September 29, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – New Old Fenders for the Bike Friday

The Bike Friday with its new old reused fenders.

The Bike Friday with it's new old reused fenders.

This morning I needed fenders for the Bike Friday in a hurry. I’ve been putting off ordering special fenders for the BF because a) I still don’t really like fenders on a bike (I know, I live in Oregon) and b) they are $60 for the fenders from the manufacturer made to fit my bike. Now, I’m not one to hesitate to spend money on parts I need, but when I don’t like fenders, I just can’t bring myself to dropping that kind of cash for them. But alas, the rain is here today, I needed fenders, so I improvised.

Over the past couple weeks, we’ve been doing some cleaning in the garage, and I’ve contemplated tossing out miscellaneous orphaned parts that seem to have no further use or life left in them. We’re trying to keep the clutter down. At the same time, we’re big fans of recycling so I’m happy to say that today I recycled a couple of mismatched fenders into ‘new’ fenders for the BF, and yes, they are ugly, but functional. Not that it matters, but here’s where they came from.

Front fender off of my Ira Ryan road bike from its rainy commuter days.

Front fender off of my Ira Ryan road bike from it's rainy commuter days.

My front fender came from my used Ira Ryan bike I purchased earlier this year. The previous owner had turned it into a bit of a rainy day commuter bike, and had done some custom fitting to get them to fit just right, but had left the front fender off when I picked it up. Luckily, it more or less fit, but I had to chop about an inch off of the end with the mud flap. My chop job is ugly, but the flap was dragging on the ground, so it had to go.

Rear fender off of a Jamis road bike. Not a perfect fit at all, but functional.

Rear fender off of a Jamis road bike. Not a perfect fit at all, but functional.

The rear fender came off my wife’s Jamis flat bar road bike. They were giving her some fits and she doesn’t do much road biking in the rain, so they came off the bike last year. Numerous times I almost threw them out, but today I took the sliding mount of the front fender, slid it onto the rear fender, and attached it to the BF. You can see that it’s not a very good fit to the shape of the wheel, but it covers enough area of the tire to keep the water off.

I was worried that the size of the fenders made for standard road tires would not provide ample coverage for the wider tires on the Bike Friday, however, most of the water (at least this morning) flies off the center of the tire, and the fenders do fine for that. I did notice however that I’ve created some great skewers by having to reshape the fenders so much. If only I had some marshmallows and a campfire….

On both fenders, I now have skewers that can be used for roasting marshmallows or hot dogs at the drop of a hat.

On both fenders, I now have skewers that can be used for roasting marshmallows or hot dogs at the drop of a hat.

Eventually, I may order some correct fenders if I find a decent deal. I read somewhere that some Dahon fenders might work that sell for $20. Or perhaps I’ll wait until the next election, and just make some fenders out of the coroplast campaign signs in every lawn down the street. In any case, for today, I’m dry, even if I look a little ugly doing it.

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