Saturday, July 24, 2010

DIY Waterbottle Mounts on the Pashley Roadster

For a while now, the Co-Habitant has been wanting water bottle cages on his Pashley Roadster. I thought the idea was ridiculous, until I received a few comments from male Pashley owners expressing the same desire. I guess men like bottle cages on their bikes, even on a roadster? Fair enough! For those interested, here is the Co-Habitant's DIY solution:

Yes, you are seeing what you think you are seeing: Not one, but two bottle cages mounted on the inside of the handlebars, with twined, flat-capped Kleen Kanteen bottles inside them. The bottle cages are generic bolt-ons that can be found in many bike shops for around $7 (same bottle cages as here). For the Pashley, the Co-Habitant first took them apart, shortened them so that they would not stick out too far past the handlebars (I believe the drill and superglue were used), and bolted them to the handlebars, with the bottles facing inward. Now he has direct access to water, while remaining upright.

Here is the "cockpit view".  And yes, that is a cycling computer you see mounted on the stem, in between the bottle cages. On a Pashley. What can I say, the man has his quirks.

My opinion on this project? I think that if he mounted just one bottle and stopped there, it would have been successful.

With two bottles, I think he went overboard with the eccentricity factor and the bottles look like a pair of missiles. What do you think?

And if you are wondering why he did not just use one of those coffee-cup mounts that are designed for the handlebars, he did not think they were sturdy enough, or accommodating enough of different containers. I agree: These bottle cages are super-stable and the bottles do not budge or vibrate at all inside them. It is a very secure set-up, and the flasks can be filled with coffee as well as water.

While I do not agree with the choice to mount two bottles, I think that otherwise this is an innovative and practical solution. I am now considering installing a similar set-up (with just one bottle though!) on my Pashley Princess.

44 comments:

  1. As a fellow man, I can understand lamenting the lack of bottle cage bosses on a bike. My DL-1 is without them, and I have been considering a similar solution. I just need to be sympathetic to the bike's aesthetics. On the yuba Mundo it was less of a problem, it is less attractive, so I just dismantled a krypotonite lock mount and bolted a normal bottle cage on in a similar manner: http://manchestercycling.blogspot.com/2010/06/yuba-mundo-bottle-holder.html

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  2. Mr Colostomy - When it's just one bottle, especially on the left side, it looks great IMO. Surprisingly integrated with the handlebar design, and aesthetically pleasing in a steampunk sort of way.

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  3. What a great idea!! Its super hot up here now and I've been wanting some kind of water bottle holder on the DL-1 so maybe I can do something similar...well -1 holder :)

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  4. Perfect setup! I might be tempted to load one with gin martinis, though.

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  5. I think Co-hab's solution is good, even if two bottles is a bit much. Coffee-cup mounts are ugly and would definitely clash with the bike.

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  6. Aesthetically, I agree with you -- but hey, if it's practical to have two bottles, he should go for it! I like the idea of bottle cages as cup holders, especially if they are as solid as you describe. I was thinking of getting a coffee cup holder for my bikes, but maybe something like this would be more stable.

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  7. What kind of bracket did he bolt the cages onto? (I'm assuming something else is fastened to the handlebars to hold the cages, yes?)

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  8. What's next? An enclosed cabin? Those are wide handlebars that have run out of room!

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  9. i'm just waiting for a handlebar mounted cappuccino maker DIY...

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  10. The two bottles have a certain kind of symmetry to them, so I can understand a bit of the thinking behind them. However, my first thought when I second and fourth photos was: "Ooh, look - it's the milkman's bike, with his pint bottles up front!" :-D

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  11. I love this! It is hilarious and I personally think the symmetry of two has a kind of Red Baron appeal. Fire away.

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  12. Symmetry! Yes, I am pretty sure that is what makes this appeal to him : )

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  13. Yikes, right up there in front. It seems from the cockpit they would be omnipresent, and after awhile I might become annoyed with them for just being so "there". I don't think I couldn't deal with it (e.g. I might throw one at a car).

    On the other hand its cheaper than having to stop at pubs.

    On the other hand, pubs are fun.

    Tough call.

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  14. ...think rocket fuel...

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  15. Velouria,

    I would love to see a post where you (and the Co-Hab) compare the diamond frame Pashley Roadster to the vintage DL1, much like your Old-English vs New-English post!

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  16. Herzog - He is not as crazy about his DL-1 as I am about mine; he prefers the Pashley. his feedback is basically that the DL-1 is sportier(!), but the Pashley is more comfortable. I will try to get him to drag both out at the same time for me to take side-by-side pictures.

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  17. Very cool. I do think two is a bit more than I would need, but it does add a sense of balance. Beautifully done!

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  18. Ok, maybe it's the weather, but I added a frame mount water bottle cage to my handle bars (facing inward as well) just a couple of days ago! Just one for me though. His method of attachment looks a lot nicer than mine. I fear that mine might not last long as it's a rather old cage and it seems as thought the metal might be a bit weak. I put it there to see if I liked that location (it seemed like really the only good place on the mixte) before I bought a new one. So far it's working out nicely.

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  19. I actually like the balance of the two. And I think that, if they fit coffee cups (do they fit coffee cups?) very practical. So many times I have tried to wedge 2 coffee cups in my basket when picking one up for a friend on the way to the library....
    I wonder if I can successfully copy his install....

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  20. I am going to re-work the setup a little bit. I think these cages don't match the bike. It's a shame to throw away money, but they were cheap. The effort of drilling & modifying them on the other hand--oh well.

    And I can't decide on Menoura (what I have now) vs VO handlebar mounts. Menoura offers 360 degree rotation for perfect adjustment, but the VO mount is more compact and better looking.

    Oh, and thanks to all the people in the twin bottles camp. One bottle is just... so wrong.

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  21. Go with the VO. It's sexier enough to matter. :)

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  22. Twin bottles definitely look better, more balanced and symmetrical :-). There is also the advantage of filling them each with a different substance, and tilting them forward would remind me of front-deck cannons on warships.
    Fun aside, is there room for an additional airbag in case of an unexpected pothole?

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  23. NEED tutorial PLEASE! I don't have a handy co-habitant to just figure this out for me!

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  24. but having two bottles is so practical! You can use one bottle for gin and the other for vermouth!

    (though, personally, I've always liked having two bottles for long rides -- one for electrolyte drink and another that's just pure water for when the mouth tires of flavored stuff)

    my girlfriend gave me the Soma coffee mug and holder as a present a few years ago. I like the mug, but agree that the holder isn't practical. Nowadays, I just carry the mug on the downtube cage of the Club Racer ... so yes, dokinchan, many cofee travel mugs will fit in a bottle cage so long as they're relatively wide and have dimensions akin to your average pint glass.

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  25. Erin - I didn't include step by step instructions, because he is not sure yet whether he will keep it the way it is, or redo it using a different method. Still testing the set-up.

    MDI - Unless you're worried about the superglue coming apart, I'd just keep these. Not sure what you mean about the cages not matching the bike; I think this is as good as you're going to get when it comes to bolt-on bottle cages.

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  26. Fun post. Interestingly enough, I recently came across this picture, which shows that having a water bottle handy isn't at all a new concern:

    Helen R. Coyle in Curico, Chile, 1942
    http://www.flickriver.com/photos/27480193@N05/2881146004/

    For myself, yes, I think two holders may be a bit much for day-to-day riding. But for touring.....? My own solution for this issue is that I have a handlebar bag with side pockets that fit a water bottle quite nicely.

    Mr Nouveau

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  27. Am I the only one to take the bait -or go the low road- and salute MDI's ability as a two-fisted drinker?

    Yes, yes I know, coffee.

    I am curious as to what materials you joined with superglue.
    One thing I've found with the various grades and viscosities that I use is that they all are poor at resisting impact. Porous materials fare somewhat better than metals and plastics.

    Anyway, nice job, and they do look harmonious as a pair.

    Ah, Fearful symmetry....

    CK

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  28. It's hard to explain. These are cheap bottle cages that consist of bent wire (the cage itself) and a crimped tube bracket that holds the wire. I cut that open and repositioned, then re-crimped and glued. The glue was really optional, it acts as filler/binding material inside a crimped metal tube to avoid any movement. I should've used engine epoxy, but it's too late because I am ditching these cages.

    I got a different set of cages that I feel will match the bike better. I'll put these up on Monday. As far as mounts, I got VO mounts and will do a comparison and ultimately pick whichever ones I like more.

    So, in the end, it might not be a DIY project after all, but rather using off-the-shelf components. No matter, still like twin bottles. :)

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  29. I have looked several times at your post concerning twin beverage containers. Had something in the back of my mind but was unable to define it.
    Yurecka! Twin side draft stromberg carburators. I love the twined look, the whole cockpit configuration. So, M.G., Austin-Healy.

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  30. I cannot believe that so many men here are supportive of this set-up! I guess my little plan to get public opinion to influence the C-H backfired : )

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  31. I'm with the men on this one. I've been trying to figure out how to mount bottle holders (yes, two) on my mixte. I just did my first century and want a bottle with water and another with energy drink both easily to hand.

    Amy, would you be willing to share your mixte solution?

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  32. Well I'm a guy and I'm not keen on the double barrel grenade launcher. But to each his own.

    Actually bike racers carried their bottles like this in the 20s and 30s, except they mounted them in front of the bar not behind it. A good example of this can be seen if you Google "tour de france smokers" (I'm not joking). You'll see some pics of the peloton enjoying a smoke during an apparent lull in the stage; but look at all their bikes, twin bottle mounts on the handle bars of every bike.

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  33. Yes, my twin cages are definitely a throw-back to the early racers. Unfortunately, I cannot mount them forward because of my front bag.

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  34. Interesting solution. I'm not sure if it would have looked much better with just one bottle, still a bit weird.

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  35. So now that you've gotten the twin bottles situated, where will you mount the telescopic goggles + range finder?

    Priorities, man, priorities!

    ;)

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  36. I have a steampunk outfit on order, including special goggles with changeable lenses. As for the range finder, it is steam-turbine powered (concealed in the rear dress guard).

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  37. I'm wondering why the twine on the bottles? I think it's for aesthetic reasons. My boyfriend thinks it's to protect the bottle from getting scratched. Care to settle this debate?

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  38. dreamlet - Though the aesthetic aspect is there, the main reason is what your BF said. When you put a metal bottle in a metal cage, it quickly gets scratched up (to avoid that, people typically put plastic bottles in the cage, or else get plastic cages to go with metal bottles). So the twine protects against that, and the shellack keeps the twine from tearing and getting soggy when it rains.

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  39. PS: Oh, and I forgot to mention that the layer of twine also functions as a mild temperature control mechanism: the water stays cooler for longer.

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  40. Oh man. Let me tell you about twine! (this is a re-post from my previous comment)

    ---cut---

    The twine wrapping has many functions in addition to aesthetics. Hardly anything else on the bike does as many things!

    It (1) provides a grippy surface to hold the slippery bottles, (2) prevents rattling in the cages, (3) ensures tight fit over bumpy roads, (4) protects the bottle from dents and scratches, and (5) keeps the sun rays from heating the metal. It also (6) almost completely hides the logos. :)

    Water in the bottles after a multi-hour 40+ mile ride in 90-something F weather is barely warm, not hot at all. Granted, I re-filled both bottles about eight times over the course of the ride...

    ---cut---

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  41. Thanks. After I posted my comment I found your explanation in the previous post. Two more questions: How do you adhere the twine to the bottles? Does the twine interfere with washing the bottles?

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  42. To twine the bottles you need a fairly new/large roll of twine. It would suck to run out in the middle. I use relatively thin twine.

    Find your starting position and tuck a little piece in and make a few loops over it, pulling hard to stretch the twine.

    Continue to make loops. It helps to keep the twine roll on top of, say, a wine bottle's neck and the metal bottle you are holding in your hands. I stretch the twine as I wind it around the bottle and adjust the loops to make sure the circles are true. I find it easier to start from the bottom of the bottle.

    When you get to the top of the bottle, many minutes later, you can hook the last loop of twine under the previous one and straighten it out. Tighten the loops with your hand by winding them around the bottle. If you've been tightening the twine all along, the bottle should be held very, very stiffly by the wound twine.

    It can stay like this, but don't get it wet. The next step is to shellac. Shellac penetrates the twine and glues it to itself and to the bottle in one seamless block of twine. You'll need a first coat, then several more coats the next day and some more later on.

    The bottle cage will scratch the shellac and wear the twine, so you'll need to occasionally re-apply. It will darken with age and with each additional layer. I use amber shellac.

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  43. I should mention that the setup can withstand rain and I don't worry about it when I rinse or fill the bottles. I don't "wash" them, just fill, use, rinse several times and put away open to dry for next time. Don't keep them closed except on rides.

    I suppose if you use sugary drinks or something other than water, you'll eventually have to wash the inside. Shellacked twine is fairly weather-proof.

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  44. Lastly, fresh shellac can be wiped of with alcohol pads. It gets messy, but try to keep the metal clean. It's difficult to shellac the edge of the twine without getting the bottle dirty.

    I use 2" wide foam brushes sold in art stores (or Home Depot) labeled "not for shellac."

    Good luck.

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