Dedication to Details

Dedication to Details

At Compass Bicycles, we tend to be a bit obsessive when it comes to our bicycles. “Good enough” usually is not good enough when we’re out on our bikes, and we apply the same exacting thoroughness to the components we sell. Take the Honjo fenders as an example:
When you buy Honjo fenders, you usually get a pre-packaged “kit” with bolts and hardware. Unfortunately, the eyebolts for connecting the stays to the fenders are 12 mm long, so they stick out a little over 4 mm beyond the nut into the inside of the fender (above right). Either you saw 4 mm off the eyebolts – be careful not to ruin the threads in the process! – or you risk having obstacles snag on the bolts that protrude 4 mm beyond their nuts.
Honjo actually makes 8 mm eyebolts (above left), but those are a special-order product and not available from their North American distributors. (Don’t ask me why!) To address this situation, we import the 8 mm bolts directly from Japan. When you buy your fenders from Compass Bicycles, we automatically replace the too-long eyebolts with the correct 8 mm bolts.
Getting the correct-length bolts is a bit of a hassle, and few people notice the difference, but that is beside the point. We don’t want our bikes to have protruding bolts inside the fenders, and neither should yours.

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Comments (10)

  • somervillebikes

    Nice attention to detail. True, I usually have to grind off the protruding thread with a rotary cutting tool, and I don’t see any reason why anyone would want or need the extra bolt length.
    On a relevant tangent, I’d love to see a tutorial on running lighting wiring inside the rolled fender edge. Seeing the cutaway view of the fender in your photo reminded me that this is something I’d like to try.

    May 14, 2012 at 7:26 am
  • John

    I wonder if Honjo supplies the long bolt to give extra space for people to install a rubber washer between the bolt head and the fender?

    May 14, 2012 at 7:35 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      You could use a rubber washer on the outside of the fender to take up the extra bolt length. It probably doesn’t hurt, but there really is no reason to put a flexible washer between the bolt and fender. The fender stays already are flexible.
      Flexible washers (preferably leather, because rubber splits after a few years) are strongly recommended where the fender itself attaches to a stiff component, such as the frame, fork crown or a rack.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:21 am
      • Steve Palincsar

        Rubber washers came in the most recent Honjo mounting kit I got.

        May 15, 2012 at 4:47 am
        • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

          Yes, the Honjo kits come with rubber washers. We don’t remove them before we ship them, but we suggest that you don’t use them when mounting your fenders. We do include leather washers (which do not come with the kit), which last a lot longer. As I mentioned before, the flexible washers only should be installed where the fender itself is mounted on a stiff surface (frame, rack, fork).

          May 15, 2012 at 7:05 am
  • Rob

    The cut away photo is a nice piece of work. Thanks for taking the time to make it happen.

    May 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm
  • DJ

    Wow. Thank you for this. Didn’t realize this kind of detail went into the products you sell. It is strange that they don’t sell the 8mm eyebolt to NA customers.

    May 15, 2012 at 8:46 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      We ride a lot, and we sell what we use on our own bikes. That is how we discover what works and what doesn’t. It’s really simple. That is also why we don’t sell parts for bikes we don’t ride ourselves.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:22 am
  • somervillebikes

    I just realized why one might want 12mm eyebolts– not for the fender-to-stay purpose, but for bikes that have unthreaded fender attachment eyelets (like older French bikes). For these, often an eyebolt is used at the eyelet instead of an R-clip. Since the eyelet is a few mm thick, you will likely need a bolt longer than 8mm.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      You are right. When you order fenders from Compass Bicycles, you can select whether your frame has threaded eyelets (you get R clamps) or unthreaded eyelets (you get 12 mm eyebolts). We then supply the hardware you need.
      If you attach your rear rack to the eyebolts (as did Herse and Singer, by using the rack instead of the “cup” of the eyebolt), you need even longer eyebolts. We have a few of those as well, but they aren’t on the web site. Just ask…

      May 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm

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