Friday, September 7, 2012

Bike Tech

Fender technology has not advanced much in the last century. You could argue that since the invention of geared bikes and the waning of penny farthings, bike technology hasn't changed all that much in general, but to those of us paying attention it certainly has. But not for the lowly fender. I installed some on my bike in spring. At first it was a glorious relationship. I could ride through the rain with only a jacket and no rain pants; I felt like I could ride through the river and stay dry. Of course there was the headache of installing them, cutting metal and plastic not meant to be cut and fashioning crude custom pieces with a wrench and screwdriver. I thought it was worth it, then all the tiny nuts and bolts started shaking lose and falling off my bike, and now I'm riding a machine that rubs and creaks, drags and infuriates. Have you ever tried to find replacement pieces for a fender? These are not the common things you find at the local hardware store, and your local bike shop will only have an assortment of out-of-date fenders that do you no good. No, it's a job for cable ties and duct tape, and I suppose the silver lining is that it serves as an effective theft deterrent.

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