Monday, January 22, 2007

Toby's Coroplast Panniers & Fenders

Each year my employer, the Bicycle Alliance of Washington, holds a fund raising auction. While we were brainstorming to come up with auction items somebody came up with the idea that since I am somewhat infamous for my fenders and luggage made from recycled coroplast campaign signs, we could auction off a set of custom fenders and panniers. We auctioned off a lot of other, neater big ticket items but Toby wound up being the winner of the coroplast fenders and panniers. Toby is a good guy who works at Flexcar, another bunch of folks doing their bit to make this planet a bit more livable.

Toby has an old Specialized Rockhopper he wants to use as a commuter, so this past weekend I set it up with fenders and panniers.


I had half a dozen 18"*24" coroplast campaign signs left over from last fall's Proposition 1 campaign. The signs had a nice transit motif and I tried to make good use of the printed graphics as I shaped the fenders and panniers. I describe the basic construction of fenders at:

http://www.carsstink.org/peterson/FendForYourself.html

I decided to make the panniers in the shape of an isosceles trapezoid. Each pannier is 4 inches deep, with the top being 18 inches long and tapering down to a 6 inch bottom. This picture shows how I cut and scored one sign to make the main body of one pannier. Once cut and scored, I folded the pannier and secured the folds with nylon zip ties.


I cut some additional parts of signs to make the front and back edges of the panniers and to make a kind of inverted U channel to hold each pannier on either side of the bike's rear rack. I formed most of another sign into the lid, using smaller pieces to make a box-like lid. I used elastic bungee-style cord to secure the panniers to the front and legs of the rack and small bits of velcro are the latches for the lids.


The resulting panniers are very light and waterproof. These actually turned out to be quite a bit lighter and simpler than my previous duct tape panniers.

I put some reflective tape on the rear fender. I'm not sure what Toby has for lights but if need be, we can make some blinkie light mounts out of coroplast as well.



14 comments:

Perry said...

A most neat and excellent job! Kudos. Is it gauche to ask how much they went for?

beth h said...

those panniers are SO COOL!

Kent Peterson said...

Hey Perry,

Toby's winning bid was $90. That's a pretty good price for a set of panniers & fenders and the money went to a good cause.

And no, I'm not going to go into the business of making these things. I'd rather show folks how to do this and have them make their own.

Toby Weymiller said...

Thanks, Kent! I will ride with pride and then send people to your blog so they can find out how to make their own killer panniers and fenders!!

nollij said...

Kent, I notice your fenders are getting neater and more refined as you progress in the iterations (at least that I've seen). Do you hold workshops to show people how to build their own who don't have internet access? That would be a cool community building activity for sure!

Kent Peterson said...

I did a fender seminar at Bike Works awhile back and I'll probably do another one at the Bike Station some time in the next few months. If I get really organized I'll put together some PDFs and print some instruction booklets. These days I do all my stuff under the Creative Commons licensing, so folks can remix it as they like.

Fritz said...

Fenders are old news, but the panniers -- WOW! And it all looks great.

lyan! said...

Very cool. I've been using wire and duct tape for a while, but they break down after a few weeks. Thanks for the new direction!

Anonymous said...

those panniers are beautiful and well designed!
I haul a lot of stuff to and from work and I depend on a coroplast box that is mounted on top of my rack. It holds lots of stuff too.

Mike said...

This is a great idea, but the link to the instructions is broken.

Kent Peterson said...

Thanks for the catch, Mike. I moved servers and some old links broke. I think I have them all patched now.

Kent

Mike McDermott said...

I thought I'd share my project that was inspired by yours:
http://kokomojuggler.blogspot.com/

bikingbill said...

What did you use to do the scoring?

Kent Peterson said...

The scoring can be done with anything that has a fairly dull point. I used a philips screwdriver.