Monday, August 8, 2011

The Phoenix Project - Civia Sage Green Fenders

I turned my attention to the Civia Sage Green fenders today. When we get to the pictures, the insane logic of choosing the olive color for the Toshi Leather Stitch-on Handlebar Wrap will be crystal clear.

But first a few words about fenders. Frankly, although I've been afflicted with the disease for many years, I'm sick of fender fetish. Metal fenders are fun, but they have significant downsides, the prime one being "stick" incidents and I've had plenty.

Unfortunately, although they've been getting longer in recent years, no plastic fenders are still long enough for my purposes. Some of them are getting close these days with a mud flap, maybe in a couple more years...

I'm also sick of oohing and aaahing over the shiny fenders. I want colored fenders. A couple of years ago I brought this up in a forum and almost got laughed out of the place. The idea of having a painted fender when you could have a shiny or hammered one was utterly preposterous to the peanut gallery.

Today I have my revenge.. But first, some installation notes.

The Civia model I chose was installed on the Civia Hyland model of a few years past. I remember seeing these in a bike shop and hoping that they would be for sale individually.

They are, but perhaps not for long, as there does not seem to be new production of this particular model. Civia seems to have moved on to more attorney-proof shorter fenders with the breakaway thin stays seen on Planet Bike, SKS and other plastic fenders.

But they are still metal, so you get all of the downsides of plastic and metal fenders. Way to go, Civia.

But a lot of these are still around. Overall, they are a heck of a fender deal - long, stout aluminum, nifty colors, quality hardware. I have just one or two gripes.  Well, ok, more than one or two.

The first is that the stays are attached to the fender via a single eyelet per stay. This is known to be sub-optimal.

The second is that the fenders are actually a bit too long. In the front, this can make sliding down a curb a bit hazardous and in the rear it complicates wheel removal.

The third is that the pre-drilled holes for the inadequate number of eyelets are too close to the end of the fender.  This is especially true of the rear fender where the stay runs out horizontally rather than rising about 15-20 degrees from the eyelet.

Finally, they choose to cut the rear of the fender ends to some modernistic, asymmetric pattern. Fortunately, somebody stopped them before they could do the same to the leading edge on the front fender. If that weren't enough, they decided to put their logo on each fender:

Sounds like I hate these, but I don't.  All fenders come with issues and these ones are readily resolved by clipping a couple of inches off the offending end of each fender, installing a mudflap, and redrilling for two eyelets per stay.

I'll be doing this on the bye and bye, but today I wanted to get the front fender fitted up to the fork crown daruma.

These fenders were designed for the Hyland's forks, so there is no dimple or depression to closely fit a fork crown daruma although a hole is provided.  To remedy this, we secure 2 aptly named fender washers per side to the pre-drilled fork crown hole:

We wrench this down pretty tight to start forming a flat as you can see above.  Then the extra nuts are threaded onto the bolt, each tightened down in turn, to beef up this assembly for (sorry for fuzzy, real-time pic) clamping the nutted portion in a vise:

We then bend in the appropriate direction (careful with that..), roughly checking it against the frame:

Removing our clever little assembly, we see what we have wrought:

I hit the area where the paint cracked with some very fine sandpaper to mitigate any small cracks we may have induced. 

Did I mention that the fender washers used are the same diameter as the thick rubber washer on the bottom of the fork crown daruma?  This makes for a perfect fit.

Moving on, we mount the fender on the fork crown daruma.  These fenders were a little wide for my forks, so I wrapped them with cloth and gave them a few ginger squeezes to neck them down in the fork area.

One of the fender washers serves as a backing plate now.  Backing plates for fasteners are a good idea on any fenders but are especially so on aluminum fenders.  This will significantly extend the fender's lifespan by distributing fatigue stresses over a much wider area:

Looking closely, one can see the two small pieces of handlebar tape in between the fender and the fork.  This prevents rattles.  I chose blue because, well, you had to look closely...

I then very loosely mounted up the stay and voila!

Stunning, no?  Fender line needs work and so forth, this is just first fitup.  But, I hereby declare shiny,  hammered, fluted, sauteed, metallic fenders passe and that we are on the threshold of a new era, the matte finish, colored fender era.  Remember, you heard it here first.

These really are slick and will be even slicker when finished:

The Nitto M12 rack sits pretty high, there is about a 1/2 inch gap between the rack's fender mount and the fender.  I could just leave it be, but I really like 3 attachment points per fender to keep things from flopping around.  This will just entail a little futzing around with spacers, files, and so forth.

One for the road (yeah, yeah, the fender line...):

Maybe I'm not so sick of fenders after all.

Running Tally

$2600 USD

We bring forward $2562 USD.  The Civia Sage Green Fenders were a smokin' hot deal for $38 USD at Alfred E Bike.


Tim said...

I really like the olive with the blue! I have always liked the look of shiny metal fenders but I too am starting to make the move over to the other side. Here's a link to a Soma double cross with matching SKS longboard fenders that helped change my mind.

robatsu said...


That is a nice looking Soma. SKS longboard, hmm, have to keep that in mind.

How did the colors end up matching so well?

Tim said...


I think it was luck that one of the stock fender colors just so happened to match the frame. Unfortunately, the longboards only come in a few colors.

Apertome said...

I like all kinds of fenders, basically. Plastic, metal, wood, whatever. I have aluminum VO ones on my LHT, my main bike, and I like them. They're the fluted ones, not shiny, I forget what theyc all the finish.

These look nice ... and you're certainly putting a lot of work into getting everything just right. Nice work.