23 June 2009

Cycle Chic Guide #4 - DIY Skirtguards for the People

A propos the discussions on our Cycle Chic Guide #3 - Cycling in Skirts and Dresses about how skirtguards are hard to find in North America we thought we'd be creative. Or at least tell other people to be creative.

Initially, I considered rallying the Cycle Chic troops for a Skirtguard Activism Event. Getting everyone who reads this blog in countries where skirtguards and other basic bicycle equipment are scarce to show up at their local bicycle shop and ask if they have skirtguards. All over the world at the same time of day, bicycle shop assistants would be bewildered about requests for this alien accessory. They would chat about it on their forums and Google's most searched for word would be "skirtguard"... or "skirtguard + paris hilton sex video" - at least for a few hours.

But hey. Skirtguards aren't that hard to make. If you have a fender you could easily attach a home-made version. The photo at the top was taken in Riga, Latvia at the Dreams on Wheels exhibition. It's an old Soviet bicycle with a crocheted skirtguard fitted by drilling holes in the fender and attaching them to a thingy down by the middle of the wheel.

Viva Skirtguard
Here's a modern version on a new Viva bike. Looks rather simple. You can use whatever colour you like. Be creative. Many bicycles have a little eyelet on the back forks which is perfect for attaching stuff.

These two examples show the way most skirtguards looked for decades.

Dont Steal This Bike
Here's an alternative if you're good with scissors and crap with a drill. Get a piece of fabric of some sort and cut it out so that it drapes over the fender.

The hand-written text reads, from left: Fingerprint reader, Theft Secured, GPS Survelliance, Neighbourhood Watch. :-)

Dansk Design - Unikt Tilbud
Here's another inspirational example of the 'drape-over-fender-version'
Skirt Guard Discard
A screen that clips onto the fenders is one of the most popular versions here in Denmark. Perhaps they're not THAT practical since I seen them lying around the streets quite often. Maybe you just need to secure a bit better.

The cool thing is you can customise them as you please, painting on them or stickering them. See the now defunct Jollybike for more inspiration.

Festival Mood
Alternatively, you can merely place a large object - in this case your girlfriend - on the back rack and your coattails will be just fine.

There is a tutorial out there about making your own with fabric and plastic strips. Practical but not that Cycle Chic.

Any bright ideas out there, darling readers? Do share. Do share.


Velouria said...

Ohhhh!.. God. That Soviet crochet dress-guard gets me every time. Did you take pictures of the entire bicycle? These vintage lace-throughs are my Holy Grail of dress-guards.

As for asking shops to carry them: I bought several sets of these netted dress-guards in the EU, and will show them to some local shops in Boston, encouraging them to import some. Most Americans are surprised to learn how inexpensive these are.

Anonymous said...

fab idea! good tutorial cc!

Anonymous said...

I should try making a pattern for the drape-over-fender type, I've actually been wanting to make some like that for my bike to replace the plastic clip-on ones that came with it.

You could just buy some oilcloth, cut it out in the right shape, and then hem the edges with wire or plastic in the downward-pointing edges to keep the shape. That would make them easy to remove and clean too.

maja said...

hej mikael, do you have any suggestions for the best secondhand bike stores in cph?

mange tak

Adrienne Johnson said...


for those who wish a more fairy themed guard : )

Jenn (TinyChoices.com) said...

Love it! Thanks for this great follow-up post. I'd seen the netted DIY version on Instructables before but it didn't grab me. I'll either purchase on from the online store listed or get a little more creative...

Jan Jensen said...

Hate to nitpick on the finer points of DIY bike accessories, but if you refer to your girlfriend as a large object, your coattails will not be fine.

Phoenix said...

Now if you could post something for a DIY chain guard. Why are *those* things not standard issue on American bikes? Geesh.

PBaby said...

When I asked about chain guards at my local store (Canada) a couple of days ago, I was told it was too hard to fit chain guards on North American bikes (more than 7 or 8 gears). Grrrrr.

Jenny said...

I've got the holes, but no hooks/strings. Any idea where I can buy proper ones online before I start rigging it myself?

marqeta said...

There is a great Czech movie called Postriziny, with a beautiful scene including loooong hair and bicycle
See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwWHHSpMoDw
+ another one on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muI_SEuk10Q (the end of the video)

nylon spandex fabric said...

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