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Protect Your Back Side With PDW’s Full Metal Fenders

Oregon's Portland Design Works knows a thing about riding in the rain and offers its Full Metal Fenders to keep yourself clean.

Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders full side shot
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I love a bike with a set of full fenders that boasts a tight fender line. And although I live in Southern California, where we don’t get a lot of rain (though it is raining right now), I run my current Randonneuring bike with full coverage fenders. So, when Portland Design Works (PDW) sent us its Full Metal Fenders for review, I was excited to try them out.

But, you’re probably asking, why me … why the editor who lives where the annual rainfall is less than 11 inches annually?

Rando bike
My Rando Bike with full-coverage, polished aluminum fenders.

Yes, the fact is, I don’t really need my bikes to have fenders, but I love the look of my Rando bike with full-coverage fenders … and take a gander at that fender line. Ooh, la, la!

Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders back side shot

Installing the PDW Full Metal Fenders

Back in November, I received a pair of Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders. I received the 700×55 size in anodized black aluminum. I unboxed them, tossed the packaging, and put them aside for a bit. I didn’t get to install them until later in the month.

Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders what they came with

When I finally got around to getting them installed on my bike, I’d forgotten that I received the 700c version and proceeded to install them on my Rando, 650b bike. It was my mistake, but they actually installed… fine. The only issue I had was that I received the version of the fenders without the “disc brake adaptor.”

Turns out there is only a disc brake adaptor option on the 650 Beast 55mm when ordering the fender kits. Which is a bit ironic as that is the size I should’ve received. On the other fender kit sizes, it looks like you have to add the Disc Brake Spacer Set separately. I actually assumed that all fender kits would have some sort of disc brake adaptor included with them nowadays. And, I still think that all fenders should.

Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders staggered front stays
The fender stay mounted high to clear the disc brake.

Besides having to make some snips to the stays, and a slight mod to the way the front fender attaches to the bike (using the mid-blade fork mount instead), the Full Metal Fenders were installed without any issues. Even with the wheel size difference.

Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders hardware exposed

The instructions were well listed out and explained the steps well. It came with all of the stainless steel hardware I needed (sans the disc brake adaptor).

Riding With the PDW Full Metal Fenders

Shortly after I installed the fenders, our rainy season was upon us. I got to use the fenders for what they were intended for this last month or so, as we’ve been getting a decent amount of rain (for my area) so it worked out perfectly.

I managed to get in a few rides right after 2-3 consecutive days of rain, plus got caught in a small storm on the tail end of another ride. As expected, the full-wrap Full Metal Fenders did their job really well, keeping the mud and water from flying up into my face, all over my shoes, or up my back end. The included extended-length mud flaps added to the fenders’ ability.

Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders puddle action

As a bonus, the fenders kept the water away from the raw (although treated) underside of the leather saddle.

I did notice that the PDW Full Metal Fenders, in the 55mm size measured true to size at 54.9. Which they say will fit a 47mm tire max. By comparison, my polished Velo Orange fenders measured out to 59.4, which fit a smooth tread 50mm tire without issue. In that case, you would want the PDW 650 Beast fenders which measure 65mm.

Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders back side

I really liked the way that the black fenders looked on the black bike and thought they looked pretty boss. But, I have to say, I do prefer the added 5mm width and rounded look of the polished fenders, at least for this bike — it keeps the classic Rando bike aesthetic.

I take my fully fendered Rando bike on a lot of mixed-surface rides from long, fast, fire roads to the very occasional steep, technical descents to fast buffed singletrack. And the Full Metal Fenders performed completely noise- and rattle-free (something my other fenders don’t do).

The fenders attach to the bike with safety tabs ensuring that if a rock or debris gets sucked into the fender line to get stuck between the tire and fender, the fender will break free.

Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders double rear stays

The double rear stays that come on these fenders are like night and day when it comes to how much rattling and noise they made when riding off the beaten path. They were quiet, with the rear fender barely being able to be manipulated or moved by hand while the bike is standing still.


The Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders are a great addition for the rider who has to deal with the weather while riding, a commuter who wants to stay clean on the way to the office, or a cyclist who just thinks fenders look sick on bicycles.

The fender kit weighs in at 694 g for the model I received (700×55). These are a well-thought-out set of fenders that came with everything I needed to have a successful installation (just pick the right brake configuration). If you were having issues getting the perfect fit, PDW offers a Special Hardware Kit to help with that.

Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders dirty

Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders come in a size to fit just about every frame’s clearance. I highly recommend them.

At $139, the fenders come with a lifetime PDW warranty.

Check out all of PDW’s products by clicking the link below.


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1 year ago

Ì have these on a Reilly Spectre and I’m very impressed. Obviously much heavier than the SKS Chromoplastic I’m used to but they have an option for a longer front hanger which is essential for a disc fork where there is more clearance between tyre and fork crown.

1 year ago

I’ll have a Safety Slice please! Love my Safety Pizza

1 year ago

Those polished fenders on that bike is amazing looking!

1 year ago

I bought a pair of these but returned them because the front fender radius was too large for my 700c wheel and stuck up high over the front of the wheel. They’re very well build (stiff and can not be reshaped) if not for the shape I would have stuck with them. I ended up with Velo Orange polished fenders.

1 year ago

Good data points here, I’ve always been curious if one could run the 700 size on 650 wheels and vice versa, since technically the outer diameter is not all that different.

I agree it’s pretty strange they don’t include the disc offset kit, when they do for the other size.

I’ve got a set of these in the 45 size (they top out at a 32mm tire, at least in my frame) as well as a set of SKS Edge AL in 57, which I would probably consider the closest competitor from the cheaper end. And the cleanness of installation, fit and finish, are much nicer on the PDWs. I’ve had to do all sorts of modifications to the SKS Edge to get the stays long enough, and keep quiet. That said, now that they are installed, they work pretty well and there’s no great reason to upgrade to the PDW in 55, especially since I’d technically be losing some coverage.

1 year ago

I’ve had two sets of these over the past few years and would buy again in a heartbeat. Great coverage, reasonably light and no rattle.

1 year ago

Even without the rain fenders keep your feet and the bike a lot cleaner. Plus, if you ride a lot in a lot of different places, it is only a matter of time before you ride thru some nasty stuff, bird, dog or bum, and none of us want that, or any other road muck flung up on your back or bike.

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