Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Making my commuting bike squeak free - part 3

Here's my final post on how I used Sugru for the first time to make some repairs and improvements to my commuting bike. In cased you missed them, here's the post on the pannier rack and the post on my D-lock.

Front mudguard

I'd managed to crack my front mudguard when I was passing through a wooden gate on my way to work. A half a back pedal, a turn of the bars and my toe came up underneath the mudguard and twisted/pulled it and it cracked. Luckily these have a thin strip of aluminium through the centre of the mudguard, running the full length, to give it it's sturdiness, so the whole thing wasn't a write off.

This was necessary to fix or replace because the mudguards do an excellent job at, well, guarding you from mud and rain! If you are a commuter and don't use mudguards, I would seriously suggest that you consider buying some. The cracks in this guard meant that the guard would rub and catch on the tyre over rough bumps, which is obviously not very good.

Area of cracked mudguard to repair
The two rivets just about
held it all together
First things first, all of that mud needs to be washed off. Ensure that the surfaces are all clean, dry and free from any grease.















Clean and dry
Removing the dirt allows the
damage to be viewed easier
Another crack on the top mount

Cut open your foil packet of Sugru, again making sure that your fingers are clean and dry as you'll need to roll it and warm it up in your fingers to make it pliable.


Mould the Sugru into the cracks, making sure that they are all covered and smooth. I found that by using a damp cloth or wetting my fingers and gently smoothing over the surface gave a good finish. This fix was a little bit tricky because the mudguard had been bent and would not stay in the correct position long enough for the Sugru to harden. I had to ask my wife to wrap some gaffer tape around the guard and stays to keep it in place over night. After I removed the tape, the mudguard was straight and didn't spring back into it's twisted previous self. Also, I think the smoothness of the surface didn't give much for the Sugru to bind onto, so while I was trying to smooth it over, I kept pulling it away from the surface at the edges. In future, I would consider roughing up the surface with some sandpaper, depending on the job.

Using the rivets to help bind the Sugru in place.
Ugly underneath, but plenty of Sugru over the bracket helped
to make a strong repair
I tried to make the repair as smooth as possible on the outer surface
Try not to be too bulky on the inside of the guard for tyre clearance

What do you think?

Any good? What would you have done differently? Have you ever used Sugru to fix your bike? Let's hear it in the comments below!

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