[CR]White fenders (I-dood-it-myself project)

From: "Dennis Ryan" <angroch@insightbb.com>
To: <Internet-bob@bikelist.org>, <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 00:10:39 -0400
In-Reply-To: <027f01c33525$9c0f0d00$0a01a8c0@lobby>
Subject: [CR]White fenders (I-dood-it-myself project)

A thousand pardons for the cross-post, but fenders are of interest to both lists.

I'm a big fan of white fenders, and I think they add major old school class to classics, and to newer bikes too. I've been through my share of white Bluemel's Populars and Club Specials. Lately they're harder to get, and expensive when you can find them. Esge/SKSs work much better as fenders and are more durable, but they don't come in white. They also don't have a round cross-section, but that's another matter. They're really the most practical fender, and a practical fender is a good thing on a bike that gets ridden a lot.

So when the white Bluemel's Populars I'd been using on my Rivendell finally gave up the ghost, I fitted Esges. They're very nice looking, and they fit the Shimano "Ultegra-level" long-reach calipers much better than the Bluemel's, but I really like the look of white fenders with the Riv light blue/cream. So I painted the Esges, and I thought I'd share my experiences. They turned out swell, IMHO.

I wanted that new kind of Krylon for plastic, but (curiously) couldn't even find regular Krylon, so I used Rustoleum plastic primer (two coats outside, one inside) and white enamel (two out, one in) (Painting the inside gave a more opaque look). Sheldon got nice results using just plain old Krylon (see his Rambouillet), but since these were for my Rivendell I was happy to take the nerdier and more thorough approach. (After watching my neighbor, who is in his 80s and who owned a paint store for decades, spend a week stripping, sanding, prepping, priming, and painting the iron railings on his small front porch, so it won't need painting again for decades, how could I do a crummy job?).

I sanded them lightly and wiped them down with paint thinner, per the instructions, before applying the primer, and I lightly sanded between coats (airborne cottonwood fluff). It's humid here, so I let them dry 24 hours before I remounted them. One of my hardware masks (newspaper secured with bits of duct tape) slipped off, but the spray cleaned up easily with thinner.

As I said, they look great. The Bluemel's had a round red reflector, but I stuck a four-square-long strip of white reflective stick-on squares on the bottom of the rear fender. Looks pretty cool: hard to see, but more effective than the old red rounder (not exactly classic, though). All I need now is a mudflap. Hafta think of something cool for that ;-)

I'd bet that the new plastic-specific Krylon would do a good, quick job. I like the idea that I can have Esges in most any color I like. They look better than the Bluemel's I took off because they give a better line, and are straighter and more even. The Populars have a round cross-section and the way cool Bluemel's logo in silver on the back. Now if someone (SKS? Zefal owns them, don't they?) would resurrect the Bluemel's fender line (ie the Populars), in Esge plastic but traditional colors and shapes, I'd be one happy Mudguard Man.

I'm trying to borrow a digital camera to get some pics.

Dennis Ryan in soggy Louisville KY