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Thread: Fender Passion

  1. #1
    Senior Member bobframe's Avatar
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    Fender Passion

    No, not whether to fender or not. THAT'S obvious.

    What I seek is the elegant solution to fendering a properly bossed, 700c, racked up, heavy tired, stuff sticking all over it steel frame touring bike.

    I have a set of Velo Orange fenders and I find them, in this order: effective in the rain, rattly, ill mounted and, in a tight turn, the mounting hardware on the front fender will absolutely interfere with my size 13 shoes. Its a matter of time til it costs me some skin and blood.

    Perhaps a "re-install" is in order...but I don't think there's any moving the mounting hardware.

    In any event, I'd love to hear from the true believers. Show me some passion and yes, there will be bonus points for those who make me feel it.

    You may begin now.

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    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    I own two VO fendered bikes - one 622, one 559. Neither rattle. You must use leather washers for all stay mounts, and perhaps improvise with rubber dampeners (made from rubber stoppers) for mounts between fender and frame. My VO fenders don't rattle at all. I thought one of my 700c fenders was rattling badly originally after install, but it turned out my 9s cassette lockring coincidentally had worked loose and was the source of the rattle, which really stumped me at the time as I'd never had a lockring come loose and rattle.

    Toe overlap is a result of the combination of frame+wheel+tire size, fender choice, fender-to-tire mounting gap and shoe size. Toe overlap usually occurs on 700c fendered bikes with large tires in the 53-58cm size range with riders with shoe sizes>10US. There's nothing you can do about it short of changing to a 26" bike or removing the front fender. The easiest solution is to learn to anticipate toe overlap in tight-radius turns which occur only on take-offs and landings, and simply not pedal when you're making the turn - or just don't turn. This is similar to learning to unclip from clipless pedals just before you come to a complete stop.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bobframe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    I own two VO fendered bikes - one 622, one 559. Neither rattle. You must use leather washers for all stay mounts, and perhaps improvise with rubber dampeners (made from rubber stoppers) for mounts between fender and frame. My VO fenders don't rattle at all. I thought one of my 700c fenders was rattling badly originally after install, but it turned out my 9s cassette lockring coincidentally had worked loose and was the source of the rattle, which really stumped me at the time as I'd never had a lockring come loose and rattle.

    Toe overlap is a result of the combination of frame+wheel+tire size, fender choice, fender-to-tire mounting gap and shoe size. Toe overlap usually occurs on 700c fendered bikes with large tires in the 53-58cm size range with riders with shoe sizes>10US. There's nothing you can do about it short of changing to a 26" bike or removing the front fender. The easiest solution is to learn to anticipate toe overlap in tight-radius turns which occur only on take-offs and landings, and simply not pedal when you're making the turn - or just don't turn. This is similar to learning to unclip from clipless pedals just before you come to a complete stop.
    The actual toe/fender interaction is happening between my toe and the "eyelet bolt" of the fender. The eyelet bolt is what attaches the fender stay to the fender and it protrudes out from the fender itself by about 1/2". So, if a fender existed that didn't use such a device, I could reduce my toe-fender interaction. Maybe eliminate it.

    see it here.....http://support.velo-orange.com/#fenders.html

    Still, I hear you...having long feet is part of the problem.
    Last edited by bobframe; 07-27-14 at 02:52 PM.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    It may not be the same for you, but I always found that I automatically adjusted to toe overlap. It was never a problem after harmlessly rubbing a foot a few times the first few times on the bike. After that it never seemed to happen again. I have not used fenders on most of my bikes, but usually have some toe overlap even without fenders.

    Planet Bike Freddy Fenders were OK on the one bike where I did use fenders and they didn't have the mounting hardware sticking out in the back. I personally have mostly just stopped using fenders, but I'd buy the Freddys again if I were to want fenders.

  5. #5
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Yep, VO's choice of hardware clearly exacerbates the TO issue. For a time I looked for a eyelet bolt replacement like those used on Walmart fendered bikes. They use a piece of stamped/rolled sheet steel that is relatively flat, probably protrudes from fender surface only 2mm more than the diameter of the stay. I could never find these anywhere, gave up on hardware fix and adopted behavioral fix.

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    I bought the same VO Zepplin fenders for my custom bike, similar massive size to a Pashley with 611 TT/70 mm rake. Spent 2 hours installing the front fender. It had horrible overlap, so it went gonzo. Repurposed my 22 year old SKS fender from a Raleigh, perfect fit.

    I still used the VO on the rear, need the slack to get my wheel off. I find the bare metal to be way too easily scratched, dented and looking ratty.

  7. #7
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    The rattle issue is why I went with plastic. I have Axiom Rainrunner fenders and they've been reliable for a long time.

    I don't know if I can even remember though, but I swear I bought an accessory from Planet Bike (45mm hybrid) to secure the rear fender in place. It was like $1.50 with very cheap shipping. That may have been for another set of fenders (not sure).
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  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I run a wide variety of fenders, including the VO. The worst offenders when it comes to rattling are the stock ones on my 1971 Raleigh Sports Standard, but I live on a really rough road so I pretty much live with it. I am partially deaf so it doesn't bother me as much as it might someone else.

    I had seen the VO bolt and considered the toe strike issue, but apparently my bike has a long enough trail/rake it isn't a problem and I have size 12 feet. I suppose you could move the hardware up or down a bit to clear your toes. I bought the hammered fenders so I won't see the scratches and scuffs.

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    The SKS Velo Trekking fenders have a particularly simple clean appearance as they don't require struts to the bike frame. The front fender is secure on my bike with just a single L bracket to the fork which engages slots in the fender. I have my rear fender supported at the back to my rack with a single wire tie. A rubber, elastic thingy attaches front of rear fender to the seat tube. Mine hits just below the front derailleur clamp. Also an L bracket at the seat stay bridge. Struts are provided if you need them. They're available in many widths for both 26" and 700c. Pictured are the 47 width over 700x32 tires.

    bobframe- If you do use the optional strut provided with these fenders they clip in flush on the inside of the fender. Excess length gets trimmed at the frame side so they will not reduce the toe clearance distance at the front fender.







    Last edited by BobG; 07-28-14 at 05:24 AM.

  10. #10
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Here is perhaps the more elegant solution you seek - retrofit Berthoud stays and hardware to the VO, assuming they're 700x40 or 700x50 size - about 50 bux - which is more than I paid for my entire VO Zeppelin fender set on sale. Or you can get the whole GB fender set for 73+SH.

    Berthoud parts from Peter White Cycles

    Peter White Cycles Fenders

  11. #11
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    Those SKS fenders are sweet. Possibly the little mud flap piece might cause interference with your 13s also. It is clearly structural. One thing I like about those SKS, is that they are clearly lower profile than most, and virtually aero. I have been planing something similar (though conventionally attached) since I built my Bamboo fenders in 05. Those clearly showed me that I did not need the standard wide profile most fenders have.

    The berthoud parts look like a good solution, but you still need to fab an attachment point for your wires at the fenders.

  12. #12
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    I mounted my Gilles Berthoud fenders with standard Berthoud stays, Tubus rear rack mount and SKS mounts on the rear and on the front standard Berthoud stays and fork crown mount and the addition of standard bolt fixing for a Velo Orange Pass Hunter front rack.





    The Velo Orange rack mounting point can be seen in the lower pic with the blue framed bike with mounted khaki bag:
    VO Pass Hunter Front Rack - Racks - Racks & Decaleurs - Accessories

    The only rattling came from the front fender and was eliminated when I added the front VO rack which holds the front of the fender in position.

    Be aware my bike has suspension corrected front forks resulting in my having to cut and weld in a different position the fork crown stay of the rack to make it fit.
    Not a cheap proposition if like me you don't know any stainless welders locally.
    Last edited by rifraf; 07-28-14 at 12:23 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    I don't have any pictures of it, but I am running some old aluminum fenders(no idea what brand, they came off a rusted out Euro type city bike)that had a wrap around stay on the front.

    I had an old messed up set of sks fenders, so I ground off the rivets on the metal part the stays go through, and bolted them inside the alloy fenders. Plus side is they have pop out release mounts, and ease of adjustment due to the simpler sks stays.

    Even though I made some leather washers and did a bang up job mounting them so there is no actual rattle, I still find them louder than plastic. If I hadn't put so much effort into fitting them I would have already gotten some sks longboards.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bobframe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
    I mounted my Gilles Berthoud fenders with standard Berthoud stays,
    Those stays might solve my problem. Wonder if they'd fit my VO fenders?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    .

    I'm a big fan of fenders, I've run Velo Orange hammered fenders, Honjo hammered, SKS thermoplastic, and mounted nice Woody's wood fenders to my girlfriends tourer (& another pair of SKS' to her around-town converted MTB). I can recommend all of these. What I've discovered and recommend:

    The closer the fender is to the tire, the more effective the fenders are. I see a lot of fenders mounted so far away from the tire that I wonder if they are doing any good at all. Getting a fender close to the tire may require a little tweaking (see #5 and # and # 6 below), but IMO, there's no point in mounting fenders if they aren't going to be effective.

    Sometimes the difference between an annoying or rubbing fender and great fenders is a little tweaking, see below.

    1) Stays: don't be afraid to add another one to the front if it's moving around on you. Sometimes one isn't enough.

    2) Buffering: put leather washers between every metal to metal or metal to plastic/wood/aluminum contact points. Otherwise, eventually road vibration and impacts will cause your nice, pretty, expensive, fenders to shear here. Round rubber washers are only temporary, eventually the compressive forces of road impacts cut through them and you are back to metal to metal/other contact, worse, without you being aware that this has happened and that damage is occurring. Leather lasts forever, but will trap a little moisture, and so if you aren't running stainless hardware there they'll cause a little surface rust on your hardware, but no biggie.

    3) Attachments: if your stays only have one bolt/hole securing the stay to the fender, order more special bolts and put two on each stay, much better (more stable).

    4) If you are using any of the sliding clamps, cut up an old innertube to use as a big washer between it and the fender. This will help prevent road chatter from stressing the fender here and causing it to eventually shear here.

    5) A cut down cork makes a good spacer for the attachment near the BB to make the fender line nicer.

    6) Run the longest mudflaps you can, especially on the front.

    7) Cut down the front fender enough to drop off a high, square curb without the fender itself catching the curb. A long mudflap here can cover the difference down to near the ground.

    8) Use blue Loctite on the threads of the bolts.

    9) Double check the tightness of your hardware after the first week or two/couple hundred miles, and then again at least annually.

    10) If you are mounting fenders to a MTB, the Problem Solvers Fender Flute might be just the thing to lower the front fender down enough.

    11) Spanniga Pixeo > PDW Fenderbot

    12) You should have about 5 cm of fender overhanging either side of the tire.

    13) Fenders make a nice place to mount a rear reflector or trim in reflective tape.





    FWIW, this is a Honjo hammered fender that I've trimmed with reflective tape and has a PDW Fenderbot mounted (appears as the big reflector, since it has one), in the flash of a camera phone, hopefully something like what it appears to drivers in their headlights at night. (As well as reflective tape on the seat stays)
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  16. #16
    Senior Member bobframe's Avatar
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    Well, perhaps a re-install IS in order.

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I never take them Off, I use SKS mostly .. longer front to keep my feet drier.

  18. #18
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobframe View Post
    In any event, I'd love to hear from the true believers.


    Both sets of fenders are from VO. Both are silent and trouble free.

    safe riding - Vik
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    The advice here to use leather washers is only partially correct. Leather washers should only be used where the fender meets the frame (eg seatsay bridge, chainstay bridge). Don't use them where the stay meets the fender or where the stay meets the dropouts. The masters (Alex Singer, Rene Herse) did it this way and it works. They would also fashion a thin flat curved washer that matched the curvature of the fender and fit that on the inside of the fender where it meets the frame. This helps to make that connection more rigid and spreads the load on the fender so that it's less likely to crack.

    Properly installed aluminium fenders do not rattle. Jan Heine has published some pretty detailed articles in Bicycle Quarterly explaining how to mount them correctly. Peter Weigle also has a trick to reduce the amount of eyebolt that sticks out of the fender, also published in Bicycle Quarterly. It might be worth your while purchasing the back issues with the relevant articles.

  20. #20
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    Or you could just tell us.

  21. #21
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobG View Post
    The SKS Velo Trekking fenders have a particularly simple clean appearance as they don't require struts to the bike frame. The front fender is secure on my bike with just a single L bracket to the fork which engages slots in the fender. I have my rear fender supported at the back to my rack with a single wire tie. A rubber, elastic thingy attaches front of rear fender to the seat tube. Mine hits just below the front derailleur clamp. Also an L bracket at the seat stay bridge. Struts are provided if you need them. They're available in many widths for both 26" and 700c. Pictured are the 47 width over 700x32 tires.

    bobframe- If you do use the optional strut provided with these fenders they clip in flush on the inside of the fender. Excess length gets trimmed at the frame side so they will not reduce the toe clearance distance at the front fender.


    I like the SKS Trekking fenders also. I have had two sets of VO fenders and still use one. Anytime I had problems with rattling, I tightened whatever got knocked loose. I ended up switching from the Zepplin style on my touring bike for safety's sake. I like the quick release on the SKS fender stays or, in the case of the Trekking fenders, no stays. I currently use the VO hammered on my city bike (I think I go slow enough around town that I can adjust if something gets stuck), SKS trekking fenders on my touring bike and SKS longboards on my hybrid.
    IMG_20140526_132930.jpgIMG_2267.JPGIMG_20140618_105525.jpg

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  22. #22
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    Over the winter, I put on a set of SKS P50 Longboards. They are a nice wide plastic fender that won't break the bank. My buddy has the regular SKS P50 and these are bit longer. They also have a nice rubber mudflap on the front/back. I have had up to a 700X42 with no issues. I wear a size 12 and haven't experienced toe strike.

    Here is a side/front view fully loaded on the GAP with a set of 37 WTB All Terrains. Gravel, dust, rain, mud, etc. They performed well.





    Here they are on a set of 32 road tires. They are functional and I think they look pretty awesome.


  23. #23
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    Where are folks getting the long mudflaps (like on the pictures in vik's post) for fenders? I have short hard plastic flaps on Planet Bike fenders on one bike, but I'd love to put longer, flexible ones on another bike's front fender as I feel it helps keep the driveline cleaner.

  24. #24
    Senior Member the_tool_man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    ... 8) Use blue Loctite on the threads of the bolts...
    I realize the context of the OP's post was for metal fenders. But in case anyone reading this has plastic ones, I feel I should point out that using any anaerobic thread locking compound near some plastic parts will cause them to become brittle and crack. I'm not familiar enough with the chemistry involved to advise which plastics crack and which don't. So I just avoid using it with all plastics.
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    Yes I'll write an entire instructional article for you despite the fact that it's already been done very well elsewhere.

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