How To: USB Bike Generator that Charges Your Gadgets with Infinitely Renewable Energy...The Human Body
Modern technology has made cycling a fantastic experience - you can plan and check routes with your smartphone, and bring along tiny digital still and video cameras to catalog your experience. I use the great EveryTrail app on my iPhone to calculate routes and speed, but keeping it connected to GPS is a huge battery drain. Wouldn't it be great if you could not have to worry about killing the batteries of these guys whilst on your ride?
Turns out - you can, and power lies in your own two feet. With a little DIY muscle flexing, you can build a USB generator that's 70% efficient in converting your pedals into the energy needed for powering and charging your devices.
IKEA.com dubs its Broder system, "sturdy storage that goes anywhere."
"We needed a way to store our 2 bicycles inside. We are renting and wanted something that didn't screw into the walls or ceiling. We liked the look of the Stolman hack, but when we got to Ikea they had replaced the painted aluminum color Stolman system with a creamy off-white color that we didn't like. We went with the Broder instead and as a bonus this is a much cheaper system - the entire bike rack cost us about $20. You'll need: 1 x Broder long post (80.25" or 204cm), 1 x Broder height extension post and foot, and 2 x packages of Broder front facing brackets."
So, a total of $20 worth of IKEA goodies and some scrap dimensional lumber. Can't be that.
Like all things with moving parts, bicycles need maintained, adjusted, and repaired. But to work on something whose very job is to move foward, you've gotta get it off the road and into the air in order to assess your good work.
So, here's a collection of DIY bike stands that you can trust to get your cycle at working height, and make sure it stays there.
Agreed: there's plenty of expensive bicycling clothing out there, designed for aerodynamics and for staying out of the way while peddling. But many of us use our bikes for much more than recreation and racing...namely, from getting from one place to another. So, here are several ways to customize an existing pair of pants for maximum usefulness while cycling, but which you can still wear once you've arrived at your destination.
Two wheels are always supreme, even for sitting!
Michigan-based Bike Furniture Design creates tables, chairs, barstools, and other furniture and accessories from... you guessed it: recycled bike parts.
"Bike Furniture Design is a design and manufacturing studio specializing in contemporary, modern furniture made primarily from recycled steel and aluminum bicycle rims, handlebars, and frames.
Working within the vernacular of classic modern furniture design, BFD founder Andy Gregg has continued to refine this comfortable and durable furniture since 1990. Some designs, in addition to utilizing the bicycle, also utilize components
As more turn to bicycling for more than just recreation, city and regional planners are rethinking roadways to accomodate all those using bikes to get to work, shopping, and to each other.
The best cycling cities (see here for Bicycle mag's top fifty list - my city came in at #34, but the ManMade/Curbly HQ in Minneapolis/St. Paul scored #1) have already been implementing lots of choice options. AOL's Rented Spaces has assembled a cool list of innovative tactics, including bike lane and sharing programs, and my favorite, the bike box, cycle triggerable traffic light programs already established in Portland.
Pop quiz - do you know your standard street hand signals? They're quite easy. Left arm up for right turn, left arm straight out for left turn, and down for a stop.
And important as they are (and essential! Please use them! It's the law.), I can't help but get super excited about the next stage of signaling technology - namely, actual lights!
Instructable-maker Greg Clarke came up with a great way to make DIY bicycle panniers from backpacks that allows you to maintain the backpack's functionality... meaning you can remove the pannier and then strap it onto your back, and no one's the wiser.
Steve Bodiley had something he needed to carry with him whilst atop his velocipede, presumably another person or pet, or perhaps some groceries or supplies. And rather than taking the behind-the-bike cart option, he took a hint from the motorcycle crowd and created a side car.
The casquette - cycling cap - is styled to keep the sun out of your eyes and the rain off your face while not obstructing your vision.
While they were plenty available in the 80s, they're a bit harder to find in the U.S., and often come plastered with team names or advertisements. So, our vote, as per usual, is to make your own.
Flickr user Panda Face has created a pattern that allows you to use whatever sort of fabric you'd want.
"Here is a basic pattern for the cycling cap I made. I have a big head so pull in the seams untill it fits you, then hem the length and stich the bill on. Cut on the thick lines, sitch the thin. If you
Sometimes your bike seat is in terrible physical shape, yet still fine to sit upon. Sometimes it needs a bit more cushioning, or you may need to cover up its brandname to deter theft. Or, perhaps you simply wanna give your cycle some custom color flair.
Whatever reason, sewing a removable drawstring bike seat cover is super easy and makes a great quick project.
This project is right up the bike lane of most ManMakers: we don't have enough kitchen storage space, we love to recycle, and don't have regular access to welding-gear.
"A bike wheel and a few hardware-store odds and ends are all it takes to rescue your cookware from the dark and dusty recesses of kitchen cabinets. And who knows? Perhaps a functional, accessible, and rotating pot rack will finally bring out your inner Iron Chef (or at least encourage you to stop ordering in every other night)."
We say go for it!
Greetings, ManMakers! June 2010 is Bicycle Month on ManMadeDIY.com. We're passionate about two-wheeled transportation - both for its impact on the environment and your health, as well as the infinite number of bike crafts and hacks that one can do to totally take a DIY approach to cycling.
One of the key aspects of cycing is safety, especially when sharing roads with other vehicles. So, to kick things off, here's a great mini bike light how-to that makes everything completely from scratch. This version is housed in a hose-to-faucet adapter, and uses three LEDS powered by triple-a batteries. A rocker switch is added to the back to control on/off functions.