Friday, November 14, 2008

Snow Bike

For winter I use two bikes: a snow bike and an ice bike. Snow bike is all about fat knobbie tires.

I snowed the Rawland last night.

I took off the super sweet rollin' Hetres and put on the knarly neo-motos.

I hooked up a front nerd light for the generator hub.

And I carved up some coroplast fenders. Specifically, I hacked Mary Verner for the rear wheel and chopped Richard Rush for the front wheel. I am grateful for both of these local public servants, and I saved their signs specifically for fenders.

When it comes to coroplasting, a Kent I am not. But that's the beauty of coroplast; even an impatient hack like me can make a set of fenders with enough zip ties.

Liza hates these fenders. My buddy Joe is abhored by the idea of putting coroplast on this bike. I can understand that. Coroplast fenders sort of incite an instant visceral reaction: yes or no. I think Liza feels the same way about coroplast fenders as I feel when I meet someone wearing a beret. Big no. It's just one of those things.

Really, I'm not crazy about coroplast fenders either. But I'm less crazy about the disc-compatible full fenders I've seen, they are just too rattley. John, at REI, made a good hack on his disc'd townie that is worth looking into:

John's hack

I think next year my goal will be to put 58 mm Honjos on the Rawland. I think I could hook them up so they'd work well -- even around the discs -- by using John's hack in the front and positioning the rear stays very low in the back. The Rawland has the sweet under-the-seat-stay hole for the fender too, the fender will easily clear the top of the mondo motos.

I just set up my first set of Honjos on my 747, and learned two important truths: 1) they are just not that hard to set up. I was dreading it, but it wasn't so bad. However, the genius-artist that made my 747 frame also assumed it would have fenders, so that made it easier. 2) Honjos have now joined the premier level of "best of class" bike component. Why bother with any other fender when Honjos exist? They are lighter, provide better coverage, are way stiffer, and just rule harder than any other plastic turd full-fender. Yes they are expensive, but they're lifers.

I'm tempted to just go and get the mondo Honjos for the Rawland this year -- but it's been a decedent year on bikes. I gotta take it easy. The Honjos will run at least $60. I think I'm into the coroplast fenders for about $1 worth of zip ties.


David Blaine said...

I think the fenders look great. What doesn't look great is all of the extra front fenders I have because the rear one is always the one that breaks and they only sell them in pairs.

Anonymous said...

John, I rode your Rawland and did covet it. You have have made a mockery of the Rawland. Shame on you. Wade

The Editor said...

I love chloroplast fenders, I like them more than plastic storebought fenders, then again I'm a total nerd.

Anonymous said...

I have to clarify. I'm fine with chloroplast. I love it because it's nerdy and recycling, but the Rawland is such a noble steed. wade

John Speare said...

thanks for that clarification wade.

Unknown said...

I'm down with the chloroplast fenders, like many people I got turned on to them a couple years ago thanks in no small part to Kent Peterson. Haven't had a real need to build a set yet, but I've got some signs saved for when the time comes.

Currently I've got a set of Planet Bike Clip On ATB fenders for the El Mariachi, on and off in under 10 seconds and contrary to what PB will tell you they will fit over 29 x 2.55s(with little room to spare). They're very nice for the dual purpose bike especially since I've never been a fan of fenders off road, but they do leave something to be desired in the splash on shoes department.

gillsans said...

Honjos? Aren't you fancy?!

I've been seconds away from ordering the Velo Orange aluminum fenders for my city bike for a few months. Anybody tried those? Almost as pretty as Honjos, but half the price.

Unknown said...

I would have guessed to see those fenders extending just an inch above the ground from the front wheel there John! Not quite full coverage there. I'll wait for any possible revisions before I pick on you though, the snow season has yet to start!!

Apertome said...

I do see the appeal of chloroplast fenders, and I do think they're appealing in some contexts, but I think the Rawland deserves better. Looking forward to seeing some Honjos on there.

I have VO fenders on my long haul trucker, and I like 'em. But I had a hell of a time getting them installed (I think they install in the same way as the Honjos). That said, next time it'll be easier.

Pat S said...

I'm on the un-fan side of coroplast but still, that bike has this "let's get dirty" quality that is impossible for guys to resist in bikes or ladies. It just flat looks ready for whatever.

EvilElf said...

I like using chloroplast too. Look around - it is just waiting to be harvested - everywhere.

For years, Al French has performed admirably - catching the oil that dribbles out of the Geo now and then.

I am concerned that there seems to be a trend away from this election sign material.

I don't want to start hoarding, but...

Anonymous said...

I see you went against the grain of the coroplast- good for supporting your candidates and keeping your fenders polygonal rather than curved.

Maybe you should ask Santa for some Honjos for Christmas?

Parker said...

Whoa, very cool. Love the chloroplast fenders, i think i will try that out with some old don barlow signs. So what are you using for your ice bike ?

RJ said...

Man, you guys up in Spokane got the most ATROCIOUS winter last year! I only know because a cyclist friend of mine took classes in Spokane last year and he got all excited to ride during Spring Break when-- WHAM! More snow and ice.

I wish you better luck this year!