Reader David was having difficulty with a wobbly wheel and decided to get creative with miscellaneous parts from his garage. I would say this DIY truing stand was a brilliant success. For technical assistance with the actual truing process, this Bicyle Tutor link might be helpful. Take it away David . . .
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I have been clearing the garden shed, as one does, and the old tandem from the shed corner has been earmarked to go to my son, in London. I have been trying to put it into some sort of roadworthy condition for a couple of days now.
I could not get the rear brake to work properly due to a rather untrue wheel. So, for the first time ever, I decided to have a go at wheel truing. Its one of those things I always thought I couldn't do, and, besides, it needed a fancy bit of kit to achieve. Please see attached. It obviously didn't take long to 'make', and it worked just fine.
The brackets came from a box in my garage labelled 'Building Brackets'.
Reader Garrett has a DIY project he is working on, and he has asked for input from the BikeHacks audience. Readers with ideas, experience, thoughts please feel free to comment.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I have a dilemma, and I need some input for a DIY trailer. I've hacked myself up and assembled all the necessary parts and have a "rolling chassis" if you will, for a bob style tandem bike trailer. My problem: what to do to be able to carry cargo?
I'd like to get the cargo bay as close to the ground as practical. In the pictures, it's not at an accurate distance it would be from the ground, it sits lower when it's bike mounted, so the bottom of the frame sits about 5 to 6 inches from the ground.
My other criteria is weight, obviously, the lighter the better. I have thought of a few ideas, but I am welcome to any new ones, any changes and/or additions to mine.
Keep in mind, I don't have the resources to weld aluminum, I'd like to keep a $25 cap on the project, and I am interested in the idea of using recycled materials to make the cargo bay. I can also add, I have had the chassis on a bike, and jostled my weight around on it to see how much everything flexes. I would feel safe with loads up to 100 pounds, as long as the cargo bed is beefy enough to handle it, i know the frame would.
My first idea is to rivet a "fancy box" out of old aluminum siding (the Florida room is no longer porchy feeling anymore ;P) this would work well, because I already have the material for it on hand, and I could extend the back end of the trailer past the tire easily by boxing in a wheel shroud. Doing that, I could center loads on the trailer tire, much like a trailer for a vehicle would be, and that would put less weight on the bike's back wheel, which I like.
The downside: sheet aluminum is tweaky. It's really hard to keep in the shape you want. Even with bending over edges to create a sturdier ridge, it bends. A lot. And I doubt I could keep the cargo bay in one shape for any amount of time without more underframe.
Idea number two: Wood. I am good with wood. (HEY! no chuckles from the peanut gallery!) I would have no problem knowledge wise using packaging crate wood to upcycle myself a cargo bay frame, a flat bed, or something in combination like having removable sides. The downsides: wood is heavy, wood is bulky, and that makes it a bit of a novelty for this application, because who wants to try to do a 100+ mile daytrip with a bulky, heavy trailer?
Idea three: wood and aluminum? Sure, since wood would have superior rigidity, it is feasible to make a combination of a wood frame, sheathed with the aluminum siding. So far, less downsides than anything else. But what more ideas can I come up with that would work entirely better?
Idea four: Paper mache. Go ahead, laugh again. You're think "paper mache? this kid's a fruit." I've made ovation style guitars with paper mache, and have a lot of experience working with it. I could make the cargo space any shape I want, I could easily give it some kind of aerodynamic edge, make the whole thing one sealed piece that would simply just fit like a glove on the frame, and make the whole thing rigid with a layer of wire too. Downside: time. It would take FOREVER. not that I'm not patient but, who wants to spend a month or two making an "aero trailer" unless it was really worth it to you? I don't usually see track racers, or velomobiles hauling stuff around, so it'd be a bit silly. But be SO COOL.
Idea five: The storage container. Okay, yes, this would be an easy, cheap, and quick to make. Just go get one, and slap it on there, but dang, it'd look a wee bit tacky. And not to mention, unless I cut out holes for the wheel and siliconed in another perfectly shaped container for a wheel shroud, most likely i'd be stuck with a really small cargo space. Who wants a trailer when they could have a TRAILER? I don't want to cave and do this, but it's still an idea, and all ideas are worth considering, maybe mentioning this could inspire an actually good idea!
So there's my ideas, feel free to shoot them down, tell me to stop being so picky and do one of them already, bring better ones to the table or ignore it and leave it for someone else to take time over. Comment with which idea you like best, or better ways you invision it to be carried out, whole new ideas, or don't... either way, any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated!
Thank you again! namaste.
I have not truly mountain biked since the early 90s. I do remember mud being an issue (I grew up in Oregon after all) and Lewis sent along the following hack to help fight crud.
* * * * * * * * *
Instead of throwing away a badly worn tyre, fashion a "crud catcher" from it.
Fancy neoprene ones cost upwards of $20++
A discarded old tire cut to size (using cable cutters to gnaw through beads) and normal scissors. Zip tie it to the suspension arch and upper stanchion mounts. I made this.
All thats needed.
1. Old tyre
3. Cable cutter
4. Zip ties.
Its not pretty, but it works VERY WELL! It lasts much longer than inner tubes. A larger version of the same picture above is available here, and an alternative view here.
Reader Bart got a bike from his mother and decided to make it decidely his own. His hacks are documented in the text and photos he provided below, and more pictures can be seen via his flickr account.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I got this bike from my mother who now bought a newer one and it's roughly as old as me (28) but it drives as a brand new one (good maintenance I guess).
So here's what I "hacked" . . .
I first made a small rear cargo box with some old planks from a big used fruit cargo box. You can still see the countries on the side of the box where the fruit was sent between "OHIA" (maybe Ohio?) and "TUNIS" (Tunis of ofcourse). Glued & screwed the planks together and gave it a layer of "Boat"-Varnish.
Then I've found some leather slabs when cleaning out someones basement and made some leather straps with it. They're not that strong but it's mainly to keep down some light-weight stuff (like a jacket of a bottle of wine) when driving on cobblestone roads. They are screwed in place as you can see in the pictures.
Then I also made a small container out of a used silicone glue tube (for latex gloves when the chain slips off, an extra strong strap for holding down larger stuff & a plastic shopping bag).
The "lid" or "cap" is just a spray paint cover that slides over the container. The red tape makes sure the container is the right diameter so the cap/lid is kept tight on.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Because I also had a wheel with a built-in generator laying around I replaced the entire electronics. I first made a small box containing 4 rechargeable batteries that get charged by the generator. They also give power to the front & backlight when the switch is turned "ON."
Then I also replaced the light bulbs from the old lights with high energy LED's. (I kept the lamp frames because they are old looking and fit the bike type & also they are not that attractive to thieves instead of brand new shiny LED lamps).
This way my lights will never fail because of empty batteries and they will keep burning even when I'm standing still (in front of a red light for example).
I live in a city where cars are king so they don't pay much attention. This way by keeping my light on when standing still I don't risk not getting seen by the cars.
And at last I made a simple chain guard with an electric cable tube I still had laying around (seen this example many times already) and it works fine. I first had a chain guard that fully covered my chain and this is just terrible for when the chain slips of and you have to put your chain back on.
Reader Matt has power tools, space, and the will to use both. He both completely transforms one object and tweaks another for bike purposes. The text and pictures below will whet your appetite, and his blog has videos and pictures that document both the repair stand and the trailer.
* * * * * * * * * * *
I have two hacks: I created a bike work stand using pallet wood and my work bench vice, cost $0.00. Also I created a bike cargo trailer. I bought an old burley child trailer for $50 on Craig's List. I took it apart and made a cargo container using old closet shelving, garage door opener track and other items. Total spent: $50.00.
This . . .
. . . . was turned into a repair stand.
. . . . was transformed for a small human carrier to a small stuff carrier.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
This simple idea is a great way to be able to transport needed tools and extra supplies. Most bikes have room for two water bottles and in my case I never needed more than one for my daily riding. Since I had extra water bottles that had seen better days and an extra water bottle cage I decided to make a mobile tool box.
To make this water bottle tool carrier I simply took two old water bottles and cut them up. One bottle had the bottom cut off. The other had the top cut off and then I cut some lines down the sides so I could slide the top water bottle over it.
The system has turned out to work quite well. It is waterproof and holds everything I have ever needed on the trail, and road, for quick repairs. I even take some tape and roll it around the outfit in case I ever find myself needing to make a quick fix.
* * * * * * * * * *
The only thing that has ever been a problem for me is the fact that it looks like a water bottle and over the years of using this setup all of my kids have tried to grab it for a quick drink. To avoid that problem I have even started writing No H20 around it.
One unexpected surprise of starting BikeHacks is the number of countries we receive hacks from. I think we have hit every continent, including Antartica - someone who rode on the contintent emailed us in the past. Perhaps our first ever 100% organic hack comes from Angus in Indonesia.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Some people write blogs about bike stuff, and others actually do bike stuff. Reader Sue does stuff, cool stuff if you ask me. Sue started making cool cycling caps and if you like them and don't want to do stuff like me, you can just order one up. Or if you are inclined to do stuff, this is a great inspiration. Thanks Sue!
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Ashtabula Hats are cycling caps and beanies made from hand-picked, vintage, designer (or very cool) suits, jackets and sweaters found at my favorite San Diego thrift stores. Here is one of my larger purchases at the Thrift Trader in Pacific Beach. The cashier is laughing as she fills two bags!
I carefully take apart the jacket and save the lining for the racing stripes. I use my own 3-panel and 4-panel patterns and use 16oz plastic containers for the brim inserts. Luckily, I have friends that eat a lot of cottage cheese and yogurt! Depending on the size of the jacket, I can make 2-4 caps. So, every cap is a one-of-a-kind and has its’ own story history and I tell as much as I can. Sometimes it’s about the designer, the material, or the owner of the jacket. And, only one cap out of each jacket bears the designer label.
Fousto and my husband, Tim, work at a bicycle shop in San Diego. I gave Fousto (shown left) the first 4-panel designer label cap because he gave me the idea to make the cycling caps. All the guys at the shop got my practice caps and really kept me motivated! Btw, Tim’s other girl friend is a Surley Disc Trucker. He has asked for cycling cap and a matching top-tube cover for it. I guess that will be my next project!
I sell my caps on www.etsy.com/shop/AshtabulaHats
And, I have recently started a Facebook page that gives more info/history on other great upcycling ideas, cycling, apparel, designers and whatever seems cool and relevant
Sewing hacks have been featured on BikeHacks before. We have seen bags created from reusable shopping bags as well as from dog/cat food bags, and we have also seen a wallet sewn from inner tubes. This time around reader Catherine fashions leather into a pannier. Take it away Catherine . . .
* * * * * * * * * * *I made a pannier bag for my bike rack. It had to be able to carry one library book, my U-Lock, lunch box, and a change of shoes. It was made from scrap leather from a local hardware store that sells leather by the pound (http://store.harryepstein.com). The sewing was done with a lock stitch sewing awl, it took about 5 hours to complete.
* * * * * * * * *