Friday, 3 June 2011

making a bike skirt guard

The other day, I caught my skirt in the back brake of my bicycle, and spent a while stuck there while I dismantled the rear brake using the multitool that I providentially had in my bag. As you do.

It's not the first time it's happened, either.

So I thought it was about time to do something about it.

I started with one of those plastic 25 litre drums, the sort you can (well, I can) easily get from a skip.

Then I made a cardboard template, checking the fit on the frame.

Then I cut out two pieces, cleverly using the curve of the drum to make an inwardly-curving forward edge on the guards.

And then I installed them, using tie-wraps.

If they work well, I'll prettify them a bit. Maybe.


  1. You clearly have gone about this the wrong way. Do what they do in Holland and forget about all those brakes with wires and things then there is nothing to get tangled up in Isadora Duncan style!

    I shall try and email you a few snaps from a few weeks ago to show you what I mean.

  2. ah Isadora Duncan.. no brakes with wires there I think

    Martha (should get on her bike again)

  3. nice work Dru, I think I recall ones made of plastic mac material that go over the mudguard an hook onto hub nuts. Think they were Dutch also.

  4. I didn't want to show my age by mentioning the hook on guards which had the added advantage of cutting down spray.

  5. Thanks for the pics, Caroline! They look a bit posh and modern for Amsterdam, whih I associate with great lines of raggedy Omafietsen... my previous bike had drum brakes, but they were not quite as effective as the rim ones, a bit of a consideration in hilly Bristol where the cars are vicious too.
    Glad to report that the test ride showed up no probs, so now I must decorate the guards.
    I know the ones you mean, Martha; I have a set of them too, but they are designed for a more old-fashioned bike so I gave up trying to bodge them on and came at the problem from a different angle. As it were.

  6. I always wanted disc brakes but my bike shop guy said only tandems were able to fit them and they would never be seen on other bikes! Always two or three decades ahead with my thinking! All the brake bits out of the way and stop you in the wet and on huge hills when carrying all you worldly possessions and a tent and don't want the tyres to explode with the heat buildup.

    I was shocked to see how many simple but new smart bikes were in use and the standard price seemed to be 499 euros!

  7. Someone's importing Dutch bikes to Bristol, Caroline; very nice things, but seeing someone straining up a Brizzle hill on a Bakfiets with children in the front box, I mostly think "Thank God I'm not pedalling *that*...."

  8. Not fools the Dutch, they have taken to electrically aided bikes in case they have to ever make an effort or encounter a short rise like a hump backed bridge over a canal!

  9. Are you familiar with the Bike Hacks blog? I'm sure they would be delighted to see this!


  10. Thanks for the link, Joe! Shall get in touch with 'em