In the last installment I talked about the drool worthiness of these MK Fat-bike Fenders. There is no doubt about it, these fenders look fantastic. However, no matter how good they look, the ultimate question is how do they perform? Well, before we get to that, there’s the install. These fenders install similar to other fenders I’ve worked with (namely Hanjos) so I was fairly familiar with the ins and outs of installing this type of system (drilling holes, aligning braces, etc). If you haven’t done this type of install before, just remember to take your time.
As stated on the MK website, each fender install is a custom job* and mine was a probably a bit more custom than normal. My frame is narrower at the seat and chain stay bridges than other frames so there was some interference. The other big issue was that my stays aren’t drilled so there wasn’t the necessary anchor points. With a little grinding al la a Dremel tool and some simple MacGyver engineering with a few clamps at the bridges, I was easily able to overcome these obstacles. Another issue I had was that the thread size of my fork bridge was larger than the thread size of the standoff and setscrews. A quick e-mail to MK solved this and they had a standoff with the correct thread size in the mail right away. Once you figure out any issues you may encounter, installation is fairly straightforward and laid out pretty well in the instructions (available on MK’s website). Overall, the fenders took me less than an hour to install (once I addressed the above mentioned issues). The hardware is really well thought out which leads to a nice, solid installation. Unlike some full coverage fenders I have for my other bikes, the MK’s don’t feel flimsy at all. Below is a photo tutorial of the install.
Front Fender Install
The front fender instillation was pretty straight forward and went exactly according to plan (and MK’s directions). The biggest thing to keep in mind is measure twice, drill once. You don’t want to poke a bunch of unwanted holes in your fancy new fenders!
Rear Fender Install
The rear pretty much follows the same procedure – measure, mark, drill, install standoffs on the fender and frame, install braces, and adjust. One difference is that with the rear, instead of using standoffs at the seat/chain stay braces, you mount the fender directly to the stays using the holes located in the braces. However, this wasn’t the case for me due to a couple of issues. A custom install shouldn’t be without its issues, right? . . .
Next up . . . Part III: A Short Term Review
*Mark from MK Fenders will be offering a pre-drilled option for their fenders to aid in the ease of installation.