Bicycle Wood Fender





Introduction: Bicycle Wood Fender

About: I'm an Italian freelance structural engineer, graphic designer and photographer, and I'm teaching physics in Waldorf schools. I always investigate electronics, robotics and science in general, I'm a passiona...

Let me say that fenders on a bike are not always stylish accessories, especially if plastic parts (except if it's reuse). Nevertheless when it's raining they become essential, so that leaves us with a question, install fenders or not?

For my all-day city-bike I decided to make my own stylish fenders from wood profiles.

Step 1: Material

First of all I had to choose the wood profiles. I looked for a flat bar, long 1 meter for front fender and 1.5 m for rear one. About the type of wood I'm not an expert, but I paid attention that there were not knurls, and that fibers were thin, and obviously parallel to the length. The thickness of the bar has to be not more than 1/4" or better less.

To bend the wood I used a strap with lever and pulley, used to glue frames and pieces of furniture.

Step 2: Soften the Wood Fibers

To allow the wood bars to bend, and then keep the shape, you should put the bars in steam for some hours. I don't have a steam box (although you can easily build one, there are also some instructables about that) so I decided to pour profiles in water.

I found a plastic pipe, I plugged the bottom with a plastic conical container, and I left my wood bars in water for three days.

Step 3: The Bending Jig

My bending jig is nothing complicated... just a city bike 26" wheel, with rim wide enough to hold my wood profile.

I made different attempts with different wood types and I discovered that 26" diameter jig is good to build fenders for my mountain-bike with 26" wheels and 2" tires. Just leave it dry enough and it will straighten out just a bit. I waited a few days.

Step 4: Most Is Done

It's time to choose the right length and cut the extremities of the profiles. For the longer bar you could decide to keep one end, which should have a lower curve, and use it for the forward part of the rear fender, to connect it to the center of the bike frame.

After cutting to the right dimension use a belt sander to round off the top edge on all the length of the fender, and also smooth the corners. Then smooth it by hand with fine-grained sand paper.

Step 5: Choose Colour

When the fender is smooth you can paint it with a darker colour, or leave it natural. I chose a walnut tint.

Step 6: Connection Bars

For front fender, which has no other connections with the fork, I used a rigid metal bar reused from my old plastic fender. For rear fender you don't need a very stiff piece for connection, since it could be joined to the frame and to the rack.

Step 7: Protective Paint

To weather the rain wood fenders have to be painted with a layer or two of boat paint ("flating" is its name in Italy).

Don't forget to wash your brush with thinner.

Step 8:

The finishing painting also gives a shiny appearing and it accents the wood distinctive vibrancy. You should probably take care of your new fenders cleaning them frequently, and sanding and painting them again after 6-8 months.

Step 9: Assembling

You can now assemble the fender on your bike. Make some test and mark the positions for holes, then drill the wood bars paying attention to not break fibers, it's useful to lean the piece on another wood block while drilling.

Tighten screws enough so that fenders will not come unscrewed. Mount again wheel and close your brakes.

Step 10: Awesome

Your bike has now two awesome stylish wood fenders, with personal length and width, and you can say: I made it!

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29 Discussions

These look neat!

One day I'm going to follow an instructable for a wooden bike build and these fenders. For now, I'll just abstain from riding in the wet. :D

Looks like fenders you would have to pay a lot of money to get.

Nice job.

Just bought a new Giant cruiser...have been looking for vintage metal fenders...doing this instead. Super excited!

Thanks, I have a bike in need of fenders. I can't believe I didn't think of this myself!

grande Andrea! questi mesi di attesa senza un tuo ible ora ripagano!! grandissimo come sempre!! (votato ovviamente)

Hi andrea

Good job! Love this style;-))

Yours Aeon Junophor

What a great job. Very simple and effective. Would look nice with one of my barrel style saddle bags.

These look really nice. I'm going to try this as I rebuild my 1984 mountain bike I got when I was 15. What kind of wood did you use?

Nice! Do you periodically replace the wood? If not, how does it perform during failure? Does it just fall out?

3 replies

those fenders could last many years, just re-paint them periodically. what failure do you mean?

I didn't mean it as a criticism, I default to my training, which makes me a pessimist. It will fail for example, due to "fatigue" or "cold working" (they are the same thing) due to the moments created at the attachment point by the vibrating tip.

yeah, that is true for the connection to the fork. mine comes from another fender, but if you make your own part don't use aluminum, which is not fatigue-resistant.
wood doesn't brake and works good, very similar to plastic for a fender.

The fenders look great. Do they "relax" and straighten due to sunlight or moisture?

1 reply

probably a bit, because of humidity, but not too much. if you build them a little tight then after a while they'll fit perfectly! ;)