Equipment

Mallets

Mallets have two key ingredients: the shaft and the head.

For the shaft, the most common material is an aluminium ski-pole bought from an op-shop or savers (ski shops at the end of season may also be of value). Alternately, a golf club may be used. Most golf clubs are made from stainless or chromoly steel, which is much harder to work with than aluminium, though some people prefer the flex and feel that a golf club affords. Shafts have also been seen made from wooden dowel, and bamboo. Carbon fibre or graphite golf clubs may also be an option, but are yet to be seen in Melbourne bike polo.

The head is usually made from a length of gas pipe or ABS pipe. Stay away from PVC – it shatters easily. A bolt or screw is needed to hold the head in place – to stop it from swivelling or moving up and down on the shaft.

A grip is considered useful – golf clubs usually have a rubber grip attached, while ski poles need the addition of handlebar tape or ice-hockey tape (hard to find in Australia).

Resources:

Bikes

Any old bike will do for bike polo. Due to the possibility of crashes and spills, many people prefer to use specific polo bikes different from their normal commuting or work bikes. Some useful features include:

  • tough wheels
  • fewer moving parts/accessories (e.g. no dérailleurs/gears as these can break easily on impact)
  • fixed gear (makes track stands and back pedalling easier)
  • front brake activated by the left hand (right hand is used for the mallet, maximum stopping power is achieved with the front brake – this can be dangerous if you’re not used to it though)
  • disc wheels

Edges

By installing your own edges into a court, you can create a more continuous and contained game of polo.  There are 2 ways that players in Melbourne have done this, plans are available here:

Portable & foldable poloedges with hinges  or Cheap & connectable poloedges with cable ties

8.4 metres of portable polo court edging img_0676

bike-polo-portable-edging

More discussion about what people have done in other cities here.

Balls

You can buy balls in Australia from the urbanbicyclist project.

Not much to DIY here, unless you want to make an illuminated ball for night time play (still a work in progress :)
Vik's Glow Ball

4 thoughts on “Equipment

  1. What sort of ball do you use? Also some pictures of a mallet may be useful.
    My local bike store (SpokesNT) in Palmerston Northern Territory are going to have a social day of bike polo in a few months and me and a few mates want to get ready for the adventure.

  2. Hi Stu, We use street hockey balls, they’re not too easy to find in Australia. Please e-mail us your postal address and we’ll send you some hot weather ball’s in the mail. :) There are plenty of photos of mallets in our flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/melbournebikepolo/pool/tags/mallet

    *Update* We have hot weather and normal street hockey balls available for sale, $5.60 postage for 1-6 balls. urbanbicyclist.org for more details.

  3. Hey do you know where I can source some abs piping that isn’t 6 meters long and millions of dollars??? Need some by the 25th of May.

    Thanks Mitch

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