Choosing bike features - readiness for fender and rack installation

It's nice to buy a bicycle with full-length fenders (the shiny curved plastic over the wheel shown below on the right) and a rack (the black tube structure above the rear wheel, shown below on the left). In my part of the world, bikes like that are hard to find.


Commute-ready bicycle rear cargo rack Rain ready full rear fender on a MTB

As a bike's tires roll, they throw off any water and dirt that stick to them. This happens when you roll over loose dirt, irrigation runoff, and rainwater. Fenders stop that stuff from being thrown onto you or the bike.

A rack is very useful for carrying cargo.

If you cannot find a good bike with fenders and a rack, then pick a bike with features that will make adding them easy:

In general, there should be plenty of space between the tires and the other bike parts. In particular, cantilever brakes allow lots of room for installing full-length fenders. A bike with these is an excellent choice for an all-weather bike.


Fender-ready cantilever brakes on a mountain bike Clearance for fenders under cantilever brakes on a mountain bike

It's hard to tell if fenders could pass within the caliper brakes shown below. Some tweaking of the fender might get it done.


Small brakes on a road bike make installing fenders difficult

Actually, on the racing-style bike in that photo, the clearance is more of a problem where the wheel passes by the front derailleur. You have to look for tight spots where each wheel rotates past other parts.

Also check how close your pedaling feet come to the front wheel while your turn sharply; guess whether your toes could hit the rear of the fender when you turn and pedal at the same time. This is most likely to happen with a road bike.

On some bikes, you will notice threaded holes in the fork (shown below), near to where the wheel is attached. You can use those holes to mount a front fender. For the fork, one hole on each side is adequate. I believe that the two larger holes in the photo's background are for mounting a different accessory.


Mounting holes for front fender on a comfort hybrid bicycle

On many bikes, you will notice threaded holes in the frame (shown below), near to where the rear wheel is attached. Those holes are used to mount racks and fenders. Two holes on each side (one for a rear rack and another for the rear fender) is easiest. If there's one hole on each side, then the rack and fender can share each hole as I have demonstrated. If there are no holes, then you or your local bike shop hopefully can still find a way to mount everything using extra clamping hardware.


Mounting holes for rear fender on a comfort hybrid bicycle

Also, it's good to have threaded holes for bolts on the seat stay. In the photo below, that round shiny metal thing on the blue seat stay is the head of a bolt that came installed with the bike. That bolt might be useful for mounting a cargo rack. But it wasn't helpful for installing that black fender you see in the photo. As you can see, that fender is attached using a single bolt in between the two seat stays.


Mounting holes for rear fender or cargo rack on a comfort hybrid bicycle

If there are no holes in that area of the bike, then mounting fenders and a rack might still be possible using extra clamping hardware.