Monday, March 26, 2012

JPR Update - Fenders!

Thanks to cycliholic for the question about fenders - I need to update this thing! I did indeed add some fenders from Bay Area Bikes for the wet winter season - they are the SKS Raceblade model, which attach to the seat stays and forks, and don't require any clearance between the tires and under the brakes or fork, because they only cover part of the wheel. Granted, it's the part of each wheel most likely to make you wet and muddy. Click for a closer view:

With optional mud flap installed (I later removed it because it exacerbated the already troublesome issue of my toes overlapping the front wheel due to the Paramount's steep head tube and short fork rake)

First attempt at mounting. I ended up getting the arc to match the wheel much more closely (too closely, perhaps) on a second attempt.

I was pretty wary of these because of how they connect to the frame in only two locations and provide only partial coverage compared with typically full fenders that mount to eyelets on the frame/fork and behind the bottom bracket, but they are incredibly solid and work beautifully to keep me dry in damp conditions (or in combination with a pair of rain boots on really rainy days). Once you put the clear decal tape on the surface of your seat stays/forks and position the brackets, you can really wrap the rubber fasteners around to achieve a super secure and low(ish) profile. These ship with 8 of the band fasteners and additional zip ties but I only used 1 band per mounting point and a couple of zip ties for overkill.

There's a lot of control over how they fit your bike/wheels. You can slide the brackets that hold the actual fenders along the fender (and secure with a screw when you get them in the right place) and you are supposed to bend the metal arms to fine tune lateral positioning. I probably mounted them a little too close to the wheels, but I wanted them to look as streamlined as possible, so when I'm standing and really cranking, the tires rub the fender in back, but it's not too big a deal. I'd have given them another 1/4 inch clearance if I did it over again next season, we'll see if I even bother removing them this summer, they weigh practically nothing and don't create any other issues, save for making lock ups through the rear rim and seat stay with a small U-lock somewhat difficult, but not impossible - I can always finagle it into position with a standard bike rack or parking meter.

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