Sunday, November 13, 2011

Project Fat Fender, Part I

Nobody makes a fender that will work with a 4" wide tire. But there are some ingenious folks who have hacked together some pretty fine solutions and put them out there on the interwebs for all to see. I'm going to attempt to pirate one that I particularly dig.

Fatbikes currently use 26" wheels/tires, but by the time they get all pumped up and fat, their OD is much closer to a "normal" 29er tire. So my starting point is a brand new set of Planet Bike Cascadia 29er fenders. I shudder when I think about how I will be harming then.


The deal is basically this: You split a very nice, shiny set of production 2-1/2" wide fenders down the middle, and hack in a center section to make them 4+ inches wide. It sounds simple enough, but I'm fairly sure that I'm gonna have about 300 hours into a set of fenders that ends up looking like a kindergarten art project. Unfortunately, I'm all jacked up to give this a go and could care less about the value of my time.

Removal of all the hardware and mudflaps is the first thing that needs to happen . . .


Leaving you with a sad, non-returnable pile of parts that looks like this . . .


Once everything is stripped off the actual fenders, you're free to buzz em through the saw. I started with the front fender and it was a little rough. I refined my technique and the back fender came out a lot cleaner but trust me, of these two extremely boring videos, you want the shorter one . . .



The end result then, of the first hundred hours, is four pieces of plastic.


From the ashes of this dumpster fire something fabulous will eventually rise. Possibly.

7 comments:

alex wetmore said...

I'm glad to see that the bandsaw was sitting on the table saw. At first I thought you were going to make the cut with the table saw. Ouch!

Ward said...

Or you could just buy a motorcycle fender for $20.
http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/2/10/207/10017/ITEM/Acerbis-Front-Fender.aspx

Jonathan Eberly said...

Awesome Pat! I cant wait to see the final result. I'm sure it'll look better than if I or many others did it.

Pat S said...

Alex, I actually did a pretty extensive search for a super-thin-kerf, high TPI table saw blade, but came up empty. Luckily. I think my subconscious plan all along was to use this project to justify the band saw that I've been wanting for a year-and-a-half. ;-)

Ward, yeah, but then how could I have justified the band saw? Seriously though, thanks for the link - those fenders are cheap enough that they're worth ordering a couple just to play with. OT, I was checking out your blog and came across your post on Smokey Yunick. In a past life, I raced circle track and road race cars for a few years in the early-mid eighties. Seeing his name brought back a ton of memeories - I *lived* for his "Track Tech" column in Circle Track magazine.

Jon, if you never hear another word about these fenders, you'll know how they turned out. I hope you hear another word about them.

OlyBikes said...

My experience has been that the V-stays are inadequate for the _stock_ cascadias, and I think woudl utterly suck for your application. Such stays are not laterally stiff enough for the mass (and distance-from-axle)of a 29er, let alone one with material added to it for coverage of a supa-fatty tire. I tried to add a second set of stays to the fender to shore them up on my 29er, but it barely helped, because I was just using _more of the wrong design_. Instead, go with "hoop style" stays like you see on quality fenders like Berthoud, Honjo and their copiers. Much stiffer, laterally.

Pat S said...

Larry, totally agree. This bike will have racks front and rear, and that's where I plan to anchor these fenders.

jachmilli said...

They recommend a U-Lock, it is a heavy duty lock that is nearly impossible to break through. It can't guarantee your bike won't be stolen but it will discourage thieves from trying.
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