I love it when people make bikes their own. Sure they are okay when they roll off the factory line, but what fun is there in having the bike look like some corporate designer imagined it? Reader Carl sent along the following text and pictures documenting the process of helping to make a Craigslist purchase into his primary mode of transportation. Take it away Carl!
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Overnight, my wonderful craigslist-parts franken-bike, entertainment/exercise whip became my primary mode of transportation. Welcome to the world of bike commuting. This required a quick and cheap functional adaptations.
For under 10 bucks, I made a rack out of a v-shaped hang all ($1 at harbor freight) and 4 p-clamps, and a 32oz cup holder (Mtn dew junkie) out of a single pvc drain pipe reducer.
My main reason for making my own rack was that the previous owner of this frame had removed all of the braze-ons (my main bargaining chip in getting the thing cheap). I stuck two P-clamps on each of the seat stays for mounts. I then took a "V-shaped hang-all" from harbor freight, $1, and bent it to fit my bikes geometry.
I crimped the ends with a bench vise and drilled holes to fit 3/8 bolts, and after a little fine tuning (read: squeezing and mushing it around a bit, the tension is a bit high and the angles are funny so you have to fiddle with it), I got it bolted on securely. Ive put about 20 pounds on it and it hasn't budged, although im wary of putting more on it because the kinks in the tubing are weak spots. Good for light loads.
Here you can see the mounts, as well as the kinks I was talking about. Apparently these kinks can be avoided by sealing the tube full of sand before bending and then emptying it once done, although that would make it harder to bend by hand as I did. I'm not gonna be hauling groceries on it anytime soon, but it makes a nice low-profile rack with no need for extra supports. +1 minimalist hipster cred...
To balance out the minimalist hipster-ness of the rack I added a cup holder for my necessary supply of Mtn dew. I picked up a big pvc reducer from the local big box, and it fits the tapered bottom of most of those plastic 32oz cups perfectly.
One big hose clamp around the body of the reducer as an attachment point. A small hose clamp and some old innertube hold it to my headset, and a little homemade clamp (modified from a pipe strap) holds it to the handlebars. Without two opposing clamps the thing will start to tilt under the load of your soda.
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