How hard is it to install metal fenders?

24 05 2011

Velo Orange hammered bling...

I just finished installing a set of Velo Orange fenders on my Surly LHT. This is my second set of VO fenders. Having previously installed a couple sets of Berthoud stainless fenders which required a lot of DIY I was ready for a decent amount of work to install these VO fenders. I was pleasantly surprised when they went on as easily as a typical set of plastic fenders, which is to stay pretty easily with no drilling or difficult setup that I could mess up. Taking my time I managed to install both fenders and mud flaps in about an hour on my LHT having a bit of practice on the first set.

Clearly VO put a lot of thought into how they could make a fender set easy to install on a variety of bikes. They provide a lot of hardware including leather washers which are a nice touch. Especially given the reasonable cost for a set.

You can read VO fender installation instructions here.

If you’ve been thinking about metal fenders and been concerned how much hassle they’d be to install I recommend giving them a shot. They’ll be on in a flash and they add a very functional bit of bling to your ride.

My LHT with new VO fender installed...

I can’t deny how sweet a nice set of Honjo fenders is, but given they cost 2-3 times what an equivalent set of VO fenders sell for I’m likely to use VO fenders on most of my bikes and save the Honjos for a few select rides like my Boulder Bicycle All Road. Happily the Fairfield Bicycle Shop is a local Velo Orange dealer that stocks quite a lot of their products so I can buy these fenders locally on short notice most of the time.


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11 responses

24 05 2011
Steve Park

Nice fenders!

It helps that most metal fenders come pre-drilled for the fork crown and stays, leaving only the chain/brake bridge holes to be drilled. A stepped drill bit helps a ton with getting a clean perfect hole.

Not sure I’d ever go back to a plastic fender…

24 05 2011
thelazyrando

The VO fenders are totally drilled so you just have to bolt them on which is really nice for people like me who are precision challenged and would likely end up with an off centre hole!

24 05 2011
adventure!

Good to see that the VO fenders install easily on a LHT. I thought about getting some for my Long Haul. But my plastic fenders are perfectly good right now. So I’ll beat the shit out of them during our five month cross-continent bike tour and when I come home, then I’ll get some metal fenders!

24 05 2011
David Parsons

“I can’t deny how sweet a nice set of Honjo fenders is, but given they cost 2-3 times what an equivalent set of VO fenders sell for I’m likely to use VO fenders on most of my bikes and save the Honjos for a few select rides like my Boulder Bicycle All Road.”

What’s better about the Honjo fenders? Are they technically superior to the V-O fenders or are they simply more prestigious?

24 05 2011
thelazyrando

@David – My sample size is one, but my hammered Honjos are more attractive than my hammered VO fenders. Not 3 times more attractive mind you! =-) I can’t comment on the technical aspects of each fender as I don’t know what type of aluminum they are each made from.

Honjos also use 2 mounting bolts per fender strut, but I read that VO was going that route as well. 2 bolts provides a stiffer fender mount.

24 05 2011
Janice in GA

It took me all evening to install my VO fenders on my Novara Randonee. But I had to figure out things like “What the heck is a fork crown daruma???” and then I had to figure out how to make everything work together. I managed to bork the clamp that you have to fold on too. (Totally operator error though.)

I did end up having to find some extra bolts/nuts of Appropriate Length for my setup. It was harder than installing the Bontrager fenders on my old Trek bike, but not orders of magnitude harder.

And they look quite nice too. :)

24 05 2011
jdmitch

Yup, VOs are a dream to install as opposed to other metal fenders. Also VO has a number of pictorials online (more than any other metal fender producer).

25 05 2011
Surly LHT Update « The Lazy Randonneur

[…] As I posted a couple days ago the Velo Orange hammered metal fenders [45mm] went on easily and it wa…. I’ll ride the bike for a week and then cut the fender struts when I am 100% on the fender position. I cleaned up the rest of the rear end and reinstalled everything. I love the OMM racks and the Schwalbe Marathon XR tires. Velo Orange fender up front… […]

25 05 2011
Raymond Parker

Here’s my illustrated guide on how to install Honjo fenders. This one follows the addition of hammered fenders to my 650b Bleriot, with a fork crown daruma bolt.

The Velo Orange copies are good value, but Honjos are, well, Honjos.

26 05 2011
thelazyrando

@Raymond – that’s a well documented fender install…=-)

27 10 2012
Rc

I am having a %^{€ of a tme getting my 45mm steel VO fenders set right. This set has two bolts holding the stay on, and it is very difficult to get the nuts onto the bolt at all, let alone symmetrically. This leads to the fender being biased to one side or the other. I finally got it prett decently set up after an hour of cursing, and then did the final tightening. That messed it all up, so I am stopping for the night. I am generally fairly handy with metal and mechanical systems so this is pretty humbling.

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