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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:

Pros:
- Affordable
- Light
- Durable
- Custom colors

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

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