Showing posts with label fenders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fenders. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Making Fat My Friend

Well hello everyone! Apologies for not writing more, it is a busy time for the Rantwick family. We have an old house that still had quite a bit of knob and tube wiring in it; a service upgrade and nearly complete rewire has happened. Our walls are now full of holes, but I think they are quite attractive. But enough of houses and wire and boring house stuff! Let's move on to equally boring Rantwick finally has his f__ing fat bike stuff!

I have been commuting on the Fat bike for most of the month. We are now very good friends, which is a must for any bike you plan to ride through the winter. For me, a bike is not commute worthy until it has a rack and fenders. Last time I mentioned the rack, and this time I'm pleased to report that I have fenders! I ordered them from a Canadian fat e-bike builder, and the fit was not exactly a slam dunk:

On the up side, these are full, aluminum fenders! That's something you don't see on a fat bike every day! Unless, of course, we're talking about one of those electric utility bike jobs. While we've had plenty of rain, I have yet to be caught in some. If the hole I had to cut just blows water all over the back of my calves, I will have to cover it somehow, probably with some sort of miracle tape. For now though, I'm hoping it might act as an outlet for snow buildup under the fender. The clearance is pretty tight at the back and greater as you move forward, so hopefully snow buildup under there won't be too big an issue anyway.

I have finally also gotten the thing off road! It has been tricky finding natural areas where bikes are not restricted. In London Ontario's east end there's an area near my work that provides both some power line right of ways and a nice little bush with smooth and easy single track running through it:

I have some limitations to how difficult a trail I can ride, but if ever a bike would encourage me to try more and more, this thing would be it. I can ride through all of this on a 40 minute lunch time ride, so it is pretty awesome.

Speaking of trails, I have also studded up some Schwalbe Jumbo Jims that I have yet to mount to the rims, not wanting to run the studs on pavement until winter is in the air. They are meant to finally allow me to ride the bike paths along the river that I love in summer right through their icy, unplowed winter months. With the rack, big metal fenders and studded tires on, this will be one serious winter commuting machine. So nerdy. So clownish. So BIG. Oh baby.

I'm a little afraid that they  (the Jumbo Jims) will air up bigger than these tires and hit the fenders, but a little suspense never hurt, right? Right?

Hoping Your Summer is Great Too,

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Axiom Fatliner Rack vs. Future Fenders

I've been a fan of Axiom racks for a long time. While they're not high end rack bling, they are well made quality racks rated for lots of weight at half the price. In addition, I've always liked their mounting system, which uses nifty mount points with nice looking rods rather than those flat attachment things.

I'm also a fan of full fenders. On my new Fat Bike, I will have both. The thing is, the Axiom Fatliner rack I've bought and really like would interfere with the future fenders, which are on their way.

This isn't my bike, but here's how an Axiom Fatliner would normally be installed. As you can see, there would likely be a problem mounting fenders to the seatstay bridge; the rods get too close to the tire.

To future-proof for my bike's fenders, I sacrificed a little bit of deck space (my panniers will be carrying all I need usually anyway) and moved the mounting post anchor things up top.

TaDa! Future Fender Funkily Facilitated!

On a related note, I used the rear quick release skewer as the lower mounting point, leaving the frame mounting points for fender stays. This suited me extra fine because this method got the rack as low as possible.

I have yet to see if the fenders I've ordered will go on easily or present me with problems. Stay tuned, dear reader, god knows I will feel the need to bore you with that next. 

Yer Pal,

PS - I have received nothing from Axiom or anyone else for this blog post. I just like Axiom racks.

PPS - A comment from Mighk made me want to add this picture of hardware that came with that I didn't use:

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Old leaf Under Yer Fender: A Natural Patience Tester

Riding in the Fall is the absolute best. One symptom of Autumn, of course, is falling leaves. I think just about everyone who rides a bike has had one such leaf sucked into some tight space (like under your fender) where it proceeds to make a high pitched rubbing noise. You know pretty much exactly where it is and what it is. You know it isn't doing any harm. You keep riding, hoping it will dislodge itself, knowing that every second it remains lessens the likelihood of it doing so.

Today's leaf was under my front fender, so I tried lifting my front wheel and smacking it back down a couple of times while I rode. No joy. I was running my video camera, so I was able to check after my ride; I lasted just over 4 minutes before I stopped and let the leaf fall out from under there.

pic from 2012

Mrs. Rantwick says I have a very annoying ability to block out and be unperturbed by abrasive sounds, like the seat belt dinger in the car or the dog barking at the TV. Indeed, on the very same ride as the leaf thing, a cell phone alarm that I had failed to dismiss properly started going off. I just let it. It went off over and over, in 3 predictable attempts. I didn't care. So what's the difference? An annoying sound is much less annoying when you know how long it will last. Uncertainty about how much longer you'll have to wait for relief makes all the difference, at least to me.

Anyway, back to the "leaf rub". What is your tolerance like? How long do you typically last before having to address the issue? In the end, I consider "leaf rub" a small price to pay for the glories of riding in Autumn, so bring it on, ya little bastards!

Yer Pal,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fixed Gear Bicycles - I'm Too Square to be Hip

When riding on snow and ice, I prefer a mountain bike with gears and studded knobby tires. The rest of the time, however, my commuter bike is a fixed gear. When some people think of fixed gear bikes, they think of the track bikes favoured by lots of young trendy people in big cities. Bikes like this:

or this

The thing is that track bikes look dead cool, but they aren't particularly practical for carrying anything with you or staying dry, and many track frames are not drilled to accept brakes. Because you can stop a fixed gear bike with your legs, some people ride them brakeless, just as they are ridden on the track. I have no interest in blowing out my knees or learning the skip/skid stops commonly used by urban brakeless riders. Just so you understand what it is I'm not inclined (or skilled enough) to do, here are some examples:

Skip Stop

Skid Stop:

I can stop faster braking than I could skidding, and skidding eats up your tires. I use my legs to slow my bike down sometimes, of course, but my knees can't take much of those hard "backward" forces without complaining. So, I have a brake.

After some trial and error with pre-built bikes and some clumsy but educational experiments with building a fixed gear using an old road frame, I built up my current bike from scratch, gathering new or almost new parts from all over the place and taking my time. Everybody is different when it comes to what bike will suit them best. For getting around in the city quickly while still being able to carry stuff and ride in the rain (i.e. commute), this is my ideal bike.

It's many beautiful but un-hip features have been highlighted for the benefit of anyone who may mistakenly think that it is cool.

Rantwick's Bike

Fenders: Not cool, but right. Unused cable stops and guides: so much for the much touted "clean lines" of the fixie ideal; I saw no reasons other than BS ones to remove them. Over-researched panniers: well, they are panniers. Automatic un-cool points. Cheesy graphics: to be honest, if they hadn't been under the clearcoat, they would be long gone. Since they are under the clearcoat, I see no reason other than excessive vanity to remove them. Wheels: those are good, solid wheels. They lack sufficient colour and/or non-rimbrakeableness to be cool. If that big hyphenated made-up word confused you, you are normal, if a little un-hip. Rear rack: rack. enough said. Cantilever Brake: it's a brake on a fixie. To be fair, many fixed gear riders use a brake, just not the very hippest ones. By the way, it's not a break, it's a brake; that particular mistake, and its frequency in bike-related Internet stuff, bothers me quite a lot. Mud Flap: It's home-made, from a rubber stair tread for god's sake! Don't I at least have enough self-respect to buy a leather one for $40? Will the nerdiness never end? Well no, not yet...

What's the most un-cool? Knowing a word like kludge? Using it? Alliterating those K's? Using an old bicycle tube in two, no, wait... three distinct ways? The fact that it looks WAY nerdier with the camera (it was in use somewhere else at the time, I forget where) mounted on it? It doesn't really matter, does it? Special weirdo measures taken in order to mount a camera on your bike (thank God it's not my head/helmet) boil down to GEEK, full stop.

Stay Hip,


P.S. During my final read-over of this post, it occurred to me that this whole thing looks like a thinly-veiled excuse to to say, "hey, look at the bike I built! I am so very proud of myself!" Self-awareness blows. Add one more tick to the geek meter...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Enough Said

My Dad died one week ago. I am not really looking to discuss his passing online, but he did have a little something to say about commuting by bicycle.

When I was home this/last summer, I mentioned to my Father that I had become a commited bicycle commuter, rain or snow or shine.

Always a man of few words, my Dad said, "good for you. Do you have fenders?" I replied that yes, I have full fenders, in fact, fenders I had to special order to meet my exacting standards. He had very little interest in my standards, but responded by saying, "oh good. I see these guys riding around town with stripes of dirty water up their backs and I think they look idiotic".

Enough Said.