Bicycles don't all come with fenders, but serious or frequent riders will learn quickly that rear fenders are a necessity---not a luxury. Fenders keep water, mud and other debris from splashing up and leaving a stripe down your back or backside. If you cycle through a puddle, water may still get on your feet, but with a well-designed fender, the rest of you will remain dry. Make your own bike fender at home without spending a lot of money or time.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Aluminium flashing
- Tin snips
- Cable ties/tie wraps
- Spray paint or other accessories
Draw an outline on your aluminium flashing for the backbone of your fender. Make the strip roughly double the width of your tire. Design two 1/2-inch-wide strips from the sides of the initial strip. Make them long enough to reach your sprocket for anchoring.
Cut the aluminium with the tin slips. Take your time and wear gloves and safety goggles if you have them.
Bend the main strip of aluminium to the shape of your tire with the pliers, or simply bend it with your hands or against the corner of a railing or table. Don't worry about curling down the edges unless you plan on putting the fender directly above your tire. Bend a 3-inch strip at a 90 degree angle to attach it to the seat.
Press the bent section against the seat support and bend it with your pliers so it fits snugly. Secure this main support with two to three cable ties.
Secure the secondary supports by bending the side strips down to the sprocket and bending small right angles into them. Use a single cable tie on each side to secure it to the sprocket bolts or pegs. Trim the extra plastic from the ties.
Paint your fender the same colour as your bike, or design it to your own tastes.
Tips and warnings
- For a front tire fender, follow these steps but secure the initial brace to the front fork.
- Add a mudflap of corrugated plastic or rubber sheeting for extra protection at the end of your fender.
- Check that the tire spins before taking off. If you don't install the fender securely, it could catch in your spokes.
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