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:

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.

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