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To Be Determined Journal

To Be Determined is a journal of cycling, adventure and photography, curated by a NYC-based cycling team known as TBD Racing or Team TBD. From criteriums to cyclocross to product reviews and travel diaries, it is all part of the TBD Journal.

Velo Orange/Portland Design Works QR Fender Eyelets Review

Not all bike manufacturers are as forward thinking as Garneau was with their Steeple’s fender eyelets. But this doesn’t mean you cannot convert your cyclo cross bike into the perfect outdoor winter training machine, it just takes a little more creativity and engineering. After all, bikes on the level that we engage with them are best analogized to overpriced adult legos, and the latest plastic bits to clip together for the coming season are fenders.

The following bits will help achieve the quick release non-drilled cycle cross bike achieve the utility demonstrated by Matt Vandivort’s earlier winter Steeple post. Sorry to those who subscribed to the latest Thru Axle standards and ditched your old QR big tire clearance bike, but stop reading here as this will not help you.

Bits and Tips:

  1. Fenders - metal are cool but require more care in the initial installation due to potential for rattling and limited flexibility. Plastic are lighter and easier to install for the foregoing reasons.

  2. Quick release eyelets - these are cool (see pic below).

    https://velo-orange.com/products/vo-fender-stay-mount-for-eyeletless-frames-10mm

    https://ridepdw.com/products/eyelet-set?variant=24829600001

  3. P-Clamps - There are reports of #2 quick release eyelets working on rear dropouts aswell. Due to some odd shaped rear dropouts and tortured derailleur hanger on my 2013 SuperX, I opted to go with P-clamps rather than try. There are a few P-clamp options, I used the Velo Orange because I was a little worried about pressure points on an older carbon frame and they have the fattest rubber bumper-pad I could find compared to the generic P-clamp.

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The finished product

The commute to work through NYC’s Van Cortlandt Park (a southern component of the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail) is beautiful, but the converted rail road line —> dirt trail doesn’t have great drainage and muddy puddles are not conducive for trying to cut out the gym shower before changing at the office. With full fender coverage, riding through wet and cold becomes much more bearable, and also helps protect your other bike-bits from being perpetually blasted with the the salt, garbage-water, and general grime that we have no choice but to ride through in NYC.

Beet juice for active recovery days - highly reccommend.

Beet juice for active recovery days - highly reccommend.

A word to the wise, while this is an easy bike lego project, give yourself ample time. Open a beverage of your choosing, lay out your tools, have bike on stand (bike wheels need to be on to fit fenders), and allocate a recommended 2-hours for an enjoyable playtime bike mechanic experience. Additional objectives include avoiding unsightly fender/wheel cleavage, ensuring fenders fully cover wheels, allowing front wheel toe clearance, and most importantly do not rub tires.

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