Before heading out last weekend, I finished up with a few minor things that needed polishing off on the snowbeast. Most of this bike worked great out of the box, but I fixed up the last few bits and everything rolled just about perfectly as a result…
First off, The bars – I thought about getting shorty titec bar-enders, but went luxe and picked up Ergon GP-2’s with the little nubbys. Every flat bar on planet earth should have these and they felt great with enough hand positions to keep me happy for 110 slowww miles. I had originally purchased that bell as an upgrade for the Trucker, but it was CRAZY HUGE and the only bike it looked and sounded natural on, was, well…
Next up, I needed a place to mount my light since I didn’t want it casting into the back of my mini bar bag upfront. I took a velox bar end, an old scrap of aluminum handlebar, a fat washer and a long bolt to make a light mount like this for free. I’ll eventually spring for the Gino because I want to mount it on the upper boss but have clearance issues with the arc of the fork. I thought the front tire would cast a terrible shadow, but it really isn’t that bad.
Not a new trick for me, but after slipping off the pedals in July and mangling myself I decided to set up Pug with what I should have in the first place. I got another set of grip kings and pinned them “2 in front, 1 in back”. Great traction, and my feet stayed just where they should all weekend. Now I have to go back and put a third pin on the set I’m using on the 1-speed. I was going to take the old pedals down to velocipede, but I think I’m just going to toss ’em. They really are a terrible design.
NOW for the fenders…
I really like what this guy did to Planet bike fenders (and I like his blog too), but I wanted something that kept the crud off my person while still being nearly painless to remove. Enter Planet Bike and their great philosophy about selling you little bits of whatever you need to make what you have work (here). For a few bucks I picked up a flipper fender front fork mount this spring and that was all I needed to cobble together the rest.
The only part I couldn’t manufacture myself
The fenders are made of an old coroplast sign that I trimmed to shape. The custom mount up-front is constructed from a few scraps of aluminum, a bit of an old cookie sheet, and some hardware sandwiched together. There are little notches carefully filed in it so when you slide it in place, it locks just like the original Planet Bike fender does. Press the tab and the fender slides off in 2 seconds.
The main problem I had was using the heat gun to melt the plastic to shape. Even being as delicate as possible I would burn it in spots, over-bend it in some areas, or just not get the curve I was looking for. The plastic was a little flimsy too. Then last week I had an idea while laying in bed waiting for sleep to come…
Take 2 old spokes from the junk bin, bend them in an arc approximately the same as how I wanted the fenders to curve, carefully slide them in the coroplast core from the bottom and ‘VIOLA’. Perfect bend and no flop. I still can’t believe how easy this was or how well it worked.
By comparison, the back fenders were easy. just trim, bend, and tether to the rack. Milk jug mudflap. I still need to make one for the front now that it’s stable enough to accept it without catching on my feet or the wheel every 2 seconds.
I used these little cable-keepers to mount the back fenders in place. I love these things as much as zip ties. The get dirty quicker, but they’re kinda washable and removable/reusable unlike ties which you have to toss every time. They don’t hold as strong, but this isn’t really a heavy-load application.
The last bit is this mini-fender behind the seat tube. It does a GREAT job keeping wheel funk off the front derailer and will stay in place even if I pull the other ones at some point. I used the spoke trick in this bit as well to pull off the perfect arc between the tire and cable.
I might get around to cleaning these up and trimming the edges perfectly, but for now they work awesome. Now I officially have ANOTHER bike that I have absolutely nothing I need to improve on.