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road bike fender installation

Old 09-18-09, 08:50 PM
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hypermaniac
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road bike fender installation

hello everybody, i have just recently bought ZEFAL PARAGON full fenders that are 35mm wide. i have a khs flite 500, and the rear fender seems to be able to fit, but i'm currently at loss on how to install the front fender.

i have a carbon fork, and there seems to be little to no space for the fender to fit, both the width of the fender and the clearance of the brake and tire. i have seen people cutting up the fender in half, and mounting it with custom brackets. is there any other way to mount it?

also sometimes when i turn, my toe clips may sometimes hit the wheel, so if i were to somehow install the front fender, would i damage it or anything if i hit my fender with my toe clip/pedals? thanks in advance.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:58 PM
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You either have to use half-fenders like the SKS Race blades or cut the fender in half. No clearance means no clearance. That's why I built my commuter around a cyclocross frame. 28mm tires plus fenders and there's still tons of clearance left.

You can easily bend the stays on your fender if you manage to catch your foot on it. You can also send yourself ground-ward. Best to avoid this situation by consciously avoiding it. However, in the event that it does happen, you can typically straighten the fender stays relatively easily. Ask how I know
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Old 09-18-09, 09:00 PM
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If you don't have adequate clearance now, the fenders will make it worse. Sometimes the fit of the fenders seem like they won't fit - you just need to try. The only place where you might need to trim the fender is if your front fork really is that narrow not to accept the fender through it.

Mount the front fender in front of the fork and push it up all the way to get max clearance. The leftover tab will most likely need to be smashed back down to clear the headtube unless you've spaced it out. Some fender sets have pre-trimmed front fork sections designed for tight clerances - which yours does not have. Be careful if you are going to trim it. Too much and it'll be a floppy wet noodle.
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Old 09-20-09, 01:01 AM
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You can make more clearance in your fork by placing your wheel in the lowest possible position instead of the highest. Undo the quick release, lift the front end of the bike and let the quick release rest on the "lawyer tabs" at the bottom of the drop-outs. Clamp the quick release back down again, check that the tire is centered at the top of the fork and if not repeat the process. Now look to see if you have any more clearance above the tire. In some forks, this may give you a few mm extra clearance. As long as you keep the quick release nice and tight then the wheel shouldn't move back up. Obviously, also make sure that where the quick release clamps on the dropouts is still fully above the lawyer tabs and they are not interfering with the clamp surface of the wheel in any way.

I put full fenders and 25mm tires onto my 2007 Trek Madone by using this method last winter. For this winter, I have a cyclocross bike

EDIT: This technique might not be safe in some situations, but may be fine in others (read the comments below).

Last edited by Chris_W; 09-21-09 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 09-20-09, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
You can make more clearance in your fork by placing your wheel in the lowest possible position instead of the highest. Undo the quick release, lift the front end of the bike and let the quick release rest on the "lawyer tabs" at the bottom of the drop-outs. Clamp the quick release back down again, check that the tire is centered at the top of the fork and if not repeat the process. Now look to see if you have any more clearance above the tire. In some forks, this may give you a few mm extra clearance. As long as you keep the quick release nice and tight then the wheel shouldn't move back up. Obviously, also make sure that where the quick release clamps on the dropouts is still fully above the lawyer tabs and they are not interfering with the clamp surface of the wheel in any way.

I put full fenders and 25mm tires onto my 2007 Trek Madone by using this method last winter. For this winter, I have a cyclocross bike
This is the most unsafe advice I have ever seen on bikeforums, and just to make a fender clear of all things. Do not do this.
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Old 09-20-09, 08:57 AM
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Your toe overlap problems will be worse if you fit fenders so you will have to be even more careful when making tight, low speed turns.
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Old 09-20-09, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
You can make more clearance in your fork by placing your wheel in the lowest possible position instead of the highest. Undo the quick release, lift the front end of the bike and let the quick release rest on the "lawyer tabs" at the bottom of the drop-outs. Clamp the quick release back down again, check that the tire is centered at the top of the fork and if not repeat the process. Now look to see if you have any more clearance above the tire. In some forks, this may give you a few mm extra clearance. As long as you keep the quick release nice and tight then the wheel shouldn't move back up. Obviously, also make sure that where the quick release clamps on the dropouts is still fully above the lawyer tabs and they are not interfering with the clamp surface of the wheel in any way.

I put full fenders and 25mm tires onto my 2007 Trek Madone by using this method last winter. For this winter, I have a cyclocross bike
don't do this unless you file off the lawyer tabs. actually, it's best if not done at all.
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Old 09-20-09, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
This is the most unsafe advice I have ever seen on bikeforums, and just to make a fender clear of all things. Do not do this.
+1 incredibly unsafe.
Should you hit something hard enough to move that front wheel, you're going to do a face plant.
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Old 09-21-09, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by norwood View Post
+1 incredibly unsafe.
Should you hit something hard enough to move that front wheel, you're going to do a face plant.
Thanks for the feedback. Whether it is a dangerous technique would depend entirely on the amount of extra clearance that you need. If I didn't use this technique then the wheel lightly rubbed the fender, so if the wheel moved up in the dropouts due to going over a bump then the tyre would make some noise but the fender would never be able to stop the wheel from moving (and therefore would not cause a face plant). Also, the fenders were made by SKS and have the quick-release stays that pop off if anything gets stuck in there.

For these reasons, I felt it was completely safe to do it on my bike, but I can see that it wouldn't be safe in all situations. I've therefore added a caveat to my previous posting. Even so, I'm much happier about having the cyclocross bike for this winter season.

I plan to never buy another road frame that doesn't easily have clearance for at least 25mm tires and fenders (or 28mm tires without). Practicality and versatility are now two of my biggest criteria when choosing a bike frame, it's just a shame that the bicycle press almost completely ignores these factors in their reviews. I'm extremely happy with my new Specialized Tricross Comp cyclocross bike - I can do anything and ride almost anywhere with it, and it's still reasonably light.

Last edited by Chris_W; 09-21-09 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 09-21-09, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
Practicality and versatility are now two of my biggest criteria when choosing a bike frame, it's just a shame that the bicycle press almost completely ignores these factors in their reviews.
Not all of the cycling press ignores these factors. Adventure Cycling's magazine, aimed at bicycle tourists, commuters and utility riders, pays particular attention to the need of those who want to fit larger tires and fenders.

One way to cheaply get a road bike that has plenty of clearance is to buy an older steel frame. I have an '83 Trek 400 lugged steel frame bike that even with it's OEM 27" wheels had adequate clearance for fenders and 27x1-1/8" tires. When I replaced those wheels with 700c the clearance got even better.
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