Singlespeed & Fixed Gear - full fenders on an eyelet-free frame
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alright, i've run the freddy (http://www.rei.com/product/48016022.htm?vcat=REI_SSHP_CYCLING_TOC)clip-on fenders for a week, and they are just not cutting it. it pisses me off because i spent a whole afternoon modifying them (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v79/zip22/DSCF0801.jpg) to fit (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v79/zip22/DSCF0803.jpg). the bike paths around here are what i would imagine a salt mine would be like. there are piles of salt at least 5 inches thick. the salt layer is sitting ontop of a sand layer (the sand in my drive train prompted the fenders in the first place). the main problems i have are
a) the front is too short, the chain area is still getting blasted with sand and salt.
b) the rear does a good job, but stops at the seat tube. the rear wheel also blasts (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v79/zip22/DSCF0802.jpg) the bb, chainring, chain with a second helping of salt and grit. (note: the picture was after i wiped off the side facing us, it was like the opposite side, coated in saltiness)
the freddy fenders took care of my wet ass and some parts of the frame which i like, but its just not enough. i need full fenders. there are 3 problems that i think might need addressing
-i have no eyelets in the rear
-the front fork is aero (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v79/zip22/DSCF0805.jpg), so anything that straps on would need to accomodate.
-the brake bolt on the front is a little more than 0.5" from the headset. the freddy fender 'L' bracket was too tall.
i thought i read in a previous thread about fenders that there are eyelet things that they provide to mount on the front fork, and you can use 2 more to mount on the rear, but where can you get those? would they fit on the aero fork?
i also need the fenders to be narrow. my modifactions were done because the freddy fenders were too thick to fit. any suggestions for narrow fenders? i think 35mm might barely cut it. thats the narrowest i'm finding.
12-20-05, 09:22 PM
let me just say that i have a set of full fenders and i still get spray on my frame. The front wheel sprays to the bottom part of the downtube near the bb and both wheels spray the fork and chain/seatstays. it's not possible to block all the spray. The fenders are there to block the spray from getting on you.
You can wipe your bike off when you get where you're going and give it a good wipe at the end of the day.
that's just what i've found.
12-20-05, 10:11 PM
haven't tried my self... yet (i'm just waiting till i have time when exams are done)... but many people have recommended using a mousepad cut down to extend the front fender so it's almost touching the ground. This should do the trick for blocking anything comin from the front. For the back I'd imagine with a little ingenuity and a bag o zipties you could fashion something of equal functionality. Won't be the coolest kid on the block but at least you won't have a hurting frame on your hands come spring
The SKS fenders have a very nice mounting system that are close to a full fender. I know the rear doesn't cover back of legs and seat tube, but they do work very well for a majority of applications http://www.coloradocyclist.com/common/products/productdisplay2_v2.cfm?PRRFNBR=28632&S=28629,28630,28631,28632,28626
12-20-05, 10:58 PM
i got the sks race blades on mine
i can't believe i even asked
ofcourse it is
anyway the sks race blades are probably as good as it gets but feet still get wet
yeah, these actually cover a bit more than the race blades.
i'm mainly looking for a rear fender that covers all the way down to the bottom bracket. i also thought i read some people recommend buying 2 rear fenders, and cutting one for the front so you can make it as long as you want. i wouldn't mind these freddy fenders as much if i could add some sort of a mudflap the commuters talk about to keep the chain cleaner, but it wouldn't be able to support much weight.
my ideas of keeping the bike looking sleek have completely dissolved since my drivetrain started crunching from the sand and i was cleaning the chain once a week.
You can run wraparound (SKS, eg.) fenders on a frame that doesn't have eyelets by using rubberized C-clamps (from any hardware store). you'll need larger ones for your fork if it has a significantly higher diameter than your seatstays.
If you have a bike with rear-facing dropouts, you should either leave lots of slack in the rear fender (to allow for wheel removal) or cut the rear fender in half to allow for wheel removal. If you choose to do the latter, throw a back-scratcher fender on top of the other fender.
Of course, if you ride where it snows, your fenders will pack with ice and cover you with sluch no matter what (hello Chicago).
alright, one more question
Fenders are a long discussion, unfortunately.
Starting at the top, you can fit just about any bike with Honjo fenders and their incredible collection of parts. Check out http://www.jitensha.com/eng/e_index.html for all the items. The fenders are more expensive than plastic ones, but outlast them by several times.
At a lower price, I recommend SKS standard full fenders. Get vinyl-clad stainless P-clamps from your local shop (you'll just want to get several in a range of sizes so you have what you need to fit your bike) and get 5 mm button-head allen bolts in various lengths and nylok allen bolts, plus washers and fender washers to match. Go to http://www.rivercitybicycles.com/mod.php?mod=userpage&menu=1105&page_id=58
and get an idea how to cut and splice to suit. It's a rare bike you can't get a full fender set into. Use the P-clamps to attach the fenders to your fork tips, seatstay ends, and chainstay bridge. River City (see URL above) has a great pre-manufactured set of brackets that make installation easy, although you can make them yourself from some stainless Blackburn rack brackets. Be sure and get a set of fenders wide enough for good protection -- if you're riding 25-28 mm tires, I recommend the 45 mm wide fenders rather than the narrow 35 mm ones. It's not just that you have more protection -- the narrow ones are finicky about adjustments or they rub on your tire. The 45's are much more tolerant. I also like the SKS fenders better than most of the other brands out there.
Overall, the trick is to run the rear fender down at least level with the rear hub, and the front fender down at least to the same height. If you run them much further down, they tend to get trashed if you have to stand the bike with a wheel off, or if you remove wheels to put the bike in a car. To get better splash protection, cut a third or so of a water bottle from top to bottom and bolt it onto the bottom of the fender with a pan-head allen bolt, a couple washers, and a nylok nut (the pan-head bolt always goes on the inside of the fender so you don't lose tire clearance or collect debris).
Everyone has the problem you encountered with headset clearance, but there are brackets that are cut with that in mind, or you use some pliers or a vise to bend the brackets to clear. It's not bad so long as you are willing to bend or cut pieces to make the fenders fit properly -- they simply don't work right out of the box. I like the SKS because they give you more attachment and customization options, and they seem to last a bit better than the Planet Bike and other brands.
I've used the SKS RaceBlades from time to time, and for something that you can pop onto your frame in 30 seconds on a rainy summer day, they're pretty good. They still need rain flaps to be of adequate length and again, there's a larger size that makes fit a lot less finicky. But for all winter, there are better solutions. Also, the RaceBlades tend to rub paint off under the clamps (some tape on the frame plus zip-ties instead of the rubber mounting strips will help with this problem to a fair extent).
wow, thanks for all the info. so between the zefal and the sks i posted, would the sks be a safer bet (despite both being plastic)?
i apretiate the advice about going a bigger, but 35mm should fit almost perfect, and i don't really have the desire to try to customize these too much. eventually, i might put together a junker and get the biggest, baddest looking fenders i can on there.
how do these attatch at the bottom bracket area?
12-21-05, 01:03 AM
B because it has the mudflaps.
Here are the rubber coated clamps as mentioned above. I've used them on a bike without eyelets.
I also have a set of Race Blades and they're crap for anything wetter than mildly damp ground. The rear is OK but because the front doesn't extend past the front brake, water splashes back up at your face if you're going at a decent speed.
12-21-05, 01:08 AM
Wow. Thanks for the detailed post 11.4.
I have Zefals, and they SUCK... worst mounting system ever... I don't think I even used any of the included hardware. SKS all the way.
12-21-05, 02:01 AM
i rocked the zefal fenders on a french conversion for a while - until the rear fender snapped in half - the bracket that attaches the fender to the chainstay bridge slipped/popped off and the fender slipped around and under the tire....
they were mounted with zip ties, as my frame's eyelets aren't threaded, which didn't do me any justice when the aforementioned bracket failed. that being said, they offer a fair amount of adjustability in fit, offered good protection from rain and road sludge, and are narrow enough to fit my frame fairly well. i roll with 23's, and the 35mm fenders barely had enough clearance to not rub - but any wider wouldn't have fit my frame...
i've also rolled some of the freddy fender's, but the mudflap created a bit of a problem for me - i'm a little feller, ridin' little feller frame sizes - the mudflap exaserbated an already present toe overlap issue
don't get the zefal. the mounting system is terrible.
I couldn't agree more. ALL the plastic mounting holes where the struts slide in stripped out immediately (they use a bizarre Torx bit size, not included of course), the fenders had to be heavily modified to fit my fairly standard frame, hardware included wasn't adequate at all. I'm really disappointed in the Zefals. Now that they are finally on (took over 2hrs) they are STAYING on.
To attach them at the bottom bracket, put a P-clamp around the chainstay bridge (assuming you have one) with the flat (flush) side facing backwards. Then run a button-head allen bolt through the fender (it should have a couple mounting holes near the bottom end) and through the P-clamp and tighten onto a nylok nut. You may need to trim the fender or drill a hole so you get the right positioning -- the first-time mounting of fenders on a bike can take 2-4 hours to do it right, but after that, even if you replace them, it takes 15-30 minutes.
On the oversize fenders, don't knock them. You may figure it's less hassle now, but the narrower fenders tend to shift position slightly every time you lean your bike against a wall or wherever, and you're frequently stopping to adjust them so they don't chafe a tire. You help with clearance by mounting them a bit farther from the tire than you might initially think (this is especially true of Raceblades, whose struts have a bulky plastic fitting on the underside of the fender which really cuts down on effective clearances). But if you get the oversize ones, all you need is a pair of inexpensive tin snips to trim them neatly to fit. You most likely need to trim them anyway (at the chainstay bridge, almost any fender needs to have the sides cut away so they go down past the chainstays for the best protection of your bottom bracket and crankset). I recommended RaceBlades to my fellow team members when they first came out, and we were always stopping to adjust them. When the RaceBlade XL's came out, I tried a pair and this winter, everyone is either on oversize fenders or the RaceBlade XL's. Just a friendly hint -- you can't stint on your fender mounting or it comes back to bite you when you're riding.
hmm, i don't have a chainstay bridge...
i see what you're saying about the the chainstay area being tighter. i think my next project will be finding a bike with fenders already installed.
12-21-05, 11:28 AM
There is where road conversions rock. Horizontal dropouts = no fender hassles.
horizontal dropouts + fender mounts + clearance = fender bliss.
12-21-05, 11:42 AM
My view on your fender dilemma is that you are just pushing your frame past it's inherent design. It was designed without eyelets, and presumably with tighter clearances, and track dropouts, so fenders won't really work too well. You may have to settle for the less-than ideal clip on/reduced coverage fenders.
CSC training camp, how to adapt your guards to reduce spray, and put guards on close clearance frames with P clips.
I'm running SKS guards on my track frame, its tight but it is possible to set them up with track dropouts.
Matthew A Brown
12-21-05, 12:07 PM
Perhaps in the too-obvious-to-mention vein, but man-- zip-ties. Doesn't really address the eyelet issue, but for lashing something to either/any of the stay bridges, or to the seat tube if there's tight clearance there, or to anything. I have the SKS fenders and just have it ziptied to both bridges rather than whatever random stuff is around.
Get creative, it can be done.
edit: "Random stuff" meaning the assorted metal componentry. I had two fenders' worth (two pair, that is) of crap I just left at the bike shop.
Also, zipties are a ****-ton quieter than any clamp/screw/bolt thing. All that little noise can add up, and quite noticable on a fixed machine.
12-21-05, 03:13 PM
2 more suggestions. You'd have to slim them down,but there are Freddy SpeedEz that strap on like Race Blades.
The 35mm are basically Race Blades,but the 45mm are regular full fenders.
You could also go the route I did for my Giant Sedona,which is to suppliment smaller fenders with mudboards. I used a set of Topeak DeFenders(MTB fenders) and then put mudboards on the downtube and seattube to catch the spray missed by the fenders. (go to http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=157275&page=2&pp=25 and check out post #31 for pics) This setup works pretty well;I stay pretty clean and there's not much junk in my chain despite commuting through sand/salt.
For your bike,you could mount a set of Race Blades(or Freddy equivalent) and then install a pair of mudboards like I did. Mine are the small variety,but there are larger ones or you could just make them yourself out of milk jugs/soda bottles and zip ties.
As tbk shows, you can get fenders on just about any bike, and you can make up for the problem of insufficient length (which everyone has except Honjos) with water bottles (same method I described above).
No chainstay bridge? You have 3 choices then. First, drill two holes side by side in the fender and ziptie around the seat tube. Just be sure you do it low enough that you are jamming the fender as close as possible into the bottom bracket so the end doesn't flop. Second, drill a hole near the edge of the fender at the height of the chainstays, and run a ziptie around the chainstay and the hole; do this on both sides. The third method is to trim the fender shorter so it runs without support from the brake bridge down along the tire for 6-7 inches. You get most of the spray coverage you want, you avoid zipties (which always seem to break at inopportune times -- always ALWAYS carry spare zipties when you are riding with fenders so you can do repairs), and then you actually have room to brush your rear tire if you ride through glass. Opinions are divided on this latter practice, but anecdotally I've avoided plenty of punctures by getting the glass off before it worked its way in, and repairing a flat in winter ain't fun. Anyway, the point is that chainstay bridges aren't necessary to a fender installation -- they just make it easier. If you ever have a frame repainted, I recommend having some threaded bosses brazed onto your brake bridge, chainstay bridge, and the underside of your fork crown (if it's steel, of course), plus fender eyelets. Having the right connections makes it work tons better and the little bits only run $50-100 extra if you're getting paint anyway.
01-03-06, 12:59 PM
Just found another solution for you. While digging around looking for my flat roll of duct tape(don't ask),I found a pack of these:
I didn't even remember that I had them. Anyway,they'd be perfect for attaching fenders. Just zip them on and you have instant eyelets. They're rated for 50lbs,so I think they'll handle a set of Freddys. Mine are white,but I checked the manufacturer's website,and they also come in black.
01-03-06, 01:18 PM
Make you own P clips any length you need from perforated straping from the home store. Then you can atach to anything.
Like this http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=2176
01-03-06, 01:23 PM
Well, I had a friend drill a pair of holes in the rear dropouts to be able to mount full fenders. Had him cut threads into it, works fine. I guess I'm brutal. Road frame, so I had the clearance, front eyelets and space on the rear dropouts.
01-24-06, 03:37 PM
With Honjo fenders, aren't you essentially pairing the fenders with the frame their fitted to? Could you use the fenders on any other bike after that?
Matthew A Brown
01-24-06, 06:26 PM
Hella classy. What's the story? Me want....
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