Mudguards / fenders for a Dahon Jack

I recently bought a Dahon Jack folding bike, and I’m cycling to work on it pretty much every day. I’m loving it and wondering why I didn’t sort out my life to do this years ago! More on that in another post, but here let me just share some information for other people who might own this bike and might be looking for mudguards for it. For everyone else, this will be incredibly boring and evidence of my obsessive insanity. Move along now…

Dahon Jack without any guards

The bike specs say that the bike can be fitted with SKS MudMax/Xtradry mudguards but I didn’t want to do this because I wanted to fix a rack to the back for a bag, and I wanted to protect more of the frame from mud, and I’d also heard that the front mudguards that fit to the frame rather than over the wheel are not that useful.

Initially, I wondered if I’d really need mudguards, but one rainy day in London soon put me straight on that – I borrowed Sarah’s bright yellow jacket and when I got to work it was covered in mud. I have inadvertently tried several scenarios, so let me share them here. As I see it, there are three main criteria for success:

  1. The mudguards must stop me getting covered in rain and mud etc. from the road
  2. The mudguards must fit the frame
  3. The mudguards mustn’t get in the way when the bike folds

There’s an additional factor which is, of course, that it would be nice if the mudguards were in keeping with the look of the bike.

Raleigh Flinger Clip on Mudguard

At £6.99 my first attempt and an emergency first purchase.

  1. Rain protection: Better than nothing, but not enough protection. Nothing at the front = wet legs. No protection for the frame.
  2. Frame fit: Not really an issue, but it could go further back, to give better protection.
  3. Folding: Doesn’t get in the way at all.
  4. Other things worth mentioning: Mind bogglingly easy to fit and looks in keeping with the bike.

SKS P65 Chromoplastics full mudguards

By far the most expensive option (£26.99 ish), and considered the best mudguards available. The P65s are very wide, but that width is right for the Big Apple tyres that the bike comes with.

  1. Rain protection: Really good protection.
  2. Frame fit: Yes, fine.
  3. Folding: They don’t really get in the way, but the pedals hit the front guard a lot and scratched it up quickly. The guards don’t like taking the low level punishment that the bike takes when I fold it and haul it into my cupboard at home.
  4. Other things worth mentioning: They took a couple of hours to fit and were a bit of a struggle to get right. I’m not great at that stuff, but I’m not awful. I didn’t take to them at all. I became convinced that the mudguards were rubbing or affecting the bike’s performance (I now think this was just me being tired and all in my mind), and I didn’t like the way they looked. It felt like I’d put a leash on an excitable, fun puppy and it felt cruel!

Dahon Jack with P65 mudguards

Blackburn MTN1 Rack

It’s just a rack, and I use it for my pannier, but it has a shelf which claims to be usable as a mudguard. I tried it.

  1. Rain protection: Minimal. Obviously it doesn’t protect the frame at all, and it didn’t protect me from the wet on the road enough. Nothing at the front – wet legs.
  2. Frame fit: Yes, fine.
  3. Folding: Doesn’t affect folding.
  4. Other things worth mentioning: It’s a nice, light rack that I think looks ok with the bike.

Dahon Jack with a rack

SKS Adventure Set

My current choice (£9.99), in conjunction with the rack.

  1. Rain protection: Good at the back, and ok wrap around to protect some of the frame. I have not managed to fit the front guard yet because…
  2. Frame fit: The front guard’s bracket requires the guard to come a long way from the wheel (unless I’m missing something obvious), which means it would hit my front foot and also clash with the lock I carry under the bike frame. I need to work on getting this to fit, but if I can manage it, this one may be a winner.
  3. Folding: Just the rear so far, and it doesn’t affect folding at all. The front might be a different story.
  4. Other things worth mentioning: I’ve had to tape it to the rack because it kept hitting it as I rode and the noise was driving me bonkers. I think it looks pretty good on the bike.

Dahon Jack with rack and Adventure rear mudguard

SKS Beavertail

I’ve not got these but I was passing a load of locked-up bikes the other day and saw last year’s Jack sporting a set. It looked like a good fit, even on the front wheel, but it’s impossible to tell if they worked out of the box. If I hadn’t already tried all these other options, I would try the Beavertail.

Hope this is useful to someone. It would be good to know the expense of three sets of mudguards can be spared someone else!

33 Replies to “Mudguards / fenders for a Dahon Jack”

  1. Seriously, when do you get the time/inclination to do all this research? And do you do probono work for people who have recently moved?

  2. I were just trying to solve the same problem with my “Jack”, so your research has been very useful … Many thanks Jemima

  3. Jemima, I am considering a folding bike and I liked the look of the JACK as it did not look like the “Mums Shopper” from the 1970’s that most other folding bikes do. However, how small does it actually fold down to? Does it fit on a rack in a train, for example? Any help and advice you could give would be appreicated! DAN

  4. Hi Dan,

    I really must write up my thoughts on the Jack. In brief, I bought a folding bike because of space issues at home, rather than wanting to put it on a train. I am pretty certain I have seen the full size folding Dahon bikes on racks on trains, but I don’t think I would want to do it regularly myself. It’s hard to imagine, I know, but the bike folded is literally just hinging a full size bike in half, so it’s wider, folded, than I had properly anticipated. All you really gain is the length. And, of course, I think you do get around the ‘no full size bikes on trains’ rules. Sorry – maybe not very helpful. I saw some comments on some bike forums about the Matrix, so it might be worth searching that and see if people have tips. It’s the same as the Jack, but with more gears, hub breaks and front suspension (I think), so advice about space and folding would apply to the Jack.

    Hope that helps and you find a bike you love.

    [Update: I’ve just uploaded a picture of my bike folded in its cupboard to Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bojates/2120595452/]

  5. Hi Jemima

    Thanks for the info – very helpful. I ended up getting the Beavertails and I think the rear would fit your bike but I’m not sure about the front, as it’s a folder, and I don’t know if they’d be any better than the Adventures you have.

    I got them for my Trek 7300 hybrid to go over my 28 x 2 Marathon Supremes but the clearance between the tyre and frame at the rear is only 1-2mm, so the rear wouldn’t fit. I ended up cutting down the front guard to cover the ‘front’ of the rear wheel, and attached the rear Beavertail to my pannier rack with cable-ties. Believe it or not, it doesn’t look like the dog’s dinner it sounds!

    The Schwalbe Supremes are great, by the way – they slow the ride but make it much comfier, especially over a breaking apart cycle track I use.

  6. Hi, really useful info, thanks a lot! As you seem to be the expert on all things Dahon Jack… I thought it would be worth asking –

    Some websites seem to suggest that you can get a bag to help you carry the Jack bt I can’t seem to find one online. Do you know if one exists and where would be a good place to try?

    Thanks!

  7. Hi Camilla,

    I certainly wouldn’t call myself an expert on the Jack, but I remember seeing something about a bag on the Dahon website and I think it was this:

    http://dahon.co.uk/b-doubleplay.htm

    I don’t have one myself. The Dahon forums can be very useful for finding out about stockists, or you can try your local distributor who can probably order one for you if need be.

    Good luck!

  8. Hello,

    did you spoke about the normal Beavertails or the Beavertails XL. Actually I dont have a folding bike but I got the Big Apple (60 mm) and I am facing the same challenge…to get fenders which are usable and sportive also.

    Greetz Mario

  9. Hi Mario,

    I’m afraid I don’t know whether it was the Beavertails or the Beavertails XL since I didn’t actually try them. I think the SKS site has some info about tire width for them, but of course it’s to do with the size of the frame as well. Good luck!

  10. I bought now the Beavertails XL and they cover the apples (60mm). They should be 5 mm wider like the P65 from SKS. Now I have to test them if its going to rain ;)

  11. Really intersting information, thanks! I’m going to be buying a jack to travel to my new work. Does anyone have a bag over the back wheels to store things? thanks

  12. Just got a jack too, really good bike. Now its time to buy a pair of mudguards thank to you :D yyeaaae

  13. The bag that fits the Dahon Jack is called the Dahon EL BOLSO it sells for about 40 quid, also SKS make the shockblade which i think fits the Jack>> im going to try one on mine i will let you know the result ;>]

  14. Wow, thanks for this – It was very helpful! I just got a Jack (awesome!) and SKS Adventures.

    The front one looks great- it fit by attaching to the front edge of the fork tube. It clears the pedals by a few inches that way. The notch for the brakes is cool, looks techy BMX-y, which fits the bike’s style to a T.

    I’m not crazy about the rear fender’s protection along the front edge of the tire. Are there any flat black fenders that come further down in front, to better protect the frame (and riders’ sneakers/lower pantalones/hairy calves)?

    PS: the bike has been dubbed Michelle…as in Obama. Black, sleek, classy, unprecedented, strong, and environmentally friendly ;)

    ride safe! and thanks for any leads on a better rear fender

  15. Hi John,

    Thanks for your comments. Other readers may have a good recommendation for the rear fender – the best fit I found was the SKS Adventure that you already have. Report back if you find something better!

    Cheers,

    Jemima

  16. Hi Jemima.

    This comment is long overdue and sorry for taking so long to return to this site, I bought a Jack 2 months ago and shortly after, found this site when I was trying to google search some mudguards for it.
    I took a gamble on the SKS Beavertail’s, fitting the holding bracket for the front guard was slightly fiddly due to there not being much height between the top of the forks and the headtube, but I managed to bend it (the bracket) slightly at the top and make it fit, in fact a hammer and an anvil would have been ideal for that very purpose before attempting to fit the front bracket.
    Anyway, the great thing about the Beavertails is that you can adjust how far you slide them onto the brackets so that there is no rub on the tyres, mine are spot on now and these mudguards not only suit the bike well, but are incredibly effective as well due to the wdith and length. I also love the fact they slide on and off ‘quick release’ style.

    So a big thanks for the suggestion, I would probably have never fitted the Beavertails without finding this blog.

    All the best..Chris in Staffordshire.

  17. Hi Chris,

    I’m glad my roundup helped and many thanks for the feedback on the Beavertails. I’m not sure I’d have had the perseverance to get them to fit on the front, but it sounds like it was well worth the effort.

    Cheers, Jemima

  18. Hello Jemima,

    I have a Dahon Matrix 07, same frame as your Jack. Ive been using it for last few years just a run around, like yourself got it due to space at home. I found that the matrix is heavy due to the suspension forks and disc brakes add a lot of weight. I change the tyres from road to trail(Schwalbe Land Cruisers) and put thumb shifters on, didnt like the gripshifts, Changed the cassette to a 9sp. I am looking to put on a rack amd mud guard, and found your web page. Woundering if the MTN1 rack will be OK with the disc brakes? and the sks adventures sound fine. I’ll give them a go and get some pics how it turned out.
    Great info on here, keep it up.
    Gareth.

  19. I bought a Jack a few months back and I stumbled upon this guide while shopping around for fenders. I ended up getting a set of Planet Bike Polycarbonate Full ATB fenders along with a Topeak Explorer rack. I mostly just bike around in NYC, but the rack is great for fitting Topeak MTX bags for light touring.

    At any rate, I just wanted to let people know that I have I have no issues with folding using both the fenders and the rack. The right pedal will bump into the front fender when folded, but I find that it only provides better support for standing upright when stored on the balcony.

  20. Hi,

    Really interested in this site as I am just about to buy a Jack (for similar space issues)and it was great to her someone rave about them.

    I just wanted to know if any carrier is suitable for them, or if you have to get a special one (for folding purposes)?

    Also, has anyone tried taking one on a flight (ie in the hold, in a bag) and are they technically ‘oversized luggage’ or what?

    Sharon

  21. Hi Sharon,

    If you mean the rack at the back, I don’t think it makes any difference since the bike hinges in such a way that it doesn’t really get in the way. However, I’d say that the space issue thing has turned out a little unexpected for me. I find that I normally take the front wheel off to stash it in my flat, rather than fold it, so a regular bike would have done this just as well. The Jack is a really fun bike, though, and I don’t regret buying it at all.

    I’ve not tried it on planes.

    Jemima

  22. Hi – I have a Jack too, great fun. I bought a different rack though, and the long, bendy metal extender strips that attach to the seat stay are too short to keep the rack level.

    Your rack looks nice and level. Did you use the extender provided with the MTN, or did you have to buy aftermarket ones? How long were the strips and did you use all for screw holes on the top plate?

    Thanks.

  23. Hi, I didn’t have to buy any other strips – it all just worked, as I remember. It’s possible that the newer Jack’s are slightly different these days. I’ve not really kept up with them.

  24. Hi everyone,
    I have Marin Muirwoods (frame 17″), with slick Continental SportContact tyres (26×1.3) fited on.
    I can’t find any narrow mudguards for!!!
    Can you please help me to find mudguards for my bicycle.
    Thank you so much ;)

  25. Hi, great project! Love it and will use this my newly bought Jack arrives! Out of interest, what pannier are you using? You mention the Blackburn MTN1 Rack is also used for your panniers. Interestd to hear what fits. I was hoping to use an Ortlieb bag I have got, but may or may not work! Thank and enjoy your week-end!

  26. Hi

    I use an Altura bag and I had to adjust it a bit so I don’t kick it with my heel, but it didn’t require any special modifications. I suspect your bag will work fine. Have fun – the bike demands it!

    J

  27. Thanks so much! Good to know what the option is, if my existing ones don’t work out!With a bit of luck I might be able to pick it up today! :-)

  28. Jemima,

    Thanks for all your research and the effort you have gone to. As a very recent owner of the Jack and with wet roads now inevitable I needed mudguards. Yours was the best advice by far.

    All I’ve got to add to your information is that the beaver tails looked the best option and thanks to a hack saw are excellent. They match the bike really well for size and look. £15 from Halfords.

    The bracket for the front one needs a cm of metal removing to position it correctly in relation to the wheel.

    I’d send you a photo if I could.

  29. Update – my Jack’s frame latch fractured after 18 months on the mean streets of London. It’s going back to the shop and should be fixed under warranty. I’m no heavy rider, so that’s shaken me a bit, although I hear replacement latches are shaped to have less stress points (although they are still aluminium).

    On the mudguard front, I used SKS Adventures, which turned out to be a bit too short for the small-sized Jack (the brake bridge is more forwards on the small frame, causing the guards to stop short. So I bodged a plastic extender instead.

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