Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fenders part 1: sizing things up

dry fit
If you intend to ride more than 3 months of the year in Seattle you have fenders on your bike, in my very first post on this blog I took a pair of very nice Velo Orange fluted fenders off my Handsome Devil and I haven't had a fendered bike in the almost 5 years since.  I am looking to change that by putting those same fenders back into service on the Passage.  The shot above is me placing the rear fender with no attachments just to see how it fits.

What I discovered by dry fitting is that a) my fender is too fat to reach the bridge just behind the kickstand mount and b) the hole on the bridge is on the Y axis and the corresponding hole on the fender is on a X axis.

When I went back to the HD to check on how the fenders would have worked on it, I discovered that the space between the stays was 4 cm as opposed to just 3 cm for the Passage and the bolt hole in the stay by the kickstand is on a X axis like the fender hole.

Fortunately I have some left over fender brackets that I think will help with the mounting and as you can see I found my original VO fender instructions which will help as well.

I also found that the original stays are kind of jacked up and although I recall carefully bagging and tagging all the fender hardware back in 2012 its no where to be found, so I placed an order with Velo Orange to get replacements.

I also had to deal with the fenderbot on the rear fender, after 5 years the batteries were deadsville, I was able to get the bot going again with a fresh set - as you can see above.  I like the fenderbot but one complaint I, and others, have is that the light is kinda weak.  Not a huge deal since I will also be running a planet bike superflash in the back, but I think Portland Design Works, maker of the fenderbot, has since updated their rear lights to be brighter.

My biggest challenge, pre-mounting, is getting this pair of fenders cleaned up, they went right from the Handsome Devil to the boneyard 5 years ago and although under cover they were still exposed to the elements.  That means cruddy on the inside and corrosion and water spots on the outside.

I usually start a clean up with the Armor All wipes which takes off the dirt and grime.  The issue I had dealing with the fenders after the Armor All treatment was "water spotting".

When I went straight to Mothers polish the results were just ok, cleaned up fender on the right, shinier but still spotty.  I tried going with Turtle-wax chrome cleaner and also rubbing compound but neither was any more effective than just the Mothers.

Not sure if you can tell from the pictures above but the part above the top blue tape has been gone over with my old friend, super fine steel wool (0000) and then followed up with Mothers the part between the blue tape has just had the steel wool treatment to remove the water spotting-clean but dull, and part below the tape shows all the water spotting.  So I am going to need to sit down on the balcony, with a beverage and do some serious cleaning before I do any more with these fenders.

By the way you know you are doing a good job polishing when your micro-fiber towel is black from taking the corrosion off, when you can buff with no black coming off you know you are done.  I might have to order a new pack of micro-fiber towels.

Once I get around to having the fenders all mounted I can break this guy out of the box and have an actual rack on the Passage.

I was watching a video from the BikemanforU on adjusting center pull brakes, he was using a Park Tool that clamps the two brake pads together (BT-1) and I thought hey that would be great!  However, when I searched for it on the Park Tool site I got no joy, they no longer make it, but Amazon had a similar tool, the third hand tool, and it was only $10 so I took the plunge.  Yesterday I was on Amazon checking something and saw that the third hand tool had been delivered and went to check my mail box.  At first I thought they had sent me the wrong thing as the package was so small, but no the tool was just very petite as you can see with the spoon for reference.

The pictures above show me testing it out on the Motobecane Grand Touring, if you have ever tried to work on center pull brakes; holding the brake pads closed, pulling up on the straddle wire while pulling down on the brake cable and then tighten things up -all at the same time, you know why I finally decided to get this tool.

Hope to have more fender action soon. Ride.Smile.Repeat.

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