10 Ways to Pimp your (Bike) Ride
We can’t all afford to buy a brand new bike every summer, and most of us probably aren’t as skilled as the guy who made this awesome party bike (he’s from Portland — shocking!). But that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck riding around a lame bike all summer long. Here are ten easy, mostly inexpensive ways you can add some fresh style, comfort and most importantly, fun to your ride.
1. Fresh bar tape
Obviously, your bike is going to need to look cool. Replacing the bar tape or grips is probably the cheapest and easiest way to make this happen. You can find bar tape in pretty much any color you can think of, probably for less than $15. Here’s a good video tutorial on replacing the bar tape on your bike.
2. New pedals
For summer, go with some plastic bmx pedals. They’re cheap ($10 to $30), come in fun colors, and they’re big, so they work well with flip flops — perfect for biking to and from the beach.
3. Upgraded saddle
I could go on and on about the different types of bike saddles, but here’s the bottom line: get a Brooks. They are expensive (around $100), but well worth the investment. It’s like the difference between sitting on La-Z Boy and a pile of rocks.
Some of the greatest moments of my life involve biking around at 3AM, singing along to horrible Fall Out Boy songs with my friends. If you want to experience the greatness that is biking while jamming, you can buy speakers for your bike for under $30. Or follow this tutorial and make your own solar-powered milk crate bike stereo.
5. Multi-use bottle cage
Summer biking means you’ll need a bottle holder that can handle everything from a fancy water bottle, to a beer can, to a coffee cup, and everything in between. This Bontrager cage has flexible arms and will fit a better variety of shapes than your traditional metal cage. Or there’s also this one, which just holds a flask.
6. Some sun protection
Avoid unsightly farmer’s tans by buying one of these ridiculous Uber Hood bike umbrellas ($59). Or you could probably make one yourself with an old umbrella and some duct tape.
7. Racks and Baskets
It can get really hot and sweaty riding around with a backpack in the summer. That’s why you should get yourself a bike rack and/or bike basket to haul your stuff around in. You can buy a decent rack for under $25, or fashion one yourself using things around your house. Also, here’s a good video tutorial for a DIY front basket.
8. A bike camera
Take it from me and don’t attempt to Instagram while biking. Instead, get a bike camera ($75 to $100) or camera mount (under $10) to capture those moments you don’t want to forget. Or here’s a way to make a sweet bike cam yourself.
9. A unique helmet
I still remember my dad trying to convince me that wearing a helmet was “cool” by buying me one that was designed to look like a baseball cap (sorry pops, I saw right through that one!). But there are actually some really fun options out there these days. Take this DIY R2D2 helmet, for example.
10. A reliable lock
If you’re gonna spend all this time/money making your bike awesome, you need to make sure someone else doesn’t ride away with it when you’re not looking. Get a U-lock (OnGuard or Kryptonite brands are both great choices) and give yourself some peace of mind.