Fender Fixes. a tip from Bairdco Industries.

Discussion in 'Motor Bicycle Safety And Stolen Motorized Bicycle ' started by bairdco, Dec 28, 2009.

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  1. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    seems like everytime someone posts a picture of their new cruiser, one of the first replies is, "those fenders will fall off, and you will flip over the bars..."

    to me, fenders are what make up a cruiser. without them, there's just no style. plus, fenders keep dirty water and mud from splashing up on you and your engine.

    so here's some tips that've worked for me since before i even thought of motorizing my bike:

    first, the quality of the fender is a big part in keeping them, and you, alive. if you've got really cheap, flimsy fenders, the easiest thing to do is upgrade them to Wald fenders (Wald Bicycle Baskets, Training Wheels, Fenders, Racks, and Accessories - Fenders.) these are available everywhere. they've been the most popular fender for a million years. they make almost every style and every size you could want. the chrome is awesome, and the mounting hardware is excellent. and you can buy struts, brackets, etc, seperately. they're about $30 a pair, or less.

    regardless of what fenders you have, i'm gonna show you how to make them better.

    if your fender struts are riveted on, drill those out. the older they get, the looser they get, and they'll eventually fail. especially the new, cheap aluminum rivets on dept.store bikes.

    now that you have the fender struts off, slip some heat shrink tubing (usually 1/2" fits) on, and slide it up to the middle, and shrink it on there. (PIC 1) poke some holes for the bolts with a phillips screwdriver or something.

    this gives you a rubberized, non-slip contact surface, and is probably the best tip for dampening the vibration.

    replace the struts with some good bolts, washers, and nylock lock nuts. i use black,grade 8 button head allen bolts, just because they look cool. (PIC 2 you can see the heat shrink sticking out, and PIC 3)

    for the center bracket in the front, my bike's old enough that it has a threaded, welded cap in the bottom of the fork, but your's probably has a cheap, flimsy "L" bracket. REPLACE THAT NOW. get a steel bracket from Lowes, or buy a Wald one, or make one, but whatever you do, make a strong one. this is the main cause for fender failures. that breaks, fender slides and jams up, you need new teeth.

    replace that hardware too, and make it match, so it looks good.

    now you can spray the underside of your fenders with rubberized undercoating, if you want. it's supposed to help with the vibes, but i've never done it, just because my fenders don't rattle anyway.

    so, you're ready to mount them to your bike.

    if your bike has a seperate hole in the rear drop-outs, i'd mount them there. some bikes have these holes, but still mount to the axles. i dunno why.

    what's always bugged me about mounting fenders to the axles, is that the strut is so flimsy, it gets bent, chewed up, and there's a cheap piece of tin coming between the solid steel of my forks, and an axle nut. it just seems like a weak link to me. plus, old bikes like mine have strut rods (PIC 4) and having all this stuff held on by my axle nuts bugs me.

    if your lucky, you have long enough axles, and you can do like i do (PIC 5.)

    that should about cover it.

    good hardware, no rivets, heatshrink, strong brackets, solid mounting.

    my fenders don't move when i ride, and they're 70 years old.
     

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  2. Spunout

    Spunout MB Builder Extraordinaire

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    you could also keep the existing cheap, flimsy L bracket where it is and add a thick, strong one to the other side of the forks.
    you're 100% right about getting rid of the rivets. and DO keep the fenders...they add alot. i just recently started putting them back on my builds.

    also, because the newer fender braces arent nearly as well-made as the older bikes, you can double them up.

    bairdco: nice post, hey. with the multiple (myriad, actually) same-o, same-o threads/posts regarding this very issue, IMHO this should be a sticky in the Motor Bicycle Safety lobby.
     
    #2 Spunout, Dec 28, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  3. azbill

    azbill Active Member

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    very good info (^)
    I agree with spun...this should be a sticky :)
     
  4. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    agreed, done an' did ;)
     
  5. K.i.p

    K.i.p New Member

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    Great post and it reaffirms some thoughts I had arrived at on my own. Now I don't feel quite so unsure about implementing them. I am thinking about doing brazing rather than using nuts and bolts but the outcome is the same, no rivets. The one rivet on the back fender is already removed. Thanks for posting.
     

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  6. azbill

    azbill Active Member

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    thank you Bairdco !!!...
    I incorporated your heat-shrink anti-rattle idea into my stretch and those full wrap fenders are QUIET (^)
    I even heat-shrinked where the struts touch the rear of the frame ;)

    sorry for the indoor pics,,it's raining ;)
     

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  7. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    I just came to the same conclusion last night about needing fenders to complete the look. I spent most of the day installing the rear fender.

    My fenders are bobbed on the ends and were very short. I decided they'd look better if I rotated the rear fender back. I used my rear rack for support as well as one mount on the frame. The fasteners are 6mm ss button head screws and fender washers on nyloc bolts on the underside.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #7 biknut, Oct 22, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  8. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate New Member

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    One of the coolest fender upgrades I have seen was a modified door hinge used as an "L bracket". since the hinge was made to hold a heavy door, its a given that a fender is not hard on it, and since it can flex, vibration shouldn't split it.

    re: if your bike has a seperate hole in the rear drop-outs, i'd mount them there. some bikes have these holes, but still mount to the axles. i dunno why.



    They are probably cargo rack eyelets. Also, some fender sets come with struts that might have large holes for the axle already, so that is what is used. Plus, using the axle saves $ for bike mfgrs.
     
  9. chainmaker

    chainmaker New Member

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    Thanks for the post, its always good to be reminded of the little things
     
  10. OG-Whizzerdude

    OG-Whizzerdude New Member

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    I had a little fender problem on a ride up in the Sacramento Delta area awhile back. I had my bobbed fender scimming the back wheel about 1/4". I hit a bump going around 50 MPH. The seat hit the fender and the wiring tabs on the under side of the fender got caught in the knobs on the tire. Locked up the back wheel instantly. I didn't go down but I never knew my hips could swival like that. Oh what a day!
    Good fender advice here. It could have been real bad.
    Quenton builds one heck of a hot rod whizzer motor and I thank him.
     
    #10 OG-Whizzerdude, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  11. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate New Member

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    It seems like the biggest problem with the fenders is that they ride so close to the tires.

    I have omitted fenders on my bike, but do miss them sometimes. If I built my own frame and fork, I'd run fenders, but would have at least a couple inches between the tire and fender. The people running 24" wheels on 26" bikes probably do ok.
     
  12. turnofftheradio

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    I recently built a bike with fenders. I did read this post and thought to myself I should brace these up like it has been done here. I didn't. Today my bracket snapped. myself and my bike are fine, but this could have been a disaster. My advice, read this thread, follow it, do not postpone because yours "looks ok"

    my bracket:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    my bike has 500 miles, 120 motorized.

    Be careful out there :)
     
  13. JonnyR

    JonnyR New Member

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    im glad i have my fenders they just ripped up all the roads around here and im going to have to ride around on dirt for a un determined period of time.
    i have pyramid fenders they are cheap but really strong
     
    #13 JonnyR, Sep 19, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  14. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    the bike i used for this how-to is still together, and still ridden almost every day. i have NEVER had to tighten the fenders on it, and it's going on 3 years now.

    so there...:)
     
  15. allen standley

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    Excellent info it compliments wonderfully my fender fix to prevent broken tabs. Check out my fender picture album.
     
  16. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate New Member

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    Are there Wald fenders for 700x38 tires?

    Be careful out there :)[/QUOTE]
     
    #16 happycheapskate, May 24, 2013
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  17. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate New Member

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    That looks good. The stock tabs are junk. Your fender tabs look really strong, probably as strong as the brake bolt/fixing bolt.

     
  18. soup325

    soup325 New Member

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    It depends on how long and what the guards are made of.

    If you had long, steel/chrome guards on the bike that had the struts bolt/screwed to the eye/lug on the frame, it makes the job of changing the rear wheel harder (in my opinion). You maybe able to push the guards to side if plastic.

    If the struts are mounted to the axle, the guard, struts, and the wheel will come out at once. once the front bolt has undone of course.
     
  19. huffypower

    huffypower New Member

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    I have had problems with my cranbrook fenders. Awhile back the tab on the rear fender snapped so i got a 1" stanley L bracket and bolted it on. Good to go for awhile. Just last week after a ride i noticed that a strut on the front fender was missing! Snapped off at the screw plate. Looked at the rear and it was snapped to but still there. Now i work at an auto shop so i took some muffler pipe with the correct cir and cut a 1/2" peice to match the arc and welded the struts back together. With the muffler pipe it will never be the weak link again.

    As for the fro.t with the missing fender, i am currenty in the process making a muffler pipe chunk to match the arc plus tabs 2" then found in the shop some 1/4" round stock thats doubled and welded 3/8" apart that i will weld to the tabs and make a mounting plate on the hub side. Should be pretty darn sturdy. Pics to come. Fenders are great but need beefing up from motor vibes
     
  20. TheNecromancer13

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    I knew a guy who didn't have a motor on his bike, but did have homemade fenders: pieces of 3/4 inch steel pipe which he had sliced in half (think 'C' shape) and bent into shape by slicing notches in the sides and hitting it repeatedly with a hammer. Then he welded the fenders to the frame. Strongest fenders I've ever seen, they could probably withstand a bomb blast.
     

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