08 April, 2014

Fenders on VO Frames

By Igor

Fender line not Federline
“Good fender line” is defined by keeping the fender concentric to the tire (when viewed from the side). This characteristic goes deeper than keeping your clothes clean and your bike aesthetically pleasing; it shows a designer’s intent.

Designing a frame is easy. Designing a good frame is hard. Geometry, predictable handling, comfortable ride, consistent clearances, properly placed braze-ons, and beautiful appearance are all traits we require during the design and testing of our frames. In addition, these features must be on the entire run of sizing, which many manufacturers overlook.

We take great care to ensure that all of our frames accommodate fenders with a perfect fender line. The Campeur, Pass Hunter, Polyvalent, and soon-to-arrive Camargue all feature braze-ons for easy and clean fender installation.

Let's grab a beer (60 min Dog Fish Head for me) and dive right into a fender install on a 57cm MK3 Polyvalent.
The subject lacks fenders
Seatstay braze-on
Chainstay braze-on
Fork crown plate braze-on
Mount for fenders and rack
Mount for fenders and rack
Choose the type of fender for your bike. You need, at the very least, 8mm of difference between tire size and fender width; 15mm is better. Also, keep in mind the constraints of the frame. For Polyvalent, 52mm is the biggest you can go before you need to crimp around stays and fork crown. I went with the Zeppelins (650b, 52mm) because they look phenomenal. 

For Polyvalent (which has horizontal dropouts), a Spring Thing is useful. This little guy allows for easy wheel removal while keeping fender line consistent around the rear wheel.

Clever little guy.
The leather washers included in the kit have a convex and concave side. Concave side on the fender. I always recommend grabbing a few extras for rack mounting or fender line adjustment.

Concave side
Easy alignment. Flat side of cupped washer faces fender.
Ready for installation
I put the spring thing in the middle of the slot so I have an adjustment point.

Align and mark with marker
When drilling the hole, it is best to use a punch or Phillips screwdriver and a hammer to make a point; this will prevent the drill bit from wandering. Keep stepping up the size of the bit until the screw fits through.

2 leather washers on the bridge and fork crown for this build.
1 on the underside to keep it snug; a button head screw can be substituted.
Ready to mark, then cut. Upside-down in this case.
If it's just you doing the install, flip the R-clip vertically (temporarily) so that you can measure and mark while the wheel is clamped in the dropout. Mark a few millimeters past the end of the clip. Doing this will ensure that when the R-clip is flipped back into the normal position, the length of the stay will be correct. Any doubts? Cut longer than shorter.

If you have a friend to assist you, flip the R-clip so it faces down and have one person pull the wheel back in the dropouts (without the skewer). The other person will mark where the stay needs to be cut to achieve good fender line. Any doubts? Cut longer than shorter.

The front is very straight forward. The holes are pre-drilled (even the fork crown).

This build has a Pass Hunter Rack, so the rack is also mounted to the front fender.

A detailed instruction guide (included in every fender set) for installation in available on our tech info page: http://support.velo-orange.com/#fenders.html


David Pearce said...

Dear VO,

You say "Fender Line, not Fenderline", and yet there is "seatstay" and "chainstay". I'm sorry, I am sorry, I can't make up for the vagaries of the English language. "Show me a man who can spell a word only one way, and I'll show you a boring man!"

That is one hell of a rear derailleur on your blue Polyvalent frame!

As far as fenders are concerned, we could quibble endlessly about this or that. I don't want to do that.

Your generous use of leather washers will be proven out by usage. I tend to think that more solid (less dampened) connections between fenders and stays are better, but I'm not sure yet.

I do think that J.P Weigle / Jan Heine's fender install instructions are even better than those presented here.

Here are my comments:

You should consider more fender overlap of the bottom bracket, i.e., the fender slot for the chainstay should be 2-3" higher than it is now, to better protect the bottom bracket, where we know everything happens, and all dirt and moisture is directed.

You should consider what hardware changes might be necessary, such as larger diameter cups, so that the fender stays can be installed in the "custom" format, with the cups on the inside of the fender, rather than the outside of the fender, and the drawbolt shoulders can pass exactly through the fenders. Supposedly, and I concur, this will result in an even stiffer fender attachment, with the fender held most firmly by the fender stay as the stay curves closely around the fender exterior.

Finally, from my experience, one thing you don't mention at all, and I think is an excellent and stress relieving move, you should bend about two inches of the ends of the fender stays to be parallel, so that they slip easily into the P-clips. I find that bending them with a needle-nose vise grip is a good method for doing this, and the task of threading the stays through the P-clips is turned from a fight of metal parts on different trajectories into a pleasant experience of old friends meeting again on the same pathway.

Thanks for your great stuff!

David Pearce,
Washington, D.C.

Anonymous said...

How are you all finding the functionality of the MicroShift derailleurs?

Anonymous said...

What is a federline?

VeloOrange said...

@Anon 4/9 11:25,

I've been pretty impressed. Good quality, easy adjustment, shifts nicely, great pricepoint. I have their 10 speed bar end shifters on one bike and they work flawlessly. They also have friction mode on their 10 speed shifter!

tugadude said...

Federline, as in the person Kevin Federline. It was a joke...

Aaron said...

I'm going to have to get one of those handlebar holders.

David Pearce said...

And I totally blew the joke!!! Bad on me!!!

Well, Federline, Fenderline, Fender Line,

Whateveh! 😃

🚲 🚵 🚴

philcycles said...

A really easy way to get a consistent fender line is to tape a length of plastic tubing to the wheel and lay the fender onto it. Vary the clearance with the tubing size.
Phil Brown

philcycles said...

BTW the tubing on the wheel thing is an old motorcycle builder's trick. I got it from the guy who helped me build up my first Triumph 50 years ago.
Phil Brown

Anonymous said...

A leather washer on the inside? Because...?

VeloOrange said...

@Anon 4/16/14,

I like to put a leather washers sandwiching the fender. The washer takes up the shape of the fender and prevents pressure points of metal on metal when tightening the screw down.

Anonymous said...

I recently installed fenders on my my Campeur and will offer a couple of comments from my experience.

A) Even better than presta valve nuts to adjust the fender position, I used spacers from old threaded-post brake pads. I have many different thicknesses. They are aluminum, and larger diameter than the valve nuts. You can even use the nesting concave/convex sets.

B) I installed fenders before the racks because I thought it would be easier to work from the "inside to the outside". I discovered my mistake when I tried to install the rack and found the fender was too high to permit the rack to fit. Now I see I should have installed the fenders last.

John Thurston
Juneau, Alaska