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I just had fenders mounted on my bike, but there is a minor issue. Here is the picture of the situation:

fender rack situation

The two fender stays can be see going to the left of the image, and the rack stay is the middle of the image. Currently, the top fender stay and the rack hook where you clip bags onto are pretty much touching. This makes it very difficult to slide a clip onto the rack hook without a struggle.

I was wondering what the best thing to do is. My plan is to buy a longer bolt and add a washer or two to space apart the fender stay and rack stay.

The problem is that I am concerned about cantilevering the rack stay too far from the eyelet. Is that a real concern? (see here)

The solution could be to also switch the ordering so that the rack stay is closest to the eyelet. But I feel like the fender stay could still get in the way because it would have to curve back to the fender. Is that a worry? I want to buy the right length bolt without having to experiment too much.

edit: situation update

After taking a closer look, I realized that the top fender stay runs under the seat stay, so having the fender stay go in front of the rack stay is not an option. I see two ways forward now:

  1. Use washers (with possibly a longer bolt) to space apart the rack and fender stays, even though the rack stay will be outside of the fender stays.

  2. Move the fender stays to P-clamps mounted on the seat stays.

enter image description here

Final update (3-20): I ended up using the same screw, but I added an additional washer between the fender stays and the rack. The screw was long enough to still fully thread the eyelet. And yes I did increase leverage on the screw from the rack ever so slightly. But this was the simplest and easiest solution. The way the fender stay is angled, it's impossible to have the fender stay outside of the rack.

  • Could you move the fender stays to the other side of the eyelet by using a longer bolt and a nut on the inside? If not, I would not hesitate to use a longer bolt and some washers despite the bigger leverage. The only real force is coming from the rack and you could put it on the inside towards the eyelet such that not much changes. In any way, even that is overkill as I would not expect you to carry heavy loads on the rack. – Christian Lindig Jan 29 '17 at 8:12
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    You could always bend the fender stay a bit. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 29 '17 at 13:11
  • If bending it doesnt work, sometimes this problem can be solved by not using the offending fender stay at all (cutting it just above the eyelet in this case), and zip-tying the vacant holes for the draw bolts directly to the rack. – Nathan Knutson Jan 29 '17 at 16:24
  • So there is no room on the inside of the eyelet. It will interfere with the lowest gear. – bernie Jan 29 '17 at 17:33
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    I added an additional picture. Talking it through here and taking a closer look at things made me realize that I think I have two options, described above. – bernie Jan 30 '17 at 1:36
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A longer bolt is indeed a risk because of the extra leverage. The second photo suggests that even a tiny bend back away from the rack will solve your problem - you only need 5mm or so.

If you're willing to bend the fender stay that is a much better solution. The simple, crude way is just to bend it on the bike. Simply hold the fender in place with one hand and push the stay in towards the wheel with the other. You'll probably need to move the fender out using the stay adjustment system to get it to sit straight on the wheel. Unless you need a really big gap (more than 10mm) this should work. You'll have a curved stay and it will look very DIY.

The more organised way that lets you deal with a fender with no adjustment is to pull the stay off the bike and bend it in specific places using a vice. That will let you put a matching set of bends on the other side of the bike so that the fender sits straight. You still need extra length available because the bends pull the fender in towards the wheel.

If you don't have the extra length available you will have to fall back to using a longer bolt. Try to keep the extra length to a minimum. I suggest using a button head bolt rather than a square head because that bolt head will wear a hole in your pannier.

  • I'm reluctant to bend the stay. It seems pretty strong. I will see how a longer bolt looks. Thanks for the button head suggestion. – bernie Jan 29 '17 at 17:38
  • I did try pushing the stays in. I noticed that most of the stress ended up getting applied to the bracket mounted on the fender. Overall, the metal was pretty flexible, so it sprung back to position. – bernie Jan 30 '17 at 23:51
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I'd consider these in order of preference:

  1. Move the fender stay to the inside by using a longer screw and a nut to secure the stay on the inside. If space is really tight, put the screw in from the inside and use the nut on the outside.

  2. Use a longer screw and a spacer but put the rack stay closest to the eyelet because it will carry more load.

  3. Any of the above and bending the rack stay to make it more accessible.

  4. Install a hook.

enter image description here

  • There's no room on the inside, not even for a screw head, unfortunately. I think i'll be trying with a longer screw – bernie Jan 29 '17 at 17:45
  • I had to use a nut and bolt on my bike frame for racks and fenders. I put the bolt head inside and the nut on the outside. The bolt interfered with the chain and cassette, so I had to file it down and use a extra spacer to make it work. – BPugh Mar 21 '17 at 13:04
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The new picture shows that the holes for the fender draw bolts on the offending stay are almost exactly along the path of the back rack struts. Cut off the stay just above the eyelet with bolt cutters or a hacksaw, leaving enough so the other stay has a full loop of material contacting the eyelet. Remove the draw bolts and use zip ties to attach the the empty holes to the rack.

Even if there was no interference issue with the struts, this also eliminates a spot that can rattle.

Here's a bike where I did the same thing for the same reason:

enter image description here

  • I see. I myself am reluctant to cut the stays however. – bernie Jan 31 '17 at 17:16
  • You could also get a pair of stays from a fender set where they don't have the V shape where both stays are one piece, such as Planet Bike. Most shops that install lots of fenders will have them. – Nathan Knutson Jan 31 '17 at 20:26
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Using a "P" clamp you can relocate the fender mount to a little farther up the seat stays.

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Spacing out the bolt so that the rack sits further out is not a good idea, as you suspect. It'll increase the likelihood of either the bolt or the eyelet breaking. I see a few possibilities:

  1. Cut a few millimeters off the tip of the rack hook. You'll still have enough of the hook left to hold your baggage.

  2. Attach the fender stays with P-clamps, as you suggested.

  3. Reposition the attachment of the upper fender stay to the fender, so the stay is further back. I can't tell from the photo, but you'll probably have to drill some holes in the fender.

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