DIY handlebar bag + frame bag- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    DIY laminated frame bag and fenders.

    Note: a frame bag and fenders below.

    I guess some of you might be interested in this. I made myself a small handlebar bag from laminated plastig bags (laminating instructions can be found by googling).

    Ingredients:
    plastic bags
    straps
    D-links
    velcro tape
    cardboard box (I used an old cell phone box, but of course ome could make a custom mold)

    (I forgot to take pics when making the bag so I'll try to use my poor english to describe the different phases)

    1. Take a sheet of laminated plastic. Smaller sheets can easily be sewn together and the seams can be ironed
    2. Cut the sheet that it encloses the mold box (the principle is same as in, for example, cardboard boxes). One should make the creases to laminate, so it is easier to fold to shape (I used ruler and pen
    3. Take the iron and put the seams together with more plastic bags (it's like welding - one could probably do the same with hot-air blower, but I do not have one yet).
    4. Add velcro closures. Press studs could probably be used too. OR, one could sew a zipper to front panel beforehand, and then cut the mold to pieces and remove it via the zipper hole).
    5. Make straps (I used nylon straps with D-links and velcro and make some slits to plastic box to appropriate places). The slits can be sealed with tape or glue.

    The bag looks like this (as you can see, it's not waterproof because of the cardboard box design):



    And with hatch open:



    Now, this is only a prototype to test whether it is possible to execute my ultimate plan, which is to make a full-sized frame bag to my Pugs from laminated plastic.
    Last edited by kyttyra; 01-04-2013 at 06:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Dinner for wolves
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    Nice. An "A" for all around DIY bad-assery. But a "D-" for aesthetics. Still, it beats my handlebar bag...which sits on by back with two shoulder straps.
    Responds to gravity

  3. #3
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    I think you're off to an excellent start. My only feedback is that it would be incredible if the bag could be opened from the saddle.

  4. #4
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    Haha, I know that it's not exactly aeshtetic As for usability, I did not think everything over when I started making the bag. But it was only a test*, my next mold looks like this:



    More to follow, unless I fail miserably...

    *and I can always remodel it to...post-apocalyptic handbag or something like that and make a better one

  5. #5
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    Cool idea !!!

    Done right, it could be very water resistant.

  6. #6
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    I hope it will be water resistant, as it surely will not be pretty o_O

    Current situation:



    The plastic shrinks a little when it is heated, so it should become a litte prettier as soon I get all the panels in place. At least I hope so.

  7. #7
    R.I.P. Pugsley.
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    Maybe you can spray it with a coat of plastidip to make it more water resistant ?

  8. #8
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    Hwo do you open the box ? Cut the tape open?

  9. #9
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    ^^the bag itself should be quite waterproof - after all, it's plastic

    The only places where water can leak through are the zipper (if I can't find a waterproof one, I'll laminate a small plastic flap over it) and the slits I have to make in order to put the holding straps into their places (but I'll probably seal them with Liquisole).

    Plastidip could a good idea though, if it smoothens the surface it's sprayed on (to make the bag neater, as currently it looks...well, scorched.

    ^if I understood your question correctIy will laminate the bag over the box and then remove tit through the zipper hole in pieces.

    EDIT damn, I could have laminated the inside of the bag white for better visibility of contents. It's too late now, as I have laminated everything except the zipper panel. Maybe to next one (if this project succeeds).
    Last edited by kyttyra; 12-29-2012 at 07:38 AM.

  10. #10
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    Update.

    First durability test: to rip the cardboard box to pieces and remove it from inside the bag. So fat so good.

    Note: the bag looks like it is made from a hide of some Unclean beast - which had a malignant carcinoma when it died.



    Almost there. The zipper is not waterproof, but it is protected by plastic flap which is closed with velcro tape.

    Note 2: the deformations in side of the bag, where the flap is, is caused because the plastic shrinks when heatds - and zipper does not. In order to avoid that, I should have added the zipper after laminating the whole thing - but that would have become too complicated.



    EDIT: Well, now the bag is ready, christened in social media to "Pedon maha" or in english, The Belly of the Beast. I guess this, too, gets a D- from aesthetics The bag's volume is approximately 8,5 liters. The bottom part is secured with bottle cage bolts - if they come thru the laminate, I'll just melt them shut and add straps.



    Now, the bottom of this bag is quite watertight, but I fear that there could be some leakage from upper parts, and I am wondering whether I should add a valve or something to the bottom of the bag, Opinions anyone
    Last edited by kyttyra; 12-30-2012 at 02:31 AM. Reason: READY!

  11. #11
    is buachail foighneach me
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    I like the ugliness of it. Definitely add some sort of hole at the bottom. Even a few pinholes to just allow the water to drain out. How does that stuff hold up in really cold weather?

  12. #12
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    ^thanks, i guess

    It seems that laminated plastic is not prone to cracking in cold temperatures: I did not notice any stiffening/cracking in my rear fender which is also made from same material as my frame bag (see the pic) in -20c.

  13. #13
    That Unicycle Guy
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    I would add some sort of drain hole, if it was protected by another flap that would be ideal, letting water (and air) out but not in.

    Also for securing the bottom part, I would sandwich the bag between a couple washers on the bottle cage bolts if you haven't already. It would make the connection much stronger.

  14. #14
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    It looks like an irish peat bog...which would look great if it had something like a nate,bud..you get the drift..a tire imprint across the length of the bag

  15. #15
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    Thinking out loud.............
    Fuse a piece of tubing into the bottom corner, and secure it to your seatpost tube.
    Plug the tubing end with something (screw, dowel, etc.), and when needed, unfasten tubing, remove plug, and let it drain.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for comments and ideas.

    Yesterday I loaded the bag full of stuff and now I wonder why I did not do this earlier - a proper frame bag seems to be a very good solution for carrying essential things around

    To do:
    #drain pipe with bolt closure

    To consider:
    #decals (nate-ish imprint would be nice as I have one as a rear tyre)
    #plastidip (although that would triple the cost of the bag - so far it has costed me about 9 euros )
    #reflectives (I already have reflectives in my DIY bar mitts and pedal straps)
    #a small side compartment to the right side of the bag (it is relatively simple to attach one by welding)
    #gas tank - possibly I could make some loops or bolt-ons to secure it to frame bag.

    Speaking of gas tanks -type frame bags: They are usually secured by a strap that goes around the head tube. Does that hinder the steering?

    EDIT: the right side has now a small compartment for tools etc.



    I do not know the much frame bags usually weigh, but this one is 471 g.
    Last edited by kyttyra; 12-30-2012 at 07:50 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quick photshop of the Nate footprint with something extra.


    Belly of the Beast gets uglier with every new addition. I think the newly added tool compartment is positively hideous. I like it.

    Also kudos for the Suomi Viina bottle in the previous photo

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyttyra View Post
    Thanks for comments and ideas. #drain pipe with bolt closure
    or to save money..hot glue in a one way valve from a wine box, it will always let liquid out but not allow any in..make sure you drink all the wine before using it though

  19. #19
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    Well, yesterday I realised that I had one more holiday left than I thought. Thus, I made a front fender to match with the rear one. It could have been longer, but I did not want any toe overlap - and in any case, I can lengthen the fender easily if it seems that it is not sufficient.

    Pros: relatively lightweight (at least I think so as they weigh 500 g, and SKS Grand D.A.D + M.O.M.weight 340 g), flexible and durable, easy to repair, post-apocalyptic look
    Cons: to be truthful, they look hideous



    Oh, and please tell if you grow tired of my plastic mania.
    Last edited by kyttyra; 01-06-2013 at 02:35 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyttyra View Post
    Well, yesterday I realised that I had one more holiday left than I thought. Thus, I made a front fender to match with the rear one. It could have been longer, but I did not want any toe overlap - and in any case, I can lengthen the fender easily if it seems that it is not sufficient.

    Pros: relatively lightweight (all that plastic adds ≈1 kg to bike), flexible and durable, easy to repair, post-apocalyptic look
    Cons: to be truthful, they look hideous



    Oh, and please tell if you grow tired of my plastic mania.
    maybe fusing stickers inside of clear bags can give you a slightly more fun look or koskenkorva plastic bags

  21. #21
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    Can you do a write up of your homemade fenders? Im very curious.

  22. #22
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    ^well, my english is not very good, but I'll try.

    The basic elements, baking paper, iron, etc. are the same as in my 1st post.

    1. Laminate some plastic, see for example this link:
    ToolGirl Mag Ruffman: Laminate Plastic Bags to Make Tough, Durable Material, Tote Bags, Lampshades
    I laminated my sheets between two pieces of baking paper, and put them under a glass shelf to cool in order to keep them relatively straight. Hard to say about thickness, my laminates were something like 2-2,5 mm.

    2. Make a cast. I used cardboard boxes that I cut to shape that would roughly follow the arc of a tyre. Packing tape seems to be good for taping. Here is a pic from a cast (the rear half of rear fender). I thought I was clever t add basic printing paper over the cast, but it just stuck into laminate. Gorilla tape is no good either, as it melts into plastic. There should be some supporting elements inside so that the cast stays in shape when one starts to laminating the fender, bag, etc.



    3. Laminate a couple of plastic layers over the cast. I wrapped plastic bag over the cast, baking paper over that and started ironing. In this phase it's quite easy to get some burns.

    4. Cut laminated plastic sheets (in my design it meant three rows, roughly 6 x 13 cm). First I ironed the (longitudinally) middle part to cast: first the plate, then a layer of plastic bag. Then the sides (the sheets should overlap each other). This needed quite much heat.

    5. After the shape was ready, I cut the underside open and removed the cast and cut the fender to shape (I used the same cast for both fenders, as it can be removed without completely destroying it, as was the case w/the frame bag). The edges were not very neat, as the plastic did not completely melt to amorphous material so some layers could be seen. I ironed the edges neater (and burned my right hand in the process).

    6. The attachment points are similar as in a "normal fender, just mostly plastic. I sewed pieces of laminate to sides of fenders, (needs a good sewing machine, though) after which I cannibalized old fenders and used their metal hardware, see pic below.



    Notes: this is quite time-consuming and on should probably try something small first. I started with diy ass savers: Ass Savers
    (And also used the good old trial and error -method).

    If you need to ask something, I can try to clarify.

    EDIT I could have made a round(ish) fender cast also, but decided to follow the form language of my frame bag. And angular one was easier to do.
    Last edited by kyttyra; 01-05-2013 at 02:41 AM.

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