11 July 2014

Full Fenders - SKS P65 Chromoplastic

Hardtail mountain bike Rockrider 5.3 with full fenders rack stand and lights

A couple of rides in wet conditions had me convinced I needed mudguards. I quickly got myself a pair of inexpensive BTwin Clip-Ons, but after seeing little improvement I decided I needs full mudguards. Full mudguards need some investment of time and energy, but are worth it in the long run. This post details fender selection, installation, and links to other useful stuff.
Planet Bike SpeedEZ polycarbonate fenders installed on a bicycle with disc brakes and non traditional frame shape
Planet Bike SpeedEZ fenders
The options were few. There were the stainless steel fenders from Velo Orange, there were the SKS chromoplastics, and there were some polycarbonate ones from PlanetBike (PB). I couldn't possibly afford the steel ones, so it had to be one of PB Cascadia, PB SpeedEZ ATB, and the SKS Chromoplastics. The SpeedEZ (photo on right) are designed for bikes having disk brakes and/or without eyelets - they attach to the fork and seat stays.

The Chromoplastics (seemed to) offer a little more coverage. I got the impression from fora that the attachment point on the SpeedEZ was prone to breakage, and Chromoplastics appeared more durable all round, so I picked those. Since I'm using 1.75in wide tires, I picked the widest set available - the 65mm P65s.
(The PBs are wider and can accomodate up to 2.25in tires, plus they sell all the small parts you might need. The good folks at Happy Earth now have P65 Longboards - even more coverage)

Original packing of SKS Fenders
SKS P65 Chromoplastic Fenders - 65mm profile width
The fenders arrived a few weeks later from Evans, in a nice box. I had seen the RivBike video (isn't the music just awesome?) so I knew what to expect. I started with the rear fender, which was the easier of the two. The procedure was as RivBike have described, with the constraint that the fender stays had to clear the disc caliper. A pair of 1inch m5 spacers (and drilled out the threading), with a pair of M5x35 mm bolts solved that. I'd have liked stainless steel, but I got impatient so I just got the MS ones. They're not going to be threaded on anyway.

M5 x 25mm MS Spacer with internal threading
Spacers - threads not yet removed
Picture of the spacer installed

Once that was done I measured off where to cut the stays. I hadn't got bolt cutters as RivBike suggests, so I used a hacksaw with a HSS blade, and filed off the burrs afterward.

Now for the tricky part - the front fender. There are no eyelets on the fork near the dropouts. I could try to attach the stays to the axle but that would mean fiddling with the fender every time then wheel had to be removed, which might become a nuisance on a brevet. So I looked into attaching the stays to the fork legs themselves. People have used zip ties as well but P-Clamps seemed more reliable. The fenders are light, so there's almost no mechanical load to bear.
MS Pipe Clamp
P Clamp installed on Fork
P-Clamp installed on top of a piece
of old tube ziptied  to the fork
I kept the P-Clamps as low as possible without interfering with the disk caliper and cable. Before I mounted the PClips on the fork, I drilled the holes for attaching the Secu-Clips. A little geometry and AutoCAD helped figure out how/where to bend the stays, so that they were radial at the fender, yet retaining the original angle at the Secu-Clip.
Small velcro band holding fender on tire
Preparing to cut stays - small velcro bands help keep everything in place.
Patience is the key - if you cut too much your stays will
become useless and SKS don't sell spares!

I've used these for a while now, and they're working great so far. I'd have liked a longer mudflap on the front, though. Should have waited to get them in black...

I'll include here some photos and links that I found useful. If you need any info just leave a comment below.
Indian Steel fenders on a Trek MTB
Trek MTB with indian steel fenders Trek MTB with indian steel fenders
Zipties to attach SecuClip to fork
Zipties to attach SecuClip to a fork with no eyelets
SKS Raceblade 'Long'
SKS Long Raceblade fenders providing great coverage on a "Road"bike with no eyelets and no clearance at the brake
The Clipons I used for the Huliyurdurga 200
Clip on Fenders on my bicycle during a Brevet

Update: Added some more photos I had collected at the time
Fender Stay attached to disc mount on one side and P Clamp on other
Photo showing fender stay end attached to one of the disc caliper mounting bolts for a bike with no eyelets at the fork dropouts. Same bike with the stays on the other side attached to the fork end using a P-Clamp
Fenders and a front rack (!) on a Specialized hardtail
Specialised Hardtail with fender stays attached using P Clips. See how the stays are single - not V shaped like for the SKS Fender stays attached to fork legs using P Clamps. Note how the stays are single and are not radial at the fender attachment point.
PB SpeedEZ fenders on mountainbikes
Yellow Motobecane MTB with Planet Bike SpeedEZ fenders A silver coloered (Titanium perhaps?) mountain bike with Planet Bike SpeedEz Fenders
Use of zip ties (L) and P Clamps (R)
Full fenders with rear stays zip tied to the rear rack ends
Measuring Stays for cutting (From Riv Bike video)
Screenshot from the RivBike video. Note where the stay has been marketd. Note also that if the stay is bending laterally you will need to keep some margin to account for that!

More on SKS fender installation is here.

Some useful data for the 5.3:
Fork crown threaded hole: M6
Fork Leg Dia: 38mm approx

Update: (2014/10/26) Some more photos from around the web giving examples of fender stays and disc brakes coexisting:

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