Let’s say you purchased a new bike and were quite pleased with it. The idea of owning a new bike excited you and you literally rode your bike almost everywhere. However, after a few months, you got really bored of it and now it’s lying somewhere in the corner of your garage. As is quite obvious, new things definitely excite a person but as they start to get old with times, you no longer seem interested with them. You might still love your bike but as it isn’t new anymore, you do not feel like riding it anymore. But, what if we tell you that you can customize your bike’s performance and look? Well, yes bike customization can be done quite easily and that too in a cost effective way.
Bike Customization: Top 21 Tips to Design Your Bicycle
Whether you are planning to take up a new exercise, are looking forward to challenging yourself by conquering new terrain or just change the look of your bike bit, there are innumerable bike customization ideas that you can adopt and spice up your ride. Listed below are a few ideas so as to get you started.
1. Revamp Your Handlebars with Some Tape
Applying coloured handlebar tape is probably one of the most inexpensive and excellent ways to change the look of your handlebars and provide them with some better grip at the same time. It would just make your bicycle feel like new all over again. You would actually be surprised as to how much of a change just a simple tape can bring to your bike.
You can Do-It-Yourself!
All you need to do is visit a shop that sells bike accessories and purchase any coloured tape that you like. (Yes, there are several colour options available that you can choose from). Now, wrap it around the handlebar till the whole surface area is covered. Just one layer of wrapping would be enough.
This way you can also easily change the tape as and when you want it. You could choose bright bar tapes or the simple ones depending upon your choice.
2. Get Creative and Spray It
Want another quirky way for bike customizations. Well just change the color of your bike! You can also change the colour of your bike if you want with the help of spray paint.
Find out how!
To begin, you would need to get started by preparing the frame.
There are two ways in which you can do that: first by cleaning and sanding the paint that’s there or second by stripping off the original paint. You would need to bring apart the frame before you get started with spray paint.
You can then cover the areas that you do not want to be painted with masking tape. Monochrome is perhaps the most popular options but you can, of course, get creative and paint your bicycle just as you like it.
Just remember not to get too crazy and paint the entire bike. That would appear a bit too much.
Just paint a few components here and there and your bike would appear absolutely new. Make a pattern with the masking tape and then spray over it with a different colour or try a two colour ombre fade.
3. Add Colourful Components
When it comes to bike customizations, a bit of colour here and there can definitely spice up your bike. You can do so by adding a few colourful components like pedals, cranks, stems etc. There are a lot of companies out there that manufacture a huge range of kit in different vibrant colours like blue, purple, green, orange etc.
4. Multi Coloured Spokes
The bikes usually come with black or silver spokes which can seem boring after some time.
Well, you can change that by getting multicoloured spokes.
If you are someone who doesn’t want to paint the bike, you can simply change the spokes with bright and colourful ones. These give your bikes the much-needed colour and look amazingly good. You could even use paint chips.
5. Design Your Own Vinyl Decals
If you are one of those creative souls, you could go ahead and design your own vinyl decals.
Decals are perhaps the simplest and greatest ways to add some interest to your bike. Most of the companies these days do offer this bike customization option where you would get the chance to design shapes, patterns, and styles just as you like it and get them oriented out.
This design, you can stick on your bike and your bike would appear completely new. You could get the name of your favourite brand or your own name or maybe design something that represents your hobbies or just anything that you like.
6. Freestyle with Paint Pens and Brushes
This is for artists!
If you are someone who is really good with art and possess the skills to replicate your vision, you could paint your bike freehand by directly painting onto the frame.
The first step would be to sketch the design on a piece of paper. You can then trace this design on the frame. This can be done once you have prepared the bicycle for painting. These would ensure that the paint doesn’t go anywhere else where you don’t want. Once you are done with the painting, you would need to top it off with a coat of lacquer. This is essential so as to keep the design intact.
Fine tipped pens or fine paint brushes must be used as they work the best.
7. Fun Stem Caps
Yes you can add innovation to the stem cap too!
When it comes to bike customization, changing a simple stem cap can make a huge difference. Of course, this change won’t be much noticeable, but you do look at your bike’s stem quite often. Get an unusual patterned stem cap and bring a change to your everyday view.
There are various kinds of stem caps available these days that have pictures of mountains, skulls, meaningful and motivational slogans and much more. If you use it for fitness purpose, you could even get one that has a clock fitted on it.
And also, the headset cap comes in a variety of sizes and the easiest way to figure out what cap size is perfect for your bicycle is to refer to the manual that came with the bicycle. The installation is pretty simple and you can easily screw and unscrew the cap whenever you want to.
8. Brightly Coloured Grips and Hoods
Life doesn’t have to be monotonous with those boring plain black handlebars, grips and hoods.
Of course, black is one of those most practical colours out there but duh we are talking about bright and fun colours.
These days it is possible to get grips, hood covers and bar tapes of literally any colour that you want. The installation is pretty simple and you would be able to do it within a matter of few minutes. The great thing about these is the fact that you can get them in various colours and then change them as and when you want it.
9. Paint the Bike Bell
When you are thinking about bike customization, you could consider painting the bell.
Just paint anything that you like. It could be some kind of cartoon, some fruit or some very artistic design. See this as an opportunity to exhibit your creativity and paint something truly amazing. Top it off with a coat of lacquer so as to ensure that the paint stays in place.
You could even use masking tape and cover a few areas and then paint the rest. After you are done, take off the masking tape and you would be left with a beautiful patterned design.
10. Attach a Flower Basket
Flower baskets are fun to make and look pretty when attached to the front of a bicycle. To make a flower basket, you would need colourful plastic flowers, a basket of your choice, glue, and scissors. The kind of basket that you choose to make would completely be dependent on your personal taste.
Some people like to stick the flowers just on the brim of the basket and towards the outside while some like the basket to be completely filled with flowers for that vintage kind of look.
To make the basket completely filled with flowers, you would need to stuff a few things inside (Cotton would be fine) and then start placing a lot of flowers in the basket.
11. DIY - A Bike Basket to Store Things
You could simply purchase a basket and attach it to the front of the bicycle. It could be a wicker basket which you can customize a bit. The other option is to DIY a basket with the help of wood pieces. Making it would be more fun if you are into craft. Or, you could get a wooden crate that has a considerable height. These can give your cycle a completely different look. Paint the crate with subtle colours if you wish.
You could place the basket in front or attach it at the back.
Other than the basket that can be used as storage, there are various other things that you can create.
The easiest one would be to attach a bag below the seat to store a few items. The other one would be to take a take a reel of thick and wide rope and tie it around the part that connects the seat with the handle. Tie it in such a way that it can hold a few big things.
12. Bike Customization - Graffiti for your Bike
Talking about bike customization, graffiti is sure a fun and cool way to give your bike a completely different look. All you would need to do is grab some paint markers and get creative. Use bright colour paint markers to make your design stand out or stick with monochrome. The choice is completely yours.
13. Light Up your Bike with LED Lights
Battery LED lights are the perfect option to light up your bicycle during the festive season.
These look really cool, especially in the evening or night. You could keep it simple and use it just on the wheels. With the battery operated system, you can keep the light off during the day time and light it up during the evening or night time. However, you can still check the best bike lights of 2017 and add these to your bike.
14. Make a Night Bike
Do you wish to have a bike that glows?
Well, now you make one yourself with the help of phosphorescent paint. The glow in the dark paint is also an option but the results are much better with phosphorescent paint.
Want to learn how to glow your bike?
Disassemble the parts of the bike, tape the part you do not want to be painted, coat it with a layer of primer (let it dry for about 24 hours), top it off with a layer of white spray paint and let it dry. Now, take your phosphorescent paint and very patiently start painting so that there are no uneven coats. Let it dry for about 72 hours and apply a clear protecting coat.
You need to remember that this paint is only going to work when it is exposed to some energy source like the sun, regular lights or the backlight. So, make sure to charge it up or you won’t be able to see it glowing in the dark.
15. Change your Bicycle’s Saddle
These days, there are a lot of different kinds of saddles that can make your bicycle look great and improve the comfort factor. You can even get the design customized just the way you want it. Apart from the design, changing the cushioning and material is also a good idea.
There are two kinds of cushioning that you can choose from: foam cushioning and gel cushioning.
- Foam cushioning works best for people who love to go on long rides and for those who weight over 200 lbs. This is because, it offers support to your lower back and is rather comfortable.
- Gel cushioning on the other hand, can adapt to your body and offer great support if you like riding casually.
Leather saddles are also a popular option. They are very durable and can keep you cool when you are on a long ride. These are in fact one of the most popular choices of the people who love to ride a lot. Find out at what height your saddle should be here
16. Crochet a Bike Seat Cover
Colourful crocheted bicycle seat cover is a wonderful bike customization option. This can make such a huge difference o the overall appearance of your bike. If you are not so much into colours, you could just keep it simple and use subtle colours. If you aren’t too good with crocheting, you could try your hand at knitting or just sewing up a piece of patterned cloth that you really like. It’s honestly all about creativity and what your preference is.
17. Make some Bike Streamers
Yes, you must have seen these on kid’s bicycles. But don’t they look absolutely great.
As you pedal ahead, they blow with the wind and make the whole experience even more exciting. All you need is a few ribbons and strings of different colours, a toothpick, tape, and glue. You would need to cut the ribbons to an appropriate length and then tape it nicely and securely to one end of the toothpick.
Once that is done, insert this toothpick to your bike grip (usually most of them holes. In case, it doesn’t have it, you can get a new grip and create small hole yourself). Make sure that it has been inserted properly. If you feel that they are loose, use some adhesive near the hole so that it seals with the ribbon hanging out of it. Make sure that the ribbons are high above and in no situation would get caught up in the spokes of the wheel.
18. Add a Bottle or Cup Holder
Cycling does make you thirsty but then where would you keep the bottle if you do not have a water bottle holder?
These days you can easily get a water bottle and cup holder for bicycles online at rather affordable rates. All, you need to do is attach it wherever you feel it would be most convenient which is mostly on the stem of the bike or the part that connects this stem to the seat. It depends on what you feel would be perfect. You could even attach this water or cup holder to your basket if you have one.
If you are creative, you can go ahead and make a holder on your own.
19. Paste your Favourite Stickers
Let's bring on some childhood memories!
One of the easiest bike customization ideas is to simply stick some of your favourite stickers on the bike so as to brighten it up. This doesn’t require you to be too artistic and can literally be done by putting in minimum effort and time.
Some of the popular bike accessories companies manufacture beautiful sticker packs ranging from flowers to motivational quotes. The kind of stickers that you purchase totally depend on your personal choice. Just don’t go over-the-top with the stickers or it might seem like something from a cartoon show.
20. Get New Handlebars
Changing the handlebars is also an excellent customization option. However, the kind of handle that you choose must not change the performance of the bike too much. There are a few kinds of handlebars available that you can choose from:
- Flat Handlebars: These are undoubtedly the most popular kind of handlebars. They are rather simple and light kind of handlebars that offer great control over the bike. However, these aren’t ideal for those who love to do tricks on their bikes.
- Bullhorn Handlebars: They are wonderful for climbing and high speeds but do not work well when it comes to turning. Just as the name suggests, they are exactly like a bull’s horn. These curve up and seem to come forward from the centre.
- Riser Bars: These are quite similar to flat handlebars and offer similar kind of control. They are usually a bit wider than the flat bars. They are considered to be very good for your wrists but they can make your bike less aerodynamic and hence slow it down.
- Drop Bars: These kinds of handlebars have a perfectly straight middle section wherein both of the ends seem to drop downwards and curves in towards the rider. They are great for those casual rides but aren’t recommended if you need to take turns frequently.
21. Innovative Bike Customization - Build a Bike Yourself
This is for the people who really feel that they are creative and can take up the challenge of building a bike. You would need to select an appropriate frame, tires, and seat and put everything together.
The key to bike customization is being creative!
At first, it might seem difficult and you won’t know as to where to start from but once you get the hold of it, you would be able to come up with own innovative ideas. Go on Pinterest to find some wonderful ideas and that would surely help. Just make sure that you don’t do anything too extreme which cannot be changed. Make permanent changes only if you feel that you are ready to live with it forever. Find out the essential gears and accessories for your bike and get into the fun filled ride!