Kenesis Fend Off Shorty review – full metal gravel fender

This tough, metal, rear mudguard from Kinesis is designed to keep gravel butts clean and dry, but fit issues are frustrating

Fend Off Shorty fender
(Image: © GuyKesTV)

BikePerfect Verdict

A tough, wide gravel fender for keeping your shorts clean but all metal construction is heavy and mounting design reduces fit compatibility.

Pros

  • +

    Tough all metal construction

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    Wide enough to work with all gravel tires

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    Rubber stay tips reduce rattle

Cons

  • -

    Metal construction is heavy

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    Bridge tab needs ‘modifying’ to fit more bikes

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    Relies on bolted mounts on stays

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    Stays are short and can foul some disc brake calipers

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    No rearward protection

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As the name suggests the ‘Shorty’ is a broader, shorter version of Kenesis Fend Off’s existing full mudguards and it’s designed specifically for wide tire gravel bikes. It’s a tough and good looking design, but a bit more detailing could avoid several fitting issues. 

Design and specification

The ‘Shorty’ fender section uses an inverted trough shape to make it stiff and twist free and the sand blasted finish is powder coated so it’s cosmetically as well as structurally tough. A slotted metal tab is riveted onto the front end for bolting into a horizontal seatstay bridge, while the tail end gets a laser etched logo. There’s a drilled hole in the center for the U-section stainless steel rod that forms the fender stays. These stays are rubber coated at the top and at the tips to reduce vibration and avoid metal on metal contact. A pair of metal P-clips then clamp the lower tips once you’ve bolted them into the appropriate threaded mounts on your frame.  

Fend Off Shorty fender

The angled 62mm wide alloy fender blocks most mud spray even off a 47mm wide tire (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Performance

At 265g with fixtures and fittings, the all-metal construction make the Fend Off a lot heavier than plastic options. That might rule it out for the carbon bike / titanium spork crowd, but if you’re rolling on a steel frame with an enamel dangle mug that’s less of an issue. Either way, the metal construction with thick stays makes it proper tough and the single Nylock bolt has been totally secure after a fair amount of rattling miles. The 62mm width and 560mm length are great for keeping butts, back lights and bikepacking bags clean even on properly filthy rides, but the lower frame and transmission doesn't get any protection like they would on a full guard. The Shorty leaves enough back tire exposed to shower following riders too, but you could always drill it and add an extension flap and the gain for you is plenty of mud room if things get boggy.

The vertical tab with it’s reliance on an old style ‘brake bolt’ position is out of step with most disc brake frames and while I managed to bend and bodge a zip tie attachment out of it something more universal would make a lot more sense.

The bolted P-clips mean fender position and maximum clearance depend on where the fender mounts are your frame and I was clamping on the very end of the stays on the host bike I used. The stays also fouled the wider brake caliper when I switched from SRAM to Hope brakes. There’s no facility for a bike without rack/fender mounts either, although you could probably bodge one.

Fend Off Shorty fender frame fitting bodge

I had to bodge the front tab to a basic, but still slightly loose fit and the same will be true of most bikes (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Verdict

If it fits, the Fend Off Shorty is a tough, corrosion resistant big tire compatible rear fender with no mud clearance issues. It’s heavy though and the seatstay tab and bolted P-clip mounting system is much less compatible with modern gravel bikes than it could be.

Fend Off Shorty fender stay detail

The bolted P-Clips mean fender position and maximum clearance depend on where the fender mounts are your frame. (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Tech specs: Fend Off Shorty gravel fender

  • Price: £34.99
  • Size: 560 x 62mm
  • Options: Black only
  • Weight: 265g
Guy Kesteven
Technical-Editor-at-Large

Guy has been working on Bike Perfect since we launched in 2019. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.

Current rides: Cervelo ZFS-5, Forbidden Druid V2, Specialized Chisel, custom Nicolai enduro tandem, Landescape/Swallow custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg