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It seems like the more touring I do, the wider my tires are getting. I was of the “skinny is good” school a few years ago and swore that anything wider than 23mm tires was like riding your bike in the sand. After a few tours and one trip where we rode on rock ballast by a railroad, I slowly learned the error of my ways. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a racer or a roadie. I like to wander and explore, and sometimes that exploration will take me on a bumpy road.
I recently put on some Panaracer Paselas on my touring bike which are 35mm wide. What a ride! The tires provide a nice natural suspension (which is lighter and more efficient than shocks). The Paselas have a reasonable tread and are relatively high pressure (90psi that I run closer to 65psi) so they go reasonably fast. Not Tour de France fast, but fast enough to get you from home to your office.
Anyway, with new tire (mounted to some Velocity Deep Vs no less!) my front fender was scraping the tire something awful. The rear tire and fender had enough clearance, but the front unicrown fork of my 2006 Trek 520 didn’t. This meant I had to hack the fenders.
I took a hacksaw to my Planet Bike Cascadia fenders (which are great fenders by the way…look good, full coverage, haven’t broken on me yet) and cut them into two pieces. I made the cut right where the mounting bracket was for the front fender to attach to fork crown. Easy enough. I used the pre-existing bracket on the fender and the stays and that held the big part of the fender to the bike.
The real trick was the small little fender nub. I found an aluminum bracket (I think it was for a reflector) bent it into an L and drilled a hole into the fender. With a short nub of a screw and a bolt, I attached the bracket to the fender. Fortuitously, there were two holes on the bracket that were just the right space apart and I used the other hole to mount on the fork crown. So there’s only one screw holding the front fender nub, but that’s okay because it weighs next to nothing.