Don’t lick the icicles.

There's a front derailleur in there somewhere.


9 thoughts on “Don’t lick the icicles.

  1. Sifiting through your archive on breaks.

    I never have such icicle features on my winter bikes any more, now that I have made full fenders self-imposed mandatory (down to 1-2 inches above road for front fender mudflap). Plus, it saves me countless hours cleaning and servicing the bike (bottom bracket, chain, derailleurs). Not cycle chic approved, but considering the time and money I save, not sure I care. Plus not sure who notices in the blackness of winter commuting. 🙂

    I noticed you are not using fenders on your current winter bike. Do you plan to add in future? It can be difficult to find ones that fit. My best luck was with cheap Supercycle brand from Canadian Tire, but looks like they don’t carry them anymore.

    Or do you prefer to go without? Our snow is not so bad here in Cowtown (other than this winter), but I could see that in Edmonton the snow build-up may be an issue with fenders.


    • Yes, full coverage fenders are a real boon. I haven’t had any snow build up problems when I’ve used them. My bike with the icicle was a cheap mountain bike and had an inadequate front fender. Last year I put a set of Planet Bike Cascadia fenders from MEC on the same bike and it made a huge difference, especially during the wet and slushy thaw in the spring.

      When I set up my new winter bike I was able to fit the rear fender (barely) but the fork was too narrow for the front fender. I’m really missing it, too. As you say, it makes a real difference to bike maintenance, not to mention personal comfort. I put a cheap downtube deflector on the bike but it really doesn’t do as good a job.

      I have a solution in mind for the front fender with this bike, and will write a blog post about it.

      Thanks for your interest in my blog.


  2. Further to my above comment, do you know of suppliers of solid metal fenders? I have put some poly-carbonate ones on my second winter bike (all that I can find sourcing from some local LBS), but they seem flimsy and destined to destruction. For my winter bike, fender strength is more of a consideration than weight.

    Some photos of the beast can be found at:


    • I’ve actually had pretty good luck with the Planet Bike polycarbonate fenders I used last year. The stays were a little flimsy but held up fine. The break-way tab on the front fender broke spontaneously but I was able to patch it up and keep using the fenders.

      Solid metal fenders:

      Venerable american company Wald makes chromed metal fenders for a reasonable price. Not lightweight, but who cares on a winter bike? I don’t know if you could buy them locally but they are certainly available online.

      If you want to shell out a few more bucks Velo Orange has nice aluminum and stainless steel fenders. I have a set on one of my road bikes and they are very nice. They are a lttle fiddly to install but they are rock solid once in place. Shipping ain’t cheap, though.

      If you haven’t already, and if you are feeling thrifty (my normal state of being) you could always look for used fenders at your local bike co-op The Goodlife. I’ve never been there, but I volunteer at our Edmonton community bike shop and we usually have piles of fenders we’ve stripped off old bikes.


      • Thanks for the advice! I really appreciate it. I am glad to hear the Planet Bike polycarbonate fenders may be more durable than they appear. In any case, I will definitely check out the other options you mentioned as I plan to build a winter bike for my wife.

        By default I try to find used products for good pricing (thrifty), which is why your blog caught my interest :-). I haven’t purchased a new bike since 1991. I did check out the Goodlife bike shop a few weeks ago, but the fender bin only had three options, none feasible. Hence the Planet Bike purchase at MEC (I needed a few other items there anyway, otherwise would have gone to BikeBike to see what they had in stock).


    • Just belatedly checked out your photos. My previous winter bike was a low end Iron Horse! I like your practical approach to setting up the winter beasts as well as your vintage projects. Nice bikes.


      • Thanks!

        The snarky comments are meant for Shawn of Portland, Oregon (Urban Adventure League), who stayed at our place on his bike tour last year. Not sure if you met him, but I see he comments on your blog. I am resisting the temptation to become a retro grouch myself (since I already am one of sorts, although to a lesser degree).


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