This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A wrenching epiphany/ delusions realized

The experts all say we reach a point in life where all denial fades, a crisis so great hits that we face our inadequacies and reach a denouement, a real turning point.  A moment of clarity leads us in a new direction and clears the fog of life away to grow upward on a new path.  My moment came yesterday.  After reaching the bottom of my second mug of Oberon at Hooters, the clarity hit me-- I have a Sheldon's Fender Nut at home!  I didn't know where, but I know I didn't need it on a previous fender installation had to be there.   I raced home and spent a feverish half an hour fumbling about my garage like a besotted Dudley Moore trying to fix a plastic napkin holder, but I found it!
Sheldon's Fender Nuts are an ingenious design from the late and irreplaceable  Sheldon Brown.   It is a nut for recessed brake bolts which has a threaded extension to allow a 6mm bolt to attach an L-bracket or sliding bridge and provide a little more freedom installing fenders.  It's just what I wanted to get the fender clearance I needed on the rear without interfering with the brakes.
After attaching the sliding bridge I bent the upper part of the bracket to prevent it from slipping down

and I magically had all the clearance I need on the rear.  The bridge will be flattened out and a better install will be made after I have the frame repainted, but now I know it will work.
Confident that I had all the problems solved and could "tweek" the fender lines when I reinstall them, I took it out for a test.  Boy had I screwed up!
The front brakes were practically useless, forced the fenders into the tires and the front fender rubbed anytime I got out of the saddle. Without realizing it, I had forced the brake calipers almost closed by cinching the fender up into the fork.  I pondered on this and found no solution but to cut the front of the fender off.
The brake bridge in front just does not have the proper angle to create a usable clearance for the tire.

The real problem is the head tube angle and fork slope.  The brakes extend that angle and force the fender into the tire. There is just no more vertical room.
That is the classical problem found on 70-80's road bikes, they just weren't built for anything but fast riding.
I'm just going to have to sacrifice that appearance for any kind of performance,
 but functionally, I don't need the front part of the fender anyway.


  1. A friend of mine had the same problem with some wooden fenders. He cut the fender in two pieces and mounted both pieces with an improvised bracket that he made from a cabinet drawer handle.

    I don't know if that makes any sense or not. I am sure you can get that front part on there also. Look around on the internet I bet you find someone else who has already done it.

  2. It can be done, but from a structural standpoint it's probably unnecessary. It kinda sorta broke my heart to cut it, but I'm not sure I'd like the appearance after patching it together with a bracket. On the other hand, it won't hurt to try.


  3. I ran into similar clearance problems trying to install Planet Bike Cascadia fenders on my Miyata 710 with 27 x 1.25 tires and the original sidepull brakes. I ended up using a Dremel to cut out a (roughly) rectangular section from the top of each fender, clearing the brake parts that interfered. A lot easier to do with plastic than aluminum, I'm sure! Kind of a kludge, but it's not really visible unless you get up close, and I'm just happy to have any fenders on there at all!

  4. Unfortunately it's the top of the fender which causes the problem. I've obsessed over a solution and I think,thanks to a previous suggestion by somervillian, I have a sort of solution to try in the morning. Stay tuned, naked tires bug me these days, something is bound to happen.