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  1. #1
    weirdo
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    Made some fenders...

    I`m getting ready to take my folder with me on a family vacation that will include a few short solo rides and an escape day, riding with internet acquaintances in New Hampshire. The forecast looks pretty damp (downright soggy by my desert standards!), and I know from experience that those tiny little wheels are amazingly adept at slinging water. Last time I rode them on wet roads I felt like I was pedalling a mobile bidet. So.... with a day to kill, I whooped up a set of packing friendly flat fenders for my Pocket Llama. There are a few refinements I`d like to make, but might not get around to before this trip. As of now, they`re fully functional (untested but have to be better than nothing), though I think the front should be a little closer to the rubber, and the hardware is a bit more clunky than it needs to be. Fitting them up took patience and some trial and error, but the project is well within the scope of most home brewers with minimal equipment. Here`s where I stand as of now:

    The flats are made from 1/16 Mylar that we had hanging around at work from an old project. I see that .060 ABS is available from internet vendors at reasonable prices, and would probably work just as well. I originally cut mine with a knife and straight edge to 2.75 wide X 20 for the front and X 28 for the rear, then notched as needed to clear stays, fork legs, brake calipers, and chain. The struts are 1/8 welding rod, bent by hand in a vise, and eyelets cut from heavy sheet metal (.075, no idea what gauge that would be) brazed on the ends. Bent loops certainly would do the trick for somebody with better bending skills than I have and/or with no torch. The struts just sit in the notches of the plastic sheet and didn`t pop out even on a bumpy dirt road test ride, but they do rattle noticeably. I`m going to try wrapping them with a rubber band somehow to quite things down.

    The "hard" mounts took more time than the struts. Actually, I did them first, and then figured where to put the struts. My front mount is the biggest kludgrey on this project, but like I say, it`ll hold. I tapped two 3mm holes into the botom side of a 1/4 X 1/2 inch aluminum bar to hold it to the plastic, then cut and drilled a little piece of aluminum angle that screws into that bar and into a threaded boss on the back side of my fork crown. If I get a chance to redo that ugly bit, I`ll just make a simple L bracket with a single screw on each leg- I was trying to avoid a screw head too close to the tire, but now think I was overly worried about that.

    The rear end on my Friday offers multiple options for fenders (thank you Green Gear!). I decided to use a 5mm threaded boss that`s bent up from a kickstand plate. Cut a 3/4 inch length of aluminum rod and tapped a 5mm hole in each end. One end got a long set screw glued in with permanent LocTite and screws into that prethreaded hole, the other end accepts a button head screw from inside the fender. Just for fun, I filed 10mm wrench flats on the aluminum rod. A simpler version of that pice could be made just by drilling a 5mm hole all the way through a block and using an extra long screw. When I mounted the rear up and tried to figure out where I wanted the struts, I had either too much distance between the lower mount and the strut (and my plastic wouldn`t hold an arc shape) or too much sticking out behind the strut (plastic cantilevered off into space where it did no good, and would have bounced all over the place). Since I didn`t want another strut, I kept the strut kind of forward and chopped the rear fender down to 23 inches. Hope that`ll be enough. If I redo this fender, I`ll use an L bracket bolted to the flat part of the kickstand plate and pointing down, then another L at the crotch of my seatstays (already has a 5mm boss there too), which will spread out the mounts enough that I`ll be able to run the fender further in both directions with a single strut. The only side to side adjustment I have is by bending the struts and they offer zero height adjustment, but the simplicity is tough to beat, and I like that they open up flat for packing.
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    Warning: I`ve got a 24t granny ring and I ain`t afraid to use it!

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    since they pack flat, when removed.. a good Bike Friday addition..

  3. #3
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    Awesome. Great setup overall too.

  4. #4
    jur
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    Great job. Will the rear one be long enough to keep your back dry? Looks a bit marginal.

  5. #5
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    Wow, cool project.
    Looks good, but I also fear the rear is not long enough.
    I find fenders are best if they cover the entire top half of the rear wheel.

  6. #6
    weirdo
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    Thanks, guys. Yeah, I wish the rear were longer, but that`s as far as it can go unless I add another strut. I`ll just have to cross my fingers and see how it does.
    Warning: I`ve got a 24t granny ring and I ain`t afraid to use it!

  7. #7
    weirdo
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    Update

    I took the trip I was planning, packed the fenders along, then never even installed them
    But I did make a few very wet commutes with that short rear fender and it (both, really) did okay. One mod I went back to do before my trip was soldering a couple tiny pieces of welding rod to the stays for hooking rubber bands to- it helps a lot for keeping the rattle down.

    That trip was all day rides, sans rear rack. The next one will be a loaded tour, again with chances of rain. I put the rear rack back on the bike and made a new, longer rear fender with new hardware that eliminates the strut by bolting to a tab under the rack itself. I also had to put a tail light mount on the rack because my dry bag will hide the seatpost mounted light from view. The tail light uses a Superflash mount bolted to a little aluminum plate on a pivot.
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    Warning: I`ve got a 24t granny ring and I ain`t afraid to use it!

  8. #8
    weirdo
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    Last mod for this batch really has nothing to do with the fenders, but I did it at the same time, so here it is. I`ve always hated the position of the bottle basket on top of the main tube, so I added one more boss and moved it back 1.5 inches closer to the seat mast. It makes for a lot easier job getting the bottle in and out of that basket! Honestly, I don`t know why in the world BF puts them so far forward. And then I added a pair of bosses to my seat mast. I`e seen pics of other Fridays with bottle baskets on the mast, and it looks like a great plan, but I guess they stopped doing that some time before mine came off their line. Either that or it`s a custom option that I didn`t get? Got lucky with a good color match for the spray paint to cover up the mess, but it melted the decals on my seat mast and I don`t know how to fix those. Anyway, now I have two very useable baskets (I don`t trust the underside one with a full bottle).

    And I`m guessing I`ve voided my warranty
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    Warning: I`ve got a 24t granny ring and I ain`t afraid to use it!

  9. #9
    cpg
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    I have milling machine envy now
    Probably too late now but have you considered using rivnuts in the frame for mounting the bottle cage? Just dill the holes in frame and install, no need for heat so no melted paint.
    Mezzo I4 (converted to dual drive), Whyte PRST-1, Trek 1200, Dahon Jack, Bickerton (work in progress)

  10. #10
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Found this thread for the first time today. Great mods! Thank you for sharing.
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  11. #11
    weirdo
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    Kind words from Badmother are always welcome

    Hi, CPG. No, I really didn`t consider rivnuts. The style/brand that I have available to me works pretty well on flat surfaces, but not worth a dang in tubing. Other kinds obviously do, but I don`t want to buy the installer tools for different ones and do a bunch of experimenting. I know that silver + torch works, and already have everything necessary on hand.
    Warning: I`ve got a 24t granny ring and I ain`t afraid to use it!

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Bi Fri included an extra Black print on clear sticker set , if You want them . speak.

  13. #13
    weirdo
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    Thank you, FB. Though I think I`ll keep the "character" look, I appreciate the offer. Wonder why they sent you extra decals? I know the bike was originally built for somebody else, did they do a repaint on it when you bought it?
    Warning: I`ve got a 24t granny ring and I ain`t afraid to use it!

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I wonder too, given the antracite Grey PC is rather dark , they did apply White print ones ..

    No, The reason the Original BTO customer refused It , is the Dark Gray was not Fully Schwartz..
    they wanted Ninja Noir .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-01-13 at 10:58 AM.

  15. #15
    cpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Hi, CPG. No, I really didn`t consider rivnuts. The style/brand that I have available to me works pretty well on flat surfaces, but not worth a dang in tubing. Other kinds obviously do, but I don`t want to buy the installer tools for different ones and do a bunch of experimenting. I know that silver + torch works, and already have everything necessary on hand.
    I have not tried rivnuts on round tubing, the bottle cage fittings on my Trek road bike look like rivnuts. I have used with good effect on flat surfaces. I have seen people installing them normal nuts and bolts but the special tools make it a lot easier. Agree, solder and braze work well and wont fail in a hurry either.
    Mezzo I4 (converted to dual drive), Whyte PRST-1, Trek 1200, Dahon Jack, Bickerton (work in progress)

  16. #16
    weirdo
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    I think some kind of rivnut is the normal way of doing things for factory built aluminum bikes, so you`re probably right about your Trek. Maybe they use some kind of epoxy along with squeezing the rivet in place? I never thought of using a nut and bolt to install- bet it works just as well as the lever thingy.
    Warning: I`ve got a 24t granny ring and I ain`t afraid to use it!

  17. #17
    cpg
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    Using a nut and bolt to install a riv nut take some practice to do it successfully. I have seen a home made device on the internet that used a thrust bearing between the nut that does the compressing which makes it much more efficient.
    Mezzo I4 (converted to dual drive), Whyte PRST-1, Trek 1200, Dahon Jack, Bickerton (work in progress)

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