This Space for Rent

New fender day

Great A, little a, this is new aluminum fender day!

Out with the 35mm SKS fenders, in with a pair of 45mm Velo Orange aluminum fenders (claimed to be “hammered”, but they’re actually embossed with a polygon design that looks, at first glance and from a distance, like hammered fenders. Up close it’s not so convincing) that only took about 3 hours to make fit right (The MLCM is designed for 28mm + fenders, but that doesn’t mean 45mm fenders – I had to pinch the front fender to fit between the fork legs, and I had to fabricate a bracket to attach the front of the rear fender to the chainstay bridge, because the fender was much too wide to fit between the chainstays.

Shockingly, the fender line isn’t mindbogglingly terrible, though I do need to remove the front fender and cut down the L-bracket I used to attach it to the crown fork; right now the top of the L bracket rubs against the lower headset cup, which is not exactly optimal.


Why go with 45mm fenders if they were going to be such a pain to install? (I ask this having gone and looked and seen 37mm fenders in the same style on the Velo Orange site.)

I’ve got a pair of plastic SKS fenders on the Experiment at the moment; I’m thinking they’re going to get replaced in the spring, probably with the 700x40 version of

Graydon Fri Nov 18 17:43:39 2011

Three reasons for 45mm fenders:

  1. I’ve got a pair of Challenge Parigi-Roubaix tires (birthday presents) that won’t fit under the 35mm fenders,
  2. the SKS 35mm fenders don’t have much clearance around the el-cheapo Nashbar tires I’m using now, so when I’m riding on leaf debris it picks itself up and wedges itself into the fender at every obstruction, and
  3. the internal stay crowns act as dams; water builds up behind them and spills out around the edge of the fender, where it’s caught by the wind and blown right into my feet.

If I could have found a local store that carried the Berthoud fenders I would have gotten them instead (the Honjo-style stay mounts are pretty terrible in that you have nuts sticking up on the inside of the fender; from looking at pictures of the Berthoud fenders it appears that they’re supposed to work the same way, but since they’re bolt-through that means I could get button-head bolts and fasten everything together so the nuts are on the outside of the fender. Yeah, it would be kind of ugly, but I could work around that with capnuts) but, alas, it’s all mailorder all the time and shipping is kind of expensive for wheel-sized objects :-(

And for ~$38, the VO fenders are nice and cheap, and if they don’t work out I’ll just take them off and use them as forms to make a pair of carbon fiber fenders instead. (CF fabric is about $25/yard, which is expensive for things like bicycle frames but fairly cheap if you’re only making an object that’s 5 inches across – I probably wouldn’t need more than about a 6 layer layup for non-structural CF, and the bolts come in, I believe, 60" widths, which gives me a lot of fabric to work with.)

David Parsons Fri Nov 18 18:14:58 2011

CF fabric is also nasty, nasty stuff to have wee fragmented bits of floating around; make sure you get a really good filter mask if you go that way!

“tires won’t fit” and “wet feet” are certainly compelling reasons! “sucks up leaves”, well, clearly I need to ride a lot faster. :)

I hope it works well. They certainly look nice. (I am darkly suspicious of the capacity of fender mounts to rattle loose from their initial positions; the rivet approach doubtless has some benefits in that regard. :)

Graydon Fri Nov 18 19:32:52 2011

I have been pleasantly surprised with how well my fenders stay bolted on; the old SKS fenders were on for ~10,000 miles without anything working loose and rattling (as opposed to “getting filled with leaf debris and rubbing”) and I didn’t have any nylock nuts or lock washers on them.

These fenders have leather washers as shock absorbers on the chainstay bridge and seatstay bridge connections to help absorb vibration, though I’m more worried about the fender breaking than I am with those nuts working loose (a friend had a nice custom bike made for him this year, complete with nice painted honjo fenders, but within about 1000 km (in the middle of the spring 400) the rear fender snapped just aft of the seatstay) because it’s a loooong way from the seatstay bridge to the structs at the back of the fender.

David Parsons Sat Nov 19 13:27:28 2011

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