The best coffee in town is often not to be had in the best place to drink it. Better to ride your coffee to your Special Place!
A ridgid cupholder is not the solution. Your coffee will spill with every bump, steering or braking action - you will arrive at your Special Place with about half a coffee. Some sort of gimbal action is required, but these gimbal things are not easy to make, and ugly, too.
This clothes hanger method has it all - almost free, almost weightless, easy to make in 5 minutes(can even be made without tools), an effective "gimbal" action, and looks sweet as well. Your cup will swing all over the place but your coffee will go with the flow and not spill! Amazing but true - try it. The helical shape provides shock absorbtion and cup placement at the same time.
Step 1: Prepare the Material
Use ordinary wire clothes hanger, and a multitool. A wire cutter and longnose plier if you dont have a multitool. If you have no tools at all, you can bend the wire back and forth until it breaks, and finger-form the rest.
Of the two wires emerging from the neck, cut the "return" wire, i.e. the one which does not form the hook(if you cut the other one, it may nor may not separate with time)
Straighten out as best you can
Step 2: Form the Helix
About a handswidth from the hook, start your bend so that the hook faces inward of the spiral (your coffee will be better balanced that way)
Form your spiral to the approximate size of a coffee cup. Dont worry about sloppy work - easy to correct later.
Step 3: Complete
Form a little loop on the end. This will be a finger tab which will help you remove the cup from the holder by holding the tab with one hand while lifting the cup with the other.
End the coil with a straight run, or a reduced radius toward the center. This is the cup stopper in case the cup is smaller than the coil.
Step 4: A Tip
Of course, you can simply hang it on your handlebar like you would in a closet, but there are two things to keep in mind:
- The antispill properties depend on the cup being free to swing in every direction, without hitting anything. So if the holder slides towards to frame and hits it, your coffee will likely spill.
- The good thing about this holder is its so cheap and easy to make, that you can leave it on your bike at all times. If lost or stolen, so what - make another one. But if you drive around without a coffee in it, it will rattle which will annoy & cause you to take it off, which will in turn guarantee that it wont be there the next time you need it.
. . . so i suggest mounting it to a part of your handlebar far enough from the frame so that it cannot contact it. In fact, you can use this distance(pivot/mounting point-to-frame) to determine the optimal holder length because the longer the "pendulum", the better its antispill qualities. It will stay in this location when mounted via a rubber band like shown, or alternatively with a zip tie or two(one tightly on the handlebar, the other loosely holding the helicupder hook). This indirect mounting keeps it in its place and eliminates the rattle as well.