Introduction: Featherlight Fender

Picture of Featherlight Fender

Designed for commuters and travelers, this fender will help you and your followers to stay clean on the road. There is actually no many product on the market that fits great with bike racks. The one I create take advantage of the bike luggage rack. Using a simple folding trick that I've learn doing some packaging, you can make a light, strong and effective rear mudguard !

Step 1: Stuff You'll Need

Picture of Stuff You'll Need
  • Plastic sheet, I bought 2 chopping mats at the dollar store for 1.50 $ and that's the biggest expend of the project. It looks like PETG but I'm still not sure about this. The important thing to look for is the ability of folding the plastic without breaking it (polymer toughness). I was looking for a black plastic but I still didn't find anything available in small quantity in stores, that's why I decided to go for these transparent chopping mats.
     
  • Metal bracket used to attach a bike rack.
     
  • 2X Bolts and nuts ready to fit on a bike rack.
     
  • 2X Washers.

Step 2: Unbend the Metal Bracket

Picture of Unbend the Metal Bracket

1 - Use a metal vice to ''unbend'' the metal bracket (which one of these two you find).

2 - Bend your metal piece in a similar radius of your wheel. Think about the offset and make it a little bigger.

Step 3: Print the Template

Picture of Print the Template

- Open the pdf file and print it on a 11"X17" sheet or make a collage with 2 8,5"X11" if you can't print big format.

Step 4: Cut the Shape

Picture of Cut the Shape

1 - Fix your template on a cutting mat (not the chopping mat...)

2 - Fix your chopping mat on your template and the cutting mat.

3 - Using an Exacto, cut the main shape by following the exterior line

4 - Cut the 4 little triangles as shown on the picture

Step 5: Mark and Fold

Picture of Mark and Fold

1 - Using the back of an Exacto knife, mark the folding line. Don't put too much strength on the blade, you only need to create a little weakness on the plastic.

2 - On the side of a table, fold the plastic by following the marks. You can do this at first and then start to put more pressure by folding it in your hands.

3 - Finish the folding as shown on the picture.

Step 6: Punch Holes

Picture of Punch Holes

1 - Punch holes on your template.

2 - Mark your plastic shape with you template.

3 - Punch holes on your plastic shape.

Step 7: First Assembly

Picture of First Assembly

1 - Install the metal bracket on your shaped plastic.

2 - With a nail, punch a last hole at the end of the metal bracket.

3 - Fix the second bolt. This step will prevent the fender from moving and making any noise.

Step 8: Final Result

Picture of Final Result

Install it on your bike and you're done.

You may need to make some adjustment. Tweak it a little bit to get the perfect alignment. You can also modify the template to create your own design.

This tail fender will protect yourself and your followers !

Optional : this project can be achieve using a laser cutting machine.

Please share your pictures.

Comments

tomboyfun (author)2012-05-06

:)

james123cb (author)2012-05-01

Excellent project.

i checked your other projects as well. I like your clean, modern designs.

They are unique, yet simple.
I look forward to your other post.

BtheBike (author)2012-04-15

great ABLE . i like that its transparent so lights can show through

macrumpton (author)2012-04-13

I wonder if you could make something similar just by cutting a 2 litre soda bottle in half and cutting off the bottom of the bottle? You would have to make the curved side face down, but that should not be a problem.

I've seen some DIY bottle fender on the road. It works but it often looks awful. My main objective in designing this fender was to get a nicer look without spending much more money.

hanleyjw (author)macrumpton2012-04-15

Take a drinking water bottle (vending machine size) and cut it in half lengthwise, but leave the mouth of the bottle uncut.

Jam the bottle's mouth between the stays, and you have an expedient rear fender.

I used to see riders doing this all the time when I commuted on my bike in London.

P.S. I guess you could probably do this on the front wheel as well, but that seems a bit riskier to me (bottle pops off, jams front wheel, wheeee!... over the handlebars).

Lost Moai (author)2012-04-15

I challenge you to design a matching front fender!

I'm actually thinking about designing a front fender. The biggest problem with this kind of folding trick is the control of width. Longer you want the fender to be, wider it will be. I want to build one that will protect the splash on shoes because it's a big issue for commuters. You don't want to spend a day with wet shoes !

Still looking for any neat solution. Maybe I'll work on a pedal strap / shoe protector instead !

Thanks for all your comments, I appreciate :-)

anode505 (author)2012-04-15

Those cutting mats are awesome! Also consider for other projects, the cutting boards for material (the stiff kind)

TygrFr3d (author)2012-04-11

Nice idea, i'll have to make one of these for my bike

TSC (author)2012-04-11

Great job!

DanYHKim (author)2012-04-11

This is a beautiful design. The fold is elegant and functional. I am very impressed.

capricorn (author)2012-04-11

Outstanding, I used to do it with plastic bottles, but this is pure class.

Two thumbs up and thank you for sharing :)

Mimikry (author)2012-04-11

No more "Racing-Mud" on my back :)
thank you!

The Papier Boy (author)2012-04-10

This is a very well written instructable.

Thanks, I love to share my project !

About This Instructable

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Bio: Industrial designer and project manager
More by Julien Thibeault:Key & Letter Holder made from a Reclaimed TobogganFeatherlight fenderDining Table Made from a Reclaimed Door
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