So this past weekend I should have been finishing up my piece for ACJW (which, don’t worry, I did!) but mostly I was procrastinating by working on my bike. I’m sure about two people who read this blog are interested in this sort of thing, so I thought it would be funny to write about it.
Installing these new Velo Orange fenders took by far the most time (and inspired the most cursing). I’d put a different pair of them on my old Peugeot, and while it took some fiddling, the job was relatively straightforward. My new Mercian has what we refer to as “tighter clearances” meaning you really have to wedge the thing up in the fork there (see above). Unfortunately the “fork crown daruma” that VO includes to hang it there was too long and poked into the top of the tire. OK, no problem, I thought, I’ll just measure and cut the bolt shorter. Here is where the cursing commenced; I cut the bolt too short, so that I couldn’t thread the nut on. Note to future self: measure twice, cut once.
I remembered seeing some VO fenders for sale down at Bespoke Bicycles in Fort Greene, and luckily, they had an extra daruma bolt they were willing to sell me for five dollars. I think I would have happily paid $50 at that point, so great was my consternation. Thanks, Bespoke, for not taking advantage of my predicament. So I threw my fender-less bike back together for a quick trip to pick up the bolt, raced back, cut the new bolt about half a centimeter longer this time, stuck it up in there, and the wheel still rubbed. Not much, but I still needed another two or three millimeters of extra space. I decided I had to to replace the big rubber washer that goes up against the fender with something half the thickness, so I took out my X‑acto and traced a new one into a scrap of rubber padding from a cheap light bracket that was lying around. Guess what it works. I think that took about 18 hours total. Moral: don’t hire me as a professional bike mechanic.
Also I hate the included bendy clip for the rear fender, so I drilled a hole in the top of the fender to attach it to the seat stay bridge with an L‑bracket and a couple of leather washers (to dampen vibrations). Much more elegant:
Oh and also I waxed the chain, as per Grant Petersen. I’m not entirely convinced— things seem a bit noisy now— but it sure is clean.