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Old 08-07-11, 07:55 PM   #1
fusilierdan
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Fitting fenders

I just bought a pair of SKS fenders for my 26 wheeled commuter. I'm wondering how they should fit. The fender fits close to the wheel in the front but the back seems to be a few inches away. I can tighten the stays so it fits closer but they'll look a little odd with the bends that will occur. Any advice?
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Old 08-07-11, 08:03 PM   #2
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My Planet Bike fenders have about 1" clearance between the wheel and fender on the rear fender, and a little less than 1" of clearance on the front fender. I would bring in my rear fender closer, but it won't go any closer without significant work. It looks good enough as is, and I like having the front fender close to the wheel so it catches more water spray from the wheel.

Is there any chance you can post a picture of the rear fender area to help in diagnosis?
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Old 08-07-11, 10:08 PM   #3
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What do you mean the bends that will occur?

I have about 1mm clearance under the rear brake, and keep it pretty tight all around for a uniform look. I cut the front fender since it doesnt fit under my fork.
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Old 08-07-11, 10:40 PM   #4
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Sounds like the fenders were made for a larger diameter wheel.
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Old 08-07-11, 10:58 PM   #5
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Here's a method I learned from custom framebuilder Mike Zanconato.
  1. Tape equally sized spacers to the tire in several strategic locations.
  2. Screw the front of the fender to the chainstay bridge.
  3. Bend the fender so it contacts the spacers. (Metal fenders will stay that way, plastic fenders I have to tape into position.)
  4. Install the mount at the seatstay bridge.
  5. Then install the fenderstays, attach them to the fender, tighten and trim.
  6. Remove any tape holding the fender in position.
  7. Double-check everything.
  8. Remove the wheel so you can remove the spacers.

A couple of photos of some of the steps illustrate the procedure here. It's only one of 20 photo-packed posts on that thread, so it takes some time to load, and in my browser, jumps around a lot as it's doing so. When all the photos have loaded, it should end up at Zank's post illustrating the fender install.

Good luck!

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Old 08-08-11, 08:46 AM   #6
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You must be using fenders designed to fit 700c wheels, which are a larger diameter than 26" wheels.

I use 26" PB Hardcore fenders (60mm width) with both 26" and 700c wheels, and have no issues fitting up to 26x2.35 (60mm) Big Apples or 700x35 Marathon Supremes or any tires smaller in diameter or width. No need to adjust the fenders at all unless using 26" slicks, and even then, it's only to eliminate the "unsightly" gap between the tire and fender.

Running a 700x23 tire in a 60mm wide fender works fine, but is perhaps not the most aerodynamic setup.
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Old 08-08-11, 09:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
Here's a method I learned from custom framebuilder Mike Zanconato.
  1. Tape equally sized spacers to the tire in several strategic locations.
  2. Screw the front of the fender to the chainstay bridge.
  3. Bend the fender so it contacts the spacers. (Metal fenders will stay that way, plastic fenders I have to tape into position.)
  4. Install the mount at the seatstay bridge.
  5. Then install the fenderstays, attach them to the fender, tighten and trim.
  6. Remove any tape holding the fender in position.
  7. Double-check everything.
  8. Remove the wheel so you can remove the spacers.
That's a great method. Thanks for posting. I just spent a couple of hours reinstalling some fenders on my commuter bike and could have used those tips ahead of time.

A few suggestions I would have:
- Get some nylon spacers at a hardware store to use between the rear fender and the chain stay brace. They come in various sizes. You also can use very narrow ones when bolting the fender stays to your forks to minimize noise and vibration.
- Have plenty of washers on hand.
- Apply grease to all of the bolt threads.
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Old 08-08-11, 07:00 PM   #8
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I checked the fenders they are for 26" tires but I am using 1.5" slicks so that may be why I seeing a gap.
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Old 08-08-11, 07:24 PM   #9
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Any way to take a picture or two? Still doesn't sound right.
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Old 08-08-11, 08:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusilierdan View Post
I checked the fenders they are for 26" tires but I am using 1.5" slicks so that may be why I seeing a gap.
I use 26x1.5 on my commuter as well, and have nowhere near the gap that you described in your initial post. You can expect to have a little bit of a gap when using 1.5s, as the fenders are meant to accommodate larger tires in the range of 26x2.0, but you should be able to get the fenders closer without any strange bends or distortions to the fenders.

If you can post a picture, we can have an easier time diagnosing your situation.
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Old 08-09-11, 03:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
Here's a method I learned from custom framebuilder Mike Zanconato.
  1. Tape equally sized spacers to the tire in several strategic locations.
  2. Screw the front of the fender to the chainstay bridge.
  3. Bend the fender so it contacts the spacers. (Metal fenders will stay that way, plastic fenders I have to tape into position.)
  4. Install the mount at the seatstay bridge.
  5. Then install the fenderstays, attach them to the fender, tighten and trim.
  6. Remove any tape holding the fender in position.
  7. Double-check everything.
  8. Remove the wheel so you can remove the spacers.
Did you get that (spacer) idea from American Chopper?
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Old 08-09-11, 04:58 AM   #12
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Space at the chainstay near the bottom bracket: figure out some way to space the fender tip out, closer to the tire. Easy if the chainstay bridge has an eyelet, slightly bothersome otherwise.

Space at the seatstay bridge: browse your local hardware store for appropriately sized drilled or slotted widget to go between the chainstay bridge and fender. Or ask you local shop if they have a short rack stay they can part with.

Once you get those two fixing points sorted, the rest should fall into place with the adjustable fender stays.
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