Instructables

Bicycle Skirt Guard

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A skirt guard on a bicycle keeps your skirt, or coat, or child's feet from being flayed by the rear-wheel spokes.

My kids are big enough that I no longer ride them on the back of my bike, and I can't remember when I last wore a skirt and that's not just a memory problem, either. But I do commute on a bicycle, shine or rain. For rain I wear a rain parka. For heavy rain I wear a rain parka plus rain pants and overshoes.

The parka is long enough that it used to get caught in the rear spokes, which tended to mess it up.

Bicycle skirt guards are sort of under-represented on Instructables. 1lenore has a good one using tulle, which seems to be a type of fabric. I wanted something a bit sturdier.

There is now a YouTube video that is sort of a survey of Japanese skirt guard designs. Full disclosure: I did the video, and it's based on photos I took during my recent Japan trip, which came AFTER doing this instructable. If I redo my skirt guards, I think I may go smaller.
 
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Step 1: Tools & Materials

Picture of Tools & Materials
plasticNet-P1010705.jpg
What you need:
1 bicycle
netting material
zip ties
drill
side cutters (nippers)
metal snips (to cut the netting)
marker

Step 2: Quick Run Through

The diagrams tell the story.

I chose to have the netting ride outside the mud guard and its stays, but inside the stays for the rear luggage rack. I did not want the netting rubbing on the rear wheel or interfering with the brakes.

One thing I might point out is selecting the places for attachment points. You want the zip ties to pull the netting tight when they are snugged up, so choose attachment points accordingly. 
caarntedd1 year ago
Great idea. I have had to cut spokes to release a childs foot. Excellent safety tip.
milesfromneihu (author)  caarntedd1 year ago
Sounds horrible. My son's foot got caught once, and ... at least we got it out without cutting spokes.
But it was bad. Bad.
Prevention is definitely to be preferred.
saosport11 months ago
This is just what I was looking for. I started biking with my dog and I was trying to think of a way to keep my dogs from drifting into the tires. I think I will be trying something similar to this but make a frame so it can go down lower. Thanks again
milesfromneihu (author)  saosport11 months ago
Sounds like a good plan. Glad you find the 'Ible useful.
milesfromneihu (author) 11 months ago
Link to "Skirt Guards of Japan" was broken, but now it's fixed, as of 13 May, 2013.
Shiseiji1 year ago
Thanks for the detailed reply. I suspected, but hate to assume. Your solution is much better than the few commercially available solutions for derailleur equipped bikes.

I volunteer at a bike coop where I have been able to salvage a few single speed chain guards. I've been pondering what would balance "Good/Quick/Cheap" and you've give me some great ideas.

Thanks,

Ron
milesfromneihu (author)  Shiseiji1 year ago
Can't say that making a chainguard from a cookie tin was quick, but I'm happy with the result. Cookie tins are thin, so the guard is actually a sandwich of two layers of sheet metal throughout. The layers are 'bonded' with double-sided tape. Edges are pretty well sealed with epoxy putty to keep water out. Whole thing was treated with Ospho rust killer, then painted. I welded up the one bracket that is screwed to the downtube. The other brackets are just two-piece clampons.
P1010339-cookieTin.jpgchainguard-w-overlays-mini.jpg
milesfromneihu (author)  milesfromneihu1 year ago
Here's a pic of a minimalist chain guard I saw in Japan. A ring covers the front sprocket, and a short, wire cage covers the chain back about as far as the front of the rear wheel. Elegant, eh?
MinimalistChainGuard.jpg
Nice. I did some thrift-storing this weekend, was keeping my eyes open for wire screen office supply stuff to play with. 35 years ago I was in Tohoku, when were you in Japan? I cried when the tsunami hit, thinking of people I'd not kept up with.
milesfromneihu (author)  Shiseiji1 year ago
I was in Japan for a few days in August, 2012. I'd passed through the airports before, but this was my first actual stop there.
The idea behind Good/Quick/Cheap is you can have two, and the third pays for the other two. I'd say you went with Good/Cheap in the spirit of the site. Thanks for the drawings. I'm going to be at the COOP tomorrow night teaching basic maintenance, I'm going to take a look at derailleur hangers too.
You should enter this in the Bicycle contest! http://www.instructables.com/contest/bicycle/
milesfromneihu (author)  SelkeyMoonbeam1 year ago
Thanks for the tip. I did. It's pending approval.
milesfromneihu (author)  milesfromneihu1 year ago
I entered and actually won a prize--a folding combo tool specially for bicycles. Love it. So, thanks VERY MUCH for the tip!
Yay, congratulations!
Shiseiji1 year ago
Love it! Can you tell us about your chain guard?
milesfromneihu (author)  Shiseiji1 year ago
Yeah. Thanks for your interest! This bike came without a chainguard, or mud guards--it was designed more for speed. I like the speed, the efficiency, but I need the practicality of guards. Mud guards were no problem; the bike shop outfitted me. But when I asked for a chainguard, they had nothing to offer. I ended up taking a couple of large cookie tins and some angle brackets and fabricating one. It is about the least convenient in the world when it comes to mounting and removing, but it is sturdy and it DOES NOT RUB on anything, such as chain, sprockets, or cranks. And, bottom line, it keeps my socks and pants a lot cleaner. I finished it in the same chocolate-for-rust uglification style as the rest of the bike, so it blends right in. I have pictures of the chainguard around somewhere. Will try to post.
This is great! As I was riding my bike home today, I thought of doing pretty much exactly this. On top of that, It's great for the "extreme sport" my friends and I made (AsphaltSki, as opposed to waterski). This, combined with the carrier attachment, keeps the rope from getting caught in the spokes when the boarder lets go.
AsphaltSki sounds exciting--subject for an 'ible perhaps?
I am, in fact, working on said Instructable right now! Here's a little 'preview' picture of the bike component of the "sport."

*IMPORTANT* WEAR SAFETY EQUIPMENT WHEN ATTEMPTING STUPID THINGS.

I'm not sure if the "sport" would be better if the skier used a longboard or a mountainboard, or possibly either/or. Ideas?

Current notes on project:
-Anti-spoke trap (this 'ible)
-retractable tow-rope
bike.jpg
Sorry, I don't know what a longboard is, or a mountain board either. But the retractable tow-rope sounds cool!
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