I realised that Americans called car bumpers “fenders”, but it took a Mannheim, Germany, company to teach me that they use the word fender for a bike’s mudguards too.
Zlatko Koren is one of the founders and directors of Woodie Fenders – who make, you guessed it, wooden mudguards. I agree with Zlatko’s comment that wood is attractive and decorative, as well as a renewable, natural raw material. “It’s about individual design and individual customers” he explains, “each piece is different, which gives cyclists who use our handmade fenders an individual touch.”
The company sources its wood from an Italian supplier who only uses certified plantations. Even the oil that they use to make their mudguards UV and weather-resistant is environmentally friendly.
On the Woodie-fenders website you can choose the type of mudguard (half, full or “under-brake-attachment), width, length, colour (based on wood type), and whether you have stripes or not, and the material of the underside. Amazingly, this results in about 1,000 variations, so it is no wonder that they make each set to order, which typically takes 1-2 weeks from receipt of order.
Zlatko and his co-founder Luzian Koczewski are both keen urban cyclists and both come from the wood industry. They first made themselves some wooden fenders, which resulted in requests from friends, and then friends of friends, and so the company was born. Their reputation has spread beyond the borders of Germany even though Luzian admits that they have not done much by way of advertising and promotion. They believe that there is an increasing number of urban dwellers who practice a mostly bicycle-based lifestyle, and want that lifestyle to include some real style.
There is a “Configurator” on the website. Looking at vivid cherry with a maple strip full length mudguards for 26” wheels, I was seeing a price of €79 for the “half” model without stripes for 26” wheels. Going to the full model added €40 and the under-brake type added €60. Single and double stripes were €20 and €30 respectively, though there could be a variation depending on the wood selected for the stripe(s).
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