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Fenders for Different Tire Sizes

Which fenders for which tire size?

Generally, fenders should be about 40% wider than your tires. This allows them to wrap around your tires without encroaching on the required clearances. This works well for tires up to 42 mm wide, which are best used with 58-60 mm-wide fenders.

However, you cannot scale up fenders indefinitely: Fenders wider than 60 mm do not work with “road” drivetrains, as the chain hits the fender in the smallest gears. For tires wider than 42 mm, stick with a 60 mm-wide fender. Choose a model that does not wrap around the tire very far, and mount it higher above the tire to provide the required clearance. You get a bit of “air” showing between tire and fender, but this “motocross” look is inevitable if you want to run ultra-wide tires with a road drivetrain. (Mountain bike cranks sit further outward and have room for wider fenders.)

Here is a list of Compass tires and recommended fenders:

  • 700C x 26 mm tires: Honjo smooth 700C, 41 mm wide.
  • 700C x 28 mm tires: Honjo smooth 700C, 41 mm wide.
  • 700C x 32 mm tires: Honjo 700C, 45 mm wide, smooth.
  • 700C x 35 mm tires: Honjo 700C, 51 mm wide smooth or hammered.
  • 700C x 38 mm tires: Honjo700C, 51 mm wide smooth or hammered.
  • 700C x 44 mm tires: no fenders currently recommended by Compass.
  • 650B x 38 mm tires: Honjo 650B fluted.
  • 650B x 42 mm tires: Honjo 650B smooth or fluted.
  • 650B x 48 mm tires: no fenders currently recommended by Compass.
  • 26″ x 1.25″ – 1.8″ tires: Honjo 26″ smooth, 60 mm wide.
  • 26″ x 2.3″ tires: Honjo 650B smooth. These fenders are 62 mm wide and don’t wrap very far around the tire. The 26″ x 2.3″ tires have the same outer diameter as 650B x 42 mm tires, so 650B fenders are a good choice.

If you buy your fenders from Compass Bicycles, we include a reprint of Peter Weigle’s article on fender installation in Bicycle Quarterly 34, with easy step-by-step guidance on how to indent the fenders for fork crown and chainstays (don’t cut aluminum fenders!) and how to mount them free of stresses, so they will give decades of silent, trouble-free performance.

Will Honjo fenders fit on my bike? Click here to find out.

Click here for more information about Honjo fenders.