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Do-it-Yourself Sidemounted Surfboard Rack
for a Bicycle (v 1.1)

My favorite break is about a mile from the nearest parking,
but is very accessible by bicycle.  I felt uncomfortable
riding the bike while carrying my board under my arm.  I decided
that I needed some sort of rack.  So I looked around the web
and various surfshops in SoCal.  The options I found were
all too expensive, ranging from $90-130.  Instead, I opted for
spending $12 at the hardware store, and about 30 minutes of time
to build this beauty.  It is simple, cheap and works very well.
I made this in Sept. of 1999 and it is still holding up.

        Parts List*:
          1" Schedule 40 PVC Pipe (1): $1:18
          1" Schedule 40 PVC Elbow (6): $0.53 each
          1" Schedule 40 PVC Tee (2): $0.58 each
          Hose Clamps (4): $0.94 each
          PVC Glue (Low VOC): $2.12
          Pipe Insulation 3/8" for 1" copper pipe (1): $1.85
          Bungee Cords (2): $1 each
        (*Prices reflect costs at the HomeDepot in Corona,CA on Aug 1, 2000)

        Required Tools:
        Hacksaw for cutting PVC
        Screwdriver to tighten hose clamps

1)  Make sure that you have a place on your bike to mount BOTH
parts  of the rack.  Mine is mounted on the seat tube, just under
the top tube, and on the down tube just behind the head tube;
but they could be mounted on either end of the top tube.
Check where your cables are, and plan on mounting them where
the cables are not. (Actually, my front derailleur cable runs down
the seat tube, but the rack does not interfere with it.)
Using a hacksaw, cut about 1/3 to 3/8 of the circumference out of
the top part of your PVC Tees.  See diagram below:

2)  Snap the Tee onto  the frame to make sure that it fits around the
    tubes without too much wobble.  If it is too loose, use shims
    made from old inner tubes.  If it is too tight, cut more of the
    Tee away with the hack saw.  If you have to cut more than half
    the circumference away, then it will not stay on by itself; that's
    OK, the hose clamps will take care of that.
    (Warning : this may scratch the paint on your bike, But if you
    are concerned about scratches on a MTB, you have no business
    owning one. Sell the bike immediately, take the cash and head
    directly to the nearest RonJons and buy yourself a new outfit;
    you deserve it!)

3)  Once the Tees are on the bike where you want them,  measure
    the distance from the stop inside the Tee to the outside edge of
    your pedals (going straight out, rather than toward the pedals).
    Add two inches.  This will be the length of the PVC tubes that
    go out horizontally.  Cut two of these pieces.  insert these pieces
    into the Tees.

4)  Measure the distance from the bottom of the pipes to the ground
    for each, and calculate the difference. Lets assume that this value
    is 3/4".  Now measure the width of your board, divide this value
    in half and add three to four inches.  This is the length of the
    inside vertical tubes, making sure that you cut them 3/4" different
    in length.  Add an elbow to the end of each horizontal tube, and
    then put the vertical tubes into the elbow.  Measure the distance
    to the ground from the bottom of each tube.  They should be close.
    Exact is not necessary.  If the difference is significant, use the
    hacksaw to make the appropriate adjustments.  Add elbows to
    each vertical tube.

5)  Measure the thickness of your board and add 1" to 1.5".  This will
    be the distance between the two vertical tubes.  Cut two  pieces of
    pipe to this length and insert in to the elbows.  Add elbows to the
    ends of these.

6)  Cut two more pieces of pipe that are 2 to 3 inches longer than the
    previous vertical tubes and insert them into the elbows.  Your rack
    is virtually done; BUT DON'T put your board in it just yet;
    The Tees must be properly clamped, and all the joints must be glued.
    Remove the whole thing from the bike, leaving the Tees on
    the bike! Start gluing the joints,  making sure that all pieces lie
    in a single plane.  I did this by laying it flat on the garage floor
    while glueing, but you can get fancy if you want with laser guided
    alignment equipment, if you like.  Once the glue has set, glue the
    horizontal tubes into the Tees while they are on the bike, making
    sure that both racks stick out perpendicular to the bike frame, and
    the vertical tubes are perpendicular to the ground.

7)  Use hose clamps to secure the Tees to the frame (2 per Tee).

8)  Drill a hole in each of the outside vertical tubes about 1/2" from
    the top.  This will serve as an attachment point for the bungee cords.

9) Place the "3/8 inch pipe insulation for 1 inch copper pipes" around
    both vertical tubes, and the short horizontal tube at the bottom of
    each rack.  This will keep your board from getting dinged and
    scratched by the rack.  (If you noticed, I don't have the insulation
    on my rack, this is because I always transport my board in my
    travel bag, which is pretty well padded anyway, so dings and
    scratches from the rack are not a concern).

10) Save any leftover PVC or insulation.  You can make a very
    nice home storage rack for your board with this material.

PVC Construction inspired by BurningMan

Feel free to email me for technical questions or comments regarding this page.
Thank You for stopping by!
Copyright 2000-2006 John L. Hermesman

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Last updated on: 09/14/18