One of the best ways to make your way down to the beach is by riding your bike. Riding a bike to the beach allows you to get a bit of exercise, enjoy the summer weather and interact with neighbors. However, if you’re planning on surfing once you reach the beach, carrying a large board while riding a bike can be a challenge. Luckily, a simple, homemade bike surfboard rack can fix this problem, making it easy and safe to bike your board to the waves.
In order to construct your own bike rack, you will need:
- (6) 1 inch PVC 90 degree elbow pieces
- (4) 1 inch PVC t-joints
- (1) Schedule 40, 1 inch diameter PVC pipe, about 10 feet long
- PVC glue or cement
- (4) Metal hose clamps
- (2) Bungee cords
- Measuring tape
- File or sandpaper
- 6 feet of foam insulation for 1 inch pipes (optional)
- To start constructing the bike rack, decide where you’ll be mounting the rack on the bike. You’ll need two parallel locations. Usually, the seat tube and the down tube, which is just below the head tube, are the best choices. However, the rack can also be mounted at either end of the top tube. Remember to ensure that no bike cables will be disrupted by the rack’s position.
- Grab two 1 inch t-joint PVC pipe pieces. Measure the circumferences of the two tubes where you’ve decided to mount the rack. Use a hacksaw to cut the back edge, opposite the t-opening, off of the t-joints to match these measurements. The cut doesn’t need to be perfect.
- Snap the t-joints into place on the bike. Make sure the t-openings point out, and that they are level with each other. Use four metal hose clamps, one at the top and bottom of each t-joint, to hold the joints onto the bike frame. Hose clamps can be tightened with a screwdriver.
- Measure the distance from the t-joints to the outside of the bike pedal, and then add 1 inch for clearance. Measure this final length onto a long, straight piece of PVC pipe with a 1 inch diameter, and cut away the section. Then, cut away another section of the same length.
- File or sand the cut ends of the straight pipes and insert them into the t-joint openings. Then, take two 1 inch, 90 degree PVC elbow pieces, and place them on the ends of the straight pipes. The elbows should face towards the ground.
- Cut out two 3 inch sections of straight PVC pipe. Again, file the cut ends to smooth them before inserting these pieces into the elbow joints.
- Place the tops of two more 1 inch t-joints into each elbow, and ensure that the t-openings face inward, toward each other.
- Measure the distance between the edges of the t-openings. Then, add 2 inches to this measurement, and cut a straight piece of pipe to match the measurement. This piece will connect the two t-joints, stabilizing the rack.
- Cut two more straight pieces of PVC pipe. Each piece should be 11 inches. Smooth the cut edges and insert them into the bottoms of the t-joints, pointing toward the ground.
- Place two more PVC elbow pieces at the bottoms of the straight pipe pieces. The elbows should face outward, away from the bike.
- Measure the thickness of your surfboard. Remember to measure the thickness of any board bags or padding you’ll be using as well. Add between ½ inch and 1 ½ inches to the final thickness measurement. Then, cut two straight pieces of pipe to this final measurement.
- Insert the straight pieces into the elbow joints. Place two more elbow joints, of the same size, at the opposite ends of the straight pieces. These elbow joints should point up.
- Cut two straight, 12 inch pipe pieces. Insert these straight pieces into the elbow joints. When the board is in the rack, the width of the board should be greater than the height of these pieces. If this isn’t true, cut another inch or two off of each of these two straight pieces.
- Take the new rack apart. Leave only the initial t-joints on the bike. Then, use a flat surface to reassemble the rack. Coat the openings of each piece of pipe with PVC pipe glue as you reconstruct the rack. Gluing on a flat surface will ensure that the rack is level and straight.
- Reinsert the rack into the attached t-joints, and tighten the t-joints on the bike.
- Drill a hole in the front of the pipe at the very front of the rack. (This pipe is the last one you placed on the rack.) Drill a hole, level with the first, on the other front PVC pipe. Insert the metal hook of a bungee cord into each hole. When the surfboard is in the rack, these bungee cords can be stretched over the board and wrapped and secure around the pipes at the back of the rack, holding the board in place.
- If you want extra padding on your new bike surfboard rack, grab some foam insulation for 1 inch pipes. Slit the foam down the middle and wrap it around the rack pipes. You can glue it in place for a more secure fit. This padding can protect against scratched and dings, but if you wrap and pad your board, you may not need any extra padding on the rack itself.
SPECIAL THANKS TO korduroy tv FOR MAKING THE AWESOME VIDEO AND FOR HELPING THE SURFING INDUSTRY WITH THE COOL AND INTERESTING THINGS THEY MAKE WITH THEIR UNIQUE POINT OF VIEW ON OUR SPORT, YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY FOLLOW THEM IF YOU AREN’T ALREADY!