It'll be about a year this May since I've been riding my Soma Double Cross. Most weekdays, it's main task is getting me to my office in DTLA. Because of the distance, I combine the cycling with either an express bus, Metro rail or my 4Runner - depending on the circumstances of the day. I never did put a cycling computer on, so I can’t be too sure of mileage. Rough calculations would be around 2500 miles.
As working bike I depend on its comfort, performance and practicality. It excels in all these. In city traffic, bike paths, dirt roads or even overnight trips, it's a great pleasure to ride.
I don't remember when the issues of fenders came up, but at some point just after taking ownership, biking buddy Steve mentioned he was going to take a shot at making a few sets of homemade wood fenders and would I like a pair. How could I say no to that?
When you think of bike fenders, you probably think of cycling in a downpour and keeping your legs high and dry. That certainly sounds good but it really doesn't work that way. I don't ride in the rain if I can help it - although I've been busted a few times when trying to out run a shower.
With ongoing city miles, fenders like these are to keep the bike clean from general road schmutz and other spray from creepy mystery fluids on the street. Besides, who wouldn't love a little woody elegance on their wheels?
I started to get some pictures via email. A circular wood form. Molded strips of wood. I emailed Steve back. Didn't he want to take a few measurements or get an idea of frame clearance? No. It'll be fine. Ok. You go, man.
Steve is a busy dude. A music shop owner (x2), always mountain biking and doing local trail maintenance, baking yet another batch of cookies & has many home improvement projects. As far as the fender project was concerned, I wasn't in any hurry and not surprised that I didn't hear anything for a while.
The year transitioned from summer to autumn then winter. I started to get a few more pictures. The wood strips were looking like real fenders. Oh yeah! Last week I cycled over to the other side of Tujunga, handed him the bike and up on the stand she went. I helped with the assembly a bit, but mostly took pictures. It was a fun afternoon of bike geekery.
Wood fenders and hardware ready to go.
Starting with the rear wheel, Steve assembles the stays. A big reason I chose the SOMA : plenty of mounting points for racks and fenders both front and rear.
Steve’s bike collection is certainly drool worthy. Above: An 80’s (?) Gary Fisher tandem mountain bike with head shock.
Trimming the rear stays.
Rear stays looking good.
With my wide Schwalbe 38mm tires, clearance is tight tight tight. But it fits!
The tightest area that I was worried about: the bottom bracket space where the fender terminates at the cross member. Steve made a really elegant cut to accept the brass fitting and hardware.
With a little file work on the top kick stand plate and yeah, a little cable rub that doesn’t seem to be a huge crime – everything is fitting in this little space.
Black was never my favorite color for a bike frame, but I’m getting used to it.
With disc breaks, fender stays are always going to be fussy. With a nicely shaped bend, no fuss, no muss!
The secret sauce.
Brass fittings. Come on, how cool is that?
Looking good, not much added weight either.
Matching leather saddle and fenders. I think she’s suitable for public viewing . The ride is nice and no rattles!
Ever wish your bike could do more for you? If you get interested in a utilitarian bike that can handle commutes, groceries and perhaps an overnight up the coast, then have a look here: