For those who travel around town by bicycle, they know riding with a surfboard under the arm can be cumbersome and awkward. In this episode of Surf Sufficient, our friend Travis Newhouse helps make that bike commute to the beach much sweeter. By adding a surfboard rack to your rig, your shred sled can be stowed comfortably as you head out for a stoke.
These instructions are a guideline. Each bike and surfboard are different. Be sure to measure your own bike and surfboard, and dry-fit the pieces before you glue them together. We want you to have a safe ride to the beach – make sure the rack will not inhibit your movement on the bike, and that your front tire can turn freely without contacting the surfboard.
- 4 – 1″ PVC T-joint
- 6 – 1″ PVC 90 degree elbow
- 4 – 1.75″ diameter hose clamps
- 10′ PVC pipe (Schedule 40)
- 6′ foam pipe insulation for 1″ pipe
- PVC cement
- bungee cords
- sandpaper or file
- measuring tape
- flathead screwdriver
- Measure the diameter the bike’s seat tube and down tube.
- Transfer measurement to the opening at the top of the T-joint, and cut off the top of the T-joint.
- Place one T-joint on the bike near enough to the pedal to measure the distance to the outside of the pedal. Include enough clearance for your foot, but shorter distance will result in a stronger rack. On this bike, the distance was 8.5 inches.
- Attach T-joints to bike with hose clamps. For now, tighten only enough to remain in position.
- Cut 2 pieces of PVC pipe to the length measured in Step 3. Clean up the ends of the cuts with sandpaper or a file. Insert PVC pipe pieces into T-joints.
- Install two 90 degree elbows onto PVC pipes, with opening facing the ground.
- Cut two 3″ pieces of PVC pipe, and insert into 90 degree elbow. (TBD)
- Install T-joints onto short pieces such that the openings are facing each other.
- Determine the length of the crossbeam by measuring distance between the T-joints. Be sure to include 1″ at each end for the portion of the pipe that fits into the joint. Cut PVC pipe to length for the crossbeam, and insert the crossbeam into the T-joints.
- Cut two 11″ pieces of PVC pipe, and insert into the ends of the T-joints that face the ground. The suggested length is to fit most surfboards and bikes. Make sure the rack will not extend too close to the ground.
- Install 90 degree elbow at the bottom of the pipe, with its opening facing away from the bike.
- Measure the thickness of your surfboard. Be sure to consider the bulk of a travel bag, if you use one. Add approximately 1/2″ for the thickness of the foam padding. Cut two pieces of PVC pipe to length, and insert into the opening of the 90 degree elbow.
- Install 90 degree elbows on the ends of each short piece, with opening facing up.
- Cut two 12″ pieces of PVC pipe, and insert into the 90* elbows. The length of this piece should be less than the width of the board when mounted in the rack. This will ensure the bungee cord can hold the board in the rack.
- With all the pieces dry-fit, check the fit of your board in the rack.
- Before disassembling, mark the alignment of pipes and joints that extend out from the bike. Draw a line on the pipes and the T-joints attached to the bike, and also at the top 90 degree elbows.
- Glue the pipes to the T-joints attached to the bike. Be sure to align the marks made in Step 16.
- Glue the 90 degree elbows to the pipes extending from the bike. Be sure to align the marks made in Step 16.
- On a flat surface, glue remaining two T-joints to the crossbeam. Use the flat surface to ensure the T-joint are aligned in the same plane. Also, glue the two 3″ pieces into the T-joints.
- Glue the crossbeam into 90* elbows.
- Glue the 11″ pieces of PVC pipe into the bottom of the T-joints.
- Continue to glue pieces: 90* elbow followed by short piece of pipe, then another 90* elbow, and finally the 12″ vertical piece.
- Attach the foam insulation to the rack.
- Drill holes for the bungee cords. Ensure that the holes are low enough to avoid metal hooks contacting the surfboard.
- Enjoy your ride to the beach!