A plume of muck shooting up the back of your pretty coat? Premium denim dampened by a splash? These can be (among the very few) downsides of post-snow bicycling. That’s why we never tire of tips to protect clothing and keep your tush dry during messy weather.

Riders of bicycles equipped with rear racks, but no fenders, listen up. As a follow-up to our recent guide to buying fenders, here’s an easy DIY to protect your flanks. You can use this mini-fender as a temporary quick fix, but the materials are also durable enough to last through the winter. Craftiness, pays off; this solution will set you back less than a dollar.

Rear Rack Mini-Fender

If your bike is equipped with a rear rack, the deck serves as a partial fender. But there’s a catch: Water can still spray through the open bridge that anchors the rack to your bicycle seat stays. Seal it up with a sturdy sheet of plastic (photo above), cut to size and attached with cable ties.

Supplies:

1 piece of flat plastic (discarded report covers from the office are a free option)
4 plastic cable ties
sheet of newspaper
pencil
scissors
hole-punch

1. To make a simple pattern, lay the sheet of newspaper over the bridge and trace its outline by rubbing the pencil lead against it.
2. Cut out the pattern, then lay it on top of the sheet of plastic and trace around it.
3. Cut out the “fender” with scissors.
4. Use the hole punch to perforate the fender in 4 places.
5. Affix the fender to the bridge with cable ties. Use scissors to trim excess length from each tie.

As shown below, this makeshift fender catches muck that would otherwise end up on clothing.

dyi rear bike finder - spray

There’s more! For instructions to make a front fender out of a soda bottle click here.

(h/t Hal Ruzal at Bicycle Habitat in Manhattan, who recommended this solution for my city bicycle, which is shown here.) Top photo, others velojoy

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