The 10 most creative and unusual ways to repurpose old bike parts

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Ben Jones

Cycling Basics, Other

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Cycling enthusiasts, DIY aficionados, and environmentally conscious individuals alike – we’ve got something exciting for you today! If you’ve got a heap of old bike parts lying around in your garage or storeroom (because, who hasn’t…?), we’re here to inspire you with some of the most creative and unusual ways to repurpose them. These projects aren’t just functional, conversation starters and a testament to your love for cycling. They’re also damn fine to look at. So, let’s jump right in and explore these 10 ingenious ideas that will leave you itching to roll up your sleeves and get crafty.

Bike Wheel Chandelier

Light up your space with a unique chandelier made from your old bike wheels. Transform your old rims into a stunning piece of art by attaching light bulbs or fairy lights to the spokes. Hang it in your home, office, or workshop for a unique and eco-friendly lighting solution that is certain to be a talking point when you have friends and family round.

Here’s what you’ll need and how to do it:

Materials:

  • Old bike wheels (2-3, depending on the desired size)
  • Light bulbs or fairy lights
  • Electrical wiring
  • Hanging hooks or chains

Steps:

  1. Clean the bike wheels and remove any remaining spokes if necessary
  2. Decide on the arrangement and spacing of the wheels, then connect them using bolts or cable ties
  3. Attach the light bulbs or fairy lights to the spokes, securing them with zip ties if needed
  4. Wire the lights together and connect them to a power source
  5. Install hanging hooks or chains to the top wheel and hang your chandelier in your desired location

My friend, Bill, created a bike wheel chandelier for his home office, and it became the perfect conversation piece for lockdown video conferences. So popular in fact that all his cycling buddies wanted one too.

Fun Fact: The first chandelier was invented in the medieval era and typically held candles instead of electric bulbs. Sadly, it was unlikely to have been made from old bike bits.

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Pedal Coat Rack

Remove the pedals from your old bicycle and mount them on a wooden board. This inventive coat rack adds a touch of cycling charm to your entryway while providing a practical place to hang coats, hats, bags, and cycling jackets.

Here’s how to turn your old bike pedals into a unique and functional coat rack with this simple DIY project.

Materials:

  • Old bike pedals (4-5)
  • Wooden board (approximately 3-4 feet long)
  • Screws and wall anchors
  • Drill and screwdriver

Steps:

  1. Clean the bike pedals and remove any rust or dirt
  2. Measure and mark the locations for the pedals on the wooden board, ensuring they are evenly spaced
  3. Drill pilot holes into the board and then screw the pedals into place
  4. Attach wall anchors to the back of the board, then mount it on the wall in your desired location

I once gifted a pedal coat rack to my cycling uncle, and he loved it! He hung it up in his man cave, and it gave him the perfect spot for his cycling gear, keeping it neat, tidy and stylishly hung.

Pro tip: When choosing the wooden board, consider using reclaimed wood for a more rustic and eco-friendly look.

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Chain Bottle Opener

Always struggling to find a way to open your post-ride beverage? You’re not alone, but help is here. Craft a handy bottle opener by connecting a section of old bike chain to a flat metal piece. This upcycled gadget not only looks cool but also serves as a great conversation starter.

Unleash your inner MacGyver and create this awesome bottle opener using just a length of bike chain and a flat metal piece.

Materials:

  • Bike chain (a small section)
  • Flat metal piece (approximately 2-3 inches long)
  • Pliers and metal file
  • Super glue or metal epoxy

Steps:

  1. Clean the bike chain and remove any dirt or rust
  2. Cut a section of the chain with 4-5 links, then bend it into a U-shape using pliers
  3. File one end of the flat metal piece to create a small notch for opening bottles
  4. Attach the bike chain to the filed end using super glue or metal epoxy, then let it dry

I made myself one of these many years back and it was a hit at BBQs and parties. So much so that it mysteriously disappeared at one of the parties I hosted. The light-fingered cycling chum never revealed themselves. Hmm. Maybe it’s time to make a new one?

Fun Fact: The first bottle opener was patented in 1894 by William Painter, an American inventor who also invented the crown cork (the standard metal cap used on glass bottles) and, presumably, then struggled to get to his drink afterwards!

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Saddle Swing

Like to hang out on bikes, even when you’re not cycling? Yeah? Then this one’s for you. Use an old bike saddle and handlebars to create a one-of-a-kind swing for kids or adults (who think they’re kids). Attach ropes or chains to the seat rails and handlebar stem, then hang it from a sturdy branch or beam for hours of fun.

Here’s how to breathe new life into an old bike saddle and handlebars by transforming them into a one-of-a-kind swing.

Materials:

  • Old bike saddle and handlebars
  • Ropes or chains (approximately 10-12 feet long)
  • Carabiners or sturdy clips
  • Tree, sturdy branch, or beam for hanging

Steps:

  1. Clean the bike saddle and handlebars, removing any rust or dirt
  2. Attach ropes or chains to the seat rails and handlebar stem, ensuring they are of equal length
  3. Connect the other ends of the ropes or chains to carabiners or sturdy clips
  4. Hang your swing from a sturdy branch, beam, or a swing set frame, adjusting the height as needed

I made a saddle swing for my nephew’s birthday, and it was an instant hit. The neighborhood kids now line up in my sister’s backyard to take turns on the “bike swing” and he’s the coolest kid in town.

Pro tip: To add extra comfort, consider adding cushions or padding to the saddle and handlebars.

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Gear Clock

Trying to work out how long it is till you can go out on your bike again? Then, build yourself a wall clock using a bike gear or chainring as the face. Attach clock hands and a movement mechanism, and you’ll have a functional and eye-catching timepiece that showcases your love for cycling.

Here’s how to create a sleek and stylish wall clock using an old bike sprocket as the face.

Materials:

  • Bike gear or chainring
  • Clock movement mechanism and hands
  • AA battery
  • Wall mounting hardware

Steps:

  1. Clean the bike gear or chainring, removing any dirt or rust
  2. Attach the clock movement mechanism to the center hole of the gear or chainring, following the manufacturer’s instructions
  3. Secure the clock hands to the mechanism
  4. Insert the AA battery to power the clock
  5. Mount the gear clock on the wall using appropriate hardware

Fun Fact: The word “clock” is derived from the Latin word “clocca,” which means “bell,” referring to the ringing mechanism in early clocks.

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Bicycle Bar Stool

This is a project to move onto after you’ve made the bike chain bottle opener above. Once you’ve opened your chilled beverage, you need somewhere to sit whilst you rest your weary legs after a long rid. What better perch than a unique bar stool made by repurposing an old bike frame and saddle. Cut the frame to the desired height, weld or bolt it to a sturdy base, and attach the saddle as the seat. Perfect for a home bar or workshop.

Combine an old bike frame and saddle to create a functional and one-of-a-kind bar stool. Here’s how.

Materials:

  • Old bike frame and saddle
  • Sturdy base (e.g., wooden or metal)
  • Saw or angle grinder
  • Bolts or welding equipment
  • Paint (optional)

Steps:

  1. Clean the bike frame and saddle, removing any rust or dirt
  2. Cut the bike frame to the desired height using a saw or angle grinder
  3. Weld or bolt the cut frame to the sturdy base, ensuring it is stable and secure
  4. Attach the saddle to the seat post, adjusting the height as needed
  5. If desired, paint the bar stool in your favorite color or finish

When I moved into my first apartment, I needed bar stools for my kitchen counter. My dad made two bicycle bar stools from old bike frames for me, and they become a much-talked-about centerpiece.

Pro tip: Consider adding footrests to your bar stool for added comfort and functionality. Made from old pedals, obviously.

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Handlebar Wine Rack

You love wine. You love bikes. How best to combine these two passions? Well, one way is to use a set of old handlebars to create a stylish wine rack. Attach the handlebars to a wooden board or directly to the wall, and use the space between the bars to hold wine bottles horizontally.

Transform a set of old handlebars into a stylish and practical wine rack with this method.

Materials:

  • Old bike handlebars
  • Wooden board (approximately 2-3 feet long)
  • Screws and wall anchors
  • Drill and screwdriver

Steps:

  1. Clean the handlebars, removing any rust or dirt
  2. Attach the handlebars to the wooden board using screws, ensuring they are level and secure
  3. Install wall anchors on the back of the wooden board
  4. Mount your handlebar wine rack on the wall in your desired location, ensuring it is level and secure

I once helped a friend create a handlebar wine rack for her new apartment. It became a focal point in her living room and a fantastic conversation piece during dinner parties.

Fun Fact: The world’s oldest known bottle of wine is believed to be over 1,700 years old, and it is apparently on display at the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Germany. Is it on a handlebar wine rack? I don’t know but I reckon it would be the perfect accompaniment.

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Bike Rim Table

Need somewhere to put your morning coffee and your stack of cycling magazines? How about building a chic and functional table by using bike rims as the base. Connect multiple rims with metal rods or wooden beams to create a sturdy foundation, and top it with a round glass or wooden surface.

Here’s how to construct a good-looking and useful table using wheel rims for the base.

Materials:

  • Bike rims (3-4)
  • Metal rods or wooden beams (4)
  • Round glass or wooden table surface
  • Bolts, nuts, and washers
  • Rubber pads (optional)

Steps:

  1. Clean the bike rims, removing any rust or dirt
  2. Attach the metal rods or wooden beams to the rims using bolts, nuts, and washers, creating a sturdy base. Ensure the rods or beams are equally spaced and level
  3. Place the round table surface on top of the rim base, securing it with bolts or adhesive if needed
  4. If desired, add rubber pads to the bottom of the base to protect your floors

Pro tip: If you prefer a more industrial look, consider using a metal table surface instead of glass or wood.

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Spoke Jewelry

I have a drawer full of old spokes and a few years back I’d forgotten to buy my mountain bike-mad sister a birthday present. Oops! Well, I managed to avert disaster by turning some of those old bicycle spokes into a unique bracelet for her. You can create eye-catching jewelry, such as bracelets, necklaces, or earrings. Just bend, twist, and cut spokes into stunning designs, then add beads, charms, or other decorative elements to complete your accessories.

Create high-end jewelry pieces using tired old bicycle spokes as the main material, by:

Materials:

  • Bicycle spokes
  • Pliers, wire cutter, and metal file
  • Beads, charms, or other decorative elements
  • Jewelry findings (e.g., clasps, hooks, jump rings)

Steps:

  1. Clean the spokes and remove any rust or dirt
  2. Cut and bend the spokes into your desired shapes using pliers and a wire cutter. You can create bracelets, necklaces, earrings, or other accessories
  3. File any sharp edges to ensure the jewelry is comfortable to wear
  4. Add beads, charms, or other decorative elements to your spoke creations
  5. Attach the necessary jewelry findings, such as clasps or hooks, using pliers and jump rings

Fun Fact: The earliest known jewelry dates back to the ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia around 4,000 years ago.

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Chain Key Holder

Constantly losing your keys? Me too. Try making yourself a wall-mounted key holder like this. Attach a length of bike chain to a wooden board or directly to the wall to create a practical and artistic key holder. The chain’s links are perfect for holding keys, making it an ideal addition to your entryway or garage.

The easy way to keep track of your keys – create a practical and artistic key holder by

Materials:

  • Bike chain (approximately 1-2 feet long)
  • Wooden board or wall mounting surface
  • Screws and wall anchors
  • Drill and screwdriver

Steps:

  1. Clean the bike chain and remove any rust or dirt
  2. Attach the chain to the wooden board or directly to the wall using screws, ensuring it is level and secure
  3. Hang your keys on the chain links

Pro tip: For added visual interest, consider painting the chain or the wooden board in your favorite color (possibly to match your favorite bike).

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Conclusion

We hope you’ve enjoyed exploring these creative and unusual ways to repurpose old bike parts. Not only will these projects help you declutter your space and give new life to discarded items, but they’ll also showcase your love for cycling in a unique and stylish manner. So, grab your tools, gather those dusty old components, and get creative!

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