This is the perfect project for any mountain biker who wants to recycle! You probably have a lot of #2 HDPE plastic grocery bags at home. They are the perfect material to upcycle into a front mudguard fender. Watch the video, or scroll down for text instructions. Making things is something that every human can enjoy, and should do from time to time. Making bike parts is something most people don't even attempt... but now is your chance!
Follow the instructions below to make this mudguard using plastic grocery bags, or if you already have a suitable material ready to be cut and only need a template, download this free front mtb mudguard template.
This exact project is what got Memory Pilot started as a manufacturer of mountain bike mudguards. I was making these things in my spare time for people, and I was looking for ways to make a consistently better product. Now, I've got a few machines to consistently cut, prep, and professionally print mudguards at scale. If you are looking for a professional looking custom designed mudguard and not really into the DIY look of these, you can check out our Custom MTB Mudguards page, design your own, and have it sent right to you in 3 days.
Now, to the instructions:
You will need a few things to get this done:
- 4 or more plastic grocery bags (#2 or #4 is cool)
- Parchment paper
- An iron
- The Memory Pilot Local Front MTB Mudguard template printed on 8.5"x11" paper
- A Sharpie
- Something to punch holes (i used a screwdriver and a hammer)
And now the steps:
- Set your iron to "Rayon" and allow it to pre-heat
- Print out the Memory Pilot template. This printable mudguard template can be used to cut a front mtb fender out of any material.
- Look at your bags and think about the design of your mudguard. You are doing something unique and custom so a little planning can explode your creativity and give you an inspiring result.
- If you have a bag with a graphic you like, reserve it for the top layer of your mudguard.
- If you have extra bags with nice colors or interesting shapes you can cut them out with scissors to arrange into any design you like as the top layer.
- You can also cut out lettering from a bag to spell anything you want.
- Laminate the plastic bags using heat and pressure to fuse thin layers together into thicker sheets. Start with each of the 4 bags.
- Fold a bag in half to create your first layer- it should be about 8.5" x 11" you can check this by comparing it to the printed template.
- Place the folded bag between two sheets of parchment paper
- Use the iron to fuse the plastic layers into one sheet by applying pressure slowly for about ten seconds in one area and then sliding on to the next until you have passed over the entire sheet melting it together and forcing out any air bubbles.
- Check the plastic sheet to make sure that the layers are fused, you may need to flip the layer and iron on both sides.
- Congrats! you now have one layer... keep going, you need 4
- If you have a special bag that you want to be your top layer make sure you arrange that now.
- Now that you have 4 layers, you will need to combine them using the same technique that you have by now become an expert at. Combine 2, then add the third, and then the 4th.
- Cut the fender shape out of the template you printed earlier, put it over your plastic sheet, and trace the shape onto the plastic sheet with a sharpie. It can get a little messy, so make sure not to trace the shape onto the top- trace it one the back of the fender.
- If you will add any special graphics by fusing in shapes or letters or patterns, or anything cosmetic, now is the time!. Arrange your design onto the fender and then use the iron to fuse it to the fender between 2 sheets of parchment paper.
- When you are done fusing you graphic layer, trim away any excess that has gone over the edge of the fender.
- Now, you will need to use your paper template to mark the position of the holes and punch them through. (I used a screw driver and a hammer, but thats me.. overkill)
- Put it on the bike!
- Enjoy your awesome fender you made yourself!