There’s no better time to get out there and explore your city on two wheels than spring. The problem is, sometimes it’s easy for us to look at our old bikes and want more, some shiny new faux retro speedster or stripped down hipster fixie. But why throw your hard-earned cash away on some Craigslist upgrade when you could just take a weekend and make your bike exactly how you want it—and save that dough for some more wine. Giving your bike a makeover can be as simple or complex as you make it. We’ll show you where to start.
1. PAINT. The quickest and easiest way to completely change the look of your bike is with a paint job.
Step 1: Turn that phone around and let your bike take a few selfies. This will help you make sure you don’t have any leftover parts when you finish.
Step 2: Take the bike apart, making note of where each screw goes along the way, and then sand the areas you are going to paint. Tape off anything you don’t want painted (gears, bolts, etc.), and then give the bike a good wipe down with a wet cloth.
Step 3: Spray on three coats of primer (Krylon or Rustoleum are two popular and cheap choices), 10 minutes between coats. If your final color is going to be light (yellow, baby blue, etc.), make sure to use a white primer, and vice versa for dark colors.
Step 4: Spray on three coats of the final color. Don’t try to completely coat the bike with one coat or you’ll end up with globs of paint and drip marks. The thinner the coat the better; you can always do another.
Step 5: Reassemble your brand new bike!
2. ADD A RACK. Adding a rack not only spruces up your rig, it also makes you more inclined to pedal to the store, and with summer on the horizon, now’s the time to squeeze in a little extra cardio whenever you can. Once you’ve installed your new rack, consider adding a wooden basket for convenience, and because they just look awesome. Ask your local vegetable man at the farmer’s market for an empty wooden crate or scrounge around behind a wine shop and score an old wine crate.
3. NEW TIRES. Chances are if you’ve left your bike out all winter, it needs new tires, and getting fresh rubber will not only give you a smooth ride, it also makes your bike look fly. If you’re rolling on a cruiser, throw some white walls on there for a classic look, or if you’ve got a stripped down one speed, go full hipster with some loud colors.
4. LUBE YOUR CHAIN. Are you squeaking and grinding all over town? Knock the dust off that chain and let your style be the reason people look, not your chain. (Watch this video to see how.)
5. HANDLEBAR TAPE. Peel that old, nasty tape of your handlebars and slap on a nice contrasting tape to add a pop of color. (Watch this video to see how.)
6. SPOKE LIGHTS. You’re gonna need lights, so why not make a statement with your light choice, literally. These programmable spoke lights allow you to make cool geometric shapes while you ride or program them to spell out whole words or phrases.
7. LEATHER WINE HOLDER. This super cool wine bottle holder from PedalHappyDesign is stylish and functional, just like your fresh new bike!