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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fat Fender Project Part 1

Back when I was in the process of purchasing my 907, I had already plans for all the accessories for the bike, and one of them were full coverage fenders. Winters are not always like they were in 2009/2010 and 2010/2011. Here in Southern Finland the conditions usually varies between rain, slush and snow. I have recently done my commutes with the 907 and I can tell you that full coverage fenders are the only way to go. On the other hand, I have cyclocross bike with full coverage fenders, so why I would do commutes with a fatbike, even in late fall with no snow or slush? There are plenty of reasons that I will cover later on a seperate blog post.

The only problem still is that nobody makes fenders for fatbikes, and I consider that as a suprise because there is clearly a "fatbike boom" going on. Anyway, the only solution for the problem at the moment is of course DIY fenders. A fairly popular choice has been a hack of Planet Bike Cascadia 29er fenders, like done here, here and here. That was initially also my plan, but Cascadia 29er fenders are currently hard to get and the price for them is slightly high at 55$. I figured out a lot cheaper option with Biltema 28" fenders. But, the problem with those is the profile that is completely round:

Attaching material to them could be difficult. Fortunately there are other alternatives for DYI fenders, like glass-fiber, but those are quite hard-working and time-consuming. I then visited a local plater and asked if he could make fenders from aluminum plate. He could:

These are 100mm wide, and light, front fender at 196 g and read at 339 g. But I did a mistake as I didn't take into consideration that they won't fit into front fork and chainstays. I modified the front fender to fit into fork:

Not too bad for a prototype. The same thing for the rear fender would be more difficult. I will make new fenders that are narrower, making the middle section  60mm wide and both sides 20-25mm and then I will bend the sides upwards to cover the whole 100mm width. This way they will fit easily into fork and frame, look better and they will be even lighter. And of course I will then paint them.

In the meantime the rear fender is hacked this way:

It's too early to say I could start production of the 'aluminum plate concept' fat fenders but the concept is pretty promising:

- Affordable
- Light
- Durable
- Custom colors

- Not the most beautiful but have to wait and see for the improved ones
- ?, you name it

Saturday, November 5, 2011

907 Photo Session

Although we are still waiting for the first snow here in South Finland, I did my commuting with my 907 the whole last week. Before last week my cyclocross bike was my primary commuting bike, but after the recent overnighter the 907 felt so great that I decided to commute with it even though my normal commute route is 1.8 km gravel + 7.7 km asphalt road. I'm also waiting for a new cassette for the cyclocross bike (there was a new SunRace but it didn't work out), and for a nice change it didn't rain last week.

On Thursday afternoon I decided to do a little photo session for the 907 in a forest near my commuting route.

The latest weather forecasts don't look too promising for the first snow, but the weather can change very rapidly...

Late fall overnighter

So, the fall has been really wet, it has been about 6 weeks since the last overnighter, and you are at work day-in day-out. On Friday, 28th of October, I tweeted this:

"I really need to go for an overnighter soon, work is getting on my nerves."

Peter replied soon:

"@tonilund Overnighter tomorrow?"

We decided to go to the Wilderness of Marttila, as there are still some trails that we haven't ridden yet, and also third lean-to where we haven't been. The wet conditions could make things difficult with normal mountain bikes, but with fatbikes it should be a lot of fun. And it truly was...

Peter came to my home with car and we started our little adventure there.

A fatbike rolls much more easily on asphalt and gravel with higher tire pressure. When we arrived at Marttila, Peter dropped the tire pressure for better grip and a little suspension that the huge tires gives.

Riding in the dark is a lot of fun with powerful lights.

The trails were really technical at some places and there were some big rocks so some bike pushing was necessary.

Getting closer to the lean-to of Lotikko.

Destination reached!

Peter started a campfire and I did a little more firewood.

The sky was clear so we took some experimental photos of the stars. Not bad.

We went to sleep just before midnight. The temperature dropped to +4°C from the +8°C. My McKinley Yukon 3-season sleeping bag is really comfortable in these conditions, and with an extra pair of regular socks and a pair of wool socks my feet stayed warm. I slept fairly well, especially the first part of the night.

Because of the daylight saving time change we had an extra hour more time. In the morning it was time for the usual coffee and porridge chores.

The views from the shelter.

A very nice place indeed.

We figured out that we would get back to the gravel road by riding the trail ahead.

And we had very nice sunrise.

And then back to home.

It was great outing again. These small adventures are a real pleasure for all senses. It's like immersing with good music. It's no wonder that it's easier to live the hectic everyday life when you can have spare time like this.

Thanks Peter for the company, and check out his report and brilliant photos!

I took some video clips also, and I will try to edit a video later. Here are some more photos.


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