A couple of handy mods...

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by bluegoatwoods, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Sorry that I can't post pics. But if I'm careful, I should be able to explain them properly without taking up a lot of space.

    One is a home-made cable stay. (is that the right term for those little sockets that the end of the cable sheath fits into?)

    Those little one-and-half to two inch corner braces from the hardware store work just fine. You fasten them to your frame using a hose clamp (or two for extra strength) and a strip of old inner tube for a bushing. The part that now hangs down into the center of the frame has two holes that will allow a sheathed cable through. So you have a cable holder. There's room for you to drill a couple of small holes nearby. This makes your cable stay. When my throttle cable broke right up at the twist grip I used this method to make a new cable: I left the end in the carburetor just as it was. I then threaded a wal-mart brake cable into the throttle grip (the end with the large knob works in there) and ran it down to meet. There above the engine I had two of these home-made cable stays. Had the two cables meet between them. Fastened them together using a small hose clamp and and a small bolt. (the bolt is only there to give the hose clamp something more beefy than just two cables to grab onto) This has the added advantage of giving you the ability to adjust the actual length of the cable.

    My other recent home-made project is a cargo platform right in front of the handlebars. I started with a $15.00 wal-mart front basket. It mounts on the handlebars. I took out my jigsaw and cut away the front and sides of the basket. This leaves a horizontal platform roughly one sqare foot in size and a similar sized vertical platform right in front of the handlebars. Naturally, this isn't very strong. So I got a couple of aluminum strips, 1/8 thick by 3/4 wide.
    Used these as a bottom brace. They simply mount at the front axle and hold up the "half-basket" from the bottom. Just like old-style, stainless steel front baskets. For winter riding I carry a rather large duffel bag with my heavy winter clothes, extra hats and gloves, radio, etc. I place this right on this platfrom and tie to the handlebars. though this is a bit higher up than I'd really like, it does have one big advantage; it gives me (and particularly my hands) a lot of wind protection. I can tighten my load down a lot without crushing my cables against the headset and the load doesn't get in the way of my feet.

    In walmart's camping section you'll find cheap little coolers. I'm sure you've seen them; plastic bodies surrrounded by a bit of insulation and nylon outer with a few pockets, etc. these make fine rear "saddlebags". you'll need some kind of rack, to start with. and more aluminum strips to make a frame and fasten everything together. I won't take up space describing my "engineering". I'm sure you can figure out your own. But I'll mention really quickly that you'll have to do some stiffening of the whole thing if you want to carry loads with any weight. I carry tools, spare tubes, bungee cords, etc in the saddlebags. And when they're closed up the top of them and the rack make a nice big platform for other cargo. That's where I put my backpack, for instance.

    I haven't bothered to weigh my entire load yet. But it's big. I carry a lot of stuff. And there's still room for more if something comes to mind.

    And though I probably paid as much for all this stuff as I would have paid for a cheap front rack and a cheap set of saddlebags, this set up is much more versatile. I'm sure I saved money over good, heavy duty stuff from the bike shop.

    Once again, sorry I can't post photos of it all. But I suppose it would have taken a whole bunch of photos to show it all, anyway.

  2. beachcruiser

    beachcruiser Member

    I have a front basket that I don't use any more and I was wonering what to do with it , nice tip........been unusualy cold here this early before winter.......keep warm riding
  3. zackwyldefan

    zackwyldefan Member

    too much readin man. heck i'll read it.
  4. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    If you clamp an end of the aluminum bar in a vise, and grab the other end with a vise-grip, and give it a few twists, it will be much stiffer and can hold more load without bending or wobbling.

    Below, my homemade aluminum bar rear rack, with a twist in the load bearing support.

    Attached Files:

  5. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Nice job, skylark. And a good tip, too. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks.
  6. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    I always KNEW you were a little twisted...:grin5:
  7. fastboy9

    fastboy9 Member

    Good job skylark thats pretty cool! clever tip too about the twisted alli, I always thought they were for decoration when you see that on banisters and rails.