Re: [CR] fenders, brakes,itchin for a fight!!!. Long by Gilbert

Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 00:19:45 EST
Subject: Re: [CR] fenders, brakes,itchin for a fight!!!. Long by Gilbert

Hi Rick and all,

Sorry to comment as I have no accurate Mario Confente stories to share, but I could make something up that would be hard to tell from Jim and Bryan theme!" Murder in Carlsbad, betrayal in New Jersey.....

On another topic: On the fender thing, I think the hallmark of a well designed (and equipped) touring cycle that is one that can be ridden in any weather, over varied terrain and surfaces, night or day and easily carry in a stable manner a day's provisions or week of camping gear.

Surely few bikes made today are this versatile, in equipment alone they would be deficient. Integrated lighting, baggage, luggage racks, mudguards, and a lively spirited ride. My Rene Herse and other French cycles like it perform these tasks and more and are fairly fast as well. Many others builders (some on this list) have accomplished these goals but few cycles are produced by the large production outfits.

It is my feeling that on a well outfitted touring bike mudguards (fenders) are intricate to the design and the bike looks better with them mounted than not. For the record all of my personal bikes (number eight soon to be nine) have full (the only effective style) mudguards mounted except my (teenage purchase) 1975 Schwinn Paramount Track bike (It has had them mounted for many miles of winter training in the past). These bikes were also designed with mudguards in mind. Few racing bikes built in the last few years have fender clearance anyway and mounting fenders in close clearances can be very dangerous. If racing bikes had the clearance for fenders the brakes wouldn't work anyway would they.

Designers of racing style bikes don't allow for clearance because one they don't need it cause you don't ride with fenders or really wide tires in real racing. From my era the early 70's American racing was primarily an around the block affair of Criteriums or short road races and the call was for shorter, steeper, lighter, tighter= "better racing bike" as far as frame design was concerned. If anything over the last few years bikes have been slipping a little the other way. Eddy Merckx and Lemond bikes are generally more laid back than bikes of the late 1980's and early 1990's.

The problem today is most riders of racing bikes don't race and the public in general (not the well informed members of this list) are not educated or offered an alternative for road use. Of course most Atb bikes and SUV vehicles ever see dirt. Short of custom built no major manufacturer spec's a bike with long reach brakes most likely since there are few quality components offered by brake manufacturers.

Of course how many cyclists plan or prepare to ride in the rain? In this country (USA) most cyclists are fair weather types and we largely enjoy fairly good weather compared to Northern Europe. It is a lost skill for most people. "I'll git me bike dirty"; you certainly will without mudguards. The designers neglected real club cyclists and tourists for the newer designed ATB bike that really replaced it in sales if not in spirit.

The first ATB's did have common features with older touring bikes. The first ROSS ATB's actually were their tourers/sport tourers with canti brazons and heavy duty forks and 26in wheels as far as I could tell. Angles were shallow-things are steeper today most of the time- and they had plenty of mud clearance.

Modern and most older ATB's can be toured on but they are not touring bikes! They are too heavy (some are light but..) and too slow and are not set up for a long time in the saddle. They are over engineered for road use and under engineered for touring use. They can be used with limitations but why bother if you can chose?

In a message dated 2/27/01 6:15:08 PM, writes:

<< All of this teeth gnashing about brake reach would be unnecessary if we used

cantilever brakes. They fit Classic iron better with fenders and big tires

than caliper brakes or centerpulls and the better ones are more powerful.

They are generally cheaper, as well.>>>

The problem is not cantilever brakes verse long reach side pulls (or centerpulls) but the choice. Without a torch and repaint my Raleigh Grand Sport (Rick supplied one to my Susan) is brake less without long reach brakes or drum hub brakes (I chose the later at quite some expense). Most older bikes don't have cantilevers so the need for a hopefully high quality long reach brakes will be an ongoing one. On a side note we have equipped long reach Weinman 999 centerpulls with Aztec pads and modern aero long cable pull levers (some vintage ish?) with fantastic results similar to the short reach dual pivots caliper setups. Harvey Sachs I think did some tests of lever cable pull and leverage a while back I think that would be of some insight.

<<That said, if you are fortunate enough to own a LATER (as opposed to an

EARLIER) Classic race frame, why on earth would you want bastardize it with

fenders?>> I agree but some cycling events (Paris Brest Paris and it's qualifiers) of old required full (90d front and 180d rear) mudguards to participate. People owning just one bike or one non ATB bike often force fitted mudguards into very tight clearances. If was usually awful and dangerous to ride hundreds of miles on bumpy roads with ever narrower tires required to get fender clearance for the few events. Don't mount fenders without clearance and if you don't have clearance you owe it to yourself to get a frame with clearance and mudguards unless you are just a fair weather rider. The rules were lightened in regard to mudguards to encourage participation (since otherwise off the shelf bikes would be impractical) in a difficult challenge.

>>I take issue with your assertion that there are practically no production

frames currently made with fender and/or rack mounts. Most mountain bikes

(bad words) have them and they outsell modern road bikes by a large margin.

As much as some of you hate to admit it, mountain bikes (oops, sorry) are

the spiritual successor to those utilitarian British and French rough stuff

and touring bikes we all revere.

Rick Chasteen in Kansas City where 6 inches of snow is currently falling.>>

Anyone want to know what I would buy today as my next tourer. A fully suspended Alex Moulton Speed with 330 gram rims 20 spoke wheels and full touring kit that weighs just 20lbs with wide range gears and full mudguard clearance in scratch proof stainless steel. I think I can get two inside a Mazda Miyata trunk too (crowds the luggage a bit) for event transport. Those Moultons handle wonderfully heavily loaded and are easy on the tender parts. Oh, by the way it's the fastest bike out there too (hard to believe but you'd know if you rode one) and it's got extremely good touring capability off the paved bits.

Just opinions, so don't be offended. Regards,

Gilbert Anderson

The North Road Bicycle Company your bicycle outfitter 519 W. North St. Raleigh, NC 27603 USA ph toll free in USA :800/321-5511 Local ph: 919/828-8999 E-Mail:

----- Original Message -----

From: Ed Braley <>

To: KCTOMMY <>; <>

> > Grant Petersen of Rivendell had an article in one of his Rivendell

Readers a
> while back that explained his version of the acceptance of short reach
> brakes as the standard, and reason that "normal" reach (57mm) nutted

> were shunned by the major companies. According to Grant, there were folks
> racing crit bikes with track bike frame geometries in the late '70s and
> early '80s. These tight frames didn't have clearance for normal reach
> brakes, fenders or any other features found on "tourist" style bikes.

> all the manufacturers started building crit style road bikes with short
> reach brakes. Whether anyone can identify specific examples that prove

> theory I don't know, but it seems plausible.
> Whatever the root cause, there are practically no production frames and

> few custom frames that allow both big tires and fenders with short reach
> brakes, and practically no one builds frames for normal reach brakes
> anymore, probably because the big S company and the big C company don't

> a market demand sufficient to produce normal reach brakes. Vicious cycle
> here....
> Ed