Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How to install Christmas lights on bicycle wheels

Start by purchasing lights that use AA batteries. The battery pack is smaller and my experience has been they last longer than the cheaper lights that use C batteries.
The wheels in this example have 36 spokes, so my purchase of light strings of 18 worked perfectly. Check the # of spokes on your wheels and find the right string of lights. Don't worry if it is 1 or 2 more, you can work with that. The purpose of this tutorial is to show how to mount the lights and battery pack.
Materials needed:
  • Electrical tape
  • Knife or something to cut the tape
  • Some cool music
  • A bike
  • A refreshing beverage (Optional)

First, using the valve stem as a starting point, mount the battery pack inside the wheel close to the hub. Be sure to mount the switch on the outside or top for easy accessability.

Next, cut enough pieces of tape (about 1 1/2" long) and put them where you can easily reach them.

Ok, now comes the tedious part...make sure you have your music going, the kids out of the way, and maybe a cold beverage nearby. Start at the spoke directly left of the valve stem, and closest to you. The lights will need to be mounted each spoke on the same side of the rim to be evenly spaced. Position the light close to the spoke nipple and tape it down. Remember, you will be removing this later, so don't use too much tape. I positioned each light to the left of each spoke for uniformity and so they can be seen from either side of the bike.

Perfect mount

If you have 1 or 2 extra lights, space them evenly on the spokes in between the ones you just finished.

Next, wrap the loose cord from the battery pack around a spoke, and tape securely. Your wheel should spin freely with no loose ends hitting any part of the fork or brakes.


The finished product. Now you can finish it with garland, lights around the handlebars around the top tube, etc.

Looks cooler at night...especially with the wheels turning.