Sunday, November 25, 2018

Fabike C3: Assembly Part 3 - Adding Mudguards and Accessories

In this final part of the Fabike C3 bike build, I put on the finishing touches to make this bike a proper all-weather commuting bike. It already has the weather-proof Alfine 11 Di2 internal hub, Gates belt drive, hydraulic disc brakes, and the final component to make it fully weather-proof is a good set of mudguards.

Prior to installing the SKS Bluemels mudguards, it actually looks just like a normal road bike, as the geometry is similar. As already mentioned in the earlier post, these new version of mudguards have a much friendlier mounting method, as it is easier to adjust.

Fixing the mudguard stays to the front fork mounting point. Added 1 spacer to prevent the plastic portion from touching the carbon fork. A longer bolt (supplied) is needed.

As the tightening nut is on the outside, it is easy to adjust and tighten the nut, before measuring and cutting the metal stays.

The top part of the metal piece was filed away, from round to flat, to allow the front mudguard to be mounted higher for more tire clearance.

Pushed the front mudguard as high as possible, for more tire clearance.

As mentioned, the mudguard was pushed as high as possible within the fork for more tire clearance.

Managed to have sufficient tire clearance all along the front tire. Luckily the mudguard fits!

Same concept for the rear, to push the mudguard as high as possible for maximum tire clearance.

Mounting point for the rear mudguard is hidden under the seatstays.

As for this end of the rear mudguard, there is no mounting point on the frame. I just wedged it between the chain stays, and it seems to stay that way. Maybe I can use some mounting tape to stick it to the seat tube if necessary.

Maximum tire clearance possible on the rear mudguard, as limited by the maximum length of the mudguard stays.

I realised that the rear tire clearance with the chainstay is super small, at less than 1 mm! I did not realise this at first until I installed the mudguards.

Other than installing the mudguards, I also put on most of the accessories that I used on the previous Avanti Inc 3. I always try to have 2 front lights and 2 rear lights for redundancy, as I have had 1 light run out of battery quite a few times, even though I try to keep it charged.


Moon Nebula W Front Light mounted on the front fork, to backup the Fly 12 front light which can sometimes cease to work due to low battery level.

Moon Comet Rear Light and D-Light Rear Light. And they are the same lights which I reviewed 4 to 5 years ago, that is how reliable they are.


Secondary bottle cage allows a portable pump and a tool bottle to be mounted. The size 15 wrench is also inside the bottle! Read on to find out how I fitted one in the small tool bottle...

Full bike with all the accessories mounted! With the mudguards, it looks quite different.

To be honest, this bike looks kind of strange, with mudguards on a road bike. However, this is what an all-weather commuting road bike looks like!

Full bike specifications table shown here, with components carefully chosen for a good balance between price and weight (tilted more in favour of higher cost and lower weight).

As you can see from the table above, this Fabike C3 weighs around 9 kg without pedals or mudguards (or any other accessories). This is the usual way that is used to compare bike weights, as pedal weights can vary a lot. Actual measured weight is 9.1 kg.

For comparison, my Canyon Endurace weighs 7 kg, the Dahon MuEX weighs 8.4kg, all without pedals or other accessories. In this case, the Fabike C3 weighs quite a fair bit more than the road bike, considering that I tried to copy the ride geometry of the Canyon Endurace.

However, a lot of the weight difference comes from the internal hub system, which weighs roughly 1 kg more than an equivalent derailleur system. This Fabike C3 frameset (1778 grams) also weighs about 600 grams more than the Canyon Endurace frameset (1168 grams), even though both are similarly sized carbon frames. That is a big difference (+50%!) which I was not too happy about.

On the bright side, I actually managed to cut a lot of weight on this new Fabike C3, compared to the Avanti Inc 3. The Avanti Inc 3 weighed about 10.9 kg without pedals or accessories. In other words, the Fabike C3 weighs 1.8 kg less than the Avanti Inc 3!

1.8 kg is a huge amount of weight savings, as it is a very large percentage of the total bike weight. Maybe it does not make a big impact on flat road riding, but it will definitely be felt on climbs, and also when you carry the bike up the stairs! I feel that it is worth it, and would have been even more if the Fabike C3 carbon frameset weighed less.

Final Weight of Fabike C3:
Actual measured weight without pedals is 9.1 kg.
Total weight including pedals and mudguards is 10 kg.
Including accessories, total bike weight becomes 11.1 kg.

In case you are wondering how I fitted the size 15 wrench into the small tool bottle, here is how it is done. You need a special size 15 wrench that has a shorter handle!

I got a compact size 15 wrench that is shorter than the usual adjustable type, which itself is already shorter than a fixed size type.

This compact size 15 wrench is only 12 cm long, which fits nicely into the small tool bottle.

Normal adjustable wrench has a total length of 15 cm, which does not fit into the tool bottle.

This compact size 15 wrench is useful as it can be easily stored in small saddle pouches or anywhere on the bike. Although it is shorter, it should still exert enough torque to loosen the axle nuts without too much trouble, as it is still a proper wrench that is just a bit shorter.

If I had come across this compact size 15 wrench earlier, I might not have gotten the Brompton Tool Kit for the Brompton M6R, as this compact wrench can be stored easily in a small pouch.

Anyway, the Fabike C3 project is now complete! Now I have a very capable all-weather commuting road bike, that has the latest components and technology, and is also 1.8 kg lighter than the previous bike. Newer, lighter, faster. Makes my commute more enjoyable, as I can ride a road bike even when it is raining, without needing to do any post-ride bike maintenance!

With this all-weather bike, I can cycle to work even when it is raining!

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