The Rebour drawing of Jean Dejeans' René Herse in VBQ Vol. 1, No. 3 (centerfold) shows tire savers attached to the (trailing) end of the fenders. The tire savers themselves appear to be a commercial model available in 1948. Rebour showed a similar arrangement on his (Rebour's) PBP tandem.
Few randonneur bikes used tire savers, though. When horses fell by the wayside, there were no nails on the roads any longer. And most roads in Europe are amazingly clean compared to ours. And people don't throw beer bottles out of cars, either. Contractors use vans, not open trucks, so no boxes of nails fall from the loadbed... They don't even have potholes. In short, it's paradise.. ;-) They wonder why 650B and fat tires are so popular over here, until they come for a visit.
So tire savers aren't as necessary there as they are here.
Of course, racers used tire savers until they were allowed to change wheels in the event of a flat tire. At first, when support cars were allowed, a flat tire meant you could get a new tire, but not a new wheel. So you somehow had to convince officials that the entire wheel was mangled... in order to avoid wrestling with the tire and get a new wheel. Races were lost and careers were destroyed by flat tires back then. This is from W. Lemke's book on Fausto Coppi.
Maybe somebody else can illuminate why there was so much danger of
flats in races - maybe more horses in the poor mountain regions, or
simply that the risk of a flat was so great that you'd do anything to
avoid it. Did racers use tire savers in all stages, or only the
important mountain ones?
Jan Heine, Seattle
Vintage Bicycle Quarterly
c/o Il Vecchio Bicycles
140 Lakeside Ave, Ste. C
Seattle WA 98122
>After a misty morning commute with a set of aluminum Honjo fenders I
>was wondering if/how the french constructeurs incorporated tire
>savers with fenders to knock off glass and thorns and other debris
>to prevent punctures. Were they ever used? What did they look like:
>a piece of spoke bent into a U? or were there little brushes at the
>ends of the fenders somehow?