Bicycle Top Tube Protector




Introduction: Bicycle Top Tube Protector

I made this a couple of years ago, well before I knew about Instructables. I think it's a perfect topic: making something extremely useful from recycled parts / pieces. This is the kind of thing I've seen on BMX bikes.
Have you ever got cable pinch on your mountain bike, from where it sits in the bike rack on your car? This top tube protector will put an end to that!
Just so we're on the same page, I've added the anatomy of a bike in the picture.

Step 1: Ingredients

- an 18 inch long swatch of fabric that you won't mind seeing on your bike; this is the outer fabric.
- An 18 inch long matching piece of cordura nylon, or other durable fabric. This is the inner fabric, and should be able to take a lot of wear.
- Fabric widths may differ from bike to bike, due to length and circumfrence of the top tube.
- 1 inch Velcro hook and pile; as much Velcro length as fabric length.
- A piece of closed cell foam, like the stuff camping sleeping pads are made out of. I used a slice of my RidgeRest foam mattress.
- Measuring tape
- Scissors
- A sewing machine, although it can be hand stitched.

Step 2: Ingredients: Inner Fabric and Velcro

Black cordura inner fabric.

Step 3: Ingredients: Closed Cell Foam

This piece of foam will fit into the sheath made out of the inner / outer fabric.

Step 4: Ingredients: Tools

A handy sewer with a sewing machine, scissors and the all important measuring device.

Step 5: Measure Thrice Cut Once

If you're me, you go like hell, excited and willy nilly.
Lucky for me that the missus got a hold of this, measured properly and has the sewing skills.
Cut your fabrics and foam.

Step 6: Make a Model

As with a lot of projects, I (the missus) pinned the whole shebang together first, as a big envelope, and made sure the foam would fit.

Step 7: Vecro-ize

I'm sure that after a fair amount of adjusting and pinning, my missus sewed the Velcro on in such a way that it is concealed from view.
Although I'm lucky enough to have a sewing missus, this project can be done by hand, if you've the patience. A quick and dirty solutuion is to just zap-strap some foam to your top tube.

Step 8: Velcro Picture

Here's a good view of the finished product, not mounted, detailing the Velcro. Boy, am I lucky to have married my missus.

Step 9: Mounted View 1

Here it is, mounted on your UAB (Urban Assault Bike). This fits over the cable housings, doesn't interfere with gearing or braking, and is better loose, not too tight. So far, no more cable bite, and it's easily removable.

Step 10: Armoured Top Tube

Another view of the mounted protector. As a final flash of brilliance, envision 2 strategically sewn Velcro loops on the top of the protector, to hold your bike pump, as you pedal your butt around town.
Cool, eh?

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    9 years ago on Step 10

    Make ensure you instal the pump on the underside of the protector.. Assuming it is for the protection of body parts..also. padding on the vertical frame might be in order in case the pubic bone connects in a forward motion.
    Do you learn how to fall from your bike, as with a motor cycle?


    12 years ago on Introduction

    well, someone should comment. Good instructable, and congrats on having a missus that sews. My only suggestion would be that, rather than use closed cell camping pad foam, you could get pipe insulation from a hardware store that has the same inner diameter as your top tube. It already has a slit cut in the side, so you cut it to length, make it look pretty, and protect the holiest of holies. and since it holds it shape, the velcro *might* not be required to keep it on. Again, great instructable, and happy riding!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Pipe Insulation. No Doubt. Easy, Cheap, Plentiful. Use on any part of the frame

    Dan Schmidt
    Dan Schmidt

    11 years ago on Step 10

    lol, I rocked a top tube protector on my bmx bike when I was 12. after seeing your instructions, i can relive my childhood!

    Evil Bike
    Evil Bike

    11 years ago on Step 10

    I see you have a Norco, what type is it? Great Idea!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I got an old bicycle inner tube and wound it about the top tube ensuring that there was about a 59% overlap and secured each end with a couple of BIG cable ties. Works brilliantly and doesn't hold water.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I gotta say I'm a bit disappointed I was hoping for a tube top made from a bicycle.