I just got an old bike from the 80-90s from my grandfather and I wold like to repair and clean it to use it as backup bike.

This bike has a lot of holes in the mudguard, is it decoration or dit it had a purpose?

Here is a photo of the bike: enter image description here

PD: This holes are only in the rear mudguard.

  • 20
    Not sure about the holes but that tire definitely needs replacing Commented May 27, 2018 at 18:39
  • 2
    I would date that bike a bit earlier, 70's I'd say. When I had a bike with that kind of holes in the 1980's the skirt guards were out of sale in almost all shops. (The old fashioned shop near me had one and I used it for years.)
    – Willeke
    Commented May 27, 2018 at 19:19
  • I've never ever seen the "skirt guard" being described. When I was a kid it would be common to attach a "fringe" to the bike, a la western clothing. (This was closer to the 50s, though.) Google does find this page, however. Commented May 27, 2018 at 20:13
  • My first (incorrect) guess was someone had drilled it for weight savings - the Drillium craze was big in the 80s. Though holes in a mudguard would decrease its effectiveness.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 0:08
  • @Willeke It was bought in the late 80's but maybe was an old model? I just have this foto right now: imgur.com/a/lXpTG6f
    – nck
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 21:42

2 Answers 2


All was said already, those holes are for so called coat protector (those prevent your coat or trench being caught by the revolving wheel).
What was not done is placing a picture of one, and one picture saves thousand of words.

coat protector bicycle coat protector

By the way, quite popular and easily available in The Netherlands, so if you need help, let me know.

  • 2
    +1 for using photos to demonstrate the concept.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 0:05
  • Skirt or coat guards can also come in the form of clear plastic sheets with the same overal shape. But those usually clip into place with 2 metal clips on the mud-guard and a 3rd clip at the bottom on the vertical strut near the axle. The plastic ones turn yellow and brittle due to UV light petty quickly and then look horrible. They also break/tear easily. These ones are much nicer.
    – Tonny
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 15:44

The holes are for attaching a skirt guard, a net of cord to keep skirts or long coats from being caught up in the spokes of the rear wheel.

  • From personal experience, you are right. (+1)
    – Willeke
    Commented May 27, 2018 at 19:19
  • 2
    There's even the poor rest of one in some of the holes :-)
    – aspseka
    Commented May 27, 2018 at 20:09
  • 1
    @aspseka yes - they probably rotted or wore through because of the sharp edges. Mike's answer shows galvanised metal hooks used to lock into the mudguard, which would be a better idea. The Z hook is also more streamlined than a J hook and less likely to catch the tyre or any muck on it.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 0:10
  • 3
    or children's little feet..
    – StessenJ
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 10:28

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