I live in SoCal you’d think I wouldn’t need cold/bad weather side shields. But the morning temp in my area was 34 degrees this morning and perfect for using the side shields. The afternoon temperature was 82 and way to hot for them. Thankfully they fold down nicely or pop off easily.
To make a vinyl side shield you only need a few things
1- newspaper or butcher paper
3- scotch tape
4- Vinyl —- The clear vinyl is available at a DIY center like an ace or true value. Some fabric stores have it in the upholstery section. There are different thicknesses and you want the outdoor semi thick version
5- gorilla tape
6- heavy duty velcro
When you done the completed side shield vinyl will fold over the inside edge of your door opening. It will attach via velcro that is stuck to the inside folded plastic of the ELF
Tape newspaper together. Make it into one large sheet thats big enough to easily cover the ELFs door opening.
Use the scotch tape and tape the paper to the ELF covering the door
With a marker trace the outline of the door onto the paper
Remove the paper from the ELF and lay it on the vinyl
Scotch tape the pattern to the vinyl, making sure it doesn’t move when it comes time to cut it out
Carefully cut out the pattern adding 2-3 inches all the way around. (It’s better to have it too big than too small.
After your vinyl is cut out, dry fit it into the Elf.
Here you can leave it like this or add the gorilla tape border
Take the gorilla tape and tape the edges. This is the time where you can add more tape to a section if you happened to miss cut the vinyl
Cut your Velcro strips approx 2 inches in length.
Place at least 3 strips across the top
2 down the front
2 down the back
1-2 across the bottom
I chose to have only 1 piece of velcro on the bottom so water would drain straight down
Here’s my first mistake. When placing the Velcro put the fuzzy side on the vinyl and the hard loop side on the ELF. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but it is. Doing this prevents the vinyl from snagging on your clothing when you fold down the vinyl to be a window or when you’re getting in or out of the ELF.
Peel off the backing and Place the Velcro on the vinyl/gorrilla tape border. Do not peel of the backing on the velcro that attaches to the ELF until you are positive on the placement.
My side shields go on and off all winter. or get folded down as the day goes on. I’m in Southern California were it can be 20-30 degrees in the early morning and 80 in the afternoon.
Because of that I tend to roll them up and stash them in the trunk often. This makes the clear vinyl side shields wrinkle making them seem smaller when I put them on in cold weather.The wrinkles relax when the warm sun hits it. If this bothers you take a blow dyer and warm up the vinyl slightly (don’t melt it) and the wrinkles come right out.
Happy Warm Pedaling