We recently featured some handlebar grips of questionable comfort, and reader Nick who blogs at Bicycle Obsession sent along some DIY leather grips which look rather comfy. The full article can be found here, materials and pictures below.
- A pair of worn out lock-on grips (if you don’t have, or you can’t find in your friends’ garage, you can buy them off ebay for around 3$)
- an (unusable) leather belt that you don’t want/like (non-slip, tough, amazing feel, beautiful looks, your hands doesn’t smell rubber after the ride, doesn’t leave black spots on your hands.)
– razor / knife
- A good pair of scissors
- a piece of thick fish line (incredibly resilient to the elements, most of the times you can find it for free, looks great, amazingly strong)
- A Dremel
- Needle-nose pliers
You start here . . .
. . . and you end up here!
People have different philosophies when it comes to bike parking. Some have no philosophy at all really - they just lean their bike or bikes against a wall and call it good. Others want to combine order with ease and reader Mark seems to fall into this category. Mark sent along the following text and pictures:
I converted our storage shed to dedicated bike parking. Space is tight, so I made two "bike docking stations" out of ripped 2x4s. Now instead of ungracefully climbing into the shed, one can easily dock a bike - push it in or pull it out - with one hand.
Then I clicked on another link he sent along and the wooden grips got more exciting.
Now there is something I have never seen before. I thought I had covered most ways to mount a camera to a bike in our 21 DIY Bike Camera Mounts post, but how wrong I was.
Let's get in the mood for this post - theme music is back, crank up The Clash!
You heard it correct, London is Calling . . . for the use of a Blackvue Sport. What the heck is a Blackvue Sport you ask? It's an "action sports" type camera I was given to review, and I did. I also found out that I really don't lead an exciting bike life. Thus I thought about sending the Blackvue Sport on a world tour, and some readers have taken me up on it.
The camera will first be heading off to London. Reader Eoghan is going to get the camera, put it through the paces, and will pass along a post or posts featuring videos and commentary. Once done, Eoghan will mail the camera on to the next reader and so on and so forth. We have had several readers contact us thus far, but there is certainly room for more.
If you are a reader who is interested in participating in the World Tour, here is what to do. Click on the "Submit Your Hack!" text in the menu at the top of this page and submit the following:
Before shipping the camera off I attached a bikehacks.com sticker and decided that it might be cool for each recipient to attach an emblem to the box affiliated with their city. Boston and the Red Sox are pretty much synonymous, so I taped on the Red Sox logo.
We have seen a tall boy fender before, and reader William decided to send along his minimalist version. Text and pictures below credited to William. Solid beer choice by the way =)
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I wanted a minimalist fender similar to the Tangent SL. I had an old ugly plastic fender for the mount.
Using a tallboy, I removed the top with a can opener. I cut the can lengthwise along the label seams and around the bottom using tin snips.
Eyeballing the placement on my tires, I marked the width I wanted to cover my road tires with a sharpie. I then trimmed the bent portions of the can to just wider than that with a taper. I realized that I'd have to fold the edge of the can over several times in order for the screws on the fender mounts to be able to grab hold. Experimenting with an extra piece of the aluminum can, I found that 9 folds would be sufficient. Starting with about a 2mm or 1/16th inch fold along the art/text/label vertical lines helped me keep the edges straight. The tip of pliers gave me a purchase on the aluminum for the initial bending of the metal.
Once it was bent over enough, my thumbs were more effective at completing the fold. I'd crimp the new edge with the pliers before starting the next fold. Repeat 9x on each side. After five folds, I found that it was easier to start the fold by hand as the edges were strong enough to nearly roll themselves over. Towards the end, I finished by trimming the top/bottom of the former can, now fender to be symmetrical and visually appealing once mounted. The angle for the mount I based off pictures and video of the Tangent. I haven't had the opportunity to try the fender out in puddles, so I hope I got it right!
Each year I try to devote a little time to watching the Little League World Series. Watching the kids play reminds me of the days I spent long, long ago playing ball. No batting gloves for me, I was one tough little tike =)
The clothing worn by those in the background should give you a sense of how long ago this picture was taken.
Reader Joe sent along the following text and pictures noting a hack to help his son transport some baseball equipment to the field:
I recently experimented with capturing my bike commute with a camera, and quickly concluded that filming my rides would only serve as a possible sleep aid. I am not a member of the quickly growing camera army, however I see them being used by more and more riders these days and we have also seen an uptick in people emailing us their camera hacks or videos they have either made or enjoyed.
I thus thought I would put together a list of DIY bike camera mount hacks. A few are off the bike, but meant for biking. Enjoy and if you have come with a hack not listed, feel free to send it to us for posting. And if you view this list and mash up your own DIY hack, feel free to send it to us as well. Lights, camera . . . Action!
1. Plastic Bottle Hack
This first hack is simple and is also flexible for use off of a bike. You can mount the screw end of platic bottle on your bars and by combining the screw top and cap with a bolt, nut, and washer combination you have your mount.
Picture Credit to eeio.blogspot.com
The beauty of this hack is that you can use it off bike as well, just put some liquid in a bottle and you have a portable tripod.
Picture credit to www.jakeludington.com
2. Repurpose an existing bike accessory mounting bracket
This is a similar concept to the first DIY mount, but is based upon repurposing a simple reflector mounting bracket.
Picture Credit to thefridaycyclotouriste.com
Around midnight last night I had an idea to mount my camera to my bike. I went out in my garage and found a bolt that fits the bottom of the camera and a part that used to attach my light to my handlebars before I moved it to my fender. I added a little gorilla glue, went to bed and this morning it was finished. I think it turned out pretty nice.
Ready to roll.
3. Plastic Clamp
The picture pretty much says it all here.
Picture credit to ossum on instructables
4. Metal Clamp
Same idea as number 3 here, just with a metal clamp instead.
Credit to dortonward on instructables
5. Affix bent metal bracket to rear wheel skewer
This first one does not look all that stable and one would want to pay particular attention to sweeping left turns.
Picture Credit to nabityphotos.com
A similar, and likely safer hack was featured on BikeHacks.com via the folks over at Montague folding bikes.
The Go Pro clip slides into one side of the base, so we kept the screw off to the other side, out of the way. The adhesive on the base also helped hold it in place.
Then we just clipped the camera into its bracket:
To mount it on the bike, we used an extra long quick release skewer. We drilled the whole large enough that it also works with a bolt on axle.
We had it angled back to get as much of the bike in the shot as possible:
6. Gear ties
I came up with this hack myself. Just take some gear ties and run them through the camera case - a bandana and some velcro made for bar stability.
This is both frightening and frighteningly simple at the same time. Reader Michael submitted his mounting hack to BikeHacks.com back in September of 2012.
8. Plastic box hack for smart phone or similar device
Over at diybiking.com there is a hack using these parts . . .
To create this . . .
9. Duct tape and cardboard
A well placed hole is this DIY solution that was submitted by reader Jessi would work. Jessi wrote:
It's made entirely out of duct tape and cardboard. I attached it to an old reflector which I then attached to my handlebars. It works great and is super secure. It holds my Droid which I use to track my speed and distance while riding. If it rains, I just slip a baggy over it to keep my phone dry.
To make the frame of the cell phone holder I used the box that manila envelopes come it. I cut a corner of it to size [leaving a little extra on the cut side to fold and tape] and then cut out the front window part. Then I just used a bunch of Duct Tape to make it more secure and colourful [I used turquoise]. I then used an old reflector and taped it to the back. I mounted it on the front handlebars which makes it closer to eye level [I use my phone to track my speed and distance]. It works great. I even hit a few potholes and it didn't move at all.
This PVC hack posted by tinram over at instructables is probably the most awkward in my opinion. You would have to be quite careful when removing the back pack, and every time you looked over your right shoulder to check out traffic you would seemingly capture your face.
11. Tripod and zip ties
This, um, interesting hack found over at coltography.ca might take the cake when it comes to most zip ties deployed in a single hack.
12. Rigging Equipment
If you want to flip the script so to speak and go all selfie with your bad self, reader Nicholas sent us this back in February. He wrote:
Out of necessity, indie band "And the Giraffe" used spare rigging equipment and a few pieces of duct tape to stabilize a film camera on the front of a bicycle for their newest music video. The setup was deceptively simple, but the resulting shots were extremely stable as the band rode around downtown Los Angeles and into the desert outside the city. The rigging was fastened to the frame of the bike and the handlebars and small pieces of duct tape were fastened into straps to help give the camera more stability on the unforgiving LA pavement.
13. Pipe clamp, inner tube, metal bracket
This elegant solution, found at the Matrix like web address drwsxce6xtjnu.cloudfront.net, ingeniously uses a pipe clamp, inner tube, and metal bracket. Very appealing and simple.
14. Accessory Extension
Not so much a DIY hack here, but I thought this picture from palmbeachbiketours.com was worth posting nonetheless. This cockpit is definitely in the running for a captain dashboard award.
If you did want to go all DIY, here is a hack from our 10 Strange Bike Handlebar Set Ups post which would allow one to go hog wild with accessories beyond a camera. Spotted by reader John at the Ala Moana shopping mall garage in Honolulu, HI.
Visiting Hawaii and was at the mall when I saw a bike locked up that has a weird hack of two short rubber tubes holding a pipe between the mountain bar extensions to create a rectangular upright bar for the rider.
15. Rear pole mount
Reader Andy sent me a link to this reddit post which features a pole hack which gives a 3rd person view of the rider. The dude in the video spends like $150 on this, mainly due to using a carbon fiber pole (Fred alert), but a broom stick would be a cheap substitute. Screen shot from YouTube video -
YouTube video of the hack in action -
16. PVC side mount
Over at mtbr.com contributer anthonyi came up with a hack similar to #13 on the list.
17. PVC 360 Swivel Mount
For the action hero out there, with some PVC tube and some bolts, you can capture your epic exploits. Not advisable for those who prone to falling.
18. Repurpose those eyelets
Using eyelets to mount a bracket could work on both the front and back. Credit to contributor sickmtbnutca over at mtbr.com.
With a sharp object and a pipe clamp, contributor fehlbergo came up with this over at instructables.
I had never hear of corian solid surfacing, but with a drill and saw, instructable contributor marple200 fashioned a very cool seat mount that looks like it came out of a factory.
Sometimes the style associated with a hack makes it truly awesome, and I saved this one for last because the style factor is off the charts. This one is pretty simple, but requires a full helmet - and having a mullet seals the deal. Visit John Shafer's article at mtbr.com for more.
Have a hack that did not make the list? Feel free to send us an email and let us know so we can post.
Brakes, I like to have them. Call me a wimp, I call myself old and married. Reader Steve wanted brakes as well, but had some 650b wheels he wanted to put on a frame built for 27 inch wheels. A simple bracket hack to extend the brakes and he was set to roll and stop safely when needed. He sent along the following text and pictures.
What do you do when you have a frame built for 27" wheels and you want to use your 650b wheel set, but don't have long reach brakes? Build the brakes out with brackets. Flickr account here.
'Twas a lovely day in D.C. and I spotted this steed . . .
Which leads me to ask readers, has anyone ever seen an illegally parked automobile with a sign stating the car was illegally parked and would be discarded? Towed yes, discarded no.
I have to wonder, shouldn't a vehicle that produces no co2 emissions when in use be cut a little slack? If I was the business owner, maybe my sign would have read -
"Hey man, thanks for not polluting the air we breathe. Next time would you mind parking your bike somewhere other than this metal fencing? That would be totally righteous. Peace and Love."
Maybe threats are not the way to get what you want. Reading audience, if you could have put a sign on the bike, what would it have read? Leave your text in comments.
Sometimes accessories and bike products do not always fit where you want them to, or you might want a different angle for whatever reason. A recent bag light mount was not popular with at least one reader, here a few pictures to inspire other possible creative mounts.
Basket alternative bike light mount.
Reader Papa Bear sent along the following:
This shows what I did for my cyclocomputer. It's a wired CatEye, and it was too short because I ride a 29er. I secured the wiring to the frame with our good-old zip ties, then I secured the mount to the top tube - again with zip ties. I have to look down a bit to see my computer, but it works well.
And here is another example of a light mount not in the traditional place you might find one.
We received the following email from reader JP:
I am preparing for a four-day, mid-October trip on the C & O/GAP from DC to Pittsburgh. I'll be with 7 or 8 others who are all staying in hotels. I'll be riding my Cannondale F29 2. I have a few questions that I would love if anyone could answer.
1. If I decided to camp, how painful is hauling a tent, sleeping bag, etc?
2. What pannier, saddle bag, handle bar bags are best for this kind of trip? I like Revelate Designs bags but they are expensive. I have also been considering Topeak's seat post mounted panniers since Cannondale's frames are so uniquely shaped. Cheaper but may not be so sturdy.
3. Any other tips welcome.
It just so happens that I rode a good way down this very pathway and I recounted my camping experiences in an 8 part series. My biggest piece of advice is to ditch a tent and go with a hammock.
The path mentioned has lots of trees, but even if there are not any trees, you can use a hammock like a tent.
The Hennessy Hammock web site has all sorts of details. Below is my series from 2010, but reader comments on camping tips are welcome.
Bike Hacks Camping Series from Summer of 2010
Some people go through a lot of trouble to custom fit a bike, and others take a bike and make it fit. Reader Alfred from Sweden sent along the following: