13 March 2008

Custom commuter accessories for a Brompton

My husband rides a folding bike for his commuter. This makes finding accessories for commuting very difficult. He bought a rack-mounting Carradice bag intended for folding bikes but complained that it's boxy nature caused things to bounce around. To help with this I made him a divider which is positionable with velcro (like the interior of camera bags), and a tool roll which isn't a roll but rather shaped to fit the bag.
The first question was what he would want in his tool roll.
The intended purpose of the kit is urban riding so suggestions included:
  • spare tube
  • tire irons
  • adjustable wrench
  • phillips screw driver
  • allen wrench multi-size thingie
  • patch kit
  • pump
  • latex gloves for grimy repairs
  • pepper spray
  • knife
  • small first aid kit (alcohol pad and a little jar of liquid skin)
  • batteries
  • a clifbar (never know when you will get hungry or get a hole in your tire and need some foil)
  • zip ties
As you can see, we went with a sub-set of those suggestions for the tool kit.

Because of the shape of the bag we decided to make it a flat envelope, rather than a roll. It secures, as you can see, with black velcro. The red tabs help lift it.

Next was the divider. It is merely a piece of plastic foamboard cut to fit and enveloped in fabric which had pockets pre-applied. By adding velcro on the sides of the divider and inside the bag we are able to position it wherever he needs. Now he has a slim tool section and the rest of his bag free to bring me home more wine!


Peg/Mom said...

wow, I am impressed. What took longer - the planning or the execution?

Looks quite detailed in the construction.

What was it like to sew on the clear plastic windows?

chic cyclist said...

The planning definitely took longer! I'd say the actual sewing took about an hour or two. It's just a lot of rectangles!

Sewing on the clear plastic was fine. I just had to accept that anything that wasn't perfect would have to stay that way. Once the plastic was perforated it was best to leave the seam. So I worked slowly and carefully.

I look forward to making something similar for my commuter bike. I bought my fabric today - it will be raw silk!

KevinInBoston said...

I, too, have a folder that I use for urban commuting. I've been looking at that same rack-top bag. Does your husband find that it's easy or hard to get on and off the bike? (it seems to be that rack-top bags usually aren't meant to be attached and unattached as easily as panniers..)

Charlotte said...

He attaches his with clips we bought at the hardware store. It's not ideal though, and the bag has been redesigned (this exact bag is no longer available, the replacement must be better). The biggest problem is all the shaking. It works but it's not as reliable as my Carradice bag.