Head in the Shed

Handy for staying hydrated on the go
Handy for staying hydrated on the go

Nothing beats the satisfaction of a DIY Farkle well done. Here’s what ABR reader Dick Underdown has been up to in his shed…

Having just bought the latest edition of ABR, I enjoyed the shed farkling article so much, I decided to share my own humble submission, following on from the hydration system feature in issue 12 of the magazine.

I’ve suffered from dehydration in the past myself on long, hot rides, and frequently while riding abroad. I’ve looked at the backpack-type hydration solutions, but money is tight for me with lots of demands on the shekel front.

When out on my pushbike, I use a simple, transparent water bottle from the shop, or a sports bottle, which is secured to the bike using a bottle holder mounted to the frame; if it’s cold, I have a metal travel mug with a lid. The thought occurred to me that if I could put a pushbike-type bottle-holder on my motorbike, it would probably work just as well.

The bike in question is a 650 Wee Strom, but this idea could be adapted for use on any bike with its own front-mounted screen. To start with, I took a scrap piece of 2mm-thick aluminium strip and drilled holes into it, so I could attach it to the screen using the screen mountings. This piece of aluminium is just long enough to extend to the top of the screen, running almost vertically.

I then drilled two holes through the part of the aluminium strip which sits near the top of the screen. I made sure that these two holes were the same distance apart as the two holes on the pushbike’s frame where the drinks bottle holder mounts on to it. Measure twice, drill once is a good mantra here.

Velcro an ABR’s best friend
Velcro an ABR’s best friend

I don’t have a workshop or access to one, but a dot punch stopped the drill slipping and a Black & Decker with a G-clamp did the rest. If you need to bend the extended bit of the aluminium near the top of the screen, a cooking blow-torch gets it hot enough to bend without work hardening the metal and snapping it. I then attached the bike water bottle holder.

These are readily available at any cycle shop and you can pay as much or as little as you want for one. I already had a flexible plastic one floating around in the garage. These are ideal because the flexibility of the plastic allows it to fit any bottle or cup.

The first time I tried the bottle mount out on the road, the bottle wanted to bounce out when I hit an uneven road surface. To counter this, I paid a pound for a Velcro strap, which I mounted at the top of the bottle holder to secure the drink container.

Because the Velcro is adjustable, it fits any container, so I can have cold water in the heat and hot coffee from a travel mug in the cold. I’ve not lost a drink yet! The only real disadvantage to this DIY system is that you can’t drink on the move, but off-road, a straw in a sports bottle would make that possible. While on the road, I like to have a quick slurp when held at junctions. A cheap but effective hydration solution!

Do you have your head in the shed?

If you’ve got a DIY bike project to share, email details to [email protected] with a few pics of your handiwork, and if it’s featured in the mag, we’ll send you some ABR stickers for your pimped-up steed!