When I was a young weight weenie and truly mediocre racer, I thought fenders were for old dorks. My weight weenie friends and I would smirk anytime we saw a befendered road bike. Now I'm an old dork, and I love fenders. I have several bikes equipped with them -- some expensive, some cheap, some aluminum, some plastic. I don't just like them for their utility, I think they can improve the look of some bikes. Good fenders make a good bike look great.
|I rode this Rivendell Long-Low for a number of years without fenders. It looks good as-is, but. . .|
Plastic fenders have a lot going for them, and for some applications, there's no reason to spend more money or go more "deluxe." Prices seem to range from $40 to $60. I have an early 80s Stumpjumper, one of the early models with the nicely lugged frame. I've had it powder coated and updated some of the components, installed mustache bars, and I use it on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath when riding with my kids. It make a good trailer-towing rig. I installed SKS plastic fenders on it, and they look good. They are essential on this bike, since I don't want want dirt and the occasional mud from the path flying up into the faces of my kids!
|1983 or '84 Stumpjumper, with SKS plastic fenders. A great trailer-towing rig.|
The most "deluxe" fenders come from Honjo of Japan. They are beautifully finished, and all the hardware is first-rate, but they're expensive. At Boulder Bicycle, which is a supplier I recommend, they range from $120 - $175, depending on size and style. Boulder Bicycle also has most of the hardware available separately for those who need replacement bits. They are more of a challenge to install, as they typically require more measuring and drilling than the Velo-Orange versions.
|Fixed-gear bikes like this one make for a serious installation challenge, but I feel like I got the fender lines looking good. These are the Honjo "LePaon" model with a 7-sided profile -- a classic "vintage-looking" style.|