As a car-less climber living in an area full of good rocks I've often considered how I could easily get my crash pad to a climbing area, or at least to a rendezvous point. Enter the side crash pad carrier, inspired by similar models for surf boards and constructed of pvc pipes.
along with several other similar designs
Step 1: Materials
1. PVC pipe. The diameter depends on your frame. Many road bikes will take 3/4", most mountain bikes need 1". Measure and check! I needed 2 long pieces of PVC in the end (12+ft total)
2. PVC connectors. The number you need depends on your particular design. For an unaltered design (no drop bars) with a connecting top tube you need 4 T joints and 6 elbows
3. (not pictured) PVC glue. I'd recommend gluing outside with a mask
4. hose clamps (4). whether you get the size going to 1 1/4" or larger depends on your particular frame. There was a spot where my brake cable housing interferes with one T joint and I needed a larger hose clamp.
5. rubber lining for the hose clamps. Keeps them taught
6. Pins (pictured). 2 are needed to secure the main connection to the T joints on the frame which will not be glued.
7. (not pictured) drill and bit that fit the pins
8. 2 elastic "bungee" cords - or 2 old inner tubes
9. Hacksaw suitable for cutting PVC
10. Flathead screwdriver
Step 2: Cut and Attach the T Joints
I'd recommend using a bigger hacksaw than the one pictured.
You will need to line the hose clamps with rubber (or a sponge or something similar) so they do not loosen while you are riding. I attached the rubber with duct tape to keep them in place while positioning them.
You will need 2 hose clamps per T joint. Tighten the joints down with a flathead screwdriver and make sure they are tight! On my road bike I positioned one T joint on the top of the seat tube and one towards the front of the down tube. I decided to carry my crash pad on the traffic/left side of the bicycle so that is where you see them attached.
Step 3: Cut the PVC Pipe Pieces
(note: not all pieces are pictured here)
I cannot give you precise dimensions here, as they depend on your bicycle!
The final configuration for my road bike, before drop bar modifications, was:
2 pieces from the T joint on the frame slightly smaller than...4 pieces: 2 that are the width of the crash pad, and 2 that go from the first piece to the crash pad, 2 long pieces extending up the traffic side of the crash pad, and a top bar spanning the width between the two T joints on the traffic side. If that is a bit hard to follow, you can see the images to help explain.
The first thing you need to do is measure your pedal stroke distance (pictured). give yourself an extra inch of room for larger shoes. This distance is the first piece that connects the T joint to the rest of the carrier (see next photo, with first piece connected - these are longer than what I used in the final model)
Then you will be cutting 2 pieces per side (4 total) to form L shapes. These connect from the first piece down and under the bottom of the crash pad. The down piece needs to not touch the ground. Mine left about 6" of clearance with the ground, but on a taller bicycle you could probably get more clearance. Remember that the piece that goes under the crash pad should be the width of the intended crash pad and hold it very closely. But don't cut it -too- narrow!
You will then cut 2 longer pieces that go from the joints on the traffic side of the crash pad up. Mine were at least the height of the crash pad in length (~3ft or so?) and a length for the top bar that connects these longer pieces which will be attached with T joints on the longer pieces.
If you are having trouble getting the first joint and first bar to clear drop handlebars, I'd suggest making the following modifications: you will make a small backwards S shape using an additional 2 elbow joints and then cut your first PVC pipe (but only the one on the front of the carrier) (the first connection between the T joint on the frame and the rest of the carrier) so that you have several pieces: a small (<3" long) piece that goes on the T joint...then attach an elbow to a somewhat larger but still small piece going down from this, add another elbow piece and attach your remaining section of PVC. You will also need to cut the down piece that goes on the backside of the crash pad as it will now be too long. You can see this modification in the last photos of this set, but might have to adjust lengths for your bicycle
Step 4: Hammer Your Connections and Test Your Rig
Do a test ride before making things permanent. Have someone hold the bike and your crash pad so you can check the sizing. You may not be able to ride with the crash pad just yet, but you can check to make sure nothing interferes with your pedal stroke or alters your turn radius too much. Remember that once you add weight the carrier will bend a little, so make sure there is more than enough clearance
Step 5: Drill the Main T Joint Attachments and Add Pins
In order to make the crash pad carrier removeable, you need to drill holes for pins that will go through the T joint halves that are on the frame and the PVC pipe coming out of it (through both, in the same spot). These holes are NOT in the frame, just the PVC. Make sure the pins fit the holes and the correct width, then stick them through the connection point.
Step 6: Glue and Attach the PVC Pipe Connections
You will be gluing every connection except the main attachment point you just drilled and added pins to. This allows for a removable crash pad carrier construction. I would recommend gluing outside as PVC pipe glue has a very strong smell!
Step 7: Wrap It Up With Elastic and Test Your Ride!
Once the glue has set, assemble the complete carrier on the bicycle and add your crash pad. You will want to push the crash pad back somewhat so that the front wheel can still turn. Don't be worried if it cannot turn all the way or very much at all - you don't need a lot of clearance to be able to turn!
You will probably want to add the elastic from the top bar to the frame. We used one on the front of the top bar and one on the back, partially around the T joints for the top bar. We did not need any additional elastic to hold the crash pad to the carrier, as our's was sized precisely, but you might need one depending on your crash pad.
If it looks rideable, test it and enjoy your new crash pad carrier! :)
Thanks to my boyfriend for modeling the drill and the crash pad carrier and helping put the finishing touches on it before the Chattanooga Maker Faire.