I love finding ways to incorporate classic music videos into posts, and within milliseconds of receiving an email from reader Isaac, I pulled up this classic.
I have no idea what was consumed to inspire this 1980 video, but whatever it was, it can be credited with ushering in a wave of massive 1980s political incorrectness. If this video had been released in 2015, I can only imagine the whiplash that would have ensued. Thank you Isaac for your wicker hack, it is indeed wicker good.
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I make and sell jewelry on the city-center streets of Glasgow, Scotland. I have loads of stuff (including my nifty cardboard sign) that I need to transport and was fed-up walking with everything the 3 miles to my street corner. Seeing as my wife and I are both paying exorbitant international student fees to study in Glasgow, I recently realized, "who needs a real-life rack and paniers?" So, out the back door and into the alley I went, where I discovered a splendid wicker prize.
Anyway, I made a rear-basket type of dealy by removing the drawers from this stunning unit (must have been from the Victorian era...) and punching out the middle supports.
Then I just turned it on its back and ziptied/bungeed the hell out of it to my seat-stays, seat tube and rear mudguard.
It's a marvel of modern engineering, and life has never been easier.
Reader Josh sent along the following . . . 49er hack.
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This bike is used by a Gold prospector in the San Bernardino mountains outside of Los Angeles. It's constructed out of electrical conduit and scrap aluminum. I wish I had a pic of it all loaded up with his gold panning gear.
If you look closely you can see that the owner, instead of trying to attach the top of the rack near the rear of the bike has wire-tied it along both sides of the top tube. There is also a bolt through the top tube and conduit near the head tube to secure it all extra good-like. It may look tired but it gets the prospector and his equipment to the river every weekend.
I recently spotted this unique solution to carrying an extra passenger. Just adding a banana seat to an existing rack seems sensible, you would just want to make sure to check the rack load capacity as the passenger got bigger.
I love to see examples of repurposing, upcycling or whatever one wishes to call reusing "waste materials" for other purposes. It is even cooler when you can fashion old bike parts into parts for other bikes. Reader Dennis upcycled some old frames into a nice looking cargo rack and sent along the following text and pictures. Thanks Dennis!
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Made a rear cargo rack using the chain stays from an old raleigh frame, a seat clamp from another discarded frame (chopping up a 26" mtb and a 20" bmx bike) and some miscellaneous steel tubing/flat stock and plywood. Framework was bent on a homemade tubing bender too.
Sometimes accessories need accessorizing. Reader Scott takes us through his Topeak rack conundrums and how he hacked them.
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I use a Cannondale 29'er for my daily 25 mile commute. I couldn't mount a standard rack and am not a fan of backpacks (OVERHEAT!) so I use a Topeak Beamrack.
Mounts securely, works great. I have a small duffel that I strap to the rack with book straps (camping store) and the bag condenses down to whatever size I need.
This leaves two problems. Now and then, depending on bumps and speed, the bag wants to roll off the side or warp off the back of the rack. The other problem was that I never have available real estate to mount a tail lamp. So my hack is a add-on to my rack, that solves both of those problems.
It is made out of copper pipe (I used 1/2", 3/4" may have been good but also heavier.) I used about 3 feet of pipe, 3 elbows, 3 caps and a tee; a coupe of sheet metal screws and glue; friction tape to increase diameter for the lamps; and black paint. I added a single copper pipe clamp for stabilization. Necessary tools included a tubing cutter, drill, and a Dremel with cut-off wheels to do the bottom shaping.
My plan was to just place the add-on on top of the Topeak, and let the tying down of the duffel to hold it there. I stuck with that, but the original construction didn't 'sit' nice. I decided to notch out a section of the Tee (and adjoining pipe) so it would settle better, but I went one step farther, and made my cutout section match up with the Quicktrack. I now slide the rack in from the back. It doesn't lock in (never my intention) but is adjustable forward and backward.
My notches are a little off, whick results in too much play in the fit, so a single pipe clamp works perfect to keep the racks aligned. Also, I have about 7" between the vertical side posts. That would be too narrow for a typical stiff bottomed duffel.
So now, for the commute, I slide the rack and the pipe clamp on the Topeak, set my duffel down, slide the rack towards the seat to snug up on the duffel, and use the book straps to bundle it all up tight. My bag doesn't move, I have twin Hotshot lamps on the side vertical bars, and plan to put a third light on the rear post.
I was also not able to mount a kickstand, and am not a fan of leaning a bike, and was short of wall and floor space for the bike(s). I stumbled upon an easy fix: I hooked an old tie-down strap to the end of the garage door rail up by the ceiling, and hooked the lower end under the lip of the seat, and adjusted the length short enough to keep the rear wheel off the ground. Quick, easy and works great.
Reader Ruben sent along this hack he spotted. I think the model/manufacturer name on the downtube paired with this particular hack is a classic combination.
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Saw this bike leaning up outside a grocery store in Victoria, BC.
A front fork was bolted onto the rear dropouts, with a little scrap metal holding it away from the seatpost. The stem of the fork was jammed through a hole in the bottom of a plastic garbage can to make an oddball sort of carrier.
Reader Bruno was looking for a way to carry miscellaneous stuff with him and he sent along a hack he came up with. His hack reminded me of a DIY Box of my own I created a few years ago. Here was mine . . .
And here is Bruno's write up and pictures . . . the only thing I question is the length of the bolts on the inside. For mine I put the bolts the other way around (facing out rather than in) and used wing nuts so I could easily take it off if I wanted to.
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So I needed a bike box to put all that stuff that I have to carry when riding. Things like tools, lights and stuff. I searched some bike stores, all the boxes I found were very expensive and some of them seemed to be fragile. Then I searched this awesome site and found some ideas. I had this Whey Protein Package just lying in my house and decided to put it to good use!
I did some modifications and now I have a big, tough and very red bike box! The project is very simple and I spent a total of 2 dollars (without the cost of the whey protein). The two holes I did on the lid are so I can use a lock, as you can see on the pictures
Reader Steve sent along some hacks he put together using "cull lumber." What in the heck is cull lumber? Cull lumber is typically scrap lumber left over when a customer has a piece cut in store and does not need the part that is cut, or it is lumber that is not sellable at full price. It might be damaged or warped in some way. One man's junk is another man's bike hack. Take it away Steve . . .
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Just a few inexpensive DIY bike racks, bike stand, and retractable space saver work bench. I used cull lumber for most of the lumber. They sell it for 70% off usually at Home Depot.
Reader Andy wanted a way to help his son transport his saxophone to school and submitted the following text and picture.
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My high-school aged son rides to school daily, and was having to transport his sax back and forth for band practice. I had bought him a rack (the Delta Post Porter Rack) for a bikepacking trip we did in fall, but the saxophone case was just too long and heavy to attach safely.
I cut a piece of 1 x 10 pine to length, to attach to the rack at the front with two screws, and also drilled twelve holes through to attach with zip ties to six other locations on the side tubes of the rack. I relieved the top of the board with a chisel between each pair of holes so that the zip ties are below flush. Then I added a second piece of wood to make a lip at the back that prevents the case from sliding off. The case is therefore wedged between the saddle and the lip.
A short piece of flat metal bar with holes attached to the bottom is for the rear strap. I put two tie-down straps on, then cut to length and melted the ends, so that there is no way they can get into the spokes.
The rack is very secure and convenient for him. He just takes the whole rack off the seat post when not needed, instead of cutting the zip ties. We had a very dry summer, but if we saw rain I'd put a few coats of paint or polyurethane on.
This is the general type of strap that I had laying around. Ratchet straps would work, but be overkill and more fiddly for him. I'm not sure I'd trust Bungees for this.