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I'm building an All-City Space Horse with 700C Velocity Dyad rims and 45mm Velo Orange fenders. What do you think the maximum tire width will be that I can use? I'm thinking of getting Schwalbe Little Big Bens, but I'm not sure if that will fit.

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tl;dr: The 38-40mm Little Big Ben tires will fit your bicycle but (maybe) not your fenders

The webpage for http://allcitycycles.com/bikes/space_horse clearly indicates that your thickest tire is a 700c x 42.

All City Space Horse

Since the Little Big Bens are 38-40mm in width, you should be ok with them on the Space Horse ... except ....

enter image description here

.... the only Velo-Orange fenders that would fit unmodified in the 42mm forks would be the 37mm ones -- which have a maximum tire width of 27mm. So that'd be a nope. With modification (i.e., a dremel tool) you could get the Velo-Orange 45mm ones to fit in the 42mm foks, but those have a maximum tire width of 35mm, so still nope. Also with some judicious bending, cutting, hammering, duct-taping, and jubilee clipping, I think you could still get it to fit, but it may look janky to you.

Note that @Criggie has pointed out that the V-O requirement that the tire be -10 mm smaller than the fender may be conservative -- allowing for mud clearance which might not be an issue with the tires you want. But you won't know unless you put it all together.

enter image description here

If you're not into bodging fenders, then you would need to get the 37mm fenders and find wheels with a maximum width of 27mm (to be on the safe side). The safest thing is to wait until you have the bike in hand and can measure the actual fork distances and see if the 45mm fenders will fit -- but even then, your tires might not, so you still have to look for thinner tires -- or use different fenders.

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    Thanks for your answer - I already have the frame, and I just tested the fenders; they actually do fit (with a tiny bit of bending, only at the chain stay, probably less than 1mm in total). I decided to buy the fenders, but I might get smaller tires. – Bert Jan 27 '17 at 18:58
  • VO is most likely being very conservative in order to try to prevent too many complaints and returns. Unfortunately that makes it hard for people to know ahead of time if it'll work. p.s. If you think the answer sufficiently answers your question, be sure to "accept" it above. – RoboKaren Jan 27 '17 at 19:01
  • @RoboKaren no they are not being conservative. Aluminum fenders have rolled edges, that are rolled inwards. This catches water to reduce spray but you lose 2mm per side. – Rider_X May 11 '17 at 21:59
  • It depends on what you mean by conservative: do you mean "that it functions optimally" or "that it fits." From the customer's perspective of asking whether it fits, VO is being conservative. – RoboKaren May 11 '17 at 22:04
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I decided to try it anyway, and everything fits, quite easily actually:

Space Horse, 45mm fenders, Little Big Bens

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  • Looking good brother! (those fenders are awesome) – CardMechanic May 11 '17 at 18:10
  • Great! Like I said, VO and other manufacturers tend to be conservative about compatibility. – RoboKaren May 11 '17 at 20:44
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    This worked because the fender is being run high over the tire, if you want to run the fender lower (i.e., halfway down the tire side wall) to better catch spray, 32-35mm tires will be the max with a 45 VO fender. – Rider_X May 11 '17 at 22:02
  • Thank you for coming back with closure - its much appreciated. – Criggie May 11 '17 at 23:54

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