Living with Livi: SKS Bluemels Reflective 45 mm fenders

I’m a big proponent of running full-length fenders on bikes if they can accept them, and my wife’s Liv Alight frame and fork comes with threaded fender bosses for this purpose. With Bikeary Bicycle Lifestyle not having any stocks of fenders for months now, I went the private import route again. This time, I got the reflective version of SKS’ venerable Bluemels.

While slightly narrower at 45 mm, this particular set of Bluemels is largely the same as the 53 mm pair on my TCX, with a few changes. The most notable ones are the shiny finish and reflective piping running along these fenders’ length, which is a nice touch. It’s similar to the reflective sidewalls on my folding bike’s Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires.


The rear fender also gets this retro-styled red reflector. I’m not a fan of reflectors in general, but this one is just neat, and blends in perfectly with the set.

The only place the Alight frame needed zip ties for fender mounting was on the seat stay bridge. The holes are perpendicular to each other, so a bolt can’t get through. Ah well.
The chainstay-mounted kickstand/fender mounting plate makes this an easy, rigid connection.

Installing and adjusting the Bluemels on the Alight frame is made so much easier with the Feedback Sports workstand and my Park Tool DH-1 dummy hub. Initial install of the stays, and screwing down the rear fender to the chainstay-mounted fender/kickstand plate, is made simpler when you don’t have to contend with the bulk of a rear wheel or spokes getting in the way.

Once the rear fender and stays are in place, the rear wheel can be brought back in for fine-tuning the fit. As usual, you want the fender as close as possible to the wheel and tire without rubbing, so that it can maximize containment of any water the tires pick up. After dialing in the fit, there’s barely any cutting needed on these stays.

I wish the front fender could go a little lower. The fender-to-tire gap is a little big.

Moving to the front yields another improvement on the build kit. SKS now provides you a handful of 5 mm plastic spacers, which you can use to push the stays outward for clearance purposes. On the Alight, they came in handy for the fork, as the dropout-mounted fender bosses are set slightly inboard. I use a similar metal spacer for the fenders on the TCX to help clear the disc brake caliper, but that one was given to me by a bike shop.

I’d like an alternative solution here. Disassembly will require two tools and a lot of parts.

Fitting front fender to the fork crown yielded a slight surprise. Unlike with the TCX’s fork, the Alight’s fork crown doesn’t have threads; it’s just a simple pair of holes that goes clean through. This means disassembly and reassembly of the front fender for transport purposes is a little more involved, and there are more parts to keep track of (a longer bolt, a nylock nut, a washer, and a plastic spacer) and potentially lose. I might be able to replace the nylock nut with a thumb nut or wingnut so less tools are required.

At least there was zero cutting needed on these stays at all – the plastic caps going over eye bolts and excess fender stays easily.

This front edge cut isn’t quite symmetrical.

My wife is a fair-weather cyclist at most, so fenders like these perhaps are a little overkill. However, Philippine roads just sprout puddles and standing water out of nowhere sometimes, and that’s still protection against any dirty road water and muck that the Alight’s tires might kick up. Truth be told, this fender set looks pretty damn good.


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