Thursday 31 March 2011

How To Fit A Rear Reflector To A Mudguard

• Highly recommended (by me) since this gives drivers a good idea of where your bike actually is. Reflectors on the saddle post are helpful, but can be a little deceptive at night, since they show where the saddle is, not the rear wheel. Most are sold with the advice that you will need to drill a hole through the mudguard. Do not let this put you off, here’s how to do it even if you are a mechanical idiot (like me).

• You will require a couple of Phillips screwdrivers, one smaller than the other, the rear reflector, a black marker pen, latex gloves if you have them, possibly some Blu-Tack, and a rigid but thin board. This latter can be anything: cardboard, plastic, metal, antyhing so long as it will fit in between the mudguard and the tyre. This, of course, assumes that your mudguards are plastic. If they are metal, you may wish to trot down to your friendly cycle mechanic and smile nicely.

• Mark (with the pen) on the mudgard where you want the reflector to go. Put the board inbetween the tyre and the mudguard.

• Put the point of the small Phillips screwdriver against where you want the reflector to go, press it against the mudguard, and twist until you make a small hole. The board is a vital part of this operation since, to paraphrase the great Terry Pratchett, it takes a great deal of effort to push the screwdriver through the mudguard, and almost none whatsoever to put it all the way through into the tyre, which is a bugger.

• If the hole isn’t big enough, use the large Phillips screwdriver to widen it – insert and twist.

• Fit the screw through the mudguard, and fasten with the nut that came with it. Check as you do this that the screw is not rubbing against the tyre at all. it will weaken the tyre if it does. Hold the bike off the ground, spin the wheel, and listen for any sounds / feel for resistance against the tyre.

• You may find that the screw is slightly too long to put the reflector flat against the mudguard without the screw pressing against the tyre. This is why you have Blu-Tack. If this happens, get the reflector as close to the mudguard as you can without putting the screw against the tyre, then press the Blu-Tack in between the reflector and the mudguard. This is a good idea anyway, as it helps to hold the reflector onto the mudguard. Believe me when I say that whenever you turn the bike round, the rear reflector will get bashed against doors / walls / bike stands / whatever, so it needs to be very firmly fixed on.

• If you’re feeling fancy, colour in the Blu-Tack with the marker pen so that it doesn’t show.

• Done!

1 comment:

  1. Can you recommend a suitable rear reflector and/or supplier please?