09 August, 2007

Little Projects

The thermometer read 104-degrees when I left Velo Orange yesterday. So I retired to the little workshop in our garage to bend little strips of metal into various shapes.

I was pleased with my first effort, a handlebar-mounted water bottle cage bracket. It'll be handy for carrying coffee on my city bike, though I'd prefer a beer in this weather. I think we'll try to get some of these made. Would you buy one?

My second project was a solid blinkey mount for the rear fender. I'm not as pleased with this design. It just looks a little clunky. I'll try again in a few days. It may be that I just selected a light that's too tall?. Thoughts?


35 comments:

C said...

The best handlebar bottle mount I've used was the Blackburn design from many years ago. What I like about it was that it could be added/removed from the bike without tools and was a very simple design. It's great for those times when you have a long ride in remote areas and need a 3rd bottle and also for longer rides on fixed gear bikes where you want a water bottle.

Not so sure about the tail light. Already plenty of nice, reasonably priced fender mounted lights out there.

supcom said...

I would be concerned about fatigue failures with the blinky mount. It looks like it needs a cross brace to reduce flexing at the bend.

neil berg said...

Sup,
Jeez, it looks like 16 ga+ stainless steel. The blinky and fender will be long gone before the bracket bends.

Chris,
I like the bottle mount. Simple and straight forward. Now we have to find a cage that's cup friendly, or has this been field tested?

Edward said...

I'd absolutely buy the bottle mount. My tandems both put the bottles so far below the stoker that they cannot be used while riding. This would be a great solution.

Ed Felker

Anonymous said...

I would buy that water-bottle holder in a heartbeat!

Anonymous said...

If you use this:
http://peterwhitecycles.com/images/products/Lights/spx.jpg
(the Spanninga SPXb) you don't need to make any brackets. It fits right on as though it was designed for a metal fender because it was. It also incorporates a really good reflector, and it puts it in the traditional place for a reflector on a back fender.

About the only way in which it isn't totally perfect is that it doesn't blink. On the other hand, one could make the case that a light on a fender shouldn't blink.

Personally, I like to supplement one of these mounted on the fender with a blinkie mounted on a seat stay.

--sfp

BSR said...

I'm very interested in the bottle-mount. Just to be clear, would the beer come WITH it??

Seriously, it's nice. But every time I've WANTED to put a coffee-cup into a mount like that, it's obvious half the coffee would be on my shoes, knees, front wheel, etc... within a few blocks.

I guess I'm still looking for one that's a bit more shock-resistant.

Anonymous said...

Blogger ate my URL! Here's a link that will fit that shows you what the Spanninga SPXb looks like:

http://tinyurl.com/yxu3y5

--sfp

Jeff said...

Yes, I'd buy it. I've been looking for something like that for my Raleigh Twenty

Anonymous said...

I'm also looking for a handlebar mounted cigar holder and maybe a little ashtray that's deep enough so that the ashes don't blow out in my face when riding at speed.

Chris Kulczycki said...

I don't know about the cigar holder, but a device to secure a snifter of calvados when returning from the French bistro a few miles outside of town might might be useful.

Anonymous said...

That's why I have the flask holder from Aherne Cycles.

Anonymous said...


Anonyme said...

I'm also looking for a handlebar mounted cigar holder and maybe a little ashtray that's deep enough so that the ashes don't blow out in my face when riding at speed.




Forget the cigar. This is what you need:

http://tinyurl.com/2afe6n

Or, you could just buy one of ebay item 160143356564
(http://tinyurl.com/2hu5fy)
and put it on your own. $1.75, Buy it Now.

--sfp

BG said...

Anonyme said...

"I'm also looking for a handlebar mounted cigar holder.."

I saw this on a ride:

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/1776/cigarclipcu1.jpg

BG said...

Disregard my wonky picture url.

Sorry.

Joel said...

A handlebar bottle mount is an especially good thing for city bikes. A good looking one near perfect.

Jim H. said...

I too like the fender bracket. I would also agree with Neil about his comment regarding the bracket lasting longer then the blinkey and fender. I think it could be a good item to carry pending on price point, $5.95-$6.95?

m.eastman said...

I have one of these Cat Eye rear (blinky-battery) lights that mount either vertically or horizontally their supplied seatpost clamp mount. I like some of the more compact versions of these lights better.

Rather than a rigid metal bracket, I might through-bolt the baseplate of the bracket mount supplied with the light to a short piece of black 3/4" PVC pipe or even rubber tubing that could be shaped and angled at one end to the contour of the fender. That way it would still be easy to remove the light from the bracket to replace batteries and if it got bumped the pvc/rubber would absorb some shock rather than bend or dent the fender.

Anonymous said...

I know from experience that pipe smoking and riding don't go together that well. The increased wind makes the tobacco--and embers--blow all over the place, and burn too fast. you also end up looking like a bit of a twit.
mb

Anonymous said...

Yes I want not one but at least two!

I too use to have a water bottle cage for the handlebar that was simple and very effective... no screws, no brackets. (I would send you a picture but it was stolen with that bike). It simply was one piece unending strip of metal that wrapped under the stem (imagine the typical water bottle cage but with the top portion looped underneath the stem).

My other suggestion is to create a holder that attaches to the bolt in the stem for tightening the handlebars for a cleaner look.

Jack

Anonymous said...

I have the Minuora handlebar cage holder. It was 5 bucks, is well made and is good looking (though Chris' is better looking). Never mind that part of it is black - I removed the paint in about 3 minutes and polished it up. The best thing is that it centers the bottle in front of your stem which distributes the weight of a full bottle evenly on the bars. Food for thought.
http://tinyurl.com/yrxna9

Anonymous said...

I was just looking at some photos in VBQ of Tour de France riders in the '30s with handlebar mounts on their machines for one, sometimes two, bottles. I was wondering why the mounts got relegated to the down tube and why nobody offers a handlebar mount these days. Then I opened the VO blog and ... voila! Thanks!

C said...

"I was wondering why the mounts got relegated to the down tube"

Two reasons:
1) At the time it was believed that drilling holes into the down/seat tubes would weaken the tubing.
2) Carrying a bottle on the bars impacts the way the bike handles. A bike will handle differently with a full bottle versus an empty bottle and 1 versus 2 bottles. Not really an issue for most of us but for racers riding at high speeds it can be a problem.

I've seen the Minoura mount and the problem with it and the VO mounts is that they can't be quickly removed. The Blackburn model was nice because it could be added/removed from the bike in seconds without tools.

James said...

How well do your bikes hold a baguette on the handlebars?

Anonymous said...

c said:
"I've seen the Minoura mount and the problem with it and the VO mounts is that they can't be quickly removed. The Blackburn model was nice because it could be added/removed from the bike in seconds without tools."

How does the Blackburn look? Is it secure? Unnecessarily large? Plastic? I'd personally rather take 2 minutes to remove something with a hex wrench or screwdriver than hang something ugly or clunky on my bike. I haven't timed the removal of my Minoura but I'd bet I could do it in less than a minute. Anyway, it stays on the bike I have it on and at 5 bucks I could always pick up a few more.

C said...

The Blackburn design had a single bent piece of alloy rod the went over the top of the bar then under the stem and then back over the top of the bar. A similar over and under loop has also been used for handlebar bags. It was held in place with a small plate held secure with a thumbscrew. It was very light, very simple, and very secure. A great design all around.

Anonymous said...

My only thought is the light may look more appropriate for it's length if it was mounted lower on the fender where the older city bikes used to have a reflector. The long light would blend into the fender more if it had the fender behind it instead of the light just sticking up at the top. Only other thought is to mount the light horizontally, but I'm not sure that would be a lot better.

Though I assume where you put it was for visibility, which a lower mounting would detract from.

Chuck

Anonymous said...

Shoot, I used to smoke on a bike all the time in my youth. No big deal, you guys talking about how hard it is . . . y'all must be old.

This morning, I saw a crossdresser on a hybrid. Cool! The odd thing is that my friend and I both had the distinct impression that he/she was uh streetwalking or riding. You know, make up, cleavage and all. Now, that was a little strange at 8am Sunday morning at Wrightsville Beach, but whatever. Gives a new meaning to the term "beach cruiser." maybe that's an overlooked genre?

mw

JoelMatthews said...

Frankly, smoking seems so divorced from riding I uncertain why anyone would want to do the two together at all, let alone well.

neil berg said...

Okay, I confess; I was the Anymouse that wrote the first cigar post. Although I occasionally do smoke a cigar, I don't do it on a bicycle. Frankly I thought the whole coffee on a bicycle thing was just a little silly, so I thought I'd just kick it up a notch.

Joel said...

You certainly have a point there.

Coffee is meant to be savored slowly.

In a nice chair. Preferably with some good reading, good company, or both.

After the coffee is consumed, then to the bike!

Anonymous said...

I'd definitely buy one of those handlebar water bottle holders. When will they be available?

patrick said...

I'll just add myself to the throng of handlebar-mounted bottle-cage fans. Waterbottles on downtube or seat tube always get caught in me knicker cuffs! Consternation often results. Besides, this way you can use a straw...

I like the idea of integrating it with the binder bolt on the stem. That way it wouldn't occupy any of my precious handlebar real estate.

patrick

Anonymous said...

Great idea!! Would be nice for other bikes such as cruisers.(which are a huge part of the market on the west coast)ltqwya

Anonymous said...

When I was a teen back in the 1960's I had a handlebar mounted water bottle bracket and I got a lot of use out ot then. I miss this approach. the other day I was out on my new Mondonico and I accidentally dropped my vintage REG Atox water bottle while trying to replace it on the down tube bracket. It fractured and is useless now. Had I a handlbar mounted bottle, this wouldn't have happened. Seems to me I remember a retractable straw on some bottles that would eliminate the need to even remove the bottle.