Great fullfillment can often be found in taking an old or discarded object and turning it into something useful. Reader Brandon found a discarded bike and turned it into a cruising machine. He send us his story along with pictures and a video.
When I think of beaches I can't help but think of good vibrations. Depending on your generation you can go with old school or hip hop school to get in the mood for this post. Crank up the version of your choice and read on. And if you have a story to share, give us a shout out.
Take it away Brandon!
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This project started when I went to my storage unit and decided to check the dumpster for any goodies people leave. I've found brand new liquor bottles, computers, speakers, and well my beach cruiser, specifically my 1982 ladies Huffy "good vibrations."
This thing was filthy! But after a good tear down I found that the bicycle had been almost unused. The grease was still orange but had dried out long ago. Only the chain, tires, and handle bars needed to be replaced. the original inner tubes from 1982 are still on it!!! I also tossed away the Wald basket on the front.
After I fixed my rig I decided on some Lowrider styling and accessories. However all the lowriders I have seen have "bullet" lights installed. My styling is based on the square lights of Lincoln Town Car, a car I own. Since they dont make purpose built ones for bicycles I modified a set of cheapy Harbor Freight offroad lights . They are mounted to the handle bar by a 3/4" conduit hanger (an idea I got from instructables.com).
The next hurdle for the lights was the electronics. The Harbor Freight lights suck 55 Watts of power each! So I opted for High tech LEDs. I found some good deals on LEDS and driver boards at Dealextreme.com. The wiring was easy and the reflectors on the lights had to be cut out slightly to allow for the LEDs to mount.
The each light has its own driver board for the LED and both lights are connected to a Y cable I can disconnect a light and wire an accessory into the Y cable which has RCA plugs. These LEDs are so bright I had to put duck tape on the top to stop glaring. Each LED is rated at 200 lumens. The AA battery pack I use is rechargeable and lasts long.
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I needed some rear lights so when I went down to the 99 cent store I saw some "LED Plant lights" for sale. I liked the design of the housing and to match the the color of the frame painted the white LED Blue with some fountain pen ink I had laying around and wired the lights to a square 9 Volt battery that lasts almost forever.
Next I wired in a car horn, I used four 3.7 V 2500 Mah batteries. Altogether they produce about 14.8 volts, the typical running voltage of a car. I simply removed the rear reflector and bolted down the horn. The switch is housed in what used to be a cell phone charger. I just gutted it for the enclosure and used another conduit hanger to hold it to the frame.
I typically ride my bike down Freemont Street in Las Vegas at night or sometimes during the day. I've gotten many compliments on this rig and lots of attention from both motorists and pedestrians. This bicycle has been a blast to ride and build!