How to Add Fenders and Racks to Your Bike

with SERENA BISHOP GORDON, Liv Racing Collective athlete

One of the things that is so remarkable about a gravel bike like the Liv Devote is how versatile it is. Daily commuter or bikepacking steed by day, gravel racing slayer by night. And a year-round, trusty training companion.

By simply adjusting the accessories on your gravel bike, it can take on a whole new personality and allow for more urban and wild adventures.

Give your bike a winter make-over by installing front and rear fenders to your bike, by installing a rear rack on your bike, or all of the above.

How to install front & rear fenders on your bike

Training in the rain? It will only take one ride in wet conditions to confirm your fenders were a great investment. Not only do fenders keep the skunk-stripe off your back, keep your feet and legs drier and the road spray off your face, they also help to keep your entire bike – drivetrain and saddle bag included – cleaner. 

Your riding buddies will thank you when you arrive at the group ride with fenders installed.  When roads are wet, fenders reduce the spray your rear wheel kicks up onto the rider behind you. Fenders are good for you, and others! 

Selecting the correct fenders for your gravel or road bike requires a bit of homework before you make the purchase. 

  • Does your bike have fender mounts? Where are they? 
  • How much tire clearance do you need? 
  • Do you want to leave your fenders on all winter, or will you be taking them on and off often. 

Bolt-on fenders are the sturdiest, so if you are riding a lot, over bumpy terrain, and plan to leave your fenders on for the season, this is the way to go. The Devote frame was designed with the mounting holes you need for fenders, however, you may need to purchase additional hardware that isn’t sold with the fenders. If you are unsure about what fenders to buy and what hardware you might need, pay a visit to your local bike shop and they will certainly be able to help you find the fenders that are right for your road or gravel bike. 

If a mountain bike is your steed of choice, adding a front and rear fender will provide you with the same benefits as on any other bike. You will stay warmer, drier, and come home with less mud on your face (and your butt) in sloppy, winter conditions. (Never ride in conditions that could lead to trail damage) 

Mountain bike fenders are often called mudguards; they provide more tire clearance and are designed to be compatible with suspension mountain bikes. Front mudguards are typically easy to install with zip ties and attached to your front fork. Seat post or saddle mounted mudguards are great choices as rear mountain bike fenders; they are highly adjustable and stay out of the way of your rear tire. 

No matter the type of bike or the type of fender, make sure there is plenty of clearance between the fender and your tire, and the fender and your brakes. If you are between fender sizes, choose the size that provides the most clearance.

how to install fenders on a bike

How to install a rear rack on your bike

Commuting across the city or bikepacking across the state? Having a rear rack on your bike allows you to carry more, in a secured fashion, and keep the weight off your back. You can carry your cargo attached to the rack itself, in a basket made for this purpose, or in special bags that are attached to the rack, called panniers. How you utilize your rack will depend on what you are carrying and how far you are traveling. Be sure to check the weight limit of the rack to determine if it is the correct rack for your purposes. 

Before purchasing a bike rack, determine what mounting option will work best for your bike. The Devote frame was designed with the mounting holes you need for rear racks, however, you may need to purchase additional hardware to mount the rack. If your bike doesn’t have rear rack mounting holes, sometimes referred to as braze-ons, do not worry. There are a number of other mounting options available, including seat stay mounting brackets and seat post mounting clamps. 

Also consider the tire clearance needed, if you will be using fenders in conjunction with your rack, and the type of brakes your bike has. Having the proper clearance and solid frame attachment points are key to a smooth ride and safe transport of you and your cargo. 

If you are unsure what bike rack is best for you, visit your local bike shop to get some expert advice. There are so many frame types and so many rack types that finding a match isn’t always easy, but is definitely worth it.

how to install a rear rack on a bike