Saturday, January 16, 2010

More Skirtguard Help

On Friday, I received a package from Michael, the warehouse manager at Morgan Imports. He sent me the plastic skirtguards he recommended to me for free! I snapped one onto Praline in about 25 seconds. Feeling confident, I was ready try them on Brown Betty, but her brakes made installation slightly more involved. After loosening the brakes, I slipped the skirtguard on easily; nothing popped loose so I didn't think I would need the zip ties they sent me. The other skirtguard was a different story, but when I finally got it on there it turns out it didn't matter. The fenders on Betty are a Mona Lisa smile--slightly curved at the ends--compared to the half moon shape of Praline's fenders. The shorter sides of Betty's fenders had the skirtguards up against the tire so tightly that it barely rolled! Initially, I thought the second skirtguard was the problem because it was slightly bent. I decided to take that skirtguard off the bike and ride with the other one to check out its durability.

Unfortunately, the one skirtguard was still too close to the tire and in the course of my ride it actually removed rubber from it (that white dust on the stay and kickstand). Like I said, it's the spare design of Betty's rear fender that's the problem. The skirtguards fit well on Praline, but that bent second guard still rubs a bit. I think I can unbend it if I heat it up and bend it in the opposite direction.

If you have narrow fenders on your bike, a DIY option might be your best bet. I wanted to call Michael on Friday afternoon after running into my issues, but I my cousin was hogging our internet access at the time. Morgan Imports has a metal skirtguard that might require extra zip ties, but fit Betty better. I still intend to call and ask about it and get any tips about the plastic skirtguards that he or Charles might have. When I get a set of skirtguards on Praline or Betty for good, I'll definitely let y'all know.


l' homme au velo said...

I like your Bikes,they have got style.As to the Skirtguards I suppose it is possible to make your own out of Canvas or Plastic Tarpaulin.Paint the Canvas Black or whatever Colour you want.

The Tricky bit is making Snap Fasteners to hold them on your Bikes.The easiest way is to Thread Twine through Guide Holes that you have prebored in the material. you could treat the Twine with Wax after you have Painted it.

The Bronze Bombshell said...

l'homme au velo: Thanks, I will pass your compliment along to Praline and Betty.

You're right about fastening the DIY skirtguard to the fender. That's the sticky point that gives me pause.

Step-Through said...

Exciting! It's good to see someone blazing a trail in this aspect of bicycle accessories... Local manufacturers and retailers are still so unfamiliar with the concept of fenders and skirtguards and cargo and lots of other practical stuff.

Side note: took a field trip to Cartersville this weekend. I think that's out your way? It's a cute town, definitely has potential to be bicycle friendly.

The Bronze Bombshell said...

Step-Through: I'd like to see more people able to customize their commute with civilized accessories and I hope passing along any information I get helps.

I agree that Cartersville and a lot of small towns like it could be good cycling spots, but they really have to do something about putting all the stores along the highway!

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