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Topic: Does anyone on Craftster mess around with bicycles?  (Read 892 times)
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« on: May 22, 2008 09:51:42 AM »

Hey everyone,
Last year I was given an old womens' bike from someone off of Craigslist for free; I rode it around all throughout college that year and killed the tires (heh).
So, I'm off to get new tires from the bike shop on Friday, and I was thinking that maybe I might want to do something to the bike to make it prettier, like spray-paint it and put some stencils on the seat or something.
Has anyone ever done something like this and do they have an idea of how to go about it, including what type of paint to use? I'm not sure if spray paint will stick. I don't care much about *how* it holds up, though, since in my experience, the crappier looking bikes don't get stolen as much (since my Craigslist bike is replacing my Trek mountain bike that was stolen, I know this all too well).
I might also try to add a basket to the bike to hold my stuff - I saw some sweet ones made out of crochet thread and something that was holding them up/hardening it so it would keep its shape...lacquer? Maybe?...and I wanted to try to duplicate that idea with some crochet skills of my own.
Any tips? Thanks! Smiley

On a swapping hiatus due to college...

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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2008 09:39:32 AM »

The crochet baskets were probably done around a wire or hard-plastic frame to give them shape.  When you go to the bike shop to buy tires, ask what types of paints work best on the metal frames...barring that, go to the store and look for paints specifically designed for metal, and a lacquer to go with it.  I'd cut out my stencils on something flexible, and tape them, and then use a foam brush to fill in, and smaller brushes to detail.  Hope that helps!

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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2008 01:33:45 PM »

I know lots of people have expensive bikes that they don't want to get stolen so they paint them to hide the brand etc.  It can't be that hard if lots of people do it!  I would have thought car paint would do the job, maybe go to an auto parts store?

Re the basket - there is a bike that I see near my office every day where someone has taken a wire basket and covered it by weaving leaves.  Like yucca I think.  They have dried up and gone brown and it looks really cool.

Have you thought of making some panniers, if you have a lot of stuff to carry?  I use them for my books for class because they would be too heavy for a basket.  I've seen some on various websites in cool colours and prints that would be much nicer than the usual black.  Like this:

  (hope that link works)

« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2008 04:12:28 AM »

Though it is a lot of work, you could do something with the spokes.
I've seen spokes covered in coloured drinking straws. Of worse, you could wind some yarn around them as well, in case you are really bored.

Around here (Netherlands), you can buy large, coloured beads that 'click' around your spokes. You can't get them off easily, but they can still move in vertical direction. So if you drive slowly, you'll hear this slight tickling sound. Of course, you can also use so many beads that nothing can move, and still go with the colours.

If your bike has a 'chain cover' you might consider stencilling that one. Or if it hasn't: you could consider buying one, and stencil it.

Good luck!



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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2008 10:32:53 PM »

Hi....I don't really do a lot with bikes, other then ride them...but my boyfriend refinishes and fixes vintage bikes when he's off for the summers.  I wish I had a couple of pictures, but I can't find any at the moment.  He hand paints most of them, mine is going to be a sparkly pink vintage Schwinn with music notes....it's a work in progress.  His is painted with green, red, black, yellow.  Depending on how much time and money you want to put into it...He uses model paint and some clear shine sealer I think.  If you want or have other questions, I'll have him wander to the computer sometime.  He's redone about 20 bikes or so....I'm sure he'll have a list of what not to do/use for you at least. Tongue
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2008 07:00:52 AM »

I LOVE bikes Smiley What kind is yours? What kind of shape is it in? (Check out the Completed Swaps gallery, there was a bike themed swap back in March).

You can use autobody paint on bike frames. The best way to do this is to strip it completely, though - you don't want to get paint inside any parts that need to keep moving, especially spray paint. You will probably also need to sand or scuff the surface a bit to help the new paint stick, and you'll definitely need to sand out any rust if it is a steel frame. You can get some really nice results with "rattlecan" paint if you are patient!

I personally tend to keep my bikes ugly but in good working order, but I'm also too lazy to commit to a full strip down to repaint. I know if I did that I would instantly NEED to ride that particular bike and it would drive me nuts Cheesy

If you have killed a pair of tires, you probably also need to replace your brake pads and give the rims of your wheels a good cleaning (Brillo pad with Simple Green works great). Get the bike shop to check whether your chain is wearing out as well - it's less than $20 for a new chain and it makes a huge difference to the bike's function. What gearing do you have?

Wire baskets are pretty easy to find - there are versions for handlebars and to attach to a rear rack - and you can decorate those really easily with a crocheted cover, ribbon or yarn woven through, etc. The ones made for bikes specifically come with an attachment to put them on the bike, but you can re-purpose almost any appropriately sized basket with a couple of zip ties Smiley

Depending on the style of your handlebars, check out the bar tape at the bike shop. There are some CRAZY fun patterns of bar tape out there! You can get neat grips too, if you have flat bars.

As for the theft issue... I always try to lock my bike up next to one that is newer, more expensive looking, or has a crappy lock. I have a decent U-lock and my 2 main bikes are both 20+ years old (one is an upright English style cruiser, the other at first glance is a "ten-speed" - really it's a Japanese touring frame, equivalent to buy today would be in the $1000 range... but most people don't know that).

www.bikeforums.net (Classics and Vintage section) has some great people who are happy to help with projects like this Smiley - I'm Buglady there too.

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