I bought a rear rack for my Bianchi bike. The problem with rear racks, as opposed to baskets or bags, is that you have to tie-down whatever you want to carry. But this is still my road bike and not my packhorse. I don’t want anything flopping around when I ride. But it’s so nice to not carry anything heavy on your bike when you ride. So for long rides I can tie down my bag. For shorter rides I’ll just carry my back on my back like I always have.
The problem with road bikes is they neither have clearance above the brakes for fenders nor eyelets for racks or fenders. Of course, perhaps it’s good I’m forced to keep this bike as simply as possible. But biking in the city, you have to have fenders. And a problem developed. My old rear fender was starting to tear. Here’s the before picture:
You can’t see it in this old picture, but it was tearing lengthwise, right at the front of the fender, behind the extension that connects the clamp to the fender. So whenever I went over a bump, I could feel and hear the thing flapping up and down. My epoxy doesn’t seem to hold on fender plastic. Duct tape didn’t do the job.
So I was looking for a new fender to buy, but then realized I could probably do better and lighter and cheaper and faster with what I had… plus a clippers, a drill, and zip ties.
My old fender had two parts, which I took apart. The extendy-flap connects my previous home-job leg protecting fender with the new rear rack.
The main part of the old fender gives me rear protection.
And I moved my rear blinky light to the back of the rack. It fits in nicely, held by duct tape.
Ultimately, it doesn’t look as elegant as my old rear fender (even if it is a tad lighter). But it does provide complete (if spacious) protection right from the vertical above the rear of the wheel straight through to the bottom bracket. While above the wheel is the most important part of the rear fender (to protect against the streak of water on your back), it’s really nice to have that leg protection if you’re biking in the rain so the back of your legs (mostly ankles and calves) don’t get soaked with dirty water as you peddle.