Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Triple D 2014: Modifications

SKS Grand MOM Fender mods in progress
The Triple D forecast has been vacillating back and forth from being over freezing to below freezing. In the case of an above freezing event, I have come up with something to keep my arse dry while traveling across the open farm fields and on the Heritage Trail where water could easily soak my backside and may end up making me freeze to death.

I have an SKS Grand MOM fender that's been on the Fargo and I pressed it into service on the Ti Mukluk. I knew it would be a bit shy of doing what I wanted, but I figured I would give it a shot regardless. Hey- maybe I might be wrong! Turns out I wasn't- I got my backside wet despite having this clipped to the Mukluk.

My buddy, MG, also has this fender and he showed me an image of what he did to his and reported to me that it worked great. He simply extended the coverage by adding layers of Gorilla Tape. I was looking for something a bit more permanent, since if this worked out, the fender would live on a fat bike the rest of its useable life, and not on the Fargo anymore.

I thought that a "skeleton" of some sort would maybe give the Gorilla Tape some structure and may last longer than MG's admittedly temporary set up for his rig. (A gorgeous Singular Puffin, by the way.) So I gave thought to doing something a bit different than MG had done. Now when I "give thought" to something, it may appear that I've gone into a trance, and when Mrs. Guitar Ted saw me in the Lab staring at By-Tor, she was taken aback by my statuesque appearance, but I assured her I was okay, "just thinking! Visualizing, actually would be more accurate. I had an idea and I had to wait to get to work to act on it.

Finished project.

I used some stainless steel spokes, a couple of nipples, and a vise to help me bend things rightly. Then I used the old Hozan spoke threader tool to do a bit of thread rolling and there you have it. A skeleton waiting to be "fleshed out"! I also drilled and punched out four small holes in the SKS fender to mount the "skeleton" and used the J-bend of the spokes to keep the ends from pulling through.

My Gorilla Tape was at home, so I had to wait to get home to start taping it up. I imagined myself doing a "poor man's carbon layup" as I was applying the tape in sections both on top and underneath the fender. I used several small strips and patches to make it have the best structure and retain a modicum of decent looks. My symmetry was off a bit, but at least it isn't totally atrocious!

I figure I gained about an inch in width on each side and about an inch and a half- two inches out back for extended coverage. Now all I have to do is test it out, but with all the remaining days up to Triple D forecast to be below the freezing mark, I am not sure that will happen. However; if Triple D does get warmer and things look to get sloppy, I'll be ready. It's a two second job to take it off or install it, and I'll have peace of mind for the event, and a fender to keep me cleaner if I ride By-Tor to work and back during wetter times.

There's one more modification coming. It is a major one, and given the conditions on the route of Triple D are now "hard as concrete", as described by the promoter, this mod may be a really smart one. That might show up tomorrow or today. Stay tuned for that big switch........


MG said...

Nice work, Brother! We will be ready...

rideonpurpose said...

Looks good, but no way that's a "poor man's" carbon layup... gorilla tape costs more than carbon supplies. Drives me nuts too!

I'm starting to contemplate bringing the actual mountain bike out of the basement as an option. No way I'm taking the start again on super slow studded tires.

The high temperatures though... might mean a trail that was 'hard' turns into fastest on fat tires real quick.

Guitar Ted said...

@rideonpurpose: Oh, I have no idea what carbon fiber stuff costs, but I am sure my tape job isn't as strong! In that way, it is "poor", most likely.

I hear you on the softness issue. I am thinking that if the forecast is correct, and the Sun is out, it could get real interesting on those trail sections coming back into town!