Not sure if this is the case
Flat braces are perfect match to rear.
Bends are same with no stress in metal
They are pinned exactly the same as rear and look untouched.
After reviewing these originally is what raised the question
my guess : original braces were bent so that the fender didn't rub on the down tube (notice how the nose of the fender is kicked up from the tire)
my diagnosis : bent fork or bent head tube due to a front end impact !!!
my prescription : unbend head tube or fork and fix the braces
do you have a good straight on side shot of the bicycle?
Gotta agree. Bent forks. Bent braces for clearance. Encountered very similar situation on a 28" with braces just bent out to a bow to accommodate for bent fork. Someone here just got a little more creative.
what is their purpose?
The braces are like "arms" (the word comes from Latin).
Their purpose is to support, or to reach-out (like an arm) and provide 'bracing' to the fender, kind of like a 3-point triangle between the fender top attachment to the fork crown (1), the axle (2), and the fender bottom (3); the 3 sides of the triangle are (1) the fork, (2) the fender itself, (3) the fender brace. The triangle is an efficient and strong mechanical design.
Questioned fork position prior to purchase
Honestly didn’t pay enough attention to realize the extent of impact .
Someone was damm creative with bending braces
Focused more attention to some of the other items on this bike.
Thanx fellas for kicking my ass. Lol