18 June, 2018

Fun With Fender Stays

by Scott

Sometimes it's the little things that motivate you. Looking at something on your bike and wondering, how could I make this better? Now sometimes, we look at a problem/situation/quandary and create something like the Crazy Bar which requires a ton of tooling and testing. But in other cases, you're simply looking for a solution that shouldn't require a mass of tooling and trouble. Or you just want to have some fun with your bike stuff. Nothing wrong with that either!

These wonderful 5mm aluminum stays (available in silver and noir) are great for little projects around a bike. The fact that they are easy to cut - you can use a bolt cutter, a hacksaw or even saw through it with the file on your Leatherman - make them ideal for those little projects.

Our stays are simple pre-bent aluminum rod and are sized to use with our eyebolts and r-clips, so you can experiment with a whole bunch of setups that are only limited by your imagination.

So what have we used the stays for? Well for one thing, you can add one to the front of a fender if you want to stiffen it up.

Igor did this on the Campeur that he took to Eroica California. Ideally, you'd be using a front rack to secure the front of the fender, but a bent fender stay works equally well to keep everything tidy over washboard roads.

You can also bend one to support a front bundle.

Or bend one up to create a standoff for a rear bag. This one also doubles as a tube or jacket holder.

Creating the bend can be done by hand or by using something solid like a pivot point on a vise.

Using a vise to bend a stay. I like using a vise, but a pair of pliers could do the same job

We sell the stays in pairs for three reasons: 1) for those who are mounting vintage fenders without stays 2) transferring fenders from one bike to another and the length required is different 3) if you just need one, it would be a huge bummer cutting it too short and having to order another - plus it's nice to have a spare for improptu projects.

I'm sure there are lots of things people have used stays for. Anyone have a good story of what they used one or two for?


Rod A Bruckdorfer said...

As usual, your post are very informative. I like the idea do making a seat post standoff for saddlebags.


Unknown said...

can you show the seatpost attachment for the rear bag support you made. Very interesting.

Is the Al rod solid or hollow?

VeloOrange said...

It's pretty simple! The solid rod is bent into a spatula shape, and attach the ends with R-clips with a single bolt and nut going all the way through.


Anonymous said...

As Velo Orange fender stays and their attaching hardware are of an ancient, classic design, 110 years of tinkering on bicycles has produced some clever uses. The French tourists, especially tandem teams, used them for a variety of purposes, as you can see in old photos. Many early (and, I guess, current) cantilever brake designs were easy to foul with luggage bags. Protectors made from fender stays were the answer. Fender stays formed the basis of several rear-wheel dress-guards, when bicyclists wore dresses.

I myself have used them to add support and stiffness inside vintage canvas panniers. Not very clever, I acknowledge, since I was just using them as pre-bent rod stock. But the attaching hardware was used to good effect as well.

Ciao Cyclismo

Dave Small said...

Thanks, Scott. I've never thought of these uses before, and you've planted a seed. The question is: Can I make mine look as symmetrical and pretty as the ones in your pictures? With practice, I suppose. I'll get some in my next order, and will get plenty of extras to use climbing the learning curve.