13 March, 2009

Fender Mounting Instructions

We've updated our VO and Honjo fender mounting instructions and here they are. Feel free to add additional tips in the comments.

Installing Velo Orange and Honjo Fenders

Tool list:

  • Allen wrench set
  • Hacksaw or big wire cutter for cutting stays
  • Phillips head screwdriver (on some models)
  • Pliers
  • Tape measure
  • If mounting undrilled fenders you'll also need a drill and 5mm bit. Plus a 3mm bit if attaching an L-bracket.
  • A file and sharp punch or nail are also nice to have.
  • 8mm wrench (for Honjo R-clips)
  • 10mm wrench or socket (for Honjo Daruma)

Attaching the Fender Stays:

Attach the stays to the fenders using eyelet bolts. We 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.

Most Honjo fenders use two eyelet bolts per stay. The VO fenders use slightly thicker aluminum and so require only one per stay. Thread the stay into the draw bolts 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, fenders without L brackets can simply be attached with 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. Note that leather washer must be ordered separately.

If using a VO or Honjo L-bracket secure it to the brake bolt. On undrilled fenders you'll need to drill two 3mm holes and mount the bracket as shown in the photo. On some forks it's necessary to bend the top of the L-bracket outward a little bit to allow it to clear the headset.

If using a fork crown daruma, remove the brake, hold the daruma inside the fork crown and thread the brake bolt through the 6mm hole in the daruma. On undrilled fenders, drill a matching 5mm hole in the fender. Again, the extra long Honjos are pre-drilled and “dimpled” so the fender sits right over the wheel. Place the large metal washer, then the rubber washer over the threaded end of the daruma.. Secure the fender with a flat washer and nut.

On fenders that don't have a pre-formed “dimple” for the daruma, push the fender forward, making a small dent in the fender under the fork crown. This compensates for the fork rake, allowing proper fender alignment with the wheel.

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 large wire cutter. File or sand down the ends so they aren't sharp.

Installing the rear fender:

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. Don't forget the leather washers between the frame and fender.

On most production frames things are a bit more difficult. You may have to bend the front of the rear fender to make it fit between the chain stays then bolt it into place through the hole in the chain stay bridge. But don't do this yet; first install the sliding bridge bracket. The VO version is made of malleable metal that you fold over the fender then pinch shut with pliers. The Honjo sliding bracket slips on over the fender from the end and is then pinched shut. An L-bracket may be substituted for the sliding bracket.

Bolt the bridge bracket to the brake bridge and slide the fender forward to the desired location. Now bolt the front of the fender 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. After a few miles check that everything is still tight.


Mark Muller said...

This are nice instructions, but I have a suggestion. Make a pdf version of them, and leave a link to it on each of the fender listings. The pdf makes it easy for someone to print out if they want a paper copy without worrying about the formatting being screwed up. Putting it on each fender page makes it easier to find.

Anonymous said...

I think it's "Allen" wrenches, not "Alan".

Velo Orange said...

I'll try to learn how to post .pdf files when I get back.

Thanks Patates; fixed.

Anonymous said...

The VO rear brake bridge thing should be thicker metal- it doesn't hold the fender tight enough unless you completely crush the fender and it together.

Anonymous said...

french fry,

We all know what was meant.

Reflector Collector said...

Great instructions. Took the liberty of copying, formatting, and converted to PDF. Sent a copy to Chris via email.

Anonymous said...

perfect timing as my VO fenders are awaiting mounting next week! thanks Chris.

Dan S., WI

Anonymous said...

these intructions do not cover every single possible scenerio and are therefore incomplete.

reverend dick said...

See? THAT is why I love the anonymous comments.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping for more color photos with arrows (preferably red) inserted into the photos that point to the part of the picture the instructions are addressing.

keithwwalker said...

I just did my velo orange fenders. With the exception of the sliding bridge bracket, everything went well.

Sliding bridge bracket and soft aluminum fenders don't work well at all. The other conventional L-brackets are better for most, I reckon.

Since I was running Schwalbe Big Apple 700-50's things got tightest at the seat stay bridge and I ended up bolting the fender with a button head M5 screw right into hte seat stay bridge.

A conventional L-bracket wouldn't let me get right up against the seat stay bracket.

I am running a S-A internal hub with drum brake, so no canti's to worry about...

Anonymous said...

I always put a slice of an old inner tube between the sliding bracket and the fender. It gives a tighter fit than I can get with the bracket alone, and the rubber prevents any rattling.

Unknown said...

I've got a couple words of warning I wish I had been told or thought of during the installation of mine.

1, Chris says to use leather washers but they didn't come in the hardware package that came with my VO stainless. You want them, make sure to buy them, I just wish it was more clear in the product description that they weren't included.

2, if you have toe overlap or are close to it, the front fender will make it worse a la my 80's Fuji Del Rey. The kicker is I placed the mounting hardware horizontally on the front, putting the draw bolt in exactly the worst place. Angle your front stay just a bit so that this doesn't happen to you.

3, I suggest using at least a front mudflap. I tightened the mounting hardware on mine as much as I felt safe doing, but still lost one of the bolts on a ride and the flap was dangling. A quick trip to the hardware store and now I use lock nuts. No problems since.

4, Use a fork crown daruma. I know they're optional, but they look so much better. I wish I had splurged on that part.

In spite of those things, I'm super happy so none of them are a big deal.

Anonymous said...

As a word of warning, don't overtighten the draw bolts on the VO fenders. I managed to break one without (at least I thought) tightening it too much. I was tightening with two fingers as I saw the bolt bend - after that, I was able to crack it off with my fingers. I feel that the bolt design is not as robust as the Honjos, having an open end to insert the stay. Since lots of folks seem to be having sucess, just take it easy and it should be ok.

keithwwalker said...

I forgot to mention some comments and they back them up Joe's good comments:

Buy the leather washers.

Throw away the provided nuts. Use stainless steel nyloc nuts, they will never loosen.

I also use rubber bonded washers (to stainless steel)inside the fenders for durability where leather washers may rot out.

Since my fender line was tight to the tires, I cut the thread of the daruma crown by half and it fit nicely.

Mounting the fenders so that they are 'right' took more time than I could imagine, but if you take the time, they will last years without trouble or rattles.

Gunnar Berg said...

The leather will out last rubber.

Anonymous said...

Supply the washers for god sake Chris !!!!

Anonymous said...

Chris, I sent you a PDF file of these instructions back on the 17th. Check your email, maybe it was filtered as spam.

Anonymous said...

I failed to order a leather washer... Would that be something easily made from some scrap leather? Or is there something particular to the leather washer itself?

Kevin S. said...

I bought the VO Stainless Steel fenders for my touring bike. My bike has cantilever brakes, so how do I attach the fenders to the fork crown and brake bridge with the provided hardware? The kit didn't come with a through bolt+nut for either... I guess I'll have to go to the hardware store for that stuff. I think the product description should have mentioned that, out of the package, the fenders don't come with hardware for bikes using cantis. Also, they are not "highly polished," but still look good. I can't wait to put them on my bike, but first I gotta go out and get some more hardware... unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Leather washers can be found cheaply on the Mcmaster Carr website. Also a lot of basic fender hardware can be found there if you know what you are looking for.

Anonymous said...

Velo Orange sells six packs of leather washers for $3, enough for two bikes. The MC washers are so big that they won't look right.

clay said...

i hate to beat a dead horse, but yeah, it would have been really nice if it said "hardware included except the leather washers which you have to order seperately" also, while it says the VO 52mm Zeppelin Fenders, FE-0019-650M on sale for 39.00 are PRE DRILLED, they don't seem to be............

seth said...

I have those zeppelin fenders, and they are definitely pre-drilled. maybe someone forgot to drill your pair. however, if you use them with 26" wheels the front fender looks kinda funny (it sticks up off the tire too much) and rattles around. I sound like Oscar the Grouch on a bicycle! I think I'm going to order an extra stay, drill an extra hole, and see if i can get it to look/sound better.

clay said...

thanks, as it turns out, I inadvertently got sent the 700mm fluted fenders. support person was helpful and quick to respond. getting that straightened out and ordering the fenders for 26" just to be safe.....and the washers and the mudflaps while I'm at it.

the pants situation said...

i just picked up a set of 43mm fluted fenders to install on my surly cross check with 700x35 tires. It's great that my local shop has velo orange stuff. First, I wish i had sprang for the hammered honjos, the fluted fender ended up looking a little to 'beach cruiserish' for my liking but hey, my first set of metal fenders, i'll ride them for a while and see if i change my mind.

About the hardware, I've never installed anything on my bike that came with all of the hardware so I wasn't too surprised to find out that I needed to go back to the shop and pick up a few things. In my case, its an L bracket of some sort to attach the front fender to the crown and another bracket for the chainstay bridge to extend the rear fender closer to the tire.

And of course those leather washers, rubber washers would be fine too I imagine. I'll be picking up some of those too.

The fender wasn't too tough to install and the instructions are pretty good.

alan said...

Just installed a pair of v/o stainless 45mm fenders. Took me much longer than an hour, primarily because I could not use the fork crown daruma on my front fender - not enough clearance between tire and nut. Used a SKS sliding front bridge, obtained from LBS, mounted to front of fork, behind brake caliper and under fork crown. Worked great. These fenders work great, don't rattle and definitly look great!

Unknown said...

Fitting A Fender Stay to a Double Eyelet Honjo Fender:

I recently purchased a set of 43 mm Honjo hammered fenders from VO. These have double eyelets to hold the stay to the fender. It took me awhile and one phone call to VO to determine how to install the stay through the double eyelets. Fit one of the eyelets to the fender but do not tighten the nut- the eyelet should be very loose. Slide the stay through the eyelet that is attached to the fender. Keep the bend in the stay off-center from the fender's center. Now slide the eyelet on the stay and fit it in the hole in the fender. It will be necessary to rotate the two sides of the stay such that they are almost pointing to the forward end of the fender. Install the lock washer and nut on the eyelet - loosely. Do not tighten the nuts. Now center the stay by wiggling it as you move the stay. Carefully, I repeat, hold each stay with one hand. The hands should be close to the fender. Carefully, start spreading the stay and rotating the fender until the stay is perpendicular to the curve of the fender. It may be necessary to repeat this operation several times before the bend in the stay is centered on the fender. Hand tighten the eyelet nuts. Fit the fender and stays to the bike. After the fender and stays are attached to the bike, coat the threaded part of the eyelets with clear finger nail polish (old thick color nail polish is best) and tighten the eyelet nuts. I have used old nail polish as a thread-locker compound on my bikes and never had a screw or nut become loose. Locktite Green 290 will also work. If you decide to use Locktite Blue, use is sparingly.

Anonymous said...

You guys should have individual instructions for each model (or at least for each group using the same hardware, etc.) and provide more pictures. This is going to take a lot longer than I anticipated.

Unknown said...

I just installed the 45mm aluminum VO fenders. The quality is excellent and I'm very happy with them, but I do think that the included hardware is inadequate.

As others are pointing out above, the website seems to imply that the leather washers are included, and they probably should be. No hardware for attaching the fender to the chainstay bridge is included. Mine frame isn't isn't drilled so I bought a 3/8th clamp like the ones VO sells. Most of the plastic fenders I've used before have included a little 'C' shaped spring clip that hooks over the bridge, which is sufficient especially if you put a little bit of inner tube beneath it to prevent rattling and ensure a tight fit.

The biggest annoyance was the daruma bolt. My bike has minimal clearance for tires and fenders, and I found the included daruma bolt to be too long, extending about 12-13mm past the fender and 8mm or so past the nut. It prevented my front wheel from mounting. I used a dremel saw to cut the excess length from the tip of the bolt and still had enough threads to engage the included nut, which solved the problem. A conventional l-bracket allows for significantly greater tire clearance and I think that should be noted on the site.

Also, the clamps you sell for people without eyelets on their frames should include 5mm nuts to match the bolts included with the installation kit.

Shifty said...

Thanks Velo-Orange for carrying such cool stuff and in particular their assortment of fenders. Yes, my Honjo fenders were the most difficult fenders I ever expect to install but last week two people rode past and commented, "Cool bike, are those Honjos?" Evidence that I'm not the only admirer of great bicycle artistry. With the help of this link http://www.flickr.com/groups/honjo I believe all of you who take on this project will be better informed, and better inspired.

Anonymous said...

Request: Somehow illustrate the order and placement of all these small parts!

I am having to dig through Google Images and Flickr to find close-up photos of peoples' fender installations just to get a rough understanding of the order of parts and where they go.

I think if you simply take a close-up photo of every point of contact, inside/outside/front/back, then that should help a lot of people.

I understand leather washers but do they go on both sides of absolutely every point of contact? I see some people doing that, some not. I don't think I got enough leather washers to do that.

I have star washers too, where do the star washers go exactly?

And I received a giant donut washer that looks like it doesn't belong with this product at all?

I'm wishing I didn't have to spend two evenings doing this. Fantastic product otherwise!