How to make a TailSock frame for less than $10

Our local recumbent parts and accessories manufacturer sells some awesome TailSoks & frames. Although I'm not ready to purchase one of their admittedly well-made aluminum-tube based TailSok frames.

TerraCycle recently started making making their TailSoks with retro-reflective fabric, and so that means they're currently clearing out their old inventory of non-reflective soks, for bargain at $39/each.

So, after picking one of their clearance soks...

I stopped by Tap Plastic to pick up a single 3/16 diameter fiberglass rod...then Parkrose Hardware for some slightly-larger aluminum tubing and bulk corrugated plastic.

The result was a surprisingly-effective way to stretch my TailSok, for an investment of less than $10.

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The "how" was a bit simpler than originally anticipated.

First I cut, flattened and drilled the tubing. Then bolted it to the seat-struts. You'll also notice that I slightly-flared the round end of the tube...that's to minimize expected rubbing-related wear on the fiberglass rod. The fiberglass rod was simply cut in half by nothing more than pressing down with the sharp end of a straight-end razor blade, while rolling the tube across a table.

Then, to help minimize left/right swinging movements, I used a hot soldering iron to perforate the corrugated plastic. Zip-tying it along the white blocks you see here.

The red duct tape was later added to help prevent the corrugrated plastic from slipping around.

For the end of the rod, to help minimize the risk of it poking through the fabric, and to keep them together, I used a bit of scrap pink foam & duct tape.

How does it stay together? Easy: the strechy TaikSok fabric pulls its end toward the seat, while the fiberglass rods slightly bend upwards while also providing enough tension to keep the sok taut.

Project TailSok & Frame...done :-)