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Cheap/Easy/Ghetto? Top Tube Protector

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Cheap/Easy/Ghetto? Top Tube Protector

Old 04-23-10, 11:57 AM
  #1  
VoodooChi|d
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Cheap/Easy/Ghetto? Top Tube Protector

When I bought my bike used it already had a few scratches on the top tube and when I took it over to Walgreens to get a drink and locked it on the bike rack, I was very careful to make sure I didn't get any more. Obviously it is very easy to scratch it if it's resting against anything though so being careful sometimes isn't enough, especially if someone else comes up and locks their bike next to yours and happens to knock into it. There are other times I will rest it against something else like a tree/pole/wall and nervously hope it doesn't move and scratch it all up.

I looked online for top tube protectors and came across ugly bulky padded things and other stuff mainly for fixies (ugly stuff in general). Even the somewhat more attractive offerings were awfully expensive so I had to reconsider my plan. Using my ingenuity I tried to think of non-bike products that might work. I considered something like the padded protector made with foam pipe insulation, but they were just too bulky for my taste. Then I had a revelation and recalled my past life of heavy boozing. I (sorta) remember we would buy clear tubing from a hardware store to attach to a funnel and make a beer bong. The diameter was just about the same as my top tube and it was relatively thin, not to mention clear to make it more attractive.

So I went down to Home Depot and found the tubing. It's the smallest diameter of the ones that come on giant spools, so you have to get someone to cut it for you. This is good because the smaller diameters force you to buy about 15 feet minimum. I opted for 3 feet, so I could mess up the first time. I think it was about $1.50 a foot so the total cost was around $5 after tax. This is also bad because you have to assure the employee cutting it you're not making a beer bong.

Here's a cross section of the tubing to get an idea of the diameter and thickness. Sorry I didn't take a picture of anything with it for reference but you'll get the idea later.


When I got home, I measured the length of my top tube and cut the appropriate amount of the tubing using some heavy duty scissors. It happened to be almost exactly half of the 3 foot tube.


Then I did my best to cut a straight line down the tube from one end to the other using the same scissors. Both of these cutting jobs could be done, probably better, with something more substantial, but heavy duty scissors will do the job.


Now it was time to test it for fit. I spread the edges over one end of the tube and it easily went on and fit snugly around the tube.


Ta-da!


I was worried about clearance for the cable underneath the tube, but with just the one cut there was a perfect amount of clearance. If you have to for some reason, you could just trim from one of the edges to allow for clearance.


And just as easy as it went on, it comes off...


So for $5, I have a top tube protector that looks better than anything I've seen offered online at many times the price. I can easily put it on or take it off depending on how/to where I'm going to be riding.

Let me know what you think...
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Old 04-23-10, 12:18 PM
  #2  
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Originally Posted by VoodooChi|d View Post
When I bought my bike used it already had a few scratches on the top tube and when I took it over to Walgreens to get a drink and locked it on the bike rack, I was very careful to make sure I didn't get any more.
That's what beater bikes are for. Besides, next time you go to Walgreens you may come out and find only a cut chain on the ground. I (and most others on BF) never leave my bike unattended (chain or no chain). I mean, you have a nice bike, take care of it.
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Old 04-23-10, 12:28 PM
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just wrap the top tube in duct tape and call it a day
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Old 04-23-10, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MDfive21 View Post
just wrap the top tube in duct tape and call it a day
I wouldn't need the question mark after "ghetto" if I did that.
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Old 04-23-10, 12:57 PM
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Wait...wut?
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Old 04-23-10, 01:04 PM
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That's like a 1929 Lemond Tourmalet, not a Cervelo!
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Old 04-23-10, 01:12 PM
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Old 04-23-10, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by VoodooChi|d View Post
Cheap/Easy/Ghetto?
Ghetto
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Old 04-23-10, 01:27 PM
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Sometimes I hate this place. I don't have any interest in protecting my top tube, but I will say that you came up with a good solution. It looks fine ( you can barely tell it's there ) and it's cheap and easy.
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Old 04-23-10, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by chadteck View Post
It looks fine ( you can barely tell it's there )
Yeah, just like that lady's panties on the left, you can barely tell they're there, but are.
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Old 04-23-10, 04:21 PM
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I think it would look a bit better if you could clean up the seam and make it the same length of the top tube. Bonus points if you round out the ends so they hug the seat- and head-tube.
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Old 04-23-10, 04:27 PM
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go to a car window tint place and ask to have some clear bar scrape piece, i gotten couple piece off a local place.

they are clear, chemical resistant, uv resistant, way slimmer.

check out your drive side chain stay, your probably have one from the factory.
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Old 04-23-10, 04:31 PM
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Haha, well I didn't think everyone would love it, but I wanted to share. I can handle the abuse.

Originally Posted by Jabba Degrassi View Post
I think it would look a bit better if you could clean up the seam and make it the same length of the top tube. Bonus points if you round out the ends so they hug the seat- and head-tube.
Yeah, if I was anal about making it look perfect, I would get rid of the print on the tube (you can't really see it since the bike is black), and use something better to cut the edges to fit the tubes like you said.
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Old 04-23-10, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by VoodooChi|d View Post
Haha, well I didn't think everyone would love it, but I wanted to share. I can handle the abuse.
It's actually a good idea for transporting on an an organized ride where they carry you bike back to the start in big trucks( Amtrak Century/California). But as far as out for a ride? I just lean my bike against a wall against both the hb's and saddle so that it won't scratch.


BTW, I ride a Lemond too!
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Old 04-23-10, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
It's actually a good idea for transporting on an an organized ride where they carry you bike back to the start in big trucks( Amtrak Century/California). But as far as out for a ride? I just lean my bike against a wall against both the hb's and saddle so that it won't scratch.


BTW, I ride a Lemond too!
Well the greatest thing about it is it's easily removable.

It's off the bike a lot less than it's on.
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Old 04-23-10, 05:20 PM
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From the thread title, I came here prepared to hate on it. But I'm going to go against my initial impression and say not bad.
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Old 04-23-10, 06:19 PM
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cheap? yes.
effective? yes.
well done.
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Old 04-23-10, 06:43 PM
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Helicopter tape is your friend
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Old 04-23-10, 08:04 PM
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Looks good, and if you like it...
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Old 04-23-10, 09:27 PM
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Question: which of these things is not like the others?

A. Road Bike
B. Tool
C. Jewel
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Old 04-23-10, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by VoodooChi|d View Post
So I went down to Home Depot and found the tubing. It's the smallest diameter of the ones that come on giant spools, so you have to get someone to cut it for you. This is good because the smaller diameters force you to buy about 15 feet minimum. I opted for 3 feet, so I could mess up the first time. I think it was about $1.50 a foot so the total cost was around $5 after tax. This is also bad because you have to assure the employee cutting it you're not making a beer bong.
Don't they usually have a cutting device nearby? Cut the stuff yourself, tell the Home Depot Dope to STFU.
It was a few years back I was using the heat cutter thing on some bulk nylon rope. Had three dopes come like I was robbing a bank or something. After I finished I said I did take both wood and metal shop in high school before I graduated and went to college.
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Old 04-23-10, 09:57 PM
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Clever.
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Old 04-24-10, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by VoodooChi|d View Post
I wouldn't need the question mark after "ghetto" if I did that.


Originally Posted by Bobsled View Post
Yeah, just like that lady's panties on the left, you can barely tell they're there, but are.
Funny, yet simultaneously disturbing that you thought to look.
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Old 04-24-10, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by atmdad View Post
Don't they usually have a cutting device nearby? Cut the stuff yourself, tell the Home Depot Dope to STFU.
It was a few years back I was using the heat cutter thing on some bulk nylon rope. Had three dopes come like I was robbing a bank or something. After I finished I said I did take both wood and metal shop in high school before I graduated and went to college.
You can't cut it yourself because they have to write you a ticket for what length it is to bring up to the register.
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