Portland Design Works (PDW) Full Metal Fenders First Look review

For those of us with a race bike without the mounting points for mudguards, winter can be a dirty, messy and soggy affair. It’s pretty wet in the UK regularly in the winter, but I believe it can rain also in other countries too.

So if you have a bike that doesn’t have mudguard mounting points do you

  1. tough it out and get (you and your riding buddies) filthy
  2. Buy a dedicated winter bike
  3. Try mudguards that are supposed to fit on a race bike with limited clearances

I have to confess, I’m not big on option 1. I’ve tried again recently and you can see some of the pictures to prove it.DSC01079

It’s filthy business and if you don’t clean your bike regularly, it gets even nastier.


My photos are after about 150miles of winter riding.


There are some cheap solutions for “clip on” mudguards but most of them don’t work particularly well in my experience, often ending up rubbing, or simply falling apart disappointingly quickly. Right now, I don’t have the budget for option 2, which leaves us option 3.

Not long ago someone mentioned the PDW Full Metal Fenders as a high quality solution that didn’t rattle. I thought that this sounded interesting so I reached out to see if I could get a set to try.

The PDW Full Metal Fenders are mudguards intended as a high quality solution able to be retro-fitted to a race frame with limited clearances.

I’ve decided to try them on my steel Stoemper as it’s a bike that I’d love to ride through the winter – especially if it can be done whilst remaining a bit drier and less dirty – for both me and the bike.

My Stoemper is a steel race bike with clearances for up to 27mm tyres but no mountings for mudguards. This bike choice also seemed appropriate it was made (by Todd) in Oregon and PDW stands for Portland Design Works, so I feel like I’m almost keeping it in the neighbourhood J

When I first received the fenders and had an attempt at fitting them, I struggled a bit with the 25mm tyres I was running at the time. Fortunately I’ve just been sent some Bontrager Hard Case Lite tyres in 23mm to review so I fitted these to the bike and tried again.DSC01085

Success, this time they’ve been reasonably straight forward to fit, even for someone as mechanically challenged as I am. The fenders themselves are full aluminium and seem really well made.


Included are clear thick plastic adhesive patches to attach to where the “arms” attach for the connection to the axles.Also there’s another adhesive patch for where the brake bridge attachment holds the rear fender. The arms that help attach the fenders to the axles are also really nicely made and adjustable for reach with a 2.5mm allen key.


To fit them you have to remove your wheels and your brake calipers and your quick releases if you want to use the clever little adapters for each wheel (which I did).DSC01086

I had a slight issue on my bike at this point as my cowled Breezer dropouts at the rear of the bike made it tricky to use the supplier adapter (I had to bend it to make it work).


However as I mentioned the process wasn’t too tricky and I followed the helpful video here:

I’ve been out for one nearly 60km ride and whilst I have a rattle to find and remove, they were mostly silent, with no rubbing and my bike and I were much cleaner than previously.




I’ll keep riding and report back but first impressions are positive.

Thanks for reading.