Wednesday, July 21, 2021

A Couple Of Hacks For The Pink MCD

An 'upcycled' plastic bit, a clip, and some cable ties.
 I had a commenter ask about my hack for a cue sheet holder and light mount which I mentioned that I had done on the pink BMC MCD bike. Well, here are the images and descriptions for replicating these bits for yourself. If you care to....(*See disclaimer in the last paragraph!)

These are not what I would call 'elegant' solutions to problems, but they are basic, they work, and almost anyone could probably make something along these lines and likely make it look better than what I have done here. I really don't care how it looks, just that it works.

Okay, so first up is the cue sheet holder, which in itself may seem like an archaic idea given the existence of GPS data for many events. That said, I like cues. They don't have batteries which can fail, screens that freeze, or glare that makes them unreadable. That's my take, anyway......

So, this is super-easy to do. I got this idea from Mike Johnson, actually, who did something similar for his Trans Iowa cue sheet holder back in the day.  I believe Mike used old water bottles, but in this instance, I used an empty container of washer solvent for car windshields to make this. First- Cut off the top tapered section and the very bottom of the container and recycle them. I used a sharp, new blade in a utility knife to do this. then, with what remains, which should be a cylinder, simply cut that lengthwise and fold it in half. I rounded the edges with a scissors to eliminate any sharp edges. I laid a heavy object, (I cannot remember what it was now) on the folded over plastic and let it sit for weeks before I picked it back up again. By that time the plastic had taken on the flattened form you see here. You can accelerate this process, as Mike Johnson did, by putting the part in an oven, or toaster oven, and set it at a very low temperature so as not to melt the plastic, and heat it. (Note- I didn't do the heat activated part, so I am not 100% sure how Mike did his. You are on your own there)

At any rate, then all I did was to punch some holes into this with an awl, and lace it using cable ties to my handle bars. A simple office paper clip, as shown in the image, holds the cues. (Note- I will get a larger pair for the event to aid against wind issues) That's it! A simple cue sheet holder made from something you otherwise might throw away. Obviously you can make this any size you need to. That's another plus to it. And yes- it doesn't look pretty. But it works. 

A carbon fiber steer tube made into a light mount.

The next bit I have done before and learned from some posters online years ago. This is a fairly common hack, but if you haven't seen it done, here's how you do it.

You'll need a chunk of steer tube. The 1 1/8th diameter type is fairly common and not too hard to get from local bike shops that do a lot of fork installations. I have always saved these bits of tubing for several reasons, including making light mounts. 

You will need a star nut, a star nut setter, and a fairly long water bottle bolt, washer, and a boss to mount the thing from. It is important that the bit of steer tube you use is at least long enough to clear your light head unit from the fork blade. I used a piece of a carbon steer tube approximately 3.5" long. Mine could have been a tic shorter, but you'll want to pay attention to that as you get your set up figured out and try to make a mount like this. 

Next, using the star nut setter, drive a star nut into one end of the steer tube bit enough that it is fully into the tube, and that's it. You don't want it down any further. Then, using the bolt and washer, thread the bolt through from the opposite end from the star nut and pass it through the center hole of the star nut. You'll likely want a long hex key to turn the bolt at this point. Thread the bolt into the boss and tighten. Make sure you greased the threads on the bolt! Then you are done! 

You can use steel, aluminum, or a carbon steer tube bit. I'd not try carbon unless you are fairly certain you know what you are doing as it can beak and splinter if you are not careful. (You are NOT supposed to do this, by the way, with carbon steer tubes!) Aluminum would probably be your best bet here. Steel works as well, but it is heavier, if that matters, and it could rust.

Happy Hacking! 

*Remember! You are doing any of this on your own and any damages, failures, or other negative issues are your responsibility. I am only showing you how I did these things and you should consider these strategies carefully and think things through for yourself. I am NOT responsible for YOUR actions. 


DT said...

Very interesting, thanks for posting!

RonDog said...

This is what i use for a light mount.

Guitar Ted said...

@RonDog - Nice one. The first I remember seeing like that was the Paul Components one. Those came around post-hack steer tube/star nut design. Which, by the way, is cheaper than 12 bucks to do, so there is that.....