Milk Jug vs. Rubber Stair Tread…

9 10 2011

The champion...

I’ve tried making fender flaps from empty plastic milk jugs and rubber stair tread materials. The result of my on bike testing is:

  • milk jug is stiffer and not as attractive, but it lasts through years of tough use.
  • rubber stair tread material is more flexible and nicer, but it lasts about 1 year before the material will fail at any stress points and need to be replaced.
So if you want fire and forget flaps use the milk jug.

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10 responses

9 10 2011
Ambimb

So what’s the best way to attach the milk jug pieces to plastic fenders? Rivet? Little nuts and bolts?

9 10 2011
Jammy Straub

Have your awesome ‘Lazy’ flaps not worked out?

9 10 2011
thelazyrando

@Ambimb – ya I just use small bolts & nuts.

@JS – the Buddy Flaps are going strong – although I have managed to trash the “Lazy” on the rear flap of my LHT – flap is still perfect other than the text is gone. However, we’ve gota lot of bike so they can’t all have bling’d out flaps.

9 10 2011
Derek

Timely! Just thinking about this as the rainy season arrived this last week :)

9 10 2011
Ian

We found some scrap sheet of rubber many years ago, about 1/8″ thick, with many layers of fabric reinforcement in it. Not sure what its original use was, I’ll ask my dad, see if he remembers. I’ll also see if i can grab some macro photos of it. Anyway, I’ve used it for flaps and they’ve been going fine for quite a few years now. Definitely like having the flexible flaps.

10 10 2011
Vik

@Ian – my sample size of 1 isn’t a condemnation of all rubber products, but the flexible stair tread material isn’t very durable.

10 10 2011
doug d

Perhaps the fabric used in modern curtain sided trucks? I seems destruction resistant.

14 10 2011
Brian

Do you guys have Winn Dixie up there, or did you just swipe a random milk jug image?

14 10 2011
thelazyrando

@Brian – no WD up here I just grabbed a decent looking milk jug image to illustrate the post. All milk jugs that I have run across are made from the same high-density polyethylene plastic (HDPE #2) which makes for some bomber fender flaps!

26 10 2011
Paul Webb

If you wanted to get away from something that obviously looks like a milk jug…I happened to have an old bidon that my wife insisted was too grungy for further use, but a reasonable colour match for my bike. I trimmed it, keeping some of the bottom rim of the bidon to give some stiffness, drilled small holes through the flap and the end of the mudguard and fixed using two small zip ties. Paul

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