I thought I would share some photos and thoughts on installing Gilles Berthoud (GB) fenders on a 54cm 26" wheeled LHT. First I would like to say thank you for the email and forum help (here and at http://groups.google.com/group/SurlyLHT)that I received. I also did some exhaustive searches where I found bits and pieces that were of invaluable help. Some of the below information is basic and common knowledge to most so ymmv. I wanted to give someone (like me) who has never done an installation like this a good place to start.
PRE-INSTALLATION THOUGHTS & FENDER OPTIONS
I ordered the fenders and mud flaps from http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/berthoud.asp and received good service, FWIW. I decided to go with 60mm fenders after getting the same advice from several sources that suggested going 10-15 mm wider than your tire provided great coverage. I was undecided on what tire size I would ultimately go with, but I new if I ever went to a 26X2.0 tire in the future, I wanted to be covered. Note - I understand that listed tire size and actually significantly vary from reality, i.e. a 2.0 tire can be like 2.2+ depending on the design... A true 2.0" tire width is 50.8mm, leaving about 10mm to spare with 60mm fenders.
Side note on tires - I have am currently using Conti Travel Contacts in a 26 X1.75. I think this is the perfect tire for the 26" wheeled LHT. They roll well on pavement and perform great in the dirt. I have done some long rides over various terrains and have no complaints. These also ride significantly better than the stock WTB Slickasaurus. I may try a 2.0 Schwalbe of some kind (XRs or Supremes...), but will be hard pressed to switch from these. I just can't imagine a tire that can commute, day tour, weekend camping, century rides, dirt trail, etc... better than these. I understand the Marathons may be superior in puncture resistance that may be a deciding factor for those on long unsupported tours cross country. Sorry for the digression on tire selection....
Anyway the Travel Contacts are 1.75" inches wide and that converts to 44.45mm. With the 60mm GBs, that gives me a very good 15mm of coverage. I suspect the tires are a bit wider in real life than 1.75 with the knobbies on the sides.
I was considering the SKS fenders as well. I believe the P65 would be a good choice and provide ever greater coverage for anyone looking to go 2.0 or larger tires. I have to believe the installation would have to be simpler than the Berthouds.....
I also really like some of the fender options from Velo Orange - http://www.velo-orange.com/fenders.html. They ere out of stock on their 60mm fenders at the time or I would have likely went that way. The advantage of the VO fenders is they have a matte finish to them. This may be a consideration if you are particular about matching to a rear rack..... I agonized over this for a few days. I know I am a bit crazy to worry about such a small detail, but since I have put so much work into this bike, I have a need to make the "perfect" choice. I am sure some of you can relate :-). See below for more on my finish dilemma.
RACKS & OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
I have not yet decided on what rack to go with for sure, but I have narrowed my choices to the Tubus Cosmo or the Nitto big back rack. I already have a Nitto M12 up front and really like the look, so I am leaning that way. As you will see in the following pictures, the M12 front rack has a braze on to attach a fender to. I really think this works out well and adds some significant stability to the fender. It also provided an additional place to mount a bracket for the front fender instead of using the daruma bolt - more below on this.
To make a long story short (ha), the Cosmo rack has a matte finish that IMHO will match better with the VO fenders. The Nitto is highly polished and is a perfect match with the blingy GB fenders..... Probably not a big deal and I will certainly choose functionality and quality over looks for sure once I figure that out.
I am likely to go with Ortlieb panniers of some kind, and I understand they are a perfect match with the Tubus racks. I say that because the Tubs racks apparently use 10mm tubing and Nitto uses 9mm. The Ortlieb connections are designed for 10mm tubing. If any one is using Nitto and Orlieb together, please let me know how well it works. Perhaps 1mm makes no difference in the pannier fit. If anyone has any feedback please let me know.
A big unknown in all this is how the fender supports will mount to the rear rack. For now, I decided to mount the fender to the lower braze on and hope to attach the rack to the upper one. I know from other posts that you can mount the fender supports directly to some racks. This may be a better way to go, but will make that decision when I mount the rack. From what I have read it seems some additional hardware may be necessary to get the proper clearance and spacing. It also appears as though you can mount the supports from the inside of the rack if you bike has the clearance. I will try to post back on this when I sort that out. I am sure it would have been better to have both at the same time to make sure not to cut the fender supports to short..... I may have to order a new one, but it seems parts are readily available.
First of all - having a bike stand makes this job WAY easier. It may be impossible or certainly 1000% more frustrating without one.
You will need some additional hardware. From memory I have listed what I used below, it should/may work for you with an identical setup.
1. I went to my LBS and talked to a mechanic. I explained what I was trying to do and he produced an L bracket with two holes on each side. You can see it in the pictures below. He indicated the bracket came off of new bikes??? He did not elaborate more than that. He gave me two for free and said that they use them when installing “custom” fenders.
I DID NOT use the front fork daruma bolt that came with the fenders. On my setup that would have given me a fit that was too far away from tire. I did not like the look as well. Additionally, I felt it would put the mud flap to close to the ground. As you can see from the pictures I mounted the front fender about 1.5 inches ahead of where the daruma bolt would have put it - worked for me.
2. You will need some stainless button hardware including cap screws M5 of various lengths, washers, nylon nuts, steel spacers, etc... (x)indicates the quantity used.
- (1) M5 25mm for the rear fender mount near the crank, I also used a 1/2 steel spacer there as well as you can see from the pictures.
- (3) M5 10mm for the brake bridge, 1 for the bracket to the bridge and 2 for the bracket into the fender, I used washers and nylon nuts here as well
- (2) M5 10mm for the crown bracket into the fender again with washers and nylon nuts
- (1) M5 25 or 30mm with a 1" spacer that mounted to the Nitto braze on. I had to use 3 washers and a lock ring underneath to get the thread depth correct and keep from bottoming out.
Below is a picture of some of the hardware I used. I purchased the hardware at True Value - they seemed to have a nice selection of this seemingly odd stuff. NOTE - I intend on replacing the spacers with stainless or aluminum ones that I found on the web here - http://www.aluminumspacers.com/
I also used some cool VO leather washers. I think they add a nice touch and help eliminate rattles.
Front - The 60mm fenders are too wide for the fork and did require some Dremel (or such) grinding to clear. This was a pain and took a couple of times mounting and testing the fit to make sure it was right. I filed the edges to make the smooth and symmetrical. Again - I mounted it about 1.5 inches more forward than where the daruma bolt suggested it should go.
Rear - I did have some rub at the lower mounting point on the rear fender. I am not sure if my fenders were a bit tweaked out of the box, but I noticed the bottom of the rear fender flared out a bit at the edges. I bent them back in and then they fit fine. I may have brought them in a little more than necessary but I wanted to make sure it did not rattle.
Enough talk - here are some pictures. Sorry the pics are kids crappy...
I wanted a tight uniform fit around the tires, and I think I got there. I was somewhat unsure with how much of a gap to leave around the tire. I achieved about 18mm uniform space between both the front and rear tire. I hope this is big enough. It was a big pain, and required much measuring and trial and error fitting, but I think the end results look great.
I was a bit worried that the fenders look to wide, but after a day or two they are really growing on me. They give the bike a cool retro look. Overall I am very pleased. I have yet to ride through any water but I am sure they will do a great job keeping me dry. I am also happy to report there are no rattles of any kind, yet :-). I will go on a long ride later this week and report back if I have any problems. Let me know if you have any questions and I will try and help. I would appreciate any feedback on this project and hope it helps others.