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Bakfiets earns its flames!

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    I got some new fenders. Round galvanized-steel trailer fenders--13 cm wide. They were the only ones I could find in that narrow-width--which is exactly perfect for the bakfiets.

    But the radius was just a bit too small. The "factory" Kenda tires would've fit just fine under them, but the much larger Super Moto-X tires--definitely didn't...

    I fixed that.

    I took an old bench from the original bakfiets, and placed one fender on top of it--arching over the bench--then placed the other on the underside of the plank. Then, I wrapped a cargo-strap around them, and ratcheted down. I worked slowly, repositioning, re-checking--I took my time--but bit-by-bit, the fenders were "spread open" a bit wider in this way. Now they're just exactly the radius I needed--and because I squeezed them simultaneously, they both continue to match one another perfectly.

    They're stock trailer fenders though still--and not a perfect custom-fit. They'll not go as far down the wheels as the original bike-fenders did...

    To deal with this, I'll rotate the fender-arches backward, until they meet the rear frame-supports. This will leave each fender with an open gap on the front--sort of like a jeep... I think that'll actually look okay--if not pretty cool. I think I'll try to make a removeable plastic mud-guard to bridge that gap for on-road use--especially in inclement weather--so I can help keep the road-spray and silt from getting everywhere--but I think I will want that mud-guard to be something I can just pop back out again.

    I think the fenders are going to look good, but at least I know they'll be effective. And due to my squeezing-modification, they won't be at risk of rubbing on my tires--as the stock ones currently still are.

    They do disrupt the appearance of the bakfiets though. They'll be a whole lot of silver shiny steel--unless I paint them. I think I'd like it if they were black--like the bakfiets' frame... I wonder how much powder-coating costs...

    More to follow...


    Fenders... Are going to be really cool...

    But I also need to arrange for the inboard-sides--what would you call that--fender skirts?


    I've got indoor storage (thank heavens).

    But even so, the bakfiets is made of wood. It's pretty-good quality weather-resistant wood--but even so, its vulnerable. All that wood dries out better, if it's not caked in mud or sand--and that's why I want the inside of the fender-wells shielded somehow.

    I'm not scared (obviously) of adapting "non-bicycle" parts for my project. Sometimes it's ridiculous, other times it's just the thing. Basically, I'm looking for a plastic disc of about the right radius, which I can halve--and slip behind the fender, on both sides. Ideally, I'm looking for something that can be a little textured on one side. The idea, is to put that textured/pattered side against the box--with that relief providing some air-space between the layers. If water were to be trapped between plastic and wood--that'd entirely defeat the point of the fender-liner. I could also anchor it with some washers on the backside--to let it breathe. Anways, I'm not committed to any particular solution yet, but I saw some gigantic plastic trays, meant to go under equally gigantic tree-size flower-pots (would you call them tree-pots?)--I'm obviously not a gardener... But I thought maybe, with minimum modification, perhaps I'd get the properties I'm looking for. Keeping my eyes open.
    Last edited by tklop; 09-08-2019, 07:02 AM.


    • tklop
      tklop commented
      Editing a comment
      Knowing that I'll have some extra room underneath my new fenders, I've been poking around to see if I can find any other tire-options for my machine.

      The bakfiets has no suspension, so obviously all the ride-cushioning has to come from its tires. For non-suspension bikes, balloon-tires are one decent way to tame the severity of the bumps. For my 20" front-rims, the Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires [erto 62-406] running at +/- 55psi are currently (as far as I can tell) the best option out there for my front-wheels. I haven't been able to find any other tires with equal (or greater) air-volume.

      The next-closest ones are in the family of high thread-per-inch high-pressure BMX Street/Ramp tires. Those tires typically lack any leak-protection, but are otherwise in many ways really great tires--depending on the application. I've used them on the bakfiets before--back when the machine was "me-powered" (non-electric). Street & Ramp tires are really awesome in terms of super-low rolling-resistance, and are excellent for on-asphalt grip... But without suspension, they're hard as rock, and feel as though you're riding on wooden wagon-wheels. At e-biking speeds, that's horribly jarring--and completely unacceptable. Eliminating those 20" Street/Ramp tires, from my list of viable options, leaves only a scant assortment of knobbies...

      As of this posting, I haven't yet been able to find any balloon tires broader than those Super Moto-X's; and I haven't found any "fat-tire" options whatsoever.

      Of course new products come along all the time, and I'll keep my eyes open. But for now, I'm sticking with my 20"x 2.4" 62-406 Super Moto-X's--at +/- 55 psi.
      Last edited by tklop; 09-14-2019, 11:22 PM.

    I have a KMX trike that has 20 inch front wheels. I put a set of Super-motos on it and they are great. You don't need that much pressure either 35-40 psi should be fine.

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    • calfee20
      calfee20 commented
      Editing a comment
      You have me thinking now. Maybe I should put a bathroom scale under my tires and see what the weight distribution is. I don't know maybe just more useless information.

    • tklop
      tklop commented
      Editing a comment
      I think the weight-distribution / center-of-gravity data might be interesting to see. The most useful data would be "including rider" --and then perhaps "rider plus cargo" (various configurations, if applicable).

      I'm imagining it might be hard to read the scales when seated. If you leaned and twisted in order to see the dial, you'd affect the readings. Perhaps another human would make that a lot easier... Telescoping mirror maybe--but then the readout would be backwards... Surmountable challenges.

      You could also take weight-measurments with the trike parked along a slope to simulate the weight-distribution while cornering (and if you were really good at math, you could likely extrapolate--though I'd not know where to begin).

      Maybe you're right. Maybe the information would be ultimately impractical, or useless... But yeah--curiosity sometimes demands answers anyway!

      Now I'm going to have to go buy a bathroom-scale myself!

    • calfee20
      calfee20 commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't go that far.