Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fascinated By Shiny Things

This just in -- the 89-26 "lightweight" fender set from those artists of chromed steel at Wald will fit on a 700c touring/cross bike with room to spare, despite being advertised as a fender for 26" wheels.

As proof, I submit my much-loved Bruce Gordon, freshy gussied up with twenty bucks (seriously!) of Kentucky chrome. Your bike may vary, but my only modification from stock was to drill a second hole in the front fender stays and lop off the original hole that was intended for the front axle. This allowed me to bolt the stay to my fender eyelets and maintain a good fender line. The rear mounted up with the original, factory drilled hole once I added some big washers (since, again, the hole was intended for an axle, not a small bolt running to an eyelet.)


My set didn't come with all the hardware I needed -- there wasn't an L-bracket to bolt the front fender to the fork crown or a bracket to attach the rear fender to the brake bridge. It seems those are sold separately, at astoundingly reasonable Wald prices -- about two bucks for a set with everything you need. I had spares in the garage from old fenders, so I just used those instead.

I haven't test-ridden the setup yet (note the computer mount dangling in the front wheel that needs to be addressed first), but the fenders look like they'll provide more coverage (and definitely more toughness) than the Planet Bikes they replaced. I'm kind of stunned that you can get such a nice looking metal fender with rolled edges for so darn cheap. I would wonder if there's a catch in terms of rust or long-term reliability, but I know my grandparents' Schwinn DeLuxe Twinn tandem sported a pair of Wald fenders from the day it was purchased in 1967, and those fenders still looked (and performed) great when they finally sold the bike in 1998.


I confess, I also took perverse delight in mounting $20 Wald fenders on a Bruce Gordon with an XT/XTR drivetrain. Take that, snobs!

10 comments:

john said...

Noice! I dig the thumbies up top, too. Clean ride for sure.

Forbes Black said...

Wald is upscale. Toe clips are passe. Now you just need to mount that Pletscher rack and the cycling world will have come full circle. What a weird, wonderful world we live in, eh?

I love your ride! Those fenders look great!

Jason T. Nunemaker said...

Thanks, John! This one's my baby. The thumbies are my next experiment, since they eat up a lot of bar space. I've heard of people mounting them down by the brake levers as "poor man's STI", so the next time I need fresh handlebar tape, I might try it.

Forbes, I like where you're taking this. Now that you mention it, my handlebar bag is just a fancier version of those cheap nylon ones from the 70s. If we could get Bell to reissue the Biker, *then* we'd have something! :-)

John Speare said...

Great discovery Jason. who woulda guessed?

Joel said...

John: Nice job. Antbike uses Wald fenders frequently as well. He sometimes has to modify the mounting hardware, but speaks quite well of the fenders.

Steve Fuller said...

Good design + inexpensive = win for everyone. I like that understated brown that you painted the BG. Now, you just need a mudflap off the back of the front one to keep the bike clean. :)

Mark M. Fredrickson said...

What width tires are you using with these fenders? As a fellow Wald devotee I would be overjoyed to use these fenders on some 700c bikes, but I'd like to run at least 32mm and preferably 35mm tires. In your experience, would they fit? Of course, for $20 I'll probably just try it regardless.

I gave my wife some Wald 8095 handlebars for her birthday. She cried. Not from joy. :-( I mad it up to her later. You win some, you lose some. (Though it involved Wald, so maybe it is a win either way.)

Jason T. Nunemaker said...

Mark -- the tires in the picture were some fairly well-used 700x32 Michelins. They started life true to size and had probably grown to 34-35mm by this point. If your frame will take an honest 32-35mm tire with fender space, the Walds won't hold you back. The trick is tweaking the stays to get the fender line right.

You know, my wife would probably like 8095 bars on her around-town bike, and she does have a birthday coming up. I think I'll learn from your experience, though. :-)

rt said...

how wide are the fenders?

Jason T. Nunemaker said...

RT -- just measured them, and I get 1.75 inches (so, what, about 44mm?) from edge to edge. Hope this helps!