I should write some instructions for installing metal fenders for those of you who have never done this, or who think it's difficult. But first some observations on the new VO fenders:
- I'm pleased to report that all the hardware fits and works perfectly.
- There are even little marks on the stays to help you center them.
- Installing VO fenders is almost exactly like installing Honjo fenders.
- 8mm and 10mm open end wrenches
- Alan wrench set
- Drill with a 5mm bit (and sometimes a 3mm).
- Hacksaw or big wire cutter for cutting stays
- Tape measure
- A file and sharp punch or nail are also nice to have.
Attach the stays to the fenders using draw bolts. I like the bolts about 15cm from the aft end of the fenders, but the exact distance is not critical. Some model fenders come with one draw bolt per fender, others with two. Our Honjo extra long models are pre-drilled for the bolts. On other models, mark the location of the bolts and make an indent with a punch or sharp nail. Drill a 5mm hole for each bolt.
Thread the stay into the draw bolt and secure the bolts to the fender with a washer and locknut. If using two bolts per fender you'll need to flex the fender and stay to insert both bolts at once.
Installing the front fender:
If your bike has a fender boss under the fork crown, as VO frames have, simply drill a matching hole in the fender and secure it to the crown with a 5mm bolt and washer. But be sure to use a leather washer between the crown and fender. The leather washer absorbs vibrations and cushions the fender, helping to prevent cracking at the bolt hole.
If using a VO or Honjo L-bracket, drill two 3mm holes and mount the bracket as shown in the photo. Secure it to the brake bolt.
If using a fork crown daruma, hang the daruma from the brake bolt and drill a matching 5mm hole in the fender. Again, the extra long Honjos are pre-drilled. Secure the fender with a flat washer and nut, but only after adding a leather washer between the crown and fender.
Place the R-clips on the stays and screw them to the eyelets on your front dropout with 5mm screws. Hint: removing the quick release skewer makes it easier. Adjust the stays for a perfect fender line. You'll notice that the stays are too long; mark and cut them to length with a hacksaw or wire cutter. File or sand down the ends so they aren't sharp.
Installing the rear fender:
Ideally the front edge of the rear fender should extend a few centimeters below the chainstay bridge. On a VO or other well-designed frame there will be bosses at the brake bridge and the chainstay bridge and plenty of room for the fender. All you'll need to do in that case is drill matching holes and screw the fender into place. Again, don't forget the leather washers.
On many production frames things are a bit more difficult. You may even have to bend or trim (with tin snips) the front of the rear fender to make it fit between the chainstays then bolt it into place through the hole in the chainstay bridge. But don't do this yet; first install the sliding bridge bracket. The VO version is made of mallable metal that you fold over the fender; the Honjo sliding bridge bracket slides on over the fender from the end.
Bolt the bridge to the brake bridge and slide the fender forward to the desired location. Now drill the hole to bolt it to the chainstay bridge. Remember the leather washer. Pinch each side of the sliding bridge bracket with pliers to lock the fender in place and so it doesn't rattle
Finally attach and trim the stays to the dropout eyelets as you did on the front fender. Check that all the screws, nuts, and bolts are tight, (don't forget to reinstall those quick release skewers) and go for a ride.