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  1. #1
    MFA jjvw's Avatar
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    Drilling for rear fender

    I just picked up some Giles Berthoud fenders earlier this week. I have them installed on my '73 Italvega Nouvo Record which is set up as a fixed conversion and is also my daily commuter. I am pretty sure these fenders will stay with this frame. So, my question is whether or not it is a bad idea to drill and tap a hole in the <edit>chainstay bridge</edit> behind the bottom bracket to attach the rear fender more securely than it is. Currently I am using zip ties for lack of anything better. Normally I would be against permanently altering a frame, but I don't believe this to be a huge collector's item. Also this procedure would not limit any future functionality of the frame.

    Has anyone here done this?

    Last edited by jjvw; 02-03-07 at 08:57 AM.

  2. #2
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    I put a bracket that screws to the fender then clamps on to the bridge behind the bb shell on the chainstays. It works well with my Honjo's. I got it at the bike stand in Scotch palins N.J. I wouldn't drill the bridge.

  3. #3
    MFA jjvw's Avatar
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    I had a similar bracket on my SKS/Esge fenders that were on this frame previously. It kept popping loose. I know I can fabricate a better one myself though.

  4. #4
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Jan Heine has an article on installing metal fenders in the current issue of Bicycle Quarterly.

    You say "seat stay bridge behind the bottom bracket", but do you mean the chainstay bridge?

    If there is no hole in the bridge, then yes, you'll have to drill one. With the fender positioned in place, mark two horizontal lines on the fender - one at the top of the bridge and the other at the bottom of the bridge - with a magic marker. Remove the fender and drill a hole centered between the two lines and halfway from one edge of the fender to the other. Drilling on a convex surface is tricky, so use a center punch and start with a smaller twist drill to provide a pilot hole. When attaching the fender, use a leather washer between the bridge and the fender, and a steel washer on the inside of the fender.
    - Stan

  5. #5
    MFA jjvw's Avatar
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    Yes, the chainstay bridge.

    The procedure described is pretty much what I had in mind.

  6. #6
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    I use p-clamps rather than drilling out the bridge. My new favorites are nylon p-clamps sold in the electrical section of the hardware store. Pic below of the one on my Raleigh International (along with a piece of cork as a spacer).

    Neal
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner
    I use p-clamps rather than drilling out the bridge. My new favorites are nylon p-clamps sold in the electrical section of the hardware store. Pic below of the one on my Raleigh International (along with a piece of cork as a spacer).

    Neal
    Yes.

  8. #8
    hunter, gatherer coelcanth's Avatar
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    drilling would be fine..
    one thing though, it might be too thin to tap for a machine screw..
    usualy when builders do this i think they use a threaded boss

    you'd probably just through bolt it

  9. #9
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    If you decide to drill, the hole needn't be very large. A 3 mm or #4 bolt should be plenty strong enough.

    My '83 Trek 400 has a factory provided hole in the chainstay bridge but, if it didn't, I'd have used zip ties or a P-clamp rather than going to the trouble of drilling it.

  10. #10
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    If you feel uncomfortable drilling the bridge, use a padded corrosion resistant steel Adel clamp instead of a plastic clamp. It'll be much sturdier and won't fall apart after a couple of years' exposure to UV. The Adel clamps are only a couple of dollars and are used mostly in airplanes for securing wiring bundles. Get one that's the appropriate diameter for the bridge.
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    Last edited by Scooper; 02-03-07 at 09:00 AM.
    - Stan

  11. #11
    vjp
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    As mentioned , it is usually a threaded boss, I don't think that the bridghe wall would be thick enough to provide more than a thread or two. And then how are you going to get your drill and tap in that narrow space? I would go for a clamp as suggested.

    Your ride looks really nice! Where did you get the fenders?

    vjp

  12. #12
    Last one to the top... Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I think it is a cleaner installation to drill... P clamps may work fine, but I tend to only use them to fasten to the stays etc.

    Of course, I rarely do things the best way, so take this opinion witgh a grain of salt.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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  13. #13
    MFA jjvw's Avatar
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    I got the fenders at Yellow Jersey in Madison, WI during a work related trip. Andy, the owner, said he only orders 5 sets a year, but usually only recieves two. I've looked all around Chicago for Berthoud or similar fenders and haven't had any luck yet. So far they are great -- much quieter than the SKS/Esges I had on before.

    I am leaning towards making my own P-clamp since there probably isn't enough thickness for very many threads and I do not want to put a bolt through the entire bridge. Whatever I do, it will be a clean and uncluttered installation but not necessarily the easiest (a la Little Darwin).

    Since I have some of your attention I'll ask another question. Those of you with steel fenders, are they attached at the brake bridge? How did you do it? I was thinking of getting a second "silent block bolt" to attach the rear fender to the brake bridge.

    Last edited by jjvw; 02-03-07 at 03:30 PM.

  14. #14
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vjp
    Your ride looks really nice! Where did you get the fenders?
    I just bought a pair of Berthoud 700c stainless steel fenders from Il Vecchio for $65.00 plus shipping.
    - Stan

  15. #15
    MFA jjvw's Avatar
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    ^^Including your shipping, that's about what I paid.

  16. #16
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjvw
    Those of you with steel fenders, are they attached at the brake bridge? How did you do it?
    Fenders attach to the brake bridge using a "fender bridge clip" that is essentially an "L" bracket with one side of the L riveted to the fender and the other side having a hole that the brake mounting bolt goes through. I'll see if I can find a picture.

    EDIT: Look HERE and scroll down the page to Wald #827 and Wald #847.
    Last edited by Scooper; 02-03-07 at 04:08 PM.
    - Stan

  17. #17
    MFA jjvw's Avatar
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    Mine does not have an L-bracket. The only place the rear can attach out of the box is at both ends. Nothing else is drilled. The front hangs off of the above mentioned block bolt and a set of stays.
    Last edited by jjvw; 02-03-07 at 04:37 PM.

  18. #18
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjvw
    Mine don't have an L-bracket. The only place the rear can attach out of the box is at both ends. Nothing else is drilled. The front hangs off of the above mentioned block bolt and a set of stays.
    Well, they deliver them without a lot of pre-drilled holes so you can "match drill" them for the position of the bridges on your particular bike.
    Last edited by Scooper; 02-03-07 at 04:37 PM.
    - Stan

  19. #19
    MFA jjvw's Avatar
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    So even hough Berthoud does not supply a rear bridge support, I should go ahead and devise one myself.

  20. #20
    vjp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper
    I just bought a pair of Berthoud 700c stainless steel fenders from Il Vecchio for $65.00 plus shipping.
    I was in Seattle yesterday for a meeting, I went early so that I could drop by Il Vecchio first. They open at 11:00 am but by 11:30 George was still not there and I had to get to my meeting. Kind of pissed me off but I grabbed 5 minutes at Elliot Bay and that gave me my vintage fix, along with Brett Hortons new book "The Golden Age of Racing" which I picked up.

    vjp

  21. #21
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjvw
    So even hough Berthoud does not supply a rear bridge support, I should go ahead and devise one myself.
    That's what I'm going to do.

    Here's a catalog photo showing the rear brake bridge fender clip on a Schwinn World Tourist.
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    - Stan

  22. #22
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vjp
    I was in Seattle yesterday for a meeting, I went early so that I could drop by Il Vecchio first. They open at 11:00 am but by 11:30 George was still not there and I had to get to my meeting. Kind of pissed me off but I grabbed 5 minutes at Elliot Bay and that gave me my vintage fix, along with Brett Hortons new book "The Golden Age of Racing" which I picked up.

    vjp
    I picked up a copy of "Cycling's Golden Age" at the San Francisco Velo Swap and had it autographed by both Brett Horton and Owen Mulholland. Another great book is Jan Heine's "The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles".

    The authors all like "golden age"...
    - Stan

  23. #23
    vjp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper
    I picked up a copy of "Cycling's Golden Age" at the San Francisco Velo Swap and had it autographed by both Brett Horton and Owen Mulholland. Another great book is Jan Heine's "The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles".

    The authors all like "golden age"...
    Right, "Cycling's Golden Age", I told you I was rushing! I also have Mr. Heine's book, it is really interesting, not much "new" in our little world when you look back.

    vjp

  24. #24
    Senior Member joe v's Avatar
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    I tend to stick to a very simple principle : never drill if there's any possibility to use ties or clamps.

  25. #25
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Most touring bikes come from the factory with pre-drilled holes in the chainstay bridge and brake bridge to accommodate mounting fenders. They also usually have eyelets on the dropouts for accommodating the fender stays. These bikes are "fender friendly". Most racing bikes have no factory provisions for mounting fenders.

    The OP's question was essentially "what modifications does one make to a bike that didn't come from the factory already set up for fender installation?" There are several ways to set up a non fender-friendly bike for fender installation. One is to emulate the way fender-friendly bikes come from the factory by drilling the necessary holes and brazing on eyelets. The other way is to make the fender installation as non invasive as possible to the bike so that the fenders can be removed without any evidence they were ever there.

    The OP stated in his first post that he was "pretty sure these fenders will stay with this frame". To me, that meant he wanted a clean, sturdy installation that would more or less emulate the way bikes with fenders come from the factory. He also said he wasn't too concerned about drilling the frame.

    So, the choice to me is really to do it like a factory would or have it look like a kludge with tie-wraps and plastic clamps.

    The P15-9 I'm putting my Berthoud fenders on came from the factory already set up for fenders, so I don't have to decide, but if I were mounting those same fenders on a bike without drilled bridges and dropout eyelets, and I intended for the installation to be permanent, I wouldn't hesitate to drill and get eyelets brazed to the dropouts. These fenders are much too classy to look like they are installed by Rube Goldberg.
    Last edited by Scooper; 02-04-07 at 08:45 AM.
    - Stan

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