Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thorn Sherpa PB Cascadia Fender Install

As I reported earlier MEC finally rec'd their stock of Planet Bike Cascadia ATB fenders so I bought some for my Thorn Sherpa. They are 2.35" wide and designed to work with tires up to 2.25" wide so they should be perfect for the 2.0" Marathon XRs I plan to run on tour this summer. The tires shown in the pictures are 1.75" XRs so the fenders look a bit over sized.

These fenders are constructed of polycarbonate and all the hardware provided is stainless steel. They come with a 5" mud flap installed on each fender. A very nice feature - unfortunately I wish they were a bit longer for better protection. Although you can easily make your own mud flaps these look much nicer. Over all these fenders look to be high quality and I am optimistic they will perform as well as my other SKS fenders.

Installing the front fender was relatively straight forward. The top of the fender is secured through the fork crown with a supplied bolt. I attached the fender stays to a mid-fork braze on. The result is secure and looks great. My only complaint is that I would prefer a longer mud flap on the front of the bike. Another 4" would be ideal and would fully protect the rest of the bike from grimy water. When the supplied mud flap wears out I'll replace it with a longer DIY version.

Planet Bike ships these fenders with a special spacer that should allow them to work with any disc brake caliper. I've successfully mounted SKS fenders to bikes with disc brakes by simply bending the fender stays so this isn't essential, but it is nice to see that Planet Bike was thinking ahead and providing an easy solution to a common problem.

The rear fender needed a little more thought to get it installed. The distance from the tire to the chain stay bridge was excessive so I grabbed a spare nut and used it for a spacer to reduce the gap between the fender and the tire. This wasn't necessary, but I think it helps make the installation look cleaner. The Sherpa has a bolt on the underside of the seat stay bridge to attach the rear fender, but the bracket supplied with these fenders needs the bolt to be horizontal. Planet Bike supplies zip ties for unusual applications like this, however, I think they look ugly and would not be as secure as bolting the fender on. I grabbed a spare bracket from some SKS fenders and bent it 90 degrees to make an adapter that worked. The result looks clean and holds the fender firmly in place. The rear fender stays are attached to the Tubus Cargo rack.

spacer for rear chain stay bridge

DIY bracket for seat stay bridge

Once I had completed the install I was quite happy with the way the fenders fit and I am glad I waited to try them out. I'll report back in the summer once I've had a chance to put some miles on this bike.

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