To Fender or Not To Fender, That is the Question!
Safety gear and a fender are the two of the most commonly purchased accessories to go along with the Onewheel. The fender not only keeps your feet and legs clean, it also protects your ankles and shins.
Pros of a Fender:
Keeps pants and shoes clean
Keeps board clean
Protect ankle and shins from the tire
A space to personalize your Onewheel with stickers and paint
Protects your pants from the tire when carrying the Onewheel
Cons of a Fender:
May trap debris which can be difficult to clean
Hides that one RAD wheel which we all love
Fender Pros in Detail:
The fender helps to keep dust, dirt, water and rocks from getting flicked up onto your legs and shoes. After a long ride without a fender you will find your shoes covered in dust and don’t be surprised if your shoes are filled with small rocks and sand. On wet days, not having a fender can result in wet and muddy pants.
In addition to keeping your lower extremities clean, the fender will protect you as well. That large wheel in between your legs spins at a high RPM (revolutions per minute). It only takes a little brush against the wheel with your ankle or shins to rub off a few layers of skin. Often referred to as “ankle bites” in the Onewheel community, imagine taking an eraser and rubbing the skin on your ankles until you see muscle. It’s kind of like that.
Fender Cons in Detail:
The main drawbacks to the fender are aesthetics (some love the look of the naked wheel between their legs), the debris that can get trapped which makes it tough to clean, and the noise.
I agree that that big wheel is pretty rad. But having a fender that you can personalize so you can set apart your Onewheel from all the others is also pretty rad.
Wet debris and mud likes to get trapped under the fender and it is a pain to remove the fender to clean it. There are third party removable options that use magnets to attach the fender. It sounds like a great idea but I have yet to try it. Personally, I just try to avoid muddy trails.
Noise is probably the biggest annoyance of having a fender. The stock fender kit sold by Future Motion will briefly trap small rocks as they get flung up from the road. Bouncing between the fender and the tire, the rattling can get to be quite a distraction.
A simple fix for the fender noise is a rubberized undercoating spray. A few coats of that will really help to decrease the fender noise.
Watch this video to see what it’s like to ride on a gravel trail without a fender versus with a fender. Note the rocks and sand that gets kicked up onto the rider’s legs and the board when going naked. Then note the noise level with the fenders. Can you tell which fender has been treated with an undercoating (read this article to learn how to reduce fender noise)?
I am a fender guy. While I love that one rad wheel that is so iconic of the board, showing off a naked wheel is not worth the dirty pants and legs or the risk of injury. I am intrigued by the magnetic fenders and if I ever get my hands on one I will do a full review.