How to make your own DIY leather bicycle grips (with wasted materials)

Standard

I have been using those leather grips for a week now and I can honestly say that they are amazing. And they look awesome. I ‘ve never had proper bicycle grips in my life. All I had was worn out bicycle grips or new very cheap ones. My DIY leather grips are my first proper very expensive looking grips. And I got them for free. Check bellow how I did it.

I’ve only used:

- A pair of worn out lock-on grips (if you don’t have, or you can’t find in your friends’ garage, you can buy them off ebay for around 3$)

- an (unusable) leather belt that you don’t want/like

- razor / knife

- A good pair of scissors

- a piece of thick fish line

- A Dremel

- Needle-nose pliers

Firstly, strip off the worn out rubber using the razor. Remove most of the rubber without worrying too much about it. We need some leftovers so the leather parts don’t slide around.

IMGP4275

IMGP4276

Then, find out how many pieces of leather fit in your grip. If they can’t fit perfectly, make a thinner strip for each grip so they can cover the whole length. By wrapping the belt around the grip you can see where to cut it and then with your scissors trim it enough so the two ends almost touch each other (there should be a gap).  When you have them ready, open some holes with the Dremel. Try to make the holes on each end of the leather strip isometric. The holes must be as tight as possible (maybe as small as the fishing line).

IMGP4277

IMGP4278

Now, cut diagonally the end of the fishing line so it goes through the holes more easily. Using the needle nose pliers grab the end and make it go through the top hole and then the hole bellow (from the other side). Now, make it go through the same holes again but this time take the end and make it go through the next top hole. Don’t make it tight yet.

IMGP4281

Using your pliers squeeze the space between the threading so the two ends snug to each other perfectly.

IMGP4286

When you finish the first piece of leather, make all the threading tight. For the next strip make the line go through the next hole and keep doing what you did with the first.

IMGP4283

When you finish the threading, make it tight enough and then make two knots on each end. Hold the knot down as you pull the fishing line so it stays as close to the hole as possible. Using a lighter, make the end of the pliers very hot so you can melt and flatten the knot to prevent it from unbinding.

You can use a fork to make the threading very tight!

IMGP4287

They look nice, aren’t they?
IMGP4290IMGP4289

How to make your own DIY leather bicycle grips (with wasted materials). Coming soon…

Standard

Have you seen those wonderful bicycle leather grips by walnut studiolo? I love them, but I can’t afford them. So, I made mine out of scrap material, and they look almost as impressive (the picture doesn’t do them justice). I used my girlfriend’s wrecked leather belt (any leather belt will work), a pair of worn out grips(a friend of mine throw them away because the rubber worn out and became gummy – you can use Chinese cheap ones from ebay for 3.5$ if haven’t one) and a piece of fishline I found on the beach (stray cats and dogs should be thankful I took this trap out of their way). They look awesome, they offer tons of grip, you can enjoy them for years, they cost zero money and most importantly, they will make you feel proud because YOU made them.

I will post the tutorial soon.

Bicycle_leather_grips

Bicycle_leather_grips_2

World’s best DIY rack panniers Version 2.0

Standard

The extremely cheap, extremely durable, light, reliable, compact and even completely waterproof DIY rackpanniers are back, more secure, with better design and easier to make than ever before! I have done thousands of kilometers with them and they perform beautifully. Try them out using the instructions bellow (don’t worry, they are amazingly easy and simple) If you need any help, let me know!

You are going to need:

2 x Backpack
1 x Bamboo stick (around 1m long and thick like a marker) or a wooden broom stick or a branch from a tree etc
1 x Plastic sheet (2x2m – it’s the one they use to cover things from the rain, you can find it in almost every hardware store)
1 x Inner tube (if it’s from a road bike don’t fold it – you will understand when you get in that step)
1 x Piece of wire
1 x Rope
2 x Bungee cord (depends – you can get them very cheap in ebay)
2 x Small steel carabiner or metal S hook

Find two old backpack/school bags. Unstrap the naylon straps that are located on the bottom part of the backpack from the the shoulder harnesses (If your backpacks will be used only as rack panniers you can cut off the shoulder harnesses – otherwise roll them and tie them so they won’t get in your way).

Now, take the strap and make a loophole with a knot (you can use tie wraps if you want as depicted in photo). If the strap is long enough take the rest of the strap length and make an other loop in the same way (it’s very useful). Do the same for both straps on the two backpacks. Those loops are going to keep the backpacks OUT of the wheel with the help of two bamboo sticks. Make the stick go through the loops (see the photo). At the two ends of the stick wrap with tie wrap a folded piece of inner tube that goes around the stick (See the photo). That will prevent the nylon straps from going out of the bamboo ends.

DIY rack panniers

Now, take two small pieces of innertube and roll them on the outer metaltubes of your rack. Where you are going to put them exactly depends on the size of your frame, backs etc. So, put them in the middle for now and you can adjust them later. Use some wire to hold them in place. Open the carbainers and put each one of them to hold the tubes. Use the same wire to secure them. Those pieces of tube will protect your rack from the carabiners (see photo). Those carabiners are going to hold most of the bags weight.

DIY rack panniers

We are almost there. Take the carabiner and hook the right backpack (from the top handle) to the left part of the rear rack. Do the same with the other backpack but make it go through the top handle of the backpack you already installed. See the photo to understand the concept.

DIY rack panniers

Now the interesting part. Tie the end of the rope on the second loop of the first strap (or on the bamboo stick between the backpacks loops) of one of the backpacks. Take the wooden stick and put it across the rack above the bag handles. This wooden stick will support half of the backpacks weight (so you don’t have to tie your bamboo sticks ON the rack). So, using your rope make some loops around the end of the stick and tie it on the strap loop of the other backpack. Check it if its tight, if its not, make some more loops until its very tight (do this with your bags full – you can do that whenever you want before your departure). Do the same on the backpack’s second straps in front. See the photo to get it.

DIY rack panniers

One last thing. Put a piece of wire on each bamboo to hold them on rack. Just have a ride and see if your heel hits the pannier. If it does, move the bamboo to the back and attach it on the track with the wire (or hose clamps or whatever suits you- it doesnt support any weight, its job is only to move the bag out of your foot trajectory). If you need much space adjust the carabiners accordingly (along with their innertubes).

Your ‘world’s best DIY rack panniers’ are ready.

You can now make a sign with reflective tape or make a logo, a flag or whatever, heat seal it with plastic and hang it with rope from the ends of the bamboo sticks. It looks so cool!

Poor taping cause this to get wet

You can even make a wooden shelf on the ends of the bamboo sticks (you can make them big if you want to put more stuff) and put there a sleeping bag, clothes etc.

WATERPROOFING

If you want to make them waterproof make the sheet go under the bags till the carabiners. There, find a quick way to attach the edge of the sheet on the rack. My suggestion is papaerclippers. Otherwise some wire will do the job. Then use a rope to hold the plastic sheet in place. With some experimentation you will manage to cover your whole load with the sheet and the rain will never touch your stuff. To understand how, check the drawing.

rack panniers diy

Everything is ready! Have a nice trip!!! And be prepared for compliments!

Rack panniers