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Old 02-08-14, 09:30 AM   #1
Wiggles_dad
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Modifying fenders for better stability

My nice bike has metal Berthound fenders. These things are solid - you feel like you could sit on them. My errand bike has plastic Planet Bike fenders with flimsier stays compared to the hardware found on more expensive metal fenders. My biggest annoyance with fenders is when the rattle or get out of alignment. My errand bike gets carried up and down stairs, gets shoved in and out of doors, and locked to poles and racks every day. I'm hoping people can share some good DIY methods of boosting the stability of inexpensive plastic fenders such as Planet Bike, such as replacing the fender stay hardware.
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Old 02-08-14, 12:05 PM   #2
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I have a set of Planet Bike Mudguards on my Bike Friday they are their 20" ones
Another place where smaller wheels are an advantage, perhaps?
the Polycarbonate plastic used, is quite sturdy.

DIY mount.. 3/4" flat bar of aluminum is pop-riveted on ..
(BiFri Does That, on their own EZ stow mudguard )

a have a (former SKS part) strut Pair on the back one .. My stainless steel welding buddy
put 2 tabs on them at the point they ends butted were joined.

he thought differently than I , so the tabs were above and below the strut .
so I crossed them over each other

so the tabs were between the 2 struts where they arch over the rear ..
used the common 20mm spacing of reflectors , to drill the holes in the mudguard

Grommets pressed thru the holes in the tabs . offer a vibration isolation..
small ss bolts with SS washers and Nylock nuts join the 2..

in short add more struts ./. thicker maybe alloy flat-bar?

the struts that PB supplies , grip the edge of the Mudguard,

in-Shop installs,.. I Just use the standard parts.

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-09-14 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 02-08-14, 03:28 PM   #3
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I was never able to get my PlanetBike Cascadias to NOT rattle.

I've never been able to get any of my SKS P-series fenders TO rattle. (Not that I'd want them to.)

Just seems to be the nature of the beast.
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Old 02-08-14, 04:41 PM   #4
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Blue Loctite on all the bolts.
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Old 02-08-14, 06:03 PM   #5
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I was never able to get my PlanetBike Cascadias to NOT rattle.

I've never been able to get any of my SKS P-series fenders TO rattle. (Not that I'd want them to.)

Just seems to be the nature of the beast.

Curious, what bike / wheel set are you currently using for your commuter?
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Old 02-08-14, 07:02 PM   #6
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Curious, what bike / wheel set are you currently using for your commuter?
My four-seasons, all-conditions commuter is a 2006 Trek Portland, shown in this older photo with the Planet Bike Cascadia fenders and Nokian W106 studded snow tires.



Those are also the factory wheels, which were pretty much garbage. That's also the old +17 degree stem. I'm more flexible now.

After that winter, I had new wheels built using Velocity's (now-discontined) 32-hole VXC hoops, Shimano Alfine dynamo hub in front, Velocity Road Disc hub in the back and DT Competition spokes laced 3-cross with brass nipples. These wheels have been flawless. Shown here with its three-seasons tires and SKS P-series fenders. I use the 35mm ones in the three-seasons and the 45mm one in the winter over the studs. I've just switched to the Longboard version of the P-series fender. The front one comes down to two inches above the pavement.



My current three-seasons and dry roads winter commuter (no pics available) is a 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax frame with Deda Black Rain carbon fork with fender eyelets. I bought the frameset-only and moved components over from the frame it replaced. It too rides on wheels I specified: 32-hole Velocity A23 (F), A23 O/C (R) hoops, the same Shimano Alfine dyno hub I came to like on the Portland, Velocity road hub in the rear, and laced 3-cross with DT Revolution spokes and brass nipples. This bike too sports SKS P-35 fenders.

Last edited by tsl; 02-08-14 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 02-08-14, 08:10 PM   #7
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I have the same bike as Bruce and also use SKS fenders over Schwalbe Winter Marathons. The back fender is great no rattle, the front not as great. I have the same fenders on my 3 season commuter and they are perfect, so I think it is the way they mount to the fork on the Trek. They mount half way up the the fork on the inside which allows the bottom of the fender to move around too much. It is the design of the fork that is a problem, if they mounted at the end, they would be perfect.

I tried Planet Bike fenders on my last winter commuter, before the Trek and they were just too flexible. I think the plastic of the fender isn't stiff and the stays were not as stiff. I would never buy that brand again.

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Old 02-08-14, 09:00 PM   #8
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I have the same bike as Bruce
I remember you were going to change the bars, but I thought you were also going to single-speed it. Or do I have you confused with another Portland owner? Is that an MTB RD and cassette? Compact looks nice, though.

I really need the triple for this time of year. In fact, I've been thinking of a smaller granny ring. When it's really dicey, say, brown sugar on hardpack, I need to go slow, but I like a high cadence to help me keep my balance. The 30/27 is just too fast at 95-100 rpm.
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Old 02-09-14, 02:51 PM   #9
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I originally set it up as a single speed but this year went to 9 speed. With a 50-34 up front and a 12-30 in the rear it seems to work. Though in the winter it never leaves the 34. Like you I need different gears to get through the different types of snow on the ground. Sometimes the single speed was not optimal.
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Old 02-09-14, 04:23 PM   #10
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I was never able to get my PlanetBike Cascadias to NOT rattle.
Whereas mine are rock solid, they even survived a recent wipeout on snow covered ice with no misalignment. With the tires I have on it right now there is very little clearance so if they had moved at all I'd know it. I'm not doubting you at all, I just wonder why there is such a difference in our respective experiences?
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Old 02-09-14, 06:52 PM   #11
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I'm not doubting you at all, I just wonder why there is such a difference in our respective experiences?
Could be any number of things--design or production change, better installation, worse hearing.
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Old 02-09-14, 07:10 PM   #12
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Could be any number of things--design or production change, better installation, worse hearing.
Only if it's a high frequency rattle.
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Old 02-11-14, 12:18 PM   #13
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I've used both and mine don't rattle because I put them on myself and am' a bit anal when it comes to getting them on correctly. Anchor points where they are supposed to go and everything balanced out and spread properly. #8 stainless flat washers were needed to satisfy my concern of proper fastening on one bike for the rear struts once as I recall. Here is my commuter with 26 inch wheels and Planet Bike 29'er fenders that give a more wrap-around affect and more coverage/protection from the rain:
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Old 02-11-14, 01:53 PM   #14
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So(OP) maybe best way to modify PB mudguards is to replace them with SKS because the strut

with the edge Pac-man/plastic collet type is not worth your time fussing over to replace ..
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Old 02-11-14, 09:45 PM   #15
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I've used both and mine don't rattle because I put them on myself and am' a bit anal when it comes to getting them on correctly. Anchor points where they are supposed to go and everything balanced out and spread properly. #8 stainless flat washers were needed to satisfy my concern of proper fastening on one bike for the rear struts once as I recall. Here is my commuter with 26 inch wheels and Planet Bike 29'er fenders that give a more wrap-around affect and more coverage/protection from the rain:
Ok, now I think I see why my front fender has a tendency to wobble. I don't have the double fender stays on my front fender like you do, only for the back one.
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Old 02-11-14, 09:50 PM   #16
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So(OP) maybe best way to modify PB mudguards is to replace them with SKS because the strut

with the edge Pac-man/plastic collet type is not worth your time fussing over to replace ..
I've thought about it. If I were to get new ones I might just bite the bullet and get some Berthound's and be done with it. They make the best fenders ever in my opinion.
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Old 02-12-14, 10:34 AM   #17
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their carbon fiber ones will certainly be a talking point.


Honjo , is a japanese alloy . another one to shop for .

but SKF Chomoplast is good enough .. my 20" wheel bike friday is the only PB,
the rest of the fleet uses SKS/ and Blumels (their 'soverign' model uses the same type material)

they are merged financially now..
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Old 02-12-14, 05:26 PM   #18
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Ok, now I think I see why my front fender has a tendency to wobble. I don't have the double fender stays on my front fender like you do, only for the back one.
I prefer the regular PB Freddy fenders which only have one stay front and back because they look cleaner. Never had any rattle issues. And I've used the rears on two polo bikes. The one got the fender folded up under itself from a collision,I just popped it back in place and bent the stays straight.

I've had zero issues with fenders,I just make sure the stays are properly tensioned,and use blue Loctite on all the bolts.

Edit: how tight is the mount at the fork crown? On one bike,I did need to install a bit of rubber into the fender mount's slot to prevent side-to-side movement. I used a rubber Schrader-to-Presta hole grommet. If the mount at the crown isn't tight,the fender will be able to wobble no matter how tight the struts are.
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Old 02-15-14, 11:22 AM   #19
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...

After that winter, I had new wheels built using Velocity's (now-discontined) 32-hole VXC hoops, Shimano Alfine dynamo hub in front, Velocity Road Disc hub in the back and DT Competition spokes laced 3-cross with brass nipples. These wheels have been flawless.

My current three-seasons and dry roads winter commuter (no pics available) is a 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax frame with Deda Black Rain carbon fork with fender eyelets. I bought the frameset-only and moved components over from the frame it replaced. It too rides on wheels I specified: 32-hole Velocity A23 (F), A23 O/C (R) hoops, the same Shimano Alfine dyno hub I came to like on the Portland, Velocity road hub in the rear, and laced 3-cross with DT Revolution spokes and brass nipples. This bike too sports SKS P-35 fenders.


Thank you for the pics, nice setup. It sounds like you've been happy with the Shimano Alfine dyno hub. I'm looking at the New SON28 to power a light setup on a new commuter/tourer I'll be getting. Assuming I love the dynamo setup I'll consider converting my existing commuter over as well, but was wondering if I could get away with spending less money on the hub for that bike. I have read mixed reviews on the Alfine, but it is definitely less expensive. Thoughts? Thanks again in advance.
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Old 02-19-14, 12:15 PM   #20
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My PB hardcore fenders rattle quite a bit. My SKS chromoplastics do not. Unfortunately, I didn't find SKS fenders in a 20/26 flavor. PB was willing to sell me different sized fenders for a single bike.

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Thank you for the pics, nice setup. It sounds like you've been happy with the Shimano Alfine dyno hub. I'm looking at the New SON28 to power a light setup on a new commuter/tourer I'll be getting. Assuming I love the dynamo setup I'll consider converting my existing commuter over as well, but was wondering if I could get away with spending less money on the hub for that bike. I have read mixed reviews on the Alfine, but it is definitely less expensive. Thoughts? Thanks again in advance.
My Alfine dynohub works fine after 10,000 miles or so, but has developed quite the buzzing noise at around 25 mph (700 x 40 wheel). The right side cone nut failed after 6,000 miles of use and was replaced. It was extremely difficult to find the replacement nut, no US distributor carried it. I resorted to importing it from the UK at a decent expense. This wheel has been subjected to touring, commuting, and light offroad. If I were to do it all over again I would have gone SON.
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