Reader Bart got a bike from his mother and decided to make it decidely his own. His hacks are documented in the text and photos he provided below, and more pictures can be seen via his flickr account.
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I got this bike from my mother who now bought a newer one and it's roughly as old as me (28) but it drives as a brand new one (good maintenance I guess).
So here's what I "hacked" . . .
I first made a small rear cargo box with some old planks from a big used fruit cargo box. You can still see the countries on the side of the box where the fruit was sent between "OHIA" (maybe Ohio?) and "TUNIS" (Tunis of ofcourse). Glued & screwed the planks together and gave it a layer of "Boat"-Varnish.
Then I've found some leather slabs when cleaning out someones basement and made some leather straps with it. They're not that strong but it's mainly to keep down some light-weight stuff (like a jacket of a bottle of wine) when driving on cobblestone roads. They are screwed in place as you can see in the pictures.
Then I also made a small container out of a used silicone glue tube (for latex gloves when the chain slips off, an extra strong strap for holding down larger stuff & a plastic shopping bag).
The "lid" or "cap" is just a spray paint cover that slides over the container. The red tape makes sure the container is the right diameter so the cap/lid is kept tight on.
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Because I also had a wheel with a built-in generator laying around I replaced the entire electronics. I first made a small box containing 4 rechargeable batteries that get charged by the generator. They also give power to the front & backlight when the switch is turned "ON."
Then I also replaced the light bulbs from the old lights with high energy LED's. (I kept the lamp frames because they are old looking and fit the bike type & also they are not that attractive to thieves instead of brand new shiny LED lamps).
This way my lights will never fail because of empty batteries and they will keep burning even when I'm standing still (in front of a red light for example).
I live in a city where cars are king so they don't pay much attention. This way by keeping my light on when standing still I don't risk not getting seen by the cars.
And at last I made a simple chain guard with an electric cable tube I still had laying around (seen this example many times already) and it works fine. I first had a chain guard that fully covered my chain and this is just terrible for when the chain slips of and you have to put your chain back on.
Sewing hacks have been featured on BikeHacks before. We have seen bags created from reusable shopping bags as well as from dog/cat food bags, and we have also seen a wallet sewn from inner tubes. This time around reader Catherine fashions leather into a pannier. Take it away Catherine . . .
* * * * * * * * * * *I made a pannier bag for my bike rack. It had to be able to carry one library book, my U-Lock, lunch box, and a change of shoes. It was made from scrap leather from a local hardware store that sells leather by the pound (http://store.harryepstein.com). The sewing was done with a lock stitch sewing awl, it took about 5 hours to complete.
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Last fall we gave away a Lion Bellworks Bell and recipient Rod installed the prize on a home made cargo bike. He was kind enough to send along some pictures and comments. Readers feel free to identify donor parts.
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This is my first effort at a cargo bike and while there are a few improvements that will go into the next ones, I am quite pleased with the results. Based on comments I receive every time I take it out, it is meeting with a lot of interest from folks. I expect that there is a pent-up demand for a utilitarian bicycle like this.
When building this unit, I tried to incorporate as many parts from donor bikes as I could. Your readers might enjoy identifying the parts that are used in un-ordinary ways - you might even make another contest out of finding them!!
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And let me say that one of the most endearing aspects of the bike is the Lion Bellworks bell. I use any and every excuse to ring it and it usually turns heads that have a big smile on them - it truly is the most musical bike bell that I have ever encountered!!
I would really be remiss if I did not mention www.atomiczombie.com. Brad and Kathy's website were the inspiration that started my interest in bike hacking. Beginning in the fall of 2011, I purchased the first set of plans and began constructing my first cycle project, a recumbent tandem tricycle. Since then I built a long wheel base recumbent bicycle and a recumbent tadpole racing tricycle. Some of the ideas that were incorporated into the cargo bike came from the Atomic Zombie plans. If you haven't already checked out their website, I encourage you to do so.
Refreshment can be an important part of cycling and recreation, and reader John wanted a way to keep his beverage of choice cold. He did a great job of transforming an Ammo Can into a cooler and he documents the process below. Putting the entry together made me thirsty . . .
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I needed a cooler I could bring on my bike when shopping, but more importantly for kickball, softball, and other drinking league sports, since I found no commercial options I built my own. I decided to use an ammo can because I saw so many saddlebag conversions done by motorcyclists. I chose a fat .50 cal ammo can because it is slightly larger than the typical .50 cal cans most people are familiar with while still being small enough for bicycle use.
I was able to pick one up from the surplus store for just under $30 in pretty good shape. First thing I did was sand the entire box and made sure to remove any rust I encountered. Once everything was sanded and looked rust free I started painting. I bought self-priming spray paint, but to be on the safe side I still bought primer. I decided to go with the familiar cooler colors of white over red. I even did a final clear coat layer to hopefully keep the can looking good for a while. This part took 4 days to do because of the extended dry times.
After painting came the hardware mounting, I chose to use hardware from Velo Transit. Since the cooler was going to be carrying the weight of ice, beer, and the can itself, I thought it was better to go with proven hardware vs. whatever I could think up at home. I chose to mount the hardware lower on the cooler body so it would be invisible when viewed from the opposite side. Once the hardware was on, it was time to glue the insulation into the cooler. I choose super tuff rigid .5 inch insulation foam.
The foam I used claims to have an R3.3 rating which I don't really know what it means, but it was the best I could find for .5inch foam. I had to carve out holes for the nuts and washers of the mounting hardware. I just cut pieces for each side and the bottom and glued it in with construction adhesive. To protect the foam, I bought lexan to use as a liner for the cooler. I just scored and broke it with a utility knife, which actually worked very well. After gluing down the lexan with the adhesive, I covered every seam with silicon caulk to prevent water leaking into the foam. I ended up with an interior space that is 10.5 inches long, 5.5 inches wide, and 8 inches deep, it can hold 9 regular sized cans with ice and a 6 pack of the larger 16oz cans with ice.
Reader Chris has become somewhat of a mainstay on BikeHacks with his DIY hacks. He came up with a spotlight, a car horn, and you might have wondered about the mount he used for his LED light strips. That question is answered in the video below.
What I am curious about is if Chris has come up with his own wind powered electrical system for his house. Certainly sounds like wind is an abundance resource where he lives =)
1) PVC Cap
2) PVC Female Adapter
3) PVC Plug
4) PVC Pipe (Cut 3.75 inches shorter than desired length of container from Cap to Plug)
5) U-Bolts, steel or zinc (ex: 1 inch bolts are for 1 inch diameter wide bike frames/handlebars,)
6) Carriage Bolt, steel or zinc
7) Nylon Locking Nut, steel or zinc - Count of 6
Attaching stuff to your bike can be tricky. Yes, certain parts come with an express purpose in mind, but they do not always function the way you want them to. Reader CamoDeafie, who also submitted a post on Military Bags as an affordable bike bag option, did not like the parts his rack came with so he came up with his own solution.
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I recently got a Sunlite Alloy rack for one of my bicycles, which does not have rack eyelets on the seat stays, after trying to get the OEM clamps to stay, since the seat stays tapered upwards, the OEM stuff kept wriggling and loosened by going further down the seat stays, so I decided to go get a couple P clamps, and mounted them to the original mount holes on the rack itself, it is now very secure and a rather clean looking rack :)
This is the Sunlite clamp system; a V bar and a straight bar, the straight bar is supposed to be on the outside of the seat stays, while the V bar is supposed to be inside, between seat stays and seat tube; due to the V shape, it would not stay in place on a seat stay system that tapers towards the seat; thus after riding it a while, or putting any load on the rack, the clamp would wriggle and fall down towards the crossbar;
I replaced the OEM clamp system that kept falling down on the tapered seat stays with two P Clamps; here is the relatively clean installation; I say relatively, because compared to the OEM style of mount, it is better, but it is not as clean as a braze-on system (which would really be awesome to see..)
a view from the seat tube area;
overall view of the rack area from above;