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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Fending For Myself – Bike Snob NYC


As I discussed yesterday, I’m participating the Homer in all its frippery for city commuting responsibility. When using only for using’s sake, I don’t essentially require fenders, however when using to a selected vacation spot within the metropolis in all my finery, getting caught with out them merely Will Not Do. So because of this I lastly resolved to appropriate the Homer’s bare wheel state of affairs.

The medical physician swears an oath: “First do no hurt.” I swear a distinct one, and it’s this: “First spend no cash.” So as a substitute of shopping for new fenders for the Homer I made a decision to scavenge a kinda-skinny pair I nonetheless hoped would match from the carcass of the Ironic Orange Julius Bike:

I commuted on this bike for a few years:

I did much more on it, too, together with racing the cyclocross:

[I don’t remember who took this photo. If it was you and you’re angry I didn’t credit you I’m sorry. Please remind me and I’d be happy to do so.]

And even attempting to show it right into a Rivendell with some swept-back bars:

So in a approach you might say it’s the Homer’s direct forebear:

They’re each blue, even.

Alas, at this time the Ironic Orange Julius bike is exhibiting its age:

You could possibly say that is an argument towards metal, however I’d say it’s largely simply an argument towards excessive neglect. Actually, I believe most of this rust is the direct results of like one post-blizzard journey after which I put the bike away coated in slush and highway salt after which left it sitting for like three months. I’d additionally wager that the rust is generally simply beauty, and that if I handle to get that backside bracket out I might most likely preserve using it and it will maintain up simply wonderful.

Or it’ll all crumble and I’ll die, what the hell do I do know?

As for the fenders, there’s purported to be a little bit plastic bracket for the rear brake bridge, however since this body didn’t take one I didn’t use it:

In some alternate dimension I dwell within the suburbs, preserve all my bike stuff neatly organized within the storage, and have a drawer that’s clearly labeled “Fender Components.” Alas, on this dimension I don’t. I’m positive I saved the bracket, nevertheless it may very well be completely anyplace, together with any one among a number of alternate dimensions, and odds are I’ll discover it in 5 years once I’m unsuccessfully looking for one thing else I do know I saved. Within the meantime although I simply stole a bracket from an excellent skinnier pair of fenders within the hope that I might someway make it work:

Now, you’ll observe that these fenders predate these security tabs that permit the stays to launch if one thing will get caught in between the fender and the wheel:

With out them your entrance wheel can jam and you’ll go flying over the bars, which I do know all too nicely, as a result of that’s precisely how I broke my thumb a number of years again. However I figured I’ll see how these fenders match first, and in the event that they labored then I might simply add some launch tabs. Till then I’d simply keep off the paths.

Of extra urgent concern was the situation of the bolts holding on the rear stays:

I hoped I’d have the ability to take away them, however just like the too-skinny bracket I filed that beneath “I’ll take care of it once I get to it.”

After eradicating the entrance fender, I did a fast mock-up to see if it will work on the Homer:

It appeared like it will, and so I started working:

Should you’re questioning why I don’t use a restore stand, nicely, imagine it or not…I don’t have one. I don’t know why I don’t have one–I’ve just about each different instrument. Headset press, spoke tensionmeter…I actually have a 3.5mm Allen key for the Delta brakes on the Vengeance bike! Perhaps it’s as a result of for a few years I had so little house a restore stand didn’t appear price it, and now it’s been so lengthy I’m simply used to not having one. In that sense I’m like somebody who’s been taking part in an instrument his complete life however by no means discovered to learn music–I’ll not do it the appropriate approach, however I get by. Sorta. I do understand my lack of this easy system that will make my complete life a lot simpler makes something I say about bike restore appear extremely suspect, however seeing first-hand what an incompetent doofus I’m ought to be your foremost cause for studying this weblog.

Anyway, when putting in the entrance fender, there’s all the time the matter of the bracket/tab/hanger thingy, which might hit the headset when you increase the fender up off of the wheel:

Should you’ve bought a caliper brake, this implies considered bending in addition to repeated removing and substitute of brake to see if it clears as soon as every little thing’s comfortable:

Not fairly…

Perhaps if I transfer it forward of that knurled washer….

Extra bending? Screw it. Perhaps if I transfer it in entrance of the sunshine bracket…

Okay, ok.

As soon as I bought that labored out the remainder was straightforward:

Then it was time for the rear fender. As I feared, one of many bolts proved recalcitrant. Screwdriver and wrench failed, so I escalated to the pliers:

These didn’t work both, so out got here the dreaded Vise Grip–trump card of the ham-handed mechanic:

Thankfully that labored, as a result of I used to be ready to resort to excessive measures:

By that I imply I used to be able to amputate my very own leg.

Oh, the bolt didn’t even come out, the top simply snapped off:

Ok for me.

Checking the rear fender, that too appeared like it will work:

Nevertheless, I used to be not optimistic concerning the too-small bracket clearing the tire:

I’d identical to so as to add I bought these Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires in like fall of 2020, have ridden them far and wide, and so they nonetheless appear like new.

I bought your boutique supple tires proper right here. [Indicates crotchal region.]

Anyway, I semi-mounted the fender:

Then I famous the place the bracket would have to be:

Then I broke out the Dremel:

Within the palms of mechanic the Dremel is sort of a scalpel. In my palms, it’s principally only a Vise Grip with a battery. Finally although I thinned out and/or melted sufficient of the fender edge to get the too-small bracket to clip on there:

I didn’t know if it will clear the tire, however I used to be assured it will not less than maintain the fender.

Now it was all about getting the fender on in such a approach that it wouldn’t rub, and what adopted had been a number of extra installations and removals, in addition to extra Dremeling, together with lengthening the opening of the bracket so I might set the fender increased:

At a number of factors on this course of I almost gave up. In spite of everything, anybody with half a mind would merely purchase a brand new set of fenders with a little bit extra tire clearance and a properly-fitting bracket. Nevertheless, I had an excessive amount of sweat fairness on this shitshow by now and was decided to see it by way of irrespective of how kludgy I needed to get. Lastly, I bought the rear mounted such that there wasn’t any rubbing:

I wanted one thing on the retailer so figured I’d fetch it on the Homer by the use of a take a look at journey. Wanting it over, the fender appeared a little bit too shut for consolation across the 2:00 place of the wheel, and whereas it wasn’t rubbing within the stand I didn’t have I figured it will as quickly as I hit a hill. Nevertheless, this wasn’t the case, and thus far not less than every little thing appears to be working easily and quietly. Finally I do assume I’ll want to alter them for one thing with extra clearance (there’s no cause to make use of such tight fenders on such a loosey-goosey body), however in the intervening time I’ll preserve them on there and see how they do:

Better of all, it began raining on my approach dwelling.

So whereas I wouldn’t essentially, characterize this set up as a “success,” it was on the very least one thing barely higher than an abject failure. In that sense not less than I exceeded my very own expectations.

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