secure the fender to the bike are the fender V- stay kit, the single hole L-bracket fender, the angled bicycle fork fender adaptor bolt, the bolt-on fender mounting kit, and the fender clamps. They all fasten the fender securely in place and reduce rattling. 

Bike fenders come in different shapes and sizes. The overall effectiveness of a fender is determined by the quality of its parts and the amount of coverage it provides. Fenders are also easy to install with various methods like zip ties, plastic clamps, nuts and bolts, and fender struts. For more information, you might want to read our related article explaining more reasons why you should put fenders on a mountain bike.

Mountain bike fenders include five parts that all help to provide protection and secure the fender to the bike.
Using a stainless steel fender bike set protects the front and back of the rider and bike. Image source: Amazon.

Reasons Why Mountain Bike Fender Attachment Parts Are Important

Mountain bike fenders are composed of multiple parts. Each part plays an important role. Some parts are crucial for proper attachment of the fenders to the bike, while other parts add to the overall aesthetic of the bike. 

Mountain bike fender attachment parts are important because they secure the fender to the bike frame and allow proper positioning of the fender to maximize coverage and ensure adequate tire clearance. Use high-quality fender attachment parts and attach them correctly to ensure the fenders will last and won’t break. 

The Attachment Parts Secure the Bike Fenders 

Front bike fenders can be attached to the fork crown and rear fenders can be attached to either the seat post or the wheel stays. Using a good fender attachment method will ensure your fenders stay put in all kinds of riding conditions. 

Considering the type of fenders you attach as well as the bike frame will determine the best attachment method to use. For example, fenders that reach further down the wheel arch will need fender stays that attach to the seat stays so that the wheel clearance is at least 12mm. Our article that explains how to choose mountain bike fender width properly explains what factors to consider when buying fenders for a mountain bike. 

Mountain bike fender parts such as these attachment parts ensure that your fenders are attached to the bike securely with enough clearance for the tire to rotate freely.
Fender attachment parts ensure the fender is securely attached to the bike. Image Source: Amazon

Fender Attachment Parts Position Fenders Correctly

The extent to which a rider can adjust a fender largely depends on the type of fender. Some fenders are manufactured to be easily manipulated into position, while others are not. Having a dual-hinge is generally what most affects the flexibility of a fender. 

But having flexibility with the attachment method is also a key factor that will help achieve the optimal position for your fenders. This is why many mountain bikers use zip ties to fix the fender to their bikes—they are inexpensive to replace and can be tightened to ensure good tire clearance. This video tutorial from Mountain Bike Rider has 10 Zip-Tie MTB Hacks that will have you reaching for a zip tie in most situations. 

Fenders can even be attached to your mountain bike using zip ties.
Fenders can be attached to a mountain bike in various ways. Image Source: Amazon.

Fender Attachment Parts Maintain Frame Clearance

Clearance is one of the most important factors to consider when mounting fenders to a bike. Clearance refers to the space available for the fenders to be attached without affecting the wheels. For front fenders, the clearance is the distance between the fork and the front tire. For rear fenders, the clearance is the distance between the frame and the rear tire. 

A rear fender must not be attached too close to the frame or bike tire. Likewise, a front fender must not be too close to the fork or front tire. Using brackets helps ensure that there is enough space for fenders between the tire and the frame or fork of a bike. You might also find interest in our article explaining mountain bike rear mudguard installation too. Be sure to check it out for more details.

Adjustable fenders like these are versatile enough to use on just about any mountain bike.
Fender attachments that have adjustable screws or knobs make it easier to get the right clearance. Image Source: Amazon.

5 Most Important Mountain Bike Fender Parts and Their functions

A fender consists of multiple parts, each serving a distinct function and parts differ based on the type of the fender. 

The most important bike fender parts are the single-hole L-bracket fender, the fender V- Stay Kit, the angled bicycle fork fender adaptor bolt, the bolt-on fender mounting kit, and the bike fender clamps. Their main function is to secure and maintain the fenders’ positions in all terrain. 

For a complete list of fender parts take a look at these full fender installation instructions from fender manufacturer Planet Bike. Fenders come in different shapes, sizes, and designs, with each one built for specific bike types. However, there are key parts that almost all fenders have in common. 

Single-Hole L-Bracket

The single-hole L-bracket is made from metal and its hole can fit a 6mm bolt to attach the fender. The single hole L bracket is used to attach the fender to the fork crown of a mountain bike. It can also be used to attach the rear fender to the seat stay of a mountain bike. For the best result, be sure to attach this bracket when there is sufficient space under the fork crown or seat stay bridge.

They are easy to attach without removing the wheels and are also simple to adjust because the small bolt and nut are readily accessible. The tools required to do minor adjustments to an L-bracket are a small Allen-key or mini socket wrench from a set like this, depending on the head type. We recommend reading our mountain bike tool kit essentials guide so that you can start building your toolkit and have all the tools for bike maintenance on hand. 

Use a mini socket wrench to make adjustments to the L-bracket.
A fender is attached to the fork crown of a bike with a single hole L-bracket. Image Source: Bikeshop.

Fender V-Stay Kit

A fender V-stay kit contains a plastic or aluminum V-stay and usually comes with an 8-piece eye bolt and nut set and safety-release secure clips. A V-Stay kit like this is especially useful for people who frequently change fenders between bikes because it has interchangeable brackets and holes that fit various frames. 

A V-stay kit has interchangeable brackets and holes to fit various frames.
A V-Stay Kit is attached to the eyelet of a bike frame. Image Source: Planetbike.

Angled Bicycle Fork Fender Adaptor 

An angled bicycle fork adapter like this is used to attach fenders to the fork of a bicycle. It is used for specific types of fenders such as these Velo fenders. This instruction manual from Velo-Orange, a popular bicycle accessories manufacturer, explains how to install their fenders and to make fitment adjustments if necessary. 

Angled bicycle fork fender adaptors are mountain bike fender parts that are usually used to attach specific fenders such as Velo fenders.
By using a pair of fork fender adaptors, fenders can securely be attached to the bike’s fork. Image Source: PitCrewCycles.

Bolt-On Fender Mounting Kit

A bolt-on fender mounting kit like this is used to attach rear and front fenders to mountain bikes. It usually contains several types of bolts, washers, nuts, zip ties, and related parts. They are available at different prices depending on the components included. Since every bike is different when it comes to mounting fenders, kits with many parts are useful for people that regularly change their fenders.

Fender mounting kits can be used to attach front and rear mountain bike fenders.
A minimalist fender mounting kit containing a clip, bolts, and lock washers. Image Source: CenterCycle.  

Bike Fender Clamps

Bike Fender clamps like these come with screws and can be used with both rear and back fenders. They are easily adjustable and work well with most fenders because they clamp around the seat post and are fully adjustable. 

These mountain bike fender parts clamp around the seat post, are easy to use, and are fully adjustable.
Lightweight bike fender clamps with screws are a versatile fender attachment because they can be adjusted. Image Source: Amazon.

Summary of Bike Fender Parts

Fender Parts Example Product  Price
Single Hole L-Bracket  Single Hole L-Bracket ~$5
V-Stay Connecters V-Stay Connecters ~$15
Angled Fork Fender Adapter Angled Fork Fender Adapter ~$10
Bolt-On Kit Hardcore Fender Hardware Kit ~$5
Fender Clamps Fender Clamps ~$20

Things to Consider When Buying Mountain Bike Fender Parts

Before you go out and by your mountain bike fender parts, there are a few things to consider.

When buying mountain bike fender components first consider fender compatibility, wheel size, budget, quality, future upgrades, and installation methods.

Compatibility

Before buying mountain bike fender parts it is essential to consider compatibility with the fender in question. Most fender parts need to either be bolted to the fenders or attached with clips. Clip-on fenders like these are typically more flexible and lightweight and may not be suitable for attachment with nuts and bolts. Our article about mountain bike clip-on fenders has tips to help you select the right ones. 

Wheel size and frame clearance

You must ensure that the front fender is narrow enough to fit between the bike's fork and brake caliper if it has rim brakes and that the rear fender fits between the seat stay and caliper. In addition, make sure there is sufficient room between the tires and the frame to accommodate additional fender components. 

You can opt for fender parts made of rubber and plastic like these because they are often lighter and require less space than those made of aluminum and steel. If the parts still don’t fit it may be necessary to change to narrower tires.

According to this article from bike component manufacturer Rene Herse Cycles, 20 to 30 millimeters of space is needed between a tire and seat stay bridge, and between a tire and fork crown to securely fix most conventional fenders 

Budget

Most fender parts have expensive and cheaper options. The cost of a fender part is often determined by the type of material it is made of. For example, quality metal fenders like these are more expensive than plastic fenders. In addition, some fender types are more costly to fit parts to than others.

Future Upgrades

Future upgradability is important to consider when buying a fender part. Some fender parts are designed as one-offs to be used with specific fenders. Other fender parts like these are designed to fit a multitude of fender types. Be sure to do some research before making a purchase. Our article about mountain bike fender accessories will give you tons of inspiration on ways you can modify and enhance ordinary fenders and mudguards. 

Fender Part Installation Methods

A variety of factors determine whether the installation of fender parts is simple or complicated. Two of the most important factors are the skill of the person doing the installation and their available tools. Artisans such as bicycle repairers tend to be skilled at installing even the most complex fender parts. If you are unsure about the process the best option is to pay someone to do it for you. 

Alternatively, you could opt for clip-on fender parts as they tend to be among the easiest types to install. If you have the right tools to tighten and align the fenders you’ll probably find they are quite simple to install. It is helpful to have a complete set of basic tools to maintain and repair your bike, so we recommend you take a look at our ultimate list of tools for mountain bike maintenance

Mountain bike fenders can be attached in various ways using various parts.
A mountain bike fender can be installed on the fork crown with a small bolt or cable tie. Image Source: Amazon.

Determining Part Sizes for Mountain Bike Front Fenders VS Mountain Bike Rear Fenders

One other thing to be mindful of is that the proportions of the front and rear of your bicycle are not always the same. Our quick guide to mountain bike pressure explains the various tire sizes and how they affect pressure and riding comfort. 

Mountain bike front wheels and tires can differ from rear wheels and tires in terms of size, width, and design. Keep these factors in mind when purchasing fender parts to make sure they will fit different tires.

Make sure you consider the following factors:

1. Fender Width

Some fender parts need to be adjusted across the width of the fender. Since the width of the front fender is not necessarily the same as that of the back fender make sure to measure them before purchasing the parts. 

2. Bike tire size 26” vs. 29”

The size of the tire usually affects the type of fender that is suitable. For example, a 26” tire allows for a larger clearance compared to a 29” tire. Since bikes designed for rough and unpredictable terrain often have large wheels with smaller clearances, owners of such bikes should be extra mindful of space when buying parts. This lightweight polycarbonate fender is wider so it will fit on bikes with broader tires. 

3. Front Fender Design vs Rear Fender Design 

Front and rear fenders are attached to bikes in different ways. The front fender is usually attached to the fork crown while the back fender is attached to the frame. When buying fender parts you should consider that not every part will fit both the front and the rear. These front and rear fenders have specific attachment methods suited to the location where they will be installed. 

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