|Cascadia ALX fenders as mounted to my Black Mountain Cycles "Monster Cross" bike.|
I used to think fenders were kind of dorky and a waste of time. I wasn't about to use them, that is, until I reviewed a set of Planet Bike Cascadia 29 fenders for my old web gig. I liked them so much, I didn't take them off the Karate Monkey until the bottom bracket went bad, then they lived on my Gen 1 Fargo for a bit, then they finally died after being put on the 1X1. They were a plastic constructed fender, and I thought they worked really well. So well that I bought a few sets of the Hardcore fenders for my gravel bikes as well.
So, yeah......you could say I am a fender convert. Mudguards are cool! Well, when you need them, that is. I basically was okay with the idea as long as they were necessary, but the second that they weren't, I was removing them. They clattered and made various noises all the while as I rode. The Cascadia and Hardcore designs in their original forms are very functional, but they had their drawbacks, and along with the noise, a lack of coverage was also one of my main nits with the fenders. I noted how that the front Hardcore fender would allow spray to coat my drive train, and I thought that coverage a little further down the wheel would save me from that. So, while they did a decent job, they weren't something I was willing to live with if I didn't have to.
|Planet Bike Cascadia ALX fenders come in a variety of sizes. These are the 700c wide version.|
I had these installed in about 10 minutes and the fit on my Black Mountain Cycles "Monstercross" bike was spot on. I allowed a bit of "breathing room", not running them right down on my 40mm tires, so that mud and gravel had an "escape route" if either should come around the top of the tire. My BMC is a cantilever equipped bike but these fenders are also compatible with disc brakes and the hardware to fit these to a disc brake bike is included. The BMC looked sharp with the new, metal fenders, and they weren't really a whole lot heavier than the previous ones I was using. Okay then.....on to riding with these things!
|Clearance and plenty of adjustability. Those are 40mm Maxxis Ramblers.|
|The extra long rubber extensions are nice for that little bit of extra coverage.|
Now I am convinced- these fenders are the ones to get. They beat the other plastic fenders hands down and are priced competitively with the other metal fenders of this type. They are easier to set up than the other metal fenders out there like these, but maybe are not as "customizable" as those are. I'm fine with that, I'm not running a custom made, "garage queen" bike, I'm riding something that I need to be easy to set up and deadly functional. Those other metal fenders are cool and all, but I also need the flexibility to adjust these to the tires and intentions of my rides as I see fit. This isn't a "one and done" set up here.
So, while the Planet Bike Cascadia ALX fenders won't garner you any "NAHBS points", they are easier to set up, easier to adjust after installation, and work at least as well as the competitions at a comparable price. I'll take that and the quiet, solid performance I have gotten so far. They may not be your cup-o-tea, but they work for me. Oh......and I just may leave these on all year.
Note: Planet Bike sent the Cascadia ALX fenders to Guitar Ted Productions at no charge for me to try out. They weren't expecting a review, and I wasn't paid, nor bribed for this post.