Nisnas Cycles makes these beautiful wooden fenders for Bromptons (love the PacMan motif).
Nisnas Cycles →
Posted 1.13.11 in The Kitchen Sink | Bookmark or Share
Just wonderful. Imagine the new sage color Brompton with Brooks saddle, grips and mudflap!
I use to make fine furniture for a living – tons of curved bits and pieces like those fenders – starting to miss it.
Nice. I’ve been pondering wooden bicycles and velomobiles lately, and this is inspiring.
Pretty, but real fenders curl so water is not spread sideways.
I wonder, are the fenders flat (side-to-side) for style reasons only, or is there a limitation in the ability to bend wood fenders? Seeing that they are bent front to back, I would hope it would be possible to curve them side-to-side a bit, to prevent water from spraying off the sides.
But perhaps these fenders are meant more for good looks than practicality.
Its definitely almost impossible to bend wood into 3D shapes. One direction or twisting is ok but not compound curves. Lots of chairs, tools and music instruments are made using a steaming technique but that wouldn’t work with this thin 3-5 layer veneer job.
Those fenders are more for looks than function…
If the wood layers are aligned with the circumference of the fender as in the photos above, the veneers would not fit if you tried to bend them side to to side. Think about it like this; if you tried to lay a veneer on a standard curved fender with a side-to-side curvature, the sides would be on a smaller radius than the center! So the length of the wood fibers would need to be shorter on the edges of the ply than in the middle!
It should be possible to make fenders with a side-to-side curvature by taking clues from the world of aircraft engineering and composites. (e.g. a geodesic airframe) Consider a thin ply of veneer say an inch or two wide. If you were to lay it not along the circumference of the fender but say a some degrees degrees skewed, it would then conform to the shape of a standard fender much better. Of course you’d need to lay several pieces of ply next to each other to cover the complete fender, and you would need several layers skewed in opposing directions to make a fender. The more the skew of the plies, the more you can curve them from side to side. Additionally, this fender would be much more resistant to torsion.
As you can imagine, making fenders like this would be more expensive than the non-curved fenders, probably significantly so.
Woody’s makes compound curve wood fenders:
@Alan, thanks for that link. Already have an email in to get custom sizes to fit the Brompton. Those fenders are just beautiful.