Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bike Shop Horrors: Doin' Some Mechanikin'!

The part of being a bicycle mechanic that I love the most is when I get to do some "creative fixing". The kind of job that doesn't have a ready made solution. I have to invent one. I have fun with this.

So we got this custom made trike in the other day. The guy that owns it rides a lot and wanted fenders.

Uh............fenders? On THAT?!

Well, I got to thinking on it. Typically I will grab some bits and pieces and start playing around with them to get ideas. Trying to see what might work from the vast inventory of bike part images in my brain. I piece things together mentally first. Then when I arrive on a possible solution, I go off in search of parts.  Well, as you can already see, I came up with something.

Here is a closer look. The trike had an odd kingpin arragement that made use of a threaded steer tube and was capped off by the thick, almost ahead set looking aluminum chunk on top of the normal spacers which in turn were on top of the head set lock nut and adjusting nut. I removed the spacers, and I replaced them with a cable hanger meant for a 1 inch head set placing it upside down. This piece was heavy chromed steel and was there to give the rack strap I placed under a longer top cap bolt some support. This was all the structure I would have to hold a fender in place above the wheel. The rack strap and head set brake hangar were tied together with a normal brake anchor bolt which had the usual "D" shaped key which fit perfectly into the brake hangar. I had to space out the area between the rack strap and hangar where the hangar was recessed with a Presta valve nut. So, I had a solid foundation to mount a fender from and it turned with the wheel since it all was spinning with the head set.

Here is a view backed away from the previous pic showing my upper mount for the fender. I made this from a rack strap custom bent with a vise and hammer. I bolted through the straps to two orphaned, and matching Bontrager plastic front fenders. The fender was placed over the top of the rack strap and the bolt was run through from the bottom, allowing maximum tire clearance. The nut on top was a linear pull brake pad nut, chrome, and tapered, which looked nice.

My intentions were to provide the fenders the customer desired without going to custom fenders, or great expense. All the parts used were orphaned, used parts, with the exception of the two chromed matching steel brake hangar spacers. My goal was to also allow the fenders to move if they were bumped, or crashed into without breaking any of the mounting structure. All the parts are common bicycle parts. So if anything did get bent beyond repair, or lost, it could easily be replicated by the shop I work at, or another shop. I also had to make sure the fenders cleared the steering bars and other cables and what not. I think I managed to do okay, given the parameters.

It may look like a "Frankenstien-fix", but I had fun with it, at any rate!

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