12 October 2012

DIY Kid Bike Fenders

After an 81-day stretch of dry weather, it finally rained this morning. For people who enjoy walking and biking, it has been a long and blissful summer. With the inevitable dampness of fall on the horizon, I took some time last night to fender my second-grader's bike.

The fenders are made from coroplast, a corrugated plastic used for making campaign signs. I picked up the idea from Kent's Blog and a local elected official was happy to give me a stash of signs after his election. 

[Note: Around here campaigns are required to collect their signs from public spaces post-election. It is very illegal for private individuals to take them during election season. However, if you find a forgotten sign in a ditch post-election, it's your civic duty to pick up litter, right?] 

At her request, I had already customized the bike by covering the entire frame with fancy duct tape. We continued the look on the fenders; she digs the skulls. You can buy fenders for 16" and 20" wheels, but most shops will have to special order them. Inexpensive kid bikes like this one also don't have the usual eyelets for mounting manufactured fenders with screws, so zip ties and coroplast are an excellent alternative.

The best part: she thinks it looks cool and wants to ride, even on the rainy days.


Here are some more detailed photos of the 20" kid fenders.

Pre-assembly: Using a razor knife on a concrete floor, cut two strips from a 2' long campaign sign. Make your cuts in parallel with the channels in the coroplast. The wider piece to cover the tire is 2 3/8" wide and the strut piece is 1 1/2" wide. (If you need a front and rear fender, repeat this step.)

Most campaign signs don't look that cool when chopped up, so wipe them clean and cover them with duct tape. It looks cool and helps keep the coroplast from buckling. 

Center the strut at one end of the fender and punch small holes for the cable ties. Join the two pieces so the sharp fastener of the cable tie is on the outside. 
This way there are no sharp edges near the tire. Pre-fold the struts around the edge of the fender piece, creasing the coroplast. This will help with mounting.
Rear fender: Notch the fender as needed to mount the front end near the kickstand plate. This bike had a screw hole, so I rummaged an old screw that fit. Otherwise, use cable ties.
One cable tie was all I needed to attach the struts near the axle.
You may need to make your fenders wider. This bike required the struts go around the outside of the huge fork blades.

And get creative with the cable ties! It may take more than one!


Anonymous said...

The bike is very cool indeed. The rider and bike combination look awesome!

Gene in Tacoma

Hannah said...

This is awesome-- and points for style.

dfhkvs said...

I just tried this. The curved fender piece of plastic 'bent' / 'folded' at several places. I was not able to get the perfect smooth curve. Suggestions?