I love zip ties. These things are right up there with duct tape, red wine and polio vaccine on my list of Shit I'm Glad Someone Invented.
After getting sloppy wet a week or so ago while riding home in the rain, I was really missing the fenders I used on my old commuter bike, which is now a stripped frame in a corner of the backyard shed. Problem was, my old '96 Stumpjumper was designed as a race bike, so the frame is devoid of braze-ons and threaded eyelets for stuff like racks and fenders. That was cool in 1996 but now that the beloved Stumpy has been put out to pasture as a commuter and errand bike, its streamlined frame is more of a liability.
That's where the zip ties come in. I decided to try mounting the fenders with nothing but plastic, and it worked like a charm. I stripped all unnecessary bolts from the fenders, zipped everything to frame and fork in approximately the appropriate places, and voila, the Stumpy is a nerdy but utilitarian machine.
The zip ties were a cheap, efficient solution—especially since I'll be yanking the fenders in a couple of months when the rainy season gives way to the sleety, snowy season and I have to ditch the slicks for studs.
I have mixed feelings about fenders. They're great on rainy days, but I still feel a little self-conscious about riding around with them. I feel a little better when I remind myself that I don't exactly look like Lance on a bike anyway, so what do I have to lose, other than muddy legs?
At least I'm not on a recumbent. Right?