Adventures on a Folding Bike
September 30, 2015
Rain is predicted over the next 24 hours and the weatherman says that in some places, it may be a long soaking rain. That inspired me to move forward with a project I have been considering for a couple of weeks. My “Schwiizer Militaerfahrrad” (Swiss Military Bicycle) has a large, thick leather mud flap behind the front tire. This is designed to prevent rain, slush, muck from getting on the pedals, crank, and exposed chain.
Olivia has a similar vulnerability. So I decided I needed to get a similar mud flap to protect her from road grime. However, I didn’t want to spend any money since I wasn’t sure that it would work. So I googled “mud flaps” and found many DIY projects that inspired me (Do a similar search- you’ll be surprised what you’ll find). So my solution wasn’t exactly original. However, I did take a slightly different approach.
As I looked around for material to use, I saw a partially filled 1/2 gallon milk jug in our refrigerator. I told my sons, “When you have your cereal in the morning, don’t throw away the milk jug. I need it for a project”. They obliged me and even rinsed it out for me.
Here is the process I used:
Unlike other designs, I cut my mud flap out of the front edge of the jug (opposite of the handle). This gives my design a more rounded profile to more enclose any spray from rain or snow.
After measuring and marking with a sharpie, I used the awl from my model ’61 Swiss soldier knife to make the right size holes to mount it with the original fender hardware.
I mounted the flap and trimmed as needed.
How it looks when done. The clearance is about 2″ and rolls along without any problems. It is low enough to the road to stop most of the spray from getting all over the propulsion system (I hope!)
The only “issue” so far is that when I fold the bike, the front wheel sits on top of the mud flap. Fortunately the plastic is very flexible and it doesn’t appear to be a problem so far.
I will follow up with a report to let you all know how well it works and if there are any design changes I need to make. Are there other solutions you have come up with? lets us know in the comments section.
I used the bike in the rain yesterday afternoon and the mud flap worked brilliantly. For more, read the post, It’s raining, it’s pouring…. I don’t think I need to change my design at all. The plastic from the milk jug is flexible enough to allow for bends and twists without too much effort to get it back into shape. Even though some have described a milk jug mud flap as “ghetto” on line, over all I am very pleased with the results!