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Mounting metal fenders safely?

Old 06-26-18, 10:01 AM
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Mounting metal fenders safely?

I hope some experienced member(s) can clear this up for me. I have always used chromoplastic-type fenders, but am planning on switching to some Gilles Berthoud steel ones on my Mercian. How do you make sure metal fenders arenít going to get something lodged in against the tire and send the rider flying (Iíve experienced this once and aim to avoid it in future rides)? Do the stays slip out of their brackets, effectively working like the ubiquitous SKS secu-clips in case of a blockage?
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Old 06-26-18, 10:39 AM
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Consider a slip friction fit as the P clips* join the strut to the dropout bolt..
(I don't own them, to pre test this for you)
* the metal ones dig into the strut, .. seek out a similar size in plastic?
a common use is in securing wiring to a bulkhead or firewall,
so auto parts shop?

[tire savers drag lightly on the tire , add those on the rear of both mudguards?]

the "perfect fender line " orthodoxy may hate just allowing more clearance over the tire.. but that works ..

myself, .. seeing how water flings off the outer edge of the tire, (not the sidewall)
I used 2 SKS-Bluemels rears to get more front coverage .. with an inch + clearance so things won't jam, but instead fall away, .
low rider hoop to a mudguard flap I added , to be quite close to the ground..



& of course, Mind where you are going on forest tracks...





...

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-26-18 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 06-26-18, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mfcity
I hope some experienced member(s) can clear this up for me. I have always used chromoplastic-type fenders, but am planning on switching to some Gilles Berthoud steel ones on my Mercian. How do you make sure metal fenders arenít going to get something lodged in against the tire and send the rider flying (Iíve experienced this once and aim to avoid it in future rides)? Do the stays slip out of their brackets, effectively working like the ubiquitous SKS secu-clips in case of a blockage?
I suspect the metal fenders' stay fasteners might let go in some events as described in OP, or not - 50/50 odds?

First, take a look at VO fenders - they're 90% of Berthoud/Honjo fenders for only 33% of the cost. I suspect Honjo manufactures the VO fenders, as VO originally sold Honjo alongside their own branded fenders. I have VOs in 26 & 700, aluminum (lighter and rustproof), I highly recommend:

https://velo-orange.com/collections/fenders

PDW has accessories which may improve upon VOs (and other) metal fenders, particularly WRT safety. PDW safety tabs fit VO as a retrofit, according to past forum discussion. I've considered them for my fendered bikes but never purchased.

https://ridepdw.com/collections/fend...t=24829153601#
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Old 06-26-18, 10:54 AM
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OP, now that I notice you're likely in Scotland, perhaps my previous solution may be economically prohibitive. This is a fairly USA-centric forum, and I try to help...
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Old 06-26-18, 10:55 AM
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Honjo does not manufacture the VO branded fenders. They are made by a Taiwanese OEM company.
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Old 06-26-18, 11:17 AM
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Berthoud makes premium Stainless Steel mudguards, in France.
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Old 06-26-18, 11:39 AM
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Will the SKS type fittings work on your steel fenders? Planet Bike uses similar fittings.

On my bikes that do not have those clips, I always try to mount the front fender with as much room as the fork crown will allow. Some people think that a fender that is quite close to the tire looks better, but on most of my bikes I can see a clear gap between the fender and tire because I think a larger gap is safer. My logic is that a larger item that could jam in the fender is less likely because that larger item is less likely to be lifted that high off the ground.
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Old 06-26-18, 11:48 AM
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^ they are incompatible - SKS uses 2x ~2mm diameter SS wire stays formed with a 180 deg bend housed in breakaway plastic fitting (forms a Vee). Metal fenders typically use a single (per side) ~4mm Al rod for stays.

My fenders have a slightly ugly gap too, because I bought & installed fenders large enough to accommodate the largest tire size possible for the frameset, but actually tend to use smaller tires on paved surfaces.
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Old 06-27-18, 02:52 AM
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Fender tips -- thanks

Originally Posted by seeker333
I suspect the metal fenders' stay fasteners might let go in some events as described in OP, or not - 50/50 odds?

First, take a look at VO fenders - they're 90% of Berthoud/Honjo fenders for only 33% of the cost. I suspect Honjo manufactures the VO fenders, as VO originally sold Honjo alongside their own branded fenders. I have VOs in 26 & 700, aluminum (lighter and rustproof), I highly recommend:

https://velo-orange.com/collections/fenders

PDW has accessories which may improve upon VOs (and other) metal fenders, particularly WRT safety. PDW safety tabs fit VO as a retrofit, according to past forum discussion. I've considered them for my fendered bikes but never purchased.

https://ridepdw.com/collections/fend...t=24829153601#
Thanks for the pointers. I was especially interested to hear about the PDW safety tabs. I'm in the UK, and prices are pretty different here, for example the PDW tabs are listed for £15 instead of 9$! Their own fenders also look lovely, by the way. Also, I'm finding Berthoud fenders are actually available for about £40, whereas the VO ones cost £50 plus shipping.costs.
I'd had the idea that aluminum or steel guards were pretty standard equipment on traditional touring bikes, so there must be some safe solution to minimize the possibility of road debris stopping the front wheel. So the PDW tabs work with other brands' stays?
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Old 06-27-18, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mfcity
Thanks for the pointers. I was especially interested to hear about the PDW safety tabs. I'm in the UK, and prices are pretty different here, for example the PDW tabs are listed for £15 instead of 9$! Their own fenders also look lovely, by the way. Also, I'm finding Berthoud fenders are actually available for about £40, whereas the VO ones cost £50 plus shipping.costs.
I'd had the idea that aluminum or steel guards were pretty standard equipment on traditional touring bikes, so there must be some safe solution to minimize the possibility of road debris stopping the front wheel. So the PDW tabs work with other brands' stays?
Aside from the facts that stainless steel is heavier and more prone to rust than aluminum, you may want to consider the Berthoud fenders over VO, since they:
1. seem to be available in many sizes,
2. seem to cost >£10 less and
3. have a lower profile stay design at the point where the stay attaches to fender.

If you ride a size 58cm or larger bicycle, then skip down to the last two paragraphs.

In my estimation, compared to Berthoud, VO's stay plus hardware causes the stay to extend an additional 10mm rearward from the fender surface. This reduces clearance for your spining feet in a sharp turn. On 700c fendered touring bikes (bikes which typically use larger tires, and thus larger fenders), clearance is reduced to the point where the toes of your shoes may interfere with the most rearward object (the fender stay). The phenomenon is referred to in bike-speak as toe overlap. Toe overlap occurs on 700c touring bikes smaller than about size 58cm. There's usually no overlap on 26" touring bikes due to smaller diameter wheels+tires+fenders. Toe overlap occurs only when you're turning sharply, at slow speed. During normal riding you don't turn the wheel enough to put the fender in line with your shoes. When toe overlap occurs, because it is a rare occurrence, it will startle and distract momentarily while you determine WTH just happened. So toe overlap is not a big deal, but it's better to avoid if possible, simply from a safety perspective.

Bethoud stay vs VO stay with regard to toe overlap issue:









PDW safety tabs (based on hearsay and not my experience) will fit a stay with diameter of ~4mm, like PDW & VO. It looks like Berthoud stays are very similar to VO in this regard. Email/call Berthoud and ask them for stay diameter - then share the answer. It may be possible to slightly adjust stay fit in the PDW tab by reducing diameter of the stay (sandpaper/emory cloth) or increasing diameter of the stay hole (round file).

Here's an idea - make your own breakaway stay. Near the point where the front stay fixes to fork, hack (hacksaw) through 1/2-2/3 of the diameter of the stay, with the cut on the bottom side. I suspect that normal use (and especially handling bike during transport) would cause early failure of the stay at the cut. You probably should buy a spare stay in case this doesn't work out as intended. You won't know if this DIY safety breakaway measure actually works without destructive testing (new fender set!), but this logic also applies to the PDW product.

Last edited by seeker333; 06-27-18 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 06-27-18, 08:49 PM
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One trick is to put the ends of the fenders closer to the tires than at the crown/chainstays. That way if something manages to squeeze through the end it'll have more room to exit.
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Old 07-02-18, 03:58 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I emailed Berthoud to confirm the stay diameter, but no word back yet. I also like the tire saver idea, and the last reply from @niknak about positioning the fenders to prevent anything getting caught as the gap narrows. I’d done that before with SKS guards and it seemed to work.
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Old 07-02-18, 04:56 AM
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adapting GB stays with Portland Design Works tabs

Originally Posted by seeker333
Aside from the facts that stainless steel is heavier and more prone to rust than aluminum, you may want to consider the Berthoud fenders over VO, since they:
1. seem to be available in many sizes,
2. seem to cost >£10 less and
3. have a lower profile stay design at the point where the stay attaches to fender.

If you ride a size 58cm or larger bicycle, then skip down to the last two paragraphs.

In my estimation, compared to Berthoud, VO's stay plus hardware causes the stay to extend an additional 10mm rearward from the fender surface. This reduces clearance for your spining feet in a sharp turn. On 700c fendered touring bikes (bikes which typically use larger tires, and thus larger fenders), clearance is reduced to the point where the toes of your shoes may interfere with the most rearward object (the fender stay). The phenomenon is referred to in bike-speak as toe overlap. Toe overlap occurs on 700c touring bikes smaller than about size 58cm. There's usually no overlap on 26" touring bikes due to smaller diameter wheels+tires+fenders. Toe overlap occurs only when you're turning sharply, at slow speed. During normal riding you don't turn the wheel enough to put the fender in line with your shoes. When toe overlap occurs, because it is a rare occurrence, it will startle and distract momentarily while you determine WTH just happened. So toe overlap is not a big deal, but it's better to avoid if possible, simply from a safety perspective.

Bethoud stay vs VO stay with regard to toe overlap issue:









PDW safety tabs (based on hearsay and not my experience) will fit a stay with diameter of ~4mm, like PDW & VO. It looks like Berthoud stays are very similar to VO in this regard. Email/call Berthoud and ask them for stay diameter - then share the answer. It may be possible to slightly adjust stay fit in the PDW tab by reducing diameter of the stay (sandpaper/emory cloth) or increasing diameter of the stay hole (round file).


Here's an idea - make your own breakaway stay. Near the point where the front stay fixes to fork, hack (hacksaw) through 1/2-2/3 of the diameter of the stay, with the cut on the bottom side. I suspect that normal use (and especially handling bike during transport) would cause early failure of the stay at the cut. You probably should buy a spare stay in case this doesn't work out as intended. You won't know if this DIY safety breakaway measure actually works without destructive testing (new fender set!), but this logic also applies to the PDW product.
Just got a reply from Berthoudótheir stays are 5mm, apparently. My bike is 61cm, if I remember correctly, so I donít have problems with toe overlap, but good to know about the VO stays.

I think I may go with some GB fenders, though theyíre probably slightly heavier than chromoplastic equivalents.
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Old 07-02-18, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mfcity
Just got a reply from Berthoudótheir stays are 5mm, apparently. My bike is 61cm, if I remember correctly, so I donít have problems with toe overlap, but good to know about the VO stays.

I think I may go with some GB fenders, though theyíre probably slightly heavier than chromoplastic equivalents.
Your response caused me to question my memory; I just now measured my VO stays with digital caliper @ ~5.02mm diameter. The PDW tab should be a fit for GB fenders.
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