Buddy Flaps Review

3 05 2012

Buddy Flap on my Surly LHT…

I like fenders, but without mudflaps that reach near the ground fenders alone don’t cut it. The front one will still throw crap at your cranks/BB/rings as well as your feet. The rear fender will still treat the rider behind you to a brown shower of road grit. Neither is a good thing so if you are going to bother installing fenders finish the job with some mudflaps.

In the past I’ve used cut up milk jugs and rubber stair tread material to DIY mudflaps. This works and it’s cheap, but it’s also fairly F-UGLY. Then I found out about Buddy Flaps mudflaps. They make stock and custom mudflaps for your bike. I ordered a few sets and have been using them for about a year.

Buddy Flap on my Boulder Bicycle All Road rando rig…

They come in front and back sets with a longer and shorter option to suit different fenders. Just measure how far from bottom of each fender to the ground the nice folks at Buddy Flaps will get you the right length. Each set includes all the mounting hardware you need. You will have to drill your fender to install.

The Good:

  • reasonable price ~$14
  • custom options are fun
  • nice and long [I like that!]
  • excellent width for wide tires
  • thick durable material [stay down better at speed to keep tire spray in control]
  • reflective rear flap material for visibility

My 700c Surly LHT with Buddy Flaps…

The Bad

  • fairly heavy compared to DIY options
  • milk jugs are free and Buddy Flaps cost $14
  • reflective material is glued on and will come off with hard use [flap is still 100%]

One of my rear flaps has totally lost the cool reflective material and is straight up black. The flap itself will last years of use as it’s made of very durable material, but expect to lose the reflective decal after a year or less of regular use. Buddy Flaps may replace the reflective decal, but I haven’t got around to asking.

Sharon’s Buddy Flaps that are going on her Cross Check…

Overall I like these flaps and the cool designs are fun. It would be nice if they lasted longer, but as long as the flap itself is durable I can live with the decorative part coming off. Ideally these buddy flaps should ship with an extra set of the decals since there is no way they’ll stay on for the long run.

If you don’t care about the decorative aspect of these flaps the DIY milk jug solution works just fine.



11 responses

3 05 2012

If you want a longer term solution, check out the flaps made by Tarik down here in Seattle:

He’ll do custom colors too…just sayin’…

3 05 2012

@Jesse – the flaps shown at the link are all really short. I’m not sure if that’s all that’s available or if they can be made longer. One thing I like about the Buddy Flaps is I can get them down near to the road where they catch the most road spray.

3 05 2012

I’ve had Buddy Flaps. The mounting never satisfied me, not that any fender/flap combo ever *has* made me happy.

3 05 2012

@Champs – I’ve been very happy with Buddy Flaps on VO and Honjo metal fenders.

3 05 2012

Tarik will make whatever length you like. He had some at Peddler’s Fair that were easily 14″…

3 05 2012

Lazy, I’m wondering what size the fenders and tires are on the first bike you pictured, the black Surly. I’ve got a Cross Check with 40mm Dureme’s on Velocity rims and want to find a fender that fits. Fairly certain I’ll also slap on a pair of Buddy’s. thanks for the review,

3 05 2012

@Eric – 60mm Velo Orange fenders & 26 x 2.15″ Schwalbe Big Apples.

3 05 2012

I got in a “bro deal” on some Bontrager Nebula fenders. They have the best hardware ever, with no bracket drilling, stay cutting, or even a daruma nub to get in the way. They’re just a few cm too short.

6 05 2012
Henrik Van Ryzin

Vic – did you need to drill your VO fenders to install the buddy flaps? If so – any pointers on the technique? I’m looking to install flaps of either the jug or buddy variety, but am a tad hesitant to take a drill to my fenders. I’ve got the smooth stainless VO

6 05 2012
Henrik Van Ryzin

SO ashamed! I now see you mentioned the drilling. Sorry to have missed it. Still curious how it went, and if you have any pointers. THanks!

6 05 2012

@Henrik – no worries…if you want to do a pro job you mark the fenders, take them off the bike and use a punch & hammer to make a small divot where you want the hole which you then drill with a fine drill bit and work your way up in drill bit size until you get to the size you need for your mounting bolt.

If you are lazy like me you just leave the fender on the bit and go at it with a larger drill bit accepting the result won’t be perfection….=-)

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