Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mark's LHT Brevet Light Setup

Mark W writes:

"Vik, per your request, here are three shots of the front lighting on my LHT, that also show the dual stem set up.

Needless to say, I don't subscribe to the French pechant for handlebar bags and/or small front panniers--especially since the LHT doesn't have the appropriate front end geometry. For brevets I use one or two small ortlieb panniers--which don't affect bike handling at all, get the weight low, minimize aerodynamic drag etc. And for touring involving camping, I use a Nomad. So that allows the area between the drops to be used for lighting."

"This set up works better than I thought it might. The lights aren't in the way of anything, there are no restrictions on hand placement on the bars, plenty of light for road riding at up to about 30 mph, the lithium AA's last for over 100 hours, and while the light pattern on the cateye EL-530s is inadequate if you only use one, by using four the pattern is quite good, even in the corners--better than the Fly IQ powered by a Schmidt SON on one of my other bikes.



Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tetsuro & Hiro's Excellent Adventure

I first met Tetsuro & Hiro [on the right with helmet] up in the Yukon on my way home from the Dempster Highway this summer. They were headed from Alaska down to Ushaia on a long bike tour. Their English was limited and my Japanese non-existent so we couldn't communicate much, but I did offer them a place to stay if they passed through Calgary. We exchanged one garbled email after that and I didn't hear from them again so I assumed we were not going to cross paths a second time.

To my surprise a few weeks later I ran into Hiro hanging out in an alley near my apartment. When I inquired about Tetsuro he was surprised himself as he thought his friend would already be at my place. A bunch of emailing, text messaging and mobile phone calling later we tracked Tetsuro down and steered him to my apartment.

Sadly Tetsuro would have to end his trip in Calgary as his father was gravely ill. I helped him arrange a flight back to Japan and the three of us spent a week hanging out waiting for Tetsuro's flight home. Our poor language skills were a bit of a trial, but we managed to figure out the basics. Eventually Tetsuro boarded a flight for Japan and later that day Hiro embarked on the next leg of his bike tour to South America.

You can see some photos from their visit here and here. Tetsuro's blog is here.

If you are a cycle tourist and need a place to stay or some support in/around the Calgary area drop me a line and I'll see what I can do to help you out.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I'm a bike slut...

I've sold two bikes this year and have another I'm thinking of parting with. You might think my fleet is shrinking rapidly and I'm headed for one-bike-nirvana. Not to worry I'm very good at recycling bike money back into new projects. I've got a new MTB frame hanging in my office slowly accumulating parts eagerly anticipating its fat tire debut. I have a second bike project in mind - actually about three of them, but I'm working my way towards deciding which one will become reality this winter.

Why so many bikes? Why not? Besides travel, bikes are the only thing I spend money on. I enjoy thinking about new bikes, getting the parts in, building the bikes and then riding them. Although I enjoy the process no matter the outcome I don't fall in love with all my bikes. That's partly due to the high caliber of the rigs in my fleet. There is some stiff competition when a bike gets voted off the island. The bikes that don't make it aren't bad rides - in fact their new owners usually fall head over heels for them, but in the bike-eat-bike world of my fleet they couldn't find their niche.

There are some bikes that never have to worry. I can't recall the last time I made any significant change to my Surly Long Haul Trucker. It's been years really and even after the initial build I've only tweaked a couple things. I was going to say the LHT is perfect and that's why I haven't changed anything, but that's not true. I can think of a more comfy saddle I could put on it and nicer fenders. I was contemplating some faster tires. So why don't I just get on with the upgrades? Well the LHT isn't perfect, but it's a darn nice ride. Everything on it has served me well. No matter what else is going on with my other bikes I know it's ready to saddle up and it can handle 90% of my cycling missions with aplomb. I appreciate how reliable it's been for me and I value that more than tweaking it to be perfect.

Goodbye Taifun

I took the Taifun to the UPS Store on Friday so it can start its journey to a new owner. Naturally I used the Surly Big Dummy to haul the bike box.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

55cm Novara Randonee Touring Frame For Sale

Frame/fork have been sold!

Anna wants to sell her 55cm Novara Randonee touring frame/fork. This steel frame was bought new in 2006 and used for one season. I gave her a Surly LHT frame which she swapped all the parts over to. The Randonee frame has been in storage ever since. This is a great frame for a 700c touring bike and is quite attractive. With long chainstays and relaxed geometry there is lots of room for panniers and the stable handling inspires confidence. It's in excellent shape mechanically with some minor cosmetic blemishes as would be expected from a bike that has been on tour and seen some commuting action. This frame was ridden for one riding season covering about 1500kms.

She would like $150 for the frame/fork + $75 shipping [if shipping is less than this the difference will be refunded].

If you have some parts laying around this would make a wonderful inexpensive touring rig or a fine commuter bike.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Disc Brakes vs. Rim Brakes

The links below provide results of brake testing conducted by the German magazine Mountain Bike. They wanted to see how rim brakes and disc brakes compared when faced with the high temperatures of a simulated steep mountain descent. Of note most disc brakes did not perform as well as a rim brake with cloth rim tape and a standard tube. Although many of the disc brakes systems are out of date newer models are not built any more robustly and in fact many may actualy be less resistant to heat as lighter and lighter brakes are designed.

2000 Testing

2001 Testing [incl Avid BB7s]

This isn't to say disc brakes aren't a good idea for some applications [winter riding, muddy mtn biking, wet commuting], but they are not immune to overheating and failing on long descents. As such you need to manage the heat load you put into disc brakes just like you would a rim brake. Although disc brake failure won't result in a tire blow out in many cases the damage to the disc brake is permanent and the brake will no longer function - not great on long tour or miles from nowhere in the back country.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Expedition Touring Bikes

PJC posted the message below on the Surly LHT & CC Group today. I agree with pretty much everything he said and thought it would be worthwhile to capture his comments in a blog post. I've included my reply below his comments which are particularly focused on my changing opinion of the suitability of a Rohloff hub for an adveture touring or expedition touring bike:

"Hey Gang,

There's been a lot of excitement over Salsa's new Fargo on the 29er
board on mtbr, and I count myself among the early enthusiasts. It
looks like a great bike and I can't wait to ride one. But I'm going to
submit that Surly's 26" wheeled LHT is a better adventure and
expedition bike.

Here's how I think about it. For me, an adventure bike needs to be
the following things:

- Versatile. I want to be comfortable pedaling for ten hours on
asphalt, gravel or dirt, day after day; I want to be able to mount
slicks and go on a training ride with the local road club when I'm far
from home; I want to be able to ride pretty demanding singletrack; I
want to be able to ride with panniers; at home, I want to a bike that
might be decent on grocery runs. In practice, a bike is probably
going to be good at a small number these things, but I want to be able
to do them all and have the bike be at least reasonably up to it.

- Easy to ride. The geometry needs to be such that it doesn't take
much vigilance from me to pilot. There are going to be times when I
am at 17,000 feet, bonked, cold, and in the dark. My bike can't be yet
another challenge. The thing is, I also want to be able to go fast on
flat paved roads, or twisty road descents. And I want the bike to
have good enough manners off-road. And when I'm in really dense urban
areas, I want to be able to see traffic and be maneuverable.

- Durable. Basically I don't want to even think about the fragility of
the bike. I'm not totally convinced that an aluminum frame is wrong
for adventure touring, but if there is even a slight chance that I'll
need someone to weld the thing while on the road, I don't want the
option excluded. More realistically, if the derailleur hanger or the
fork or whatever get bent, I want to just bend them back (within

- Not overly precious or prissy. The bike is going to get roped to
the roof of buses and the back of pack mules, clipped to a steel
basket for a gorge crossing, or tossed in the bucket of an empty dump
truck. I want to be able to shrug off the inevitable dents or nicks.
Some airlines still allow you to check the bike unboxed. When it's an
option, I want to be able to do that without caring that it might get

- Not have cost me a lot. The bike could get lost or stolen, and I
don't want to be devastated. This is going to be relative, of course,
but, for me, certainly under US$2000, while under US$1500 would be
even better.

- Repairable on the road, all over the world. Stuff is going to
break, and I want to be able to substitute and improvise with what is
available to me locally until I can have specialized gear shipped.

Given this wish list, I have not found anything better than the LHT.
I've ridden it with panniers in Asia, Europe, Mexico, and, of course,
at home in the US. I've raced it in mountain bike races (not my first
or even second choice, but it happened) and on frozen lakes with
Hakkapelitas. It goes along pretty good with slicks when I'm in the
drops, I can mount 2.35 Nevegals on it for offroad, and on most tours
running Marathon cross 1.5's is good enough for anything resembling a
road or dirt path. On singletrack the bb is a little low for log hops,
but riding the tops makes a lot of stuff surprisingly doable (I have
top bar levers that you sometimes see on 'cross bikes, though I don't
run them on my actual 'cross bike). If someone said that I could keep
only one of my bikes, this one would be it.

Are there other bikes that could do these things? Yeah, probably. But
some popular choices fall short for me. Thorns are a fair bit more
expensive, and I have no interest in Rohloff hubs (heavy, their
durability seems overstated, and junky but serviceable derailleurs are
readily available to run with shifters in friction mode). I don't
have any reliable info on how big a tire can be mounted on the Dawes
offerings. The Rivendell Atlantis is a gorgeous bike, but that's also
a downside. Some continental bikes look pretty good, but the Koga-
Miyata's, for instance, are aluminum. And then anything with an
integrated rack won't do for me when I want to take all the heavy
stuff off and just go riding where ever I am. There are definitely
steel mountain bikes that can be converted to adventure use, but they
would have to have long chain stays for pannier heel clearance,
couldn't be too flexy, and need a long headtube for drop bars (I've
done long tours on flat bars and I don't care that much about not
having the much ballyhooed multiple hand positions. But I like drops
for going fast.)

So what about that Fargo? I totally want one for riding here in the
US. But as far as winning the adventure bike prize, the Fargo's wheel
size is basically a deal breaker for me. My main race bike is a
singlespeed 29er, and I'm not looking back to 26ers as far as mountain
biking goes. For better or for worse, though, the wheel size that
came to be the American standard for mountain bikes in the 80's is now
the most widely available around the world. Sure, a well build wheel
isn't likely to implode, but in the overall scheme of bicycle
components, the wheels are a worrisome blend of fragile/difficult-to-
improvise/showstopper-if-you-don't-have-it. Moreover, though tires
can be booted and stitched together, there is some wear and damage
that just can't be readily managed.

You sometimes hear people say that in this era of global access to
consumer goods, you can just have a wheel or a tire shipped to you
where ever you are. There's something to that, but I've seen tires in
shops and stalls in towns that don't have phones, let alone internet.
For a lot of places that I want to ride, there's a much higher premium
placed by locals on the availability of bike tires than on having a
post office.

So, I'm sticking with the trucker for now. I think it's the best that
a US based adventure rider who is going to range far and wide can do.
Nice job, Surly!

Other thoughts:

- If I was too tall to ride a 54 or smaller LHT, then I guess I'd
convert an old mountain bike for adventure use.
- What's my real basis for comparison? I've toured on a converted 1989
Wicked Fat Chance with rear panniers (West Coast of USA), a Santa Cruz
Superlight pulling an Extrawheel trailer (Pakistan, India, Nepal,
Tibet), a Karate Monkey with rear panniers (East Coast of USA), an
80's Bianchi steel road racing bike with a large Carradice seat post
bag (USA, UK, China), a recent vintage Felt aluminum/carbon fiber race
bike with seatpost bag (East Coast of USA, France), and a Bike Friday
folding bike pulling its suitcase (East Coast of USA, Ireland, France,
Spain). None of those were catastrophes. Indeed, the Superlight --
in spite of being absolutely wrong by every bit of conventional wisdom
-- was probably the best. Of course, I was fortunate that neither the
rear shock nor the suspension fork had any problems. The LHT is
better than all of these.

[I also posted this on mtbr, and the thread there also includes a
photo of my LHT in one of its modes. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=451468]"

My reply:


Great post - we share a very similar view about the Fargo and the LHT. If you lived in the same town as me I'd buy you a beer!

We do diverge slightly on a couple issues so I'll touch on those:

I don't fit a 54cm LHT. I tried one and I can get the saddle bars and pedals in the right spot, but I feel like my weight is too far forward on the bike and I hate how it feels when I climb out of the saddle. Having looked around at the alternatives I think the options for a bigger rider that I'd consider are:

Thorn Sherpa: although I tried and sold mine I'd be willing to try a larger size. After riding a 54cm and 56cm LHT I think I really like the feel of a longer wheelbase bike with more length in front of the BB. Although the Sherpa is more $$$ than the LHT it's nicer in many ways: fittings, paint, tubing, etc... The sloping TT is nice if you'll be riding off pavement. Having said that I would have happily ridden a 54cm LHT if I had like how it fit me.

Thorn Raven Tour: This is a nicer touring bike than the Sherpa, but you have to use it with a Rohloff. I'm not a Rohloff cult member, but I have one on my Big Dummy and I'm slowly changing my mind about using on a long distance touring bike. I'm not completely there yet, but I'm now more open to it than before. Here is why:

- risk of Rohloff failure quite low [based on a # of units in service vs. reported problems], how low is up for debate and this is the make or break issue
- Rohloff is nearly weather proof. Having used it for some heinously muddy touring in the Yukon my shifting was perfect the whole time and the drivetrain needed zero attention
- Rohloff drivetrain nearly immune to damage while riding or during transport [buses, planes, taxis]. I can see ways to break it, but they are much less likely than wrecking a derailleur setup
- 32 spoke rear wheel w/ Rohloff is as strong a dished 40H wheel. So you have a strong rear wheel and 32H MTB rims are very common. Finding a 36H or 40H MTB rim would be much harder
- shifting a heavy touring bike while stopped is nice, if you need to start on an uphill
- chainring, cog and chain can be flipped when worn and you get another 100% of the mileage out of them, they will also last a lot longer in the first place
- if you break your Rohloff shifter or cable the hub can still be used and gears changed with an 8mm wrench until you can sort out the issue.

Having said all that I won't argue your cons about the Rohloff - I've made the same points myself. Part of the reason I got a Rohloff is to get some personal experience so I can come to a conclusion on the issue. From what I know and what I have experienced I think it comes down to one question: "How likely is a serious Rohloff problem?" I'm starting to appreciate the positive aspects of the Rohloff much better and I can see how you can avoid quite a few problems that a derailleur setup might face, but you won't get support or spares for a Rohloff on tour - you'll have to wait for FEDEX to deliver a part. Consider though that you won't get decent touring tires or a decent 26" rear wheel for a fully loaded touring bike from anywhere, but FEDEX either. You'll get a crappy wheel or tire or derailleur, but only something that will let you limp to the next big city where you can order replacements. I think most of the Rohloff failures you can come up with will have the same result - you'll be able to limp to the next big city and order spares.

Thorn could solve some of this dilemma by offering their Rohloff bikes with a derailleur hanger. That way you'd have an option to run a derailleur if you really needed to and it wouldn't cost much or wreck the design of their bikes.

I've thought about getting an older steel MTB frame and building it up, but given the cost of the parts I'd use I'd prefer to spend the $$$ on a dedicated touring frame like a Thorn that has all the nice details taken care of. My assessment of the theft risk is low so I don't mind investing in a nice bike. Admittedly I'm a bike snob and would value the experience of riding the nicer frame.

I've looked at Koga Miyatas and they don't do anything for me on a lot of levels - although they are undoubtedly fine touring bikes. The Atlantis is a nice bike, but I don't care for lugs or a fancy paint job and at $1600 for a frame I'd get an S&S equipped Thorn Raven Nomad S&S first.

As a LHT owner I think it's hard to beat the LHT and I wish Surly would offer a 26" wheeled Expedition touring bike for larger riders in the same vein. The Big Dummy is certainly an option, but its length and weight might be deal breakers for some folks. I'm also loving the straight bladed stiff fork less and less for touring as it sends all the vibration straight to the bars.

Unfortunately 29ers are the hot ticket right now and companies all want to jump on that band wagon - 26" wheeled bikes seem to be considered boring.

safe riding,


Pulse Braking

I use the technique of "pulse braking" for keeping a heavily loaded touring bike under control on steep roads without overheating the rim [v-brakes] or overheating the rotor/caliper [disc brakes]. The idea is simple you use one brake firmly at a time alternating between front and back. This allows your braking system to stay cool and keeps the bike's speed in check. Sheldon Brown and Jan Heine both subscribe to this technique and frankly that was good enough for me.

Recently there was an online discussion about the best way to brake on a long mountain descent and the theory behind why the pulse braking technique works was very well explained by Tony Raven. I've pasted in his comments below with permission - thanks Tony!:

"There is a very good physics reason for pulse braking. Heat is lost from the rim by conduction, convection and radiation. Conduction is your enemy because heat is dissipated from the braking surface to other parts of the wheel which heats the tyre up and can lead to the blow out. Convection is heat transfer to the surrounding air and radiation (which is relatively minor here) is the heat you feel when near a hot object.

Conduction happens slowly from the braking surface to the rim to the tyre so it takes time after the braking surface gets hot for the tyre to get hot and blow off. Convection and radiation happen quickly and you want to convect and radiate as much of the braking energy away from the braking surface as you can before it conducts into the body of the rim and on to the tyre.

The rate at which heat is convected away is, to first order, proportional to the temperature rise while the amount of heat radiated away is proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature of the braking surface. If you brake long and slow the heat will build up slowly and conduct from the braking surface to the rim and through to the tyre with the braking surface and rim body in quasi thermal equilibrium.

If you instead dissipate the same amount of energy by a short hard burst of braking the rim surface will get very hot - much hotter than the body of the rim - and much more of the energy will be convected and radiated away from the braking surface before it can be conducted to the body of the rim and on to the tyre. So pulse braking if done properly - i.e let the bike run until you are going as fast as you are comfortable with then a short sharp brake to bring the speed way down then let it run again - will convect and radiate a lot more of the braking energy away from the braking surface before it can conduct into the rim body. The net result is a lower rim body temperature and therefore less risk of a blow off.

For the same reason alternate pulse braking also works because it doubles the rim surface temperature of the wheel you are braking over braking on both wheels but it only really works on a tandem because the rear wheel will unweight and tend to skid on a single when you brake.

As a second order effect, letting the bike run and sitting up also dissipates more energy by wind resistance, which goes as the velocity cubed, in the faster bits of the cycle.


Here are few other things to consider about braking on long steeps roads:
  • sitting up and catching as much wind as possible is a good way to reduce speed without adding heat to your braking system
  • disc brakes can over heat so you need to manage their heat load - overheating rotors or calipers can cause permanent damage
  • lowering your tire pressure will raise the amount of heat your rims can absorb before you blow off a tire
  • when pulse braking keep in mind applying a brake firmly requires good traction with the road or you risk skidding a wheel - very bad on the front!
  • applying your brakes lightly, but consistently the whole way down is your worst case scenario for generating heat
  • you can always stop and let your rims or rotors/calipers cool down

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Challenge Taifun For Sale

Update: the Taifun is sold.....=-)

I've been holding off putting this bent up for sale because I love it a ton and I know I will not be able to replicate it at a reasonable cost any time soon. However, I've got a bike project I'd like to work on this winter and I can't afford to make that happen unless I reduce my fleet of bikes.

First off why am I not riding it? Two reasons:

1) I no longer commute to work by bike since I work at home 4 days a week and use my truck for work related errands the one day I do drive. The Taifun was my comfortable and speedy commuter bike for my 50km round trip commute.

2) my GF & friends ride a DFs and so all of my fun rides and tours are on DFs

What's the Taifun good for?
  • This is an ideal fast commuter bike.
  • It's very stable at slow and high speeds.
  • The low 12' seat height makes starting and stopping easy.
  • It has fenders and disc brakes for all weather riding.
  • The seat vs. BB position makes for excellent climbing.
  • The closed cell foam seat cushion doesn't absorb water.
  • The rear suspension takes the edge off any bumps and the large volume Kojak tires are fast, but also very comfortable when riding on rough surfaces.
  • Although I haven't used it for this purpose it would also make a great touring bike

What you are buying [note not everything in the photos comes with this bike so read carefully]:
  • Challenge Taifun w/ folding tiller steering
  • I have a 42" x-seam and boom will adjust several inches either way
  • total mileage: less than 1000kms [most parts have less than 500kms as I upgraded them while I rode this bike]
  • colour matte black - totally bad ass, rec'd lots of compliments while riding
  • Cranks: Shimano 105 double [new]
  • Bottom Bracket: Shimano 105 [new]
  • Pedals: none [can ship with platform pedals if you would like at no charge]
  • Chain: SRAM w/ powerlink [new]
  • Front Derailleur: not sure will confirm shortly
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105 [new]
  • Cassette: SRAM 11-32 9spd [new]
  • Shifters: Shimano Dura-ace 9 spd barcons on Paul Thumbies mounts [new]
  • Wheels: Velocity 406 Thracians [new]
  • Tires: Schwalbe Kojak 35-406 kevlar bead [new]
  • Brakes: none installed [will ship with some Tektro Bengal mechanical disc calipers & rotors]
  • Brake levers: none [you will need to provide levers]
  • Fenders: SKS 20" fenders
Note: just about every major component on this bike was upgraded after I bought it.

Price: $2000USD + shipping. Buying this bike new would cost over $4000USD+tax & shipping.

This bike is in nearly new condition and is a stunning lowracer that will get lots of attention anywhere it goes. It has been well maintained and stored carefully indoors.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I need a 100mm MTB Fork...

Update: I got a new 2008 Fox F100 RLC from Ebay at 65% the cost of a new 2009 model. I rarely use EBay, but this time it proved useful. Problem solved.

I need a 100m travel MTB suspension fork for a project I'm building and just wanted to see if anyone out there had something they wanted to sell. If I was buying new I'd order up a Fox Talas 32 140RLC or a Fox 32 F100RLC. I'm willing to take a fork from any of the major players that's in good condition - say with at least 60% of its service life left. I need about 160mm of steerer left on the fork so if it's cut shorter than that I won't be able to use it. Stiffness and smooth action are more important to me than bling or lightweight. More than 100mm travel is okay if I can adjust the travel down to 100mm.

Drop me an email or comment if you have anything you would like to part with - thanks!

BTW - if anyone knows of any killer deals on new Fox forks I'd be happy to buy a 2008 model brand new if the price was right.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Andy and Fiona's South American Adventures

Andy and Fiona have a great South American trip report posted on the Thorn site. I thought I provide a link for those that might not run across it there.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cornell sees red...

Cornell dropped by today to grab a bite for lunch and borrow the RANS Street. He's thinking about adding a RANS crank forward to his fleet and will be riding the Street for a few weeks to help make up his mind. With the lack of any LBS that really stocks specialty bikes I know how hard it is to get a test ride before you buy so I was more than happy to help out a fellow BROL member. The Street will get to hang out in the rural area north of Cochrane for a while and enjoy some relaxed country living - sounds like a perfect match for such a laidback bike!...=-)

Have fun Cornell!

Nivea's New LHT Fork

When I overhauled Nivea's Rocky Mountain bike I commented that all she needed was a LHT fork and some new bars to make it a pretty nice touring bike. Particularly since she loved it and was comfortable on it. Tom read that post and happened to have a new 26" LHT fork he wanted to get rid of so we made a deal and I have a glossly black 26" LHT fork sitting in my apartment. When I bought it I wasn't actually sure it would go on Nivea's bike as she was resistant to the idea of swapping out her suspension fork for a rigid fork, but her Manitou fork is worn out and has been getting sloppier and sloppier. With her new brakes and tires she is riding more aggressively and has been noticing the poor handling of her sloppy fork more. The day the LHT fork arrived she actually asked when it was going to get here and was looking forward to getting it on her bike. Cool - I love it when a plan comes together....=-)

Since I'm putting the new fork on her bike I'll get her a new headset to replace the equally old and worn out stock unit on her bike. The black LHT fork exactly matches her frame which has no decals so I can see she'll be asked a lot what kind of Surly she's riding.

Thanks Tom!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Anna's LHT Redux

I completed work on Anna's LHT today and I must say it looks very nice...=-)

Here's what I did to it:
  • added Berthoud 40mm 700c stainless fenders
  • new SRAM 9spd chain
  • new Grand Bois tires [30mm 700c] - very very nice
  • added a Selle Anatomica Titanico saddle
  • new cork bar tape
  • new Salsa 65mm 115 deg stem
  • I threw on my Carradice Barley to show Anna why neon yellow Ortlieb panniers just wouldn't be acceptable any longer!....LMAO

The other items were easy, but these fenders took me a day and a half to install as the hardware provided does not work with the LHT's 1 1/8" fork or its chainstay bridge at the rear. I'm pretty happy at the almost uniform spacing I managed to get between her tire and the fender. Since these fenders are nicely curved in profile they can be setup without a gap and still have lots of clearance from the tire. I sized them 10mm larger than her tire and this worked out great. I haven't trimmed her fender stays yet as I want her to ride the bike before I finalize the install to see if she wants more clearance between the tire and fender.

Okay this may not look uber tech, but it took me 6 or 7 different tries using material I had at hand before I stumbled on this solution. It's a thick rubber band that came wrapped around a Crank Bros multi-tool. I thought it was pretty stupid at the time and tossed it in my parts bin. Little did I know it would be perfect to allow the Berthoud fender hardware to adapt to the LHT's larger steerer tube. Without the rubber piece the hardware would sit at an angle messing up the the alignment of the fender. This way everything sits level and is nicely damped against vibration. I was also stoked to use something I thought was garbage to complete the install. Unless you bend down to look right at the fender mount you can't see the blue rubber piece at all.

The back end was more straightforward, but still required several tries to get the spacing I was looking for.

I borrowed this bracket from Nivea's old quick release front MTB fender and pressed it into service. I did drill the mounting hole in the wrong spot - ooopppsss!, but the bracket had just enough adjustment to cover my gaff. I'm no DIY bike mechanic that's for sure! The good news is from 3 feet away you can't really see this problem so it's all good.

I took Anna's bike for a short spin to make sure the new chain would play nice with her old chain rings and cassette - so far so good. The fenders are on tight and are quiet. The Grand Bois tires are very comfy and fast. Anna will not only be styling on her commute to work, she'll be clean, comfortable and speedy...=-)