“Po’ Boy” Fenders and Other D.I.Y. Projects

Not long ago, I finished rebuilding an old Trek for my weekend fast commuter. Once I had it all together, I realized that the frame- to tire clearances were pretty tight, and there were no mounting eyelets on the frame or fork for fenders. There was NO WAY a traditional set of fenders was gonna fit on this baby! Normally I reserve this bike for sunny days when I don’t have anything to carry, but I wanted a bit of protection just in case I got caught out in the rain…nobody likes “swamp ass” or a muddy stripe running up their backs!

Inspired by the beautiful wooden works of art that Fast Boy Fenders makes (the “Stubby” series in particular) and also inspired by the wacky and wonderful D.I.Y. creations of Kent Peterson (“The Coroplast King”), I got to work scrounging up some goodies to make my own stubby-style fender.

First, the raw materials:
raw materials

I had a few pieces of aluminum strip stock floating around in my shed, and I “liberated” a sheet of corroguted plastic (“coroplast”) from the myriad illegal signs that litter my neighborhood. Election season is a good time to harvest coroplast…especially before the losing candidates collect their no-longer-needed signs. A can of spray paint and a roll of 3M double-sided foam tape rounded out the materials I needed to get started.

I cut a length of the aluminum stock and bent one end to clear the sidepull calipers of my bike. I then bent the entire length to the same radius as a 700c wheel. Finally, I drilled a hole in one end and mounted this aluminum “spine” underneath the brake arms — the drilled hole needs to be big enough to allow the brake mounting post through.

Here is the “spine” mounted and ready to receive the fender:

Using a utility knife and a long straightedge, I cut a section out of the coroplast sheet, spray-painted it to match my bike’s frame and mounted this piece to the aluminum spine with double-sided foam tape. Here’s the finished product:

finished fender

The entire assembly weighs about 2 oz. I could have made it even lighter by shortening the aluminum spine or drilling it out or by narrowing the fender piece — coroplast is fairly rigid on its own, but until I rode with this attached I wasn’t sure how stable the thing would be. Besides, I wanted good rain coverage. Sure enough, this thing works like a charm…it bobs up and down a little bit, but is otherwise totally stable. It IS a bit “hoopty-looking” (frankly, it looks like a piece of spray-painted cardboard up close), but for the princely sum of $0.00 I now have a little bit of splash protection for my rear end.

Speaking of hoopty-looking D.I.Y. projects, I discovered to my dismay that I have run out of handlebar room on my Euro-style “Grocery Gitter“. The basket mounting brackets took up the last bit of room, and I was struggling with a way to mount some bike lights to the basket. Suddenly, I remembered a few lengths of 1” schedule 40 PVC pipe that live under my house. I crawled under the house and retrieved a dirty, scratched-up length. I drilled a couple holes in the pipe, threaded it through the front of the basket and ziptied it into place. The two Serfas lights I wanted to use now mount to the ends of the pipe using the original handlebar clamps.


The lights are separated just enough that now I’ve got a nice wide patch of light in front of me at night (I just took this bike to the grocery store and back to test the light pattern). Hoopty it may be, but this and the fender project cost me absolutely nothing…that’s the best kind of project at all! Function over form in both cases, too, but a little bit of creativity could make something a bit more sleek and glamorous…

more lightbar

Moe’s grocery gitter

As Jack predicts for a European style bike to be the next fad, I have quickly jumped on the opportunity to be the one of the originators of the ‘European Style Grocery Gitter’ Trend.

I’ve been looking for a decent Vintage bike to convert, but with the Fixed Gear craze that doesn’t seem to fade, vintage bike prices are up there.

Moe’s Grocery Gitter

So I decided to convert the Breezer Villager 7 into my grocery gitter. Since the Villager 7 is already outfitted with fenders, chainguard, insect-like handlebars, bell, 7 speed Nexus hub, rear rack and a lighting system, all I had to do is add the Wald Baskets that Jack recommended.

Front Basket

Rear collapsible basket

I still need to buy the other rear collapsible basket and re-locate the front light.

Pooch not included.

I need to buy some food for my pooch tomorrow, so this will be the perfect maiden voyage for my ‘Grocery Gitter’.

Do you have a ‘Grocery Gitter’? If you do, send us your pictures, we would like to post them on the site!

Check out what you can do with a few flash lights a camera…

Our buddy Keith Cozzens of BaseCamp Communications(PR company for Kona Bicycles) sent me this video that he made.

It’s interactive, eye-catching and most of all innovative – to my knowledge it’s the first outdoor industry-related lite graffiti video/ad. Lite graffiti is basically stop motion animation using flashlights, headlamps, a still camera, a camera flash, and some extremely patient friends.

To say it’s time consuming is an understatement. The video debuted last month at the Outdoor Retailer convention in SLC and attracted rave reviews and a write-up in the OR Daily. The link to the video is below. Thanks for taking the time and please let me know if you have any questions.

Interesting Bike Laws

As I was putting our new State-By State Bicycle Law tool, I came across some interesting bike laws:

Arizona:Every owner of a bicycle, before the same shall be operated on any of the streets, alleys or public highways in the City, shall obtain a license from the Division of Licenses.

Hey Jeff! Got licenses on those steeds of yours?????

Delaware and Florida: No bicycle shall carry more persons than it was designed to carry, except an adult rider may carry a child securely attached in a back pack or sling.

Hey Ghost, make sure to keep him away from your munchies… and don’t forget to put his helmet on!!

Georgia:(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell a new bicycle or a pedal for use on a bicycle unless the pedals on such bicycle or such pedals are equipped with reflectors of a type approved by the Department of Public Safety. The reflector on each pedal shall be so designed and situated as to be visible from the front and rear of the bicycle during darkness from a distance of 200 feet. The commissioner of public safety is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations and establish standards for such reflectors.

For those of you that sell Crank Bros, Shimano and Look pedals… Beware of the pedal police!

Indiana: 9-21-11-8. Bicycle to be equipped with bell or similar device.–A person may not ride a bicycle unless the bicycle is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred (100) feet.

More cowbell!!!!

Other findings:
Most states allow bicycles on the sidewalk, however, you lose your privileges as a vehicle and you must act as a pedestrian. A lot of states also require for minors of the age of 16 or 17 to wear a helmet, fines from $25-$100 are common.

The irony of all these laws is that they are rarely enforced. How many times have you seen kids riding with no helmets? Riders with no lights? and riders with more than 2 people on a bike?

So this begs the question, how many of you have ever gotten a citation on a bike?