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Product Profile: Ode to the mighty fender, the hero of wet weather riding.

mardi, août 31st, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Today was the first day in a long time that Vancouver has had a serious dose of rain. This of course got me thinking about staying dry which then turned my thoughts to fenders. We make fenders, I thought, so why not do product profile on our fenders. And here we are, it’s still raining buckets outside, and I am going explain why fenders are your best friends, or will be soon – once you get to know them a little better.

Rather than writing a short novel about fenders I figure it is a good idea to focus on just one: the Rainrunner fenders. I know, we were very creative with the name, but there is little doubt about their purpose this way, since they may be found most useful in the rain it was an easy name. I must admit that setting up fenders is not my favorite pass time, but once they are on, they work wonders in avoiding the dreaded skunk tail and inappropriate face dousing during your ride. And if you want to go on group road ride in the rain, you’ll need them to avoid angering your fellow riders.

There is a dizzying amount of choice when it comes to fenders. Like trying to order a coffee from Starbuck’s for a pedantic friend, it can get a little confusing. To avoid this confusion, we tried to make one set of fenders that solved numerous problems that confronted cyclists hell-bent on staying a little dryer than their friends.

Fit is everything: If they don’t fit your bike you can’t use them

Not every bike is built the same. Some have disc brakes, some have suspension forks and some have eyelets to mount your fenders and some don’t. It would be wrong to discriminate so we worked out solutions to these fit conundrums and we even include them with the fenders.

Axle-Runners are adapters that mount on your bicycles quick release to give your bike eyelets where no eyelets are found: they’re like Geordie La Forge’s visor, but for your bicycle. Okay they are nothing like his visor, I just wanted to make a Star Trek reference somewhere in this post. Check.  But they do let you mount these fenders on virtually any bike; they are even handy for bikes with disc brakes.

These fenders also include Disc-Runner’s: alloy adapters that thread into your bicycles eyelets proving clearance for disc brake calipers. It’s a simple solution that brings dry results to sopping wet cyclists with disc brakes.

Safety Third: Being seen is always important

When you are riding with fenders, visibility tends to be on the low side. It’s darker and that makes it more dangerous. Okay, safety is actually first, which is why we teamed up with 3M to add 3M Reflex, reflective stripes on the Rainrunner’s. When it’s bright outside this charcoal grey stripe appears to be an unassuming, mild-mannered stripe, just like any other stripe. But once the bright light fades, this stripe springs to life providing reflective protection from vehicle attacks – think Clark Kent and Superman and you’ll get the picture.  It’s very cool technology that gives cyclists the added protection of being seen in low light conditions.

A true friend doesn’t spray their friends in the face

There were a lot of people that used to hack up their waterbottles and attach them awkwardly to bottom of their fenders. The reason: to avoid spraying their friends in the face. We wanted to stop the needless butchering of water bottles in the cycling world and we wanted to avoid spraying our own friends when we went on group rides. That is the story of how Backdraft mud flaps came to be. It’s a clean and simple solution that avoids water bottle genocide and keeps friends happy. That’s right we help friends stay friends.

You probably would never have believed that fenders could have something in common with both Star Trek and Superman, and they don’t. That would be stupid, unless we had special edition Geordie La Forge and Superman fenders – that would be cool. But I digress, what we do have are fenders that make life easier and dryer for riders that ride in any weather. Hopefully we have solved some of the world’s fender problems along the way. All hail the unspoken hero of wet weather commuting – the fender.

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