Sunday, June 10, 2018

DIY Water Bottle Holder for the Dahon Boardwalk

Homemade handle bar mounted water bottle carrier.
As mentioned previously, I devised a solution to easily carry water on my Dahon for our New York City adventure.

But a holder made of fabric wasn't my first thought.

TooGoo water bottle mount from Amazon.
I can always use this adapter on any bike. 

Initially, I purchased an inexpensive metal clamp. It took me a while to safely tighten the screws and position the "puzzle" lock thing on the handle bars. Eventually, though, it worked and I secured an extra water bottle cage to the mount.

However, I wasn't completely satisfied. Like all handle bar water bottle attachments, the holder is perched high so you can easily grab your bottle and drink. That wasn't so much a problem, yet a folding bicycle has quite a bit of  extra and often unused "real estate", meaning there's a lot of vertical post space before meeting the frame, yet had I wanted to lower the new attachment it wouldn't fit the oversize tubing. And more importantly, I might need to fold the bike and the metal mount would rap or scratch the frame. I knew I lacked the patience to remove the mount and/or also the cage and reattach the parts once we traveled to our destination. (at the time I planned to fold the bike while using Amtrak and save the bicycle reservation fee).

I went back to the drawing board - so to speak - and found this idea on the internet.

Bushwacker insulated water bottle holder.
It was an intriguing concept: secure the carrier with two Velcro-type fasteners! I liked the adaptable, and easily removed nature and could save myself 15.00 and create my own version. It was also an idea that wouldn't mar the frame or bar. And motivation wasn't entirely due to saving money because I enjoy problem solving, am pretty handy with a sewing machine, plus I had all the materials on hand.

So, like most of my DIY bike projects, I place my bike next to my sewing corner to continually adjust and check measurements. This project was relatively simple. I sandwiched quilt batting between material (adding black material on top edge to eventually hide straps) to give the finished product structure, sewed a tube-shape first, then gingerly sewed a circular bottom. The Velcro-type fasteners were attached to black webbing then sewed onto the main body.

The finished product is adaptable and I like that it can be attached to either front or back of handle bar. There is little sway, even with a full large water bottle. It's also relatively easy to remove and replace the bottle - of course, an important feature!

Using the holder on our New York City trip.

The Bushwacker version is constructed with closed cell foam so it has insulating properties and I imagine is a stiffer version than mine. Their model also uses lateral hook and loop fastener to adjust to different sized bottles. I think the price is justified for these additional features. However, for a DIY project that's functional and is magenta colored,  I'm very pleased with the way my model turned out!


  1. Is it stable enough to double as a holder of those paper coffee cups you get from espresso stands?

    1. Steve - My version would be stable enough if the cup is the correct width to fit, otherwise the Bushwacker version would be much better because of being insulated with closed cell foam for better structure, plus the width is adjustable. In the future, I may purchase the model to have an alternative holder. If you buy the Bushwhacker, let me know what you think.


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