Review: Planet Bike Cascadia Fenders

It seems like my bike fleet is always undergoing modifications…25 years or so of collecting components and hardware means that sometimes I get a “wild hair” and decide to reconfigure one of my bikes into something new. I got the idea to put together a real “Frankenbike” — a cyclocross/MTB/all-weather commuter, and to pull it off I needed fenders for this project.

Enter our friends at Planet Bike. They were gracious enough to ship over a pair of their Cascadia ATB fenders for this project.

cascadia fenders

Made of a spine of polished aluminum and covered with a soft-yet-unbreakable polycarbonate shell, these fenders promise to be sturdy as well as stylish. Planet Bike really did their homework with these fenders — the details, included hardware and features are all top-notch. Heck, they even come with built-in mudflaps…crucial for keeping you and your bicycle clean when the rain comes down!


The included hardware is all stainless steel, down to the washers. Even the fender stays are stainless — a nice touch. The nuts are “nylock” to eliminate any rattling or loosening of the fenders during use…nothing is more annoying than a rattling fender! One of the great features of this hardware kit are the included cylindrical spacers:


These spacers allow fender installation on bikes equipped with disc brakes…the cylinders provide enough “stand off” to let the stay pass the brake body without interference. This is a spectacular addition to the kit, as fender mounting on disc-equipped bikes is otherwise somewhat of a nightmare.

Mounting the fenders is pretty simple…a 15 minute process if you’re slow. Adjusting the fenders to follow the contour of the tire and to provide clearance for wide tires takes a little bit of finesse, though. Planet Bike’s sliding stay clips make the process straightforward…simply loosen the nut at the clip, slide the fender up or down on the stay and retighten the nut. A little trial and error is in the works to get the alignment perfect.

Here’s a shot of the sliding stay clip:

stay clip

Just a little bit of tinkering later, I wound up with this:

Front fender mounted:

front mounted

Rear fender mounted:

rear mounted

There is enough adjustment in the stays to allow for all but the widest, most aggressive knobby tires. The SweetskinZ “Nightwing” tires I used for this build have fairly wide side knobs, and they just barely clear the edges of the fender. The tires are well-covered, though, and won’t spray dirty water past the edge. Slightly narrower tires (more typically used on a commuter bike) would fit with no issues whatsoever.

So far, the only nitpick I have about these fenders is getting the “fender line” perfect on the front of my bike. Forks with a generous axle-to-crown measurement may have too much of a gap for the fairly short front fender “crown strap” to accomodate. This is a purely aesthetic concern on my part — it has no bearing whatsoever on the functionality of the fender — but I’d like to see that strap just a few millimeters longer. Here’s what the fender line looks like currently:

fender line

Since we’re undergoing a drought here in west-central Florida, I haven’t had a chance to ride with the fenders in the rain…but the rainy season is coming. I’ll let you know how it all works out when I can actually put these to the torture test.

Check out Planet Bike’s complete line of well-designed bicycle accessories by visiting their site.


  1. Michael May 5, 2009 6:55 am 

    One of the nice things about Planet Bike is there spare parts policy. They would rather you repair rather than replace a part so they make available a wide variety of spare parts. I have the Hardcore fenders with their short stub of a mud flap. A little drill action and a zip tie and a Cascadia Mudflap can easily be fitted to the Hardcore fender (they come with plastic “rivets” but I found them unreliable on my rear fender) improving the fender water control performance by nearly double. This worked on both my 700c fenders on my Trek 520 and on the 20″ front fenders on my Catrike Expedition recumbent trike (didn’t worry about the rear ’cause the hardcore flap was adequate there).

  2. Ghost Rider May 5, 2009 7:29 am 

    That’s also one of the many things I love about Planet Bike — they’ve got a huge range of very affordable spare parts, and they offer free shipping for those parts!

  3. Iron Man May 5, 2009 7:50 am 

    Fenders are definitely one of the best upgrades for a commuter bike. Just beware of toe overlap on a road bike. I caught a toe on my front fender, which caused the fender to catch the wheel, stopping it dead, which nearly tossed me over the handlebars. I was standing, sort of leaning forward, going slow and preparing to stop. It was an amazing recovery, but I trashed the fender.

  4. Clancy May 5, 2009 8:25 am 

    I really like my PB Cascadia’s. Mounted on my Xtracycle over the top of some Schwalbe Big Apples 26×2.35″. Coverage is good and I especially like the extended mudflaps. Lots of rain lately so it is my main bike for adverse weather. They work really well in the snow/slush too.

  5. Abhishek May 5, 2009 8:30 am 

    I have their black plastic fenders on my xtracycle and they hold up really well, even in bad rains. Top notch.

  6. Evan May 5, 2009 10:52 am 

    Wow that bike looks pretty epic! You gotta post some pics of the full thing when it’s complete.

    As for the Planet Bike products, I must say I’ve been very pleased with all of the PB stuff that I’ve owned.

  7. Champs May 5, 2009 11:10 am 

    Amazingly everyone else has caught on to my caveats with these fenders. These are mostly minor quibbles about what is really a great product.

    Toe overlap is something of an issue, as with almost all other fenders. The stays are not so burly that they would resist a nudge into the tire, but more often than not this is an advantage, when you need to make a “manual adjustment” of the alignment.

    As mentioned above, the replacement flaps don’t have such great attachment hardware. Inconveniently, they also prevent the bike from wedging into the backseat of my wife’s (admittedly) tiny car. As rarely as this is done, it’s always in bad conditions, so speed is important. The bike’s “pack size” could also be reduced by allowing the fenders to split, and slide the rear end of the fender under the front.

  8. Johnny May 5, 2009 12:37 pm 

    I second the snow action:)

    I can tell you first hand that they’ll survive a pretty bad wreck, too, with only a bent stay (which can be replaced).

  9. Elizabeth May 5, 2009 3:32 pm 

    Nice bike!
    Construction material seems similar to my SKS fenders. I love the stainless steel construction and durability, plus the security fastening Secu clip for the front wheel.
    But I like the mudflaps on these Planet Bike fenders! πŸ˜‰

  10. Ghost Rider May 5, 2009 3:42 pm 

    I haven’t tried the SKS fenders, but I tried a similar set from Zefal — their “safety clips”, which let the fender break away if an obstruction gets between the wheel and fender, absolutely suck…and God forbid you lose one, because replacements are impossible to find.

    Chalk another one up for PB — if a part shakes loose or breaks, getting a replacement is a piece of cake!

    If Planet Bike was a girl, I’d ask her to marry me!

  11. Blakcloud May 6, 2009 5:50 am 

    As for “fender line”, I just made a longer bracket, so the fender sits closer to the tire up front. I used an old broken plastic tire lever, drilled two holes, one to mount at the fork the other to mount at the fender bracket and it works like a charm.

  12. ksteinhoff May 6, 2009 7:45 am 

    I put the black version on my olive green Surly LHT.

    (OK, I wimped out and let the LBS mount them and the Surly front Nice Rack before I picked the bike up, so I can’t testify about how easy/hard the fenders are to install.)

    Like you, I’ve been waiting for a rainy day to try them out. I swerve to go through every puddle a mis-directed lawn sprinkler creates, but it’s not a good test.

    No rattles so far. And I don’t think I need to worry much about snow buildup down here in S FL.

  13. db May 7, 2009 7:50 am 

    I have the Freddy Fenders on my converted MTB commuter. They are awesome.

    I did have to make one modification to the front one because my canti brake cable would push the fender down closer to the wheel. Five minutes with a Dremel tool fixed that, and they protect against road water and grit amazingly.

  14. Mercutio Stencil May 7, 2009 4:02 pm 

    Good to see PB getting smart and just copying the SKS mounting hardware. I’ve used other PB fenders and wasn’t particularly impressed, but these seem to have addressed all of my problems.

  15. matt w May 9, 2009 12:11 pm 

    I love the Cascadia fenders! oh, and you’re tires look pretty cracked on the sidewalls. just picking nits.

  16. Ghost Rider May 9, 2009 12:15 pm 

    Stored outside in the Florida sun…the cracking is just cosmetic — only in the printed outer layer of the SweetskinZ.

  17. Marla May 11, 2009 6:35 am 

    I understand the constant taking apart and rebuilding of bikes! And Planet Bike parts are the best!

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