Although I am 100% satisfied with the performance and aesthetics of my ever growing collection of traditional soft koozies, I have time and old water bottles aplenty so I fabricated what I now call my
Urban Assault Suburban Assuaging Koozie.
Large volume tires with low inflation are best. Select a route consisting of only freshly paved roads. Easy!
Something serious? Fender safety tabs. The pictures here reminded me of the importance of this seemingly insignificant blop of ugly plastic. This bicycle pictured may have safety tabs or some other safety accommodation, but I can’t tell from the pictures and the tight clearances got me to thinking. No safety tabs on your front fenders? If debris becomes lodged between the fender and the tire, or if the fender itself contacts the tire, the fender can fold up and jam the front wheel. The sudden not-rolling will send you over the bars and the resulting injuries can be very serious. Death or paralysis are not out of the question. See here. And here.
Safety tabs release the fender stay from the fork mounting point when sufficent pulling force is applied. The tabs shown above are from SKS. The tabs work as follows. The metal eyelet on the fender stay slides into the plastic safety tab. The plastic safety tab, not the metal eyelet, is bolted to the fender mounting eyelet on the fork. I haven’t seen safety tabs used on rear fenders. Locking up a rear wheel is far less likely to end badly (a rear wheel skid is not terribly difficult to ride out).
All of my bicycles with modern plastic fenders have safety tabs, but my metal fenders (Honjos) and older plastic fenders (Blumel’s) do not. It seems likely that the plastic safety tabs can be retrofitted to some fenders with metal eyelets at the ends of the stays. Maybe not Blumel’s where the two front stays are independent (one overlapping the other, instead of the two coming together into one). The overlapping stays wouldn’t fit into the fender safety tab. Here are the two separate overlapping stays securing my Blumel’s fenders.
I think one could buy a set of integrated stays (two stays on one side of the fender are bet from a single piece of metal into a V with the eyelet formed at the apex of the V. Best part with this approach is that the stays and the safety tabs can be from the same vender so you’ll be sure they work well together.
Interesting to see if the safety tabs can be made to work with a single stay application like that found on Honjo fenders. Honjos use thick aluminum stays without eyelets. Instead of eyelets, the straight stays are clamped to the fork.
The Honjos use a single one piece stay that wraps from the fork on one side around the back of the fender and then carries on to the fork on the other side. To use the safety tabs with Honjos one would need to fabricate stays with eyelets. That said, I wonder whether the Honjo set up really needs a safety tab. Because the stay is straight and simply clamped into place, the stay might pull out of the clamp when things go badly. Here is a Globe Live 3 fender that folded after eating a branch, but the owner reports no crash. I see that the Globe Live 3 uses clamp on stays like the Honjo (no safety tabs). I would be surprised if a company as big as Specialized (Globe is a subsidiary of Specialized) hadn’t thought this through, so maybe clamps are as good as the safety tabs. Anyone ever experience this? Thoughts?
I am going to order a half dozen sets of the the plastic safety tabs and one set of stays to retrofit to my Blumel’s from here. I will see what works and report back. Don’t wait to hear from me, though. If you are running a front fender without safety tabs, consider getting fenders with the tabs or getting the tabs to see if you can effectively and safely retrofit them. Obviously millions have miles have been safely covered without safety tabs, but I would hate to be pedaling the bicycle that picks up the stick that folds the fender that sends the hapless rider into a fast forward pavement embrace.