MOBI > Hidden Bad Fender Eyelets

Hidden Bad Fender Eyelets

As of 2019/06, there seem to be various large and small makers of bicycle frames and forks offering "hidden fender eyelets" aka "hidden fender mounts".

It seems like a MOBI idea!


Once upon a time, most bicycle frames and forks were made with holes (threaded or non-threaded) for attaching fenders and/or racks. These are commonly called “fender eyelets”.

Some pictures to show the general idea:

[dr1045_1.jpg]   [rear-dropout-arrows.jpg]   [DSC_0001.JPG]  
Images from as of 2019/06.

Progress! Progress?

Over time, it became common to build forks and frames without fender eyelets.

Why? History does not record why, but it seems likely because:

In other words, fender eyelets got dropped, but not because removing them improves the bicycle in any significant way.

However, when makers took away fender eyelets, they did not take away the reason why they were there in the first place: they are useful.

And so lots of folks started adding back the missing eyelets, using a hodge-podge of after-the-fact "gadgets". Here are a few of the many(!) attempts to re-create fender eyelets:

[4692905641_fac5c7f622_z.jpg]   [X]   [X]   [51BASm8NhBL.jpg]   [71500.jpg]   [IMG_1886.jpg]   [OMM%20rear%201.jpg]   [OMM%20rear%205.jpg]   [IMGP8313.JPG]   [IMGP8314.JPG]   [IMGP8322.JPG]  
Images from as of 2019/06.

It is great to see folks being clever and coming up with ways to cope with "no eyelets".

However, that is a lot of effort just to work around “maker was too lazy/cheap/something to make a few holes.”

Worse, "deal with it" or "coping" solutions are often inferior to built-in fender eyelets. For example:

What to do?

Innovation! Innovation?

Finally, a solution! Introducing: the "hidden fender eyelet".

Which is, basically, a threaded hole just like a fender eyelet, except in order to "hide" it, it is placed/oriented so that it is useless for most rack and fender mounting.

And since it is in the wrong place, you use it by buying an extra gadget that threads in and provides something sort-of like a conventional fender eyelet.

[WhiskyNo7.png]   [Whisky-Parts-Co-no-7-rim-brake-fork-road-plus-1.jpg]   [fe180b00-black.jpg]  
Images from as of 2019/06.

Problem solved!

Although: I think the "problem" being solved here is "looks".

And, I don't recall anybody complaining about the looks of regular eyelets.

Also: once the "hidden" eyelet is installed, many may find it "looks" stupid.


Of course, if it doesn't hurt, then no reason to care.

However: it hurts. Some possible problems are:

It is amusing to note that for many years, riders won the Tour de France on bicycles with ... fender eyelets. I think this is the bicycle Fausto Coppi used to win the 1949 Tour de France. Note the fender eyelets where the seat stay meets the dropout:


(From as of 2019/06.)

So let's see. The old kind of eyelet has the "disadvantages" that it is cheaper, can make the dropout stronger, is more convenient, is more durable and reliable, weighs the same if you don't use fenders, and weighs less if you do use fenders.

It seems one thing that is well-hidden about the new design is whether it is worse for the rider in every way, or if there actually is some advantage to it.


[1] Update: New Trek Domane “passes” eyelet test By Gene Bisbee in Bicycle Industry, Main Page 2010/03/30. as of 2019/06.

[T]he eyelets wouldn‘t support racks [...].