Tuesday, 25 June 2019

DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards / Fenders

DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards / Fenders - Intro

I was a little pissed at the thought of having to spend £7 on a piece of plastic, which is literally no bigger than the lid off an ice cream tub.

But here's the thing, why not buy a tub of ice cream, eat it,  and use the plastic there in to make a set of DIY mountain bike / MTB mudguards.

This design of front mudguard is a far sturdier mudguard than the zip tie offerings, and unlike the down tube style guards has the advantage of moving with the wheel when you turn around a corner.

The rear option sees you spending money on a rear luggage rack, which weighs next to nothing and using that as a mount point for salvaged plastic. A rear rack is so so handy. If you don't like handy and prefer trendy then you are reading the wrong blog.

DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards / Fenders - Ingredients

It doesn't have to be ice cream, just keep an eye out for a any sort of suitable plastic, and lets face it we are drowning in the stuff, it needs to be quite thick and rigid. The sort of plastic you might get from a 25 litre container of something (cooking oil?), or the lid off a 10 litre paint tub that sort of thing. Nearly all of the below you could probably find lying around.

Hint: Before you throw stuff away start taking it apart and keeping the nuts, bolts and screws, as they come in handy.

  • Snips or Jig Saw
  • Strip of Steel
  • Drill Bits
  • Rivets or Small Nuts and Bolts
  • Plastic (HDPE Preferentially - Number 4 Plastic)
  • Star Nut Sized to Stem
  • Zip Ties
Now right about now, you might think that £7 doesn't sound so good, if you don't have this stuff already then, the outlay may not be worth it, although it will set you up for future projects. You could do this in a community work shop

DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards / Fenders - DIY Front Mudguard

For the front mudguard will need a piece of plastic around 30cm long and  10cm wide. You cut this in the shape of a podgy wine bottle. You then place a 10cm length of strip steel, or hammered flat steel tube, over the thin under an rivet in to place. Finally you drill an 6mm hole in the end of the strip about 2cm from the outside end.

Hammer a stat nut in to lower end of your fork steerer tube. You then bolt the front mudguard to the underside of the steerer tube. Done.

DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards  / Fenders - DIY Rear Mudguard

At this point you might be thinking you don't want a rear luggage rack. . .  

But you soooo do want one: You can get a rear luggage rack on eBay for £10 with postage (which is less than some mudguards). This opens up all-sorts of options, for off-road touring etc. If you are thinking bike packing, well you can still strap trendy bags to it, that would otherwise be mounted further up under the saddle, where they will raise you centre of gravity. For practical types, you can add a pannier to store water, food, and clothing. I recently did a stretch of the south downs way (off-road) carrying 2 litres of water, lunch, clothing and tools, in a pannier it worked a charm, I can swap the same bag on to any of my other bikes, in 5 seconds. 

Any hoo. 

Simple cut a piece of plastic the same width as you rack's underside and secure with zip ties. I you had a long enough piece you could extend this down to the chain stays, but I have found the the piece jutting out at the back as shown in images is fine. 

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