Hilsen + Berthouds + 35 mm Paselas Don't Work

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Apr 21, 2007, 3:24:42 PM4/21/07
to RBW Owners Bunch
A bit frustrating.... Got some 50 mm Berthouds from PJW. The part of
the rear fender that attaches to the seatstay bridge has to be
squeezed a bit in order to fit. Unfortunately, my wheel, shod with 35
mm Paselas, can't squeeze inside of the fender there. Am I doing
something wrong? Would SKS fenders work, or do I need to go with a
thinner tire in order to achieve nirvana?

Joel Solomon

David Estes

Apr 21, 2007, 4:25:38 PM4/21/07
to rbw-owne...@googlegroups.com
Bummer Joel!  I thought the whole idea of the AHH was to be able to put fat tires and fenders on it and ride anywhere... ????!!!!????!!!!  I wouldn't have thought of 35mm Paselas as all that huge...
Redlands, CA


Apr 21, 2007, 8:11:31 PM4/21/07
to rbw-owne...@googlegroups.com

That definitely causes that sentance that you don't want to hear from
doctors or mechanics, "...hmmm, now _that's_ odd..."

My understanding (and the AHH website states) that the bicycle was designed
for 32 - 38 size tires. RR#38 shows the fork with a 35mm Pasela in place,
and there's enough room to park a set of fenders there, with ease. (Sorry -
not in the scanned archive yet...) The accompanying text say you can get a
40 in there with fenders, though it doesn't state what kind.

I don't have the benefit of a Hilsen in the garage to go measure, and I've
not gone through the excercise of mounting a set of Honjo's.

That being said, the 50's sound pretty big, and if you have to squeeze them
"a bit", that's what I'd take a look at first. Honjos are also available in
45, 43 and 40.


You might want to take a measurement of the seatstay bridge/brake arch and
see what it is. I would RBW can tell you too - I don't see it anywhere
obvious in my reference materials.

Might just be the edges of the honjo are bent in too much. They're rolled,
aren't they? That wouldn't help clearance.

hope that's of some help,

-- Jim "..why is it these things always happen on the weekend?..."

PS - other than that, you can get differing actual tire sizes depending upon
the rim you have, and it's possible that the "35" is actually coming out



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James Warren

Apr 21, 2007, 11:14:31 PM4/21/07
to rbw-owne...@googlegroups.com

On the dedicated A. Homer Hilsen website, under the section called
"Colors and Graphics", Rivendell mentions the following: "We have two
other paint options—an orange (same DuPont family, YM 099) and a green
(undecided which)..." for a fee.

My current understanding is that you can choose from many colors for an
upcharge. But I am wondering if anyone by now has seen an AHH in green.



Apr 22, 2007, 7:37:58 AM4/22/07
to RBW Owners Bunch
Have you thought about filing or grinding away some of the fender so
it doesn't have to squeeze into your tire? A Rat tail file of the
appropriate diameter used carefully makes some nice looking scalloped
cutaways. If this allows the fender to go back to it's original
contour maybe your tire will fit.


Apr 22, 2007, 7:44:01 AM4/22/07
to RBW Owners Bunch
I just hate it when stuff like that happens, especially with a new
bike that ought to be perfect and set up nice and easy. That said,
50's do sound like a pretty big fender. I have 35 (actual)mm Avocets
sitting easily under the SKS 45 mm fenders on my SOMA. The fenders
just touch both seat stays. I would assume that a 45mm metal fender
would fit the same, except possibly for the small roll in the metal
edge. Have you tried taking the air out of the tire and reinflating
it after the wheel is on the bike? Would that take you past the pinch
point? The only other option that comes to my mind is carefully
snipping a small V in the fender to avoid having to role it. There is
a big jump in the shape of the tire when you go from 32 to 35mm
Pasellas, which are plenty big for a road bike.
Good luck.
Westford, VT


Apr 22, 2007, 8:56:28 AM4/22/07
to rbw-owne...@googlegroups.com
I do not own a AHH and have only seen pictures, but looking at pictures
and comparing to bikes I do own, it does not seem that a 50mm fender
should be squeezed at the seat stays. Is the squeeze at the seat stays
or the chain stays?
Are there no AHH owners on this this list that can offer some advice
here? Perhaps they are all completing their 400k brevet.


Apr 22, 2007, 10:48:26 AM4/22/07
to RBW Owners Bunch
I have a Hilsen also, but cannot add much to the discussion. Mine has
the standard issue SKS fenders with 32c Paselas. There does appear to
be a lot of room there. Not sure if that translates into enough for
50 fenders and 35 Paselas, however. That sounds more like Atlantis

On Apr 22, 7:56 am, "carnerda...@bellsouth.net"

Dustin Sharp

Apr 22, 2007, 11:54:21 AM4/22/07
to rbw-owne...@googlegroups.com
I guess to me this whole discussion raises one very basic question? What in
the heck is wrong with Cantis? I know some prefer calipers from an
aesthetic perspective, but jeeze, cantis solve a lot of problems from a
clearance standpoint

I have a "Montana road bike" build by David Kirk a couple of years back. At
the time there was no AHH, and I really wanted something in between the
Atlantis and the Rambouillet. Mr. Kirk came up with something that is very
much like the AHH with one, problem-solving exception: cantis!

Dustin Sharp

**** __@
** = \<._
* (_)/ (_)


Apr 22, 2007, 12:17:56 PM4/22/07
to RBW Owners Bunch
Whoops, I wrote the wrong thing. The place where the rear fender is
tight is at the chainstay bridge, not the seatstay bridge. There's
plenty of room beneath the brakes at the seatstay bridge.

I think that I will call Riv tomorrow and if SKS fenders fit and work
with 35 mm Paselas, I may just buy a pair of them and unload the
Berthouds. I guess that I could also try a set of 32 mm Paselas, but
I would hate to buy them and still find that they won't work with the

Thanks for your help.


Doug Van Cleve

Apr 22, 2007, 1:13:46 PM4/22/07
to rbw-owne...@googlegroups.com
So the fender is squeezed in between the chain stays at the bridge
near the BB shell? If yes, you should trim is until it clears while
maintaining its normal shape. Many fenders are narrower at the rear
front or have a tab that goes down to the bridge. If the full width
fender is stuffed in between the chain stays and the edges of it are
the bottleneck, you should be able to resolve this and keep the nice


Grant Petersen

Apr 22, 2007, 3:29:04 PM4/22/07
to rbw-owne...@googlegroups.com
Later today cyclofiend will post some closeups showing a stock AHH with
pasela 37s and SKS 700x45 fenders, showing plenty of room. If there seems to
be mini-room with 32s, it is most likely because the fenders are adjusted
close (for that "close fender" look). There is room to pull 'em away.

Here are some good figures to know:

The radius of a Pas 37 is pertnear 353mm. The backside of the chainstay
bridge and the underside of the seatstay bridge are both 370mm. The
difference is 17mm (thereabouts), and that's a fair amount of room for a

Doug Van Cleve's comment makes sense---the one about how some fenders are
narrowed down where they mount. The fendermakers do that for good reasons.

Anyway--picks to come. If I knew how to make links I'd have sent the
myself... I could have sent the attachments, but I think that's bad
etiquette...as I remember reading once, so I don't want to do that.




Apr 22, 2007, 5:01:48 PM4/22/07
to RBW Owners Bunch

Grant and everyone else...

Thanks for the info. I trimmed the end of the Berthoud fender where
it attaches to the chainstay and sanded it down. Still no dice. I
think that the nuts on the inside of the fender are rubbing the tire.
I am going to save myself any more aggravation and order a set of SKS

Joel Solomon


Apr 22, 2007, 6:57:18 PM4/22/07
to rbw-owne...@googlegroups.com
on 4/22/07 12:29 PM, Grant Petersen at gr...@rivbike.com wrote:

> Later today cyclofiend will post some closeups showing a stock AHH with
> pasela 37s and SKS 700x45 fenders, showing plenty of room. If there seems to
> be mini-room with 32s, it is most likely because the fenders are adjusted
> close (for that "close fender" look). There is room to pull 'em away.

The photos have been posted here:


click on the little photos to see the big 'uns.

You can also find a link off of the AHH Geometry Page on the Google Groups

-- Jim



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Apr 22, 2007, 7:11:10 PM4/22/07
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on 4/22/07 8:54 AM, Dustin Sharp at dsh...@runbox.com wrote:
> I guess to me this whole discussion raises one very basic question? What in
> the heck is wrong with Cantis? I know some prefer calipers from an
> aesthetic perspective, but jeeze, cantis solve a lot of problems from a
> clearance standpoint

I'm a big fan of cantis, but there are a ton of folks for whom they are the
devil's own device.

Side actuated brakes are reasonably easy for most folks to understand and
adjust. Canti's often give people too many variables to mess with, and they
get frustrated - one of the reasons that direct-pull/V-Brakes quickly took
over a chunk of the market (albeit, one which doesn't worry too much about
fenders and racks...)

As Grant has stated, the development of the Silver brakeset created canti
clearance in a sidepull design, which allowed the AHH to run 'em.


Of course, the brake in this case doesn't seem to be the issue - as the OP
indicated in a follow-up.

-- Jim "brakes just slow you down..."



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Apr 22, 2007, 7:25:11 PM4/22/07
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On 4/22/07, Solomander <Solom...@aol.com> wrote:
I'm sorry about the aggravation, but I spin it around and look at it as a challenge that I won't let beat me. Yes, I'd tell anyone about to mount metal fenders for the first time; they take a little longer and take more creativity to mount. There is no one perfect way and some methods don't always work. I'm not trying to be critical either, at some point it is better to give up, go the better for you route. Cycling is supposed to be fun, and the mechanics isn't the fun part for everyone.

Something to consider is that you could find a button style bolt that may yield more clearance. I found that Berthouds on my Quickbeam with the original tires were quite tight. I've played with the installation for most of the past year. Just last weekend I pulled the upper mount and used a hacksaw to nibble at the clearance to pull the fender a few millimeters higher. Helped a ton as I just realized that what I thought was the trouble was actually caused by that mount location.

Maybe I'm just more stubborn. Sometimes its better just to go ride another bike. Next week end I'm hoping to start assembling my next addition, a 57 cm Bleriot from the local folks at Hiawatha. < http://hiawathacyclery.com/ >. Last time I was there Jim laid the Phll Wood rear hub in my greasy paws just for lust sake. Oooh, the shininess!

The Cycling Curmudgeon -- >   http://www.ccurmudgeon.blogspot.com/


Apr 22, 2007, 8:07:58 PM4/22/07
to rbw-owne...@googlegroups.com

--- Solomander <Solom...@aol.com> wrote:

Ah, or rather AHH, now we all understand better...
My previous bike had relatively tight chainstay
clearance as well, and in order to fit the same
combination of 50mm Berthouds and 35mm Paselas, I
simply rotated the fender back a bit and had it stop
just above the chainstays. It worked great for me.
Good luck,

Joe Bernard

Apr 23, 2007, 3:14:16 PM4/23/07
to RBW Owners Bunch
I remember reading somewhere that 50mm Berthouds are actually 40mm lip
to lip on the underside of the fender. Since 45mm SKS fenders seem to
fit nicely over 35mm tires, i.e., not much gap, does it stand to
reason that 50/40 Berthouds might be a tight squeeze on certain frame/
tire combinations?

On Apr 22, 5:07 pm, ANDREW LETTON <let...@flash.net> wrote:

> Andrew- Hide quoted text -
> - Show quoted text -

Dan Goldenberg

Apr 23, 2007, 3:25:56 PM4/23/07
to rbw-owne...@googlegroups.com
I'm using Berthoud 50 fenders on my Atlantis with Conti Top touring 26x1.75 tires that have a real width of 45-46mm. The key to making this work is to get sufficient vertical separation. Basically, if you look from the side the bottom edge of the fender is about even with the outer radius of the tire. This way, there is plenty of side to side clearance, and most of the water seems to spray from the center of the tire anyways, so it works pretty good. Having a fender 10mm wider than the tire is ideal, and allows you to mount the fender closer to the tire, but you can make a less than ideal setup work too. This also assumes that you can get sufficient vertical separation, which is not a problem on an Atlantis. I can't speak for other frames though.

Dan Goldenberg
Seattle WA


Apr 29, 2007, 5:18:45 PM4/29/07
to RBW Owners Bunch

I am happy to say that I finally got the Berthoud fenders installed.
I must confess that I usually don't do that much work on my own
bikes. I can do the basics, but that's about it. Figuring out what
needed to be changed and making the adjustments was time consuming,
and sometimes frustrating, but finally satisfying. I wound up
reversing the attachment hardware for the rear fender strut and
putting the button headed screw on the inside of the fender. I took a
pair of tin snips to the part of the fender that attached to the
chainstay (the most fun part- my father was a sheet metal mechanic and
gave me a pair of tin snips when he retired. I took them to humor
him- I couldn't imagine ever needing them). I attached the rear
fender to the seatstay bridge with an SKS clip that I unbent and
recrimped to fit around the fender, combined with a Berthoud nut.
Berthoud should make an equivalent clip, which would make life a lot
easier. The front fender was a lot more straightforward, only
requiring me to take a hacksaw to the bolt that attached the fender to
the brake bolt.

Thanks a lot to everybody for their advice. I am going to post pix of
my finally completed Hilsen on the Cyclofiend site. Although this was
a real learning experience, if I ever had to install another set of
metal fenders, I think that I would pay someone to do it.




Apr 29, 2007, 6:31:38 PM4/29/07
to RBW Owners Bunch
Sounds like quite a project. All is well that ends well anyhow. Look
forward to seeing photos on Cyclofiend!

jim g

Jun 7, 2007, 1:47:58 PM6/7/07
to RBW Owners Bunch
Berthoud and other metal fenders have rolled-under edges. This is
helpful in that it prevents trapped rainwater from splashing outside
the confines of the fender, but it's detrimental in that it actually
reduces the inside clearance of the fender. I've also read that
they're undersized -- the 50mm fender measures more like 45mm. Maybe
that's what's going on here...?

Steve Palincsar

Jun 7, 2007, 7:17:18 PM6/7/07
to rbw-owne...@googlegroups.com

Interestingly, the 50mm Berthouds fit perfectly well on 38x650B Col de
la Vie tires.

Steve Palincsar
Alexandria, VA, USA

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