Portland Design Works (PDW) has been designing functional accessories for cyclists for six years. Having their shop in the bicycle friendly city of Portland gives them a great location to test gear like fenders and lights, all while being a part of one of the coolest cycling communities. We love how Portland Design Works is going about their business,  trail building and giving back to the community.Portland Design Works

Portland sees a lot of rain, but that doesn’t stop people from riding their bikes to and from work, so why not focus on practical gear – like fenders. Portland Design Works has covered all the bases with three types of fenders; metal tire fenders for touring or commuting, mountain bike fenders, and fat bike fenders. Whether the rain is falling or the snow is melting, more tire surface means more gunk. I decided to head over to my local bike shop and see if I could remedy my gunked stained shirts and jackets.

I had done a little research on fat bike fenders, mainly do-it-yourself options. I was excited at the prospect of building custom fenders for my fat bike, but at the same time, I’m so busy I don’t have much time for any DIY projects. Before diving into the project, I wanted to make sure my local bike shop didn’t have anything. Sure enough, the owner of shop showed me a sheet of plastic, she called it a fender, I was intrigued and confused at the same time… I had to test them out.

Dave’s Mud Shovel Rear:

 Dave’s Mud Shovel, to put it simply, is a huge fender. At first glance it was flimsy and I  worried about the durability. Why? Because it’s a glorified plastic sheet, with snap pins that clip into the saddle attaching mechanism. Not until I actually installed it was when I got a full grasp on how sturdy and strong the system is. Coming in at only 203 grams, the Rear Mud Shovel, is 5.5 inches wide and 22.5 inches long.

Portland Design Works

The fender does a fantastic job of keeping the elements off of your back. Also, the perforated bends in the plastic block any gunk from spraying from side to side, my riding partners enjoyed that feature. The only issue I found off the bat was the attachment system to the seat post. It works fine and has never come undone, but its is a little difficult to adjust. Luckily, Portland Design Works was one step ahead of us and told us about their new saddle post connector.

I also messed around with spacing on the rear fender. The fender comes with a cinch down screw on the saddle attachment piece, you can direct the fender up and down which helps in certain situations. I found this feature particularly useful when using a large saddle bag connected to the saddle. Yes, they both work together. This idea made us very excited as it is always a bonus when you can keep your bike bags dry.

Rear = 112g
PDW Dave's Mud Shovel
Rear = 203g

Dave’s Mud Shovel Front:

Like the rear fender, the front fender is made up of the same plastic sheet and snap pins. The front fender system weighs in at 112 grams, and is 6.5 inches wide and 19.5 inches long. To install, simply wrap the two band harness system to the down tube, and simply snap the plastic sheet into the pins.


I found that positioning the lower strap right above the bottle cage was perfect for protecting from the elements. The fender was the perfect width for preventing mud from splatting up and hitting the body. At the same time, it’s designed for the rider in mind, making sure it would not interrupt any pedal strokes.

Portland Design Works Daves Mud Shovel’s are a perfect complement for your fat bike especially for those muddy or sandy rides. An added bonus… they are bikepack bag friendly, lightweight, and extremely simple which makes them winners in our books. Portland Design Works is a great brand creating awesome products, and better yet they know how to think out of the box, way rad…Check out their site for other cycling accessories.

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