Though we are in a severe drought here on the East Coast, I know that it's been raining out west. I know because the most common e-mailed question we've been getting lately is, "Which fenders will best fit my bike?" Often the e-mail includes a photo of the bike. Unfortunately it's hard to answer that questions without a few measurements.
The basic rule in fender fitting is that the fender should be at least 8mm wider than the tire; 10mm is better. So a 35mm fender will fit up to a 26-27mm tire; a 43mm will cover a 32-35mm; 45 covers 38mm, etc. The reason for this clearance is that otherwise little pebbles, sticks, and other debris that are thrown up by your tire will get lodged between the fender and tire.
Next, we need to determine if the fender will fit on your frame. The width of the fender is measured on the outside and we need to check if it will fit in the brakes, in the fork crown, and in between the seat stays. To check the brakes simply apply them, so the pads touch the rims, and measure the width between the arms. Also check that you have at least 10mm vertically from the tire to the brake. Next check the width and height of the fork crown. Finally check that the seat stays are far enough apart and that the brake bridge is at least 10mm above the tire. You may have noticed that I've not mentioned the chain stays. Those are easy because you can always trim the bottom of the fender to clear.
Of course metal fenders are flexible and can be bent, so if the fit is close you can always squeeze the fender in a few millimeters at the offending spot.
As for fender length; that's easy, get the longest fenders possible. Long fenders keep you a lot drier. And if you live in the Northwest, get a mudflap for the front fender too. If you ride brevets or in pacelines, your fellow riders will appreciate a rear flap as well.
I've already posted about how to install fenders here.
Now on to other common questions:
When will Ostrich handlebar bags arrive? I wish I knew. I bug my Japanese agent about this every week and he just say that they are a small shop and are totally swamped, "but it won't be too much longer". The good news is that the new production run will have clear map cases and a strap for the upright loop on the rack. Update: Just got an e-mail. They are finally finished and on a ship heading our way. George-san, you must read the blog!
When will Portuer racks be in stock? They are at the polishing shop now and will ship to us in about a week, I hope.
What about Courier racks? The builder is finishing them right now and says we should have them in about 3 weeks.
When can I buy a Strida folding bike? The container of bikes is due to hit port on October 22, so we should have them 1-2 weeks later. I'll write a little review of my Strida soon.
How about Soma silver reverse brake levers? They arrived today!
19 October, 2007
Posted by Velo Orange at 11:26:00 AM