Dave’s Mud Shovel Fat Bike Fenders

06 Feb

If you own a Fat Bike you already know how those wide tires can throw more mud than a Chicago politician in a tight race. One time I came home from an off-road ride so thoroughly covered in mud that my wife asked me if I had crashed in a mud puddle (boys will be boys). Last winter I used the SKS Grand M.O.M. Oversized Rear Mudguard on my Surly Necromancer Pugsley because it was the widest mud guard I could find at the time—it was wider than most MTB fenders, but not wide enough for a true Fat Bike. Fortunately, Portland Design Works now sells front and rear fenders that are specially made for Fat Bikes—the Dave’s Mud Shovel Fenders. My Grand M.O.M. fender has found a happy home on one of my other mountain bikes and the Dave’s Mud Shovel is the only thing I use on my Pugsley.

Dave’s Mud Shovel Fat Bike Fenders

Dave’s Mud Shovel Fat Bike Rear Fender

The Dave’s Mud Shovel rear fender is 5.5″ wide by 22.5″ long and attaches to your seatpost with a small adjustable clamp (like the one some bicycle taillights use). Folks, if you ride your Fat Bike off-road (and isn’t that why you bought it in the first place?) then you need this fender now! It’s possible that a little mud or snow will find a way around the fender, but to me it seems like it stops about 99% of it. This fender, as well as the front fender, have the signature of their inventor, Dave Gray, on them.

The Front Fender Attaches To Your Seat Post

The Rear Fender Attaches To Your Seat Post

The Dave’s Mud Shovel front fender attaches to your down tube with two sturdy rubber fasteners. This fender is 6.5″ wide by 19.5″ long and will help keep your bottom bracket and crank sprockets clean. To get to my favorite off-road trails I have to ride my bike over a couple of miles of surface streets and normally when there is a lot of slush on the roads my legs get really wet—this fender seems to block a lot of road spray.

Portland Design Works Mud Shovel Fender

Portland Design Works Dave’s Mud Shovel Rear Fender

Both of these fenders are very flexible and at first I wasn’t sure about their durability. However, after a lot of miles on sand, mud and snowy off-road trails I can honestly say that these fenders far exceeded my expectations. As an added bonus, if you ever have an unplanned dismount (crash is such an ugly word) these fenders will probably escape totally unharmed.

Portland Design Works Mud Shovel Front Fender

Portland Design Works Dave’s Mud Shovel Front Fender

Great Tip: The Mud Shovel is easy to clean once you get home, but there is an easy way to keep mud and snow from sticking to your fenders in the first place—just coat the bottom of the fenders with PAM no-stick cooking spray before you go out for a ride. The PAM will wear off after every ride, but it does an incredible job of keeping crud from sticking to your fenders. One more suggestion: Buy your own can of PAM, don’t take the one your wife has in the kitchen cabinet—apparently some wives don’t approve of you taking items from the pantry out into your garage (or so I’ve heard).

Portland Design Works Mud Shovel Front Fender

Portland Design Works Dave’s Mud Shovel Front Fender

Not For Everyone: The bad news is that the front Mud Shovel is so wide that you can not use it if you have a Salsa Anything Cage attached to your front fork. The problem is that if you have anything in your Salsa Anything Cage it will hit the front Mud Shovel when you make a tight turn. However, if you don’t mind trimming the fender with a cutting knife I am sure you could make it work.

One Caution: I own several grunge and mud guards that attach to the down tube of my mountain bikes just like the Mud Shovel does and all of them fasten the same way, i.e., with two rubber fasteners. In the strongest terms possible I want to urge you to take the front Mud Shovel off your bike after every ride—if those rubber fasteners stay on your bike all winter it will probably discolor the paint. I had that happen with a different mud guard two years ago and I still can’t get the stain out.

Great Packaging: Both the front and rear fenders come in a flat package—all you have to do is punch the fender out of the surrounding shell. I was able to install the fenders in about five minutes each the first time I used them, but it is much quicker now (just a few seconds).

Packaging For The PDW Mud Shovel

Packaging For The PDW Mud Shovel

The rear Mud Shovel retails for $28, and the front Mud Shovel for $20. Both of these items are available from the Portland Design Works Website. You can also buy these fenders from your local bike shop.


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30 responses to “Dave’s Mud Shovel Fat Bike Fenders

  1. Dan Sloan

    February 6, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Try isopropal alcohol on those stains, gently rub with a soft rag, use the stuff you buy in a hardware store, the drugstore stuff is too watered down

  2. Lisa

    February 6, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    I’ve only seen a couple of fat bikes down here in my neck of the woods, I want to take a spin on one.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 6, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Be careful, once you try one you will want to buy it immediately!

  3. womencyclists

    February 6, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    Those are some intense fenders! Love the review, and great tip with the PAM spray!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 6, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      PAM spray works great. My wife is the one who made the suggestion that I buy my own can of it.

  4. Chatter Master

    February 6, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    Fat bikes. Fat bikes. I want one!!!!! Any of your posts about fat bikes feel like a tease!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 6, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      Fat Bikes are the All Terrain Vehicles of cycling — mud, sand, snow, rocks can’t stop them. You really ought to try one out!

      • Chatter Master

        February 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        I have dropped the hints…Husband keeps showing me different ones he has seen. We will be going to our favorite bike store (sadly in another town) in a couple of weeks…I wonder if they will have one? 😉

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          February 6, 2013 at 10:27 PM

          In case you haven’t noticed, most husbands are not to great at taking hints — direct orders work a lot better! 🙂 Please let me know if you get one!

        • Chatter Master

          February 7, 2013 at 4:54 AM

          I will let you know. 😉 He actually took the hint IMMEDIATELY pulled up the SURLEY bike sight and was ready to ORDER one!!! I told him no. I just got a new bike a few months ago. I felt selfish. But it’s the “next” bike I will get. I imagine it would be a fabulous work out. ANd so very much fun.

  5. Dan

    February 6, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    My first ride on a fatbike was fenderless in the snow. 3 weeks later when i bought my Pugs I bought the rear mudshovel right away. Went for a ride and within the hour was back at the bike shop to pick up the front as well. Great product! Great review and I love the site. Keep up the good work!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 6, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      Thank you very much! I don’t consider the Mud Shovel as an accessory — it is more like a necessity!

  6. bamboogirl

    February 6, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    wow.. you can literally shovel out a foot path with that awesome fender! cool post

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 6, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      I have thought of it before, but if you got stuck I bet you could use that fender as a snow shovel!

  7. Shonnie

    February 6, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Cool stuff … although I will –most-likely– never purchase such a gadget as I cannot get impalement out of my mind. 😀 Have a blast

  8. Shonnie

    February 6, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Now …. I might get a fat bike for my rides on the beach though … so … who knows … I just might have to get some fenders. Cuz sand will eat your legs UP! 😀

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 6, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      Fat Bikes are simply awesome on the sand! If you ride right next to the waterline (or even IN the water) the sand is pretty packed down and makes for a very smooth ride.

      • Shonnie

        February 6, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        That sounds awesome. I love riding and Mike and I have talked about getting “beach” bikes. 😀

  9. pushingmiles

    February 6, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Looks like a good product. I might have to put it on my wish list… 😀

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 6, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      They are like my American Express Card — I don’t leave home without it!

  10. Scott D

    February 6, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    I tried bothe the grand MOM/DAD and the mud shovels (front only) and was disappointed in their performance in slushy/wet conditions on my Mukluk. I ended up spending a little more and bought a set of fenders from Big O manufacturing. A litle more effort to install, but much more coverage.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 6, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      I’ve not see the fenders from Big O manufacturing — I’ll have to check them out.

  11. snosler

    February 7, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Love that you warned fellow bike enthusiasts to get their own of can of PAM – perhaps you should have put that part in bold 🙂

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

      That’s funny! On the other hand, when we got married I bought my wife her own set of tools so she wouldn’t have to borrow mine from the garage! I even made sure she had a different brand of tools (thus a different color of handles) so there would never be any confusion. My motto is, “Happy wife, happy life.”

  12. Irish Katie

    February 7, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    I don’t ride off road … but often in a lot of rain (pac nw!) … I generally don’t care about getting wet too much…or bring an extra pair of clothes if going to work … but I know I should get fenders….but … what I want is a new bike! lol

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 7, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      How about just getting a new bike AND new fenders? By the way, a company called Showers Pass is located somewhere in your area and they make a lot of great cycling clothing for riding in the rain (I’ve reviewed some of their stuff before).

  13. shampoosviews

    February 12, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    I just read this post and loved it. The question is, with all of the fenders you’ve purchased and used, which one do you suggest for a non-fat bike (that could also be used on a road bike on a wet road)?

    Any input is more than welcomed.


    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 12, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      I like both the Topeak (FX and RX) Fenders and the SKS Fenders. Both of these companies have a lot of experience in fender design. However, there are several other good companies that make fenders, but I’ve not had a chance to try them out yet.


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