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Cutting back fenders for bus racks

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Cutting back fenders for bus racks

Old 05-23-12, 10:25 PM
  #1  
Jay D
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Cutting back fenders for bus racks

To save gas money and to simply not use my car as much, I want to start incorporating public transit into my commute which will greatly increase the range I can travel with my bike. Our local college has a bus rack mocked up for people to practice putting on their bikes and I decided to give it a try as well.

The rack was much sturdier than expected which I liked, however the mounting procedure requires the clamp arm to sit on top of the front tire (or fender) as close to the frame as possible. Since I use fenders, I'm forced to mount the clamp on top of the fender which I don't particularly care for, it doesn't feel as secure and allows the bike to wiggle around.

I like the I'm considering getting out the dremel tool and cutting back the fender to expose more of the top of the tire so I can mount the arm firmly on the rubber. I want to cut away enough fender to allow for proper mounting, but not too much that I get spray coming off the tire when I ride in the rain. I'm curious if anybody else has done this and if they can offer me any suggestions before I start cutting.
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Old 05-23-12, 10:49 PM
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Drop the Dremel- you don't need to cut the fender. I had enough clearance on my bike when I was doing what you're planning on (bike/bus) that the arm went under the fender. Of course, there was so much room that I usually put that thing up next to the fork and kept knocking my brake out of whack.

Other people have used those rack arms when their bikes had front baskets w/legs without a problem. Try putting that arm at the edge of the fender and see how secure it is.

TIP: Regardless if you end up cutting your fender- they won't allow you to lock your bike to their rack, but they can't stop you from locking your bike to itself. Use your lock to immobilize a wheel by locking it to the frame. Takes a bit of time to remove the lock, but at least you'll still have a bike.
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Old 05-23-12, 11:02 PM
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fietsbob 
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.. if it stops over the top of the wheel, a plumb line thru the Axis of the wheel..
then it should be OK.
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Old 05-24-12, 04:51 AM
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I strap a bungee chord around the frame to the bus bike rack. It's quick and easy.
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Old 05-24-12, 05:56 AM
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Cutting back fenders for bus racks

I'm riding the bus right now doing the bike-bus thing and it's going to wiggle and shake as it goes down the road. We're doing 60+ mph on a bumpy I-35 right now, but the bike isn't going to come off. The spring on the arm that holds it in doesn't have a lot of tension, but it has enough.
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Old 05-24-12, 06:02 AM
  #6  
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Would SKS RaceBlade fenders help at all? They are rather short and easy to readjust.
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Old 05-24-12, 06:19 AM
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I had fits with fender clearance so I finally just cut the front fender at the top bracket. Bus rack ready as an added bonus. Most of the rain spray comes off in the first third anyway.
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Old 05-24-12, 08:58 AM
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Not sure how the bus rack is designed, but if you can mount your bike the other way around (front wheel in the back holder), the clamping mechanism could instead clamp onto your frame. Better yet, skip the bus and ride your bike, unless you have a super long commute.
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Old 05-24-12, 10:21 AM
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I mounted the front fender bracket to the back of the fork. Gives more clearance in the front and more protection in the back.
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Old 05-24-12, 10:35 AM
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I use the biggest fenders I could find, SKS Longboards, and put it on one of those bus racks fairly regularly.

No problems. It doesn't have to be at the very top.
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Old 05-24-12, 12:09 PM
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I did the bus/bike thing for 5 years regularly and still do it on occasion. i ended up cutting my fenders off just in front of the head tube and find that adequate, although a minor compromise as you do get some front spray back in the wet - but not a lot.

here's the deal with the racks: the support bar must be on the front tire and as close to the head tube / fork crown as possible for it to work the best. by placing it right up against the head tube that bar not only holds the front wheel in place on the rack but it prevents the rear wheel from bouncing up out of the rack - the support arm won't let the bike "endo" / "stoppie" or essentially rotate forward over the axis of the front wheel. the further the support arm is from the head tube the more your bike can bounce and rotate forward over the front wheel - which is bad news.

for what it's worth i work for a transit authority and we've had bike racks on our buses for probably 7 years now. people do a lot of crazy things to mount their bikes to these racks - put the bike on backwards, over fenders / racks, hook the support arm over their top or down tube, etc. I've never heard of a bike falling off a rack. further, i don't think we've ever had a bike stolen off a rack either.

the only problem i ever had with the racks was they caused my cone and cup hubs to come out of adjustment all the time. i swear, i'd have to take my wheels into the shop twice each year as they'd get very loose - which i assume comes from all the added lateral forces that the bus bike rack places on the hubs. although this is just a guess.
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Old 05-24-12, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Better yet, skip the bus and ride your bike, unless you have a super long commute.
I haven't had to use the bus rack but I like the reassurance that a wrecker service would cost $1.25.
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Old 05-24-12, 12:40 PM
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I place the arm just in front of the fender and it works fine.

I also mount the fender behind the fork crown, not for the bus, but to give better protection for my feet.
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Old 05-24-12, 06:25 PM
  #14  
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I did the bike on bus routine for several years during my commute in the Seattle area. My solution to this problem was to move the fender as high up in the fork as possible to give room for the restraining arm to fit under the fender. I likewise didn't care for having the arm on top of the fender. I had only one bad incident- the rack arm on one bus broke and my bike tipped over on the rack. Fortunately the driver saw it happen and stopped as soon as he could. The rack arm was still clinging to the front wheel.
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Old 05-25-12, 08:41 PM
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You can also just mount a small corner brace at the very front lip of the fender. Then 'rotate' the fender toward the rear of your bike so that this corner brace fits into the same spot that the fender's mount did.

The bonus is that your front fender now goes way down low at the rear of the wheel. Add a small mudflap and the bike will not spit dirty rain water all over your feet.
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Old 09-01-14, 03:06 PM
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I think SKS RaceBlade Long mudguards would be the best choice - those allow just the front section of the front fender to be removed - but they only fit narrow tires and may have been discontinued. They don't seem to list them on their web, though I see them for sale.
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Old 09-01-14, 10:47 PM
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Just let it sit on the fender.................

- Andy
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