27 February 2012

Broken Mudguard

I managed to break the rear mudguard on my Brompton recently. I don’t think I put the bike down any harder than I normally do (it was parked), so my best guess is that the recent extra cold weather had made the plastic more brittle than usual (I keep the bike in an unheated garage). I managed to tape it up for a few days, but then the remaining bits of plastic snapped and I was left with what you can see below.

This rapidly got annoying, as whenever the bike was folded the little remaining bit of mudguard got pushed round onto the wheel so I had to move it back every time I unfolded the bike.

Fortunately a replacement mudguard doesn’t break the bank at £11.50. I’ve also scraped the metal screws attaching the mudguard to the remaining wire a fair bit, so I ordered a replacement plate and screws for an extra £3.50 (both including free shipping from Simpson Cycles).

As you can see below, the mudguard comes with instructions for replacing it.

Actually replacing the mudguard is fairly simple if you’ve taken the wheel off before. First you need to remove the back wheel, which involves a few steps. Brompton have a handy video explaining it, although I prefer to deflate the tyre to get it past the brake blocks - they take me a while to get adjusted correctly again if I undo the cable as they suggest.

Then you just need to undo the allen bolts holding the mudguard to the wires and the nut holding the rear brake and mudguard onto the frame. The nut is a little tricky to get at so you need to be patient and undo it 1/6th of a turn at a time until you can turn it by hand. Once it’s off you just need to remove the washers and rear light making careful note of the order, pull out the bolt, take off one last washer, and then finally the mudguard:

Fitting the new mudguard is simply a matter of reversing the process and re-fitting (and in my case re-inflating) the wheel.