Usually, when we think of someone repurposing old bikes, they’re cleaning them up, plus a bit of lube and adjusting, and getting them back on the road. What Velo Bling does with used bicycles is quite different though. This Colorado-based company utilizes used parts (and some new ones) to create fascinating bits of cycling art in the form of jewelry, home decor, and even Christmas ornaments. Everything gets a thorough but environmentally sound cleaning before being transformed from a bike shop cast-off into something new. While there are dozens of items for men and women, one of my favorites is the chain link cufflinks. And their description is awesome: “For the man who has everything, except bike chain cufflinks.” You’ll also find bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and more, all made from bicycle parts. A couple of other items that caught my eye are the clock built from a hub and cassette, as well as the ornaments made from cogs. If nothing else, I suggest a visit just to check out the creative ways they have come up with to keep parts out of landfills. velobling.com
If you absolutely cannot take things too seriously, I suggest you consider shopping at cowbells.com. They are your source for all things cowbell. Show off your good taste with a handmade bell from Moen Bells of Norway, or go super classy with a silver cowbell charm on an Italian box-link chain. Support cancer research by purchasing pink cowbells. Hosting an event? Get yourself some custom imprinted cowbells. Of course, one of their big sellers is the More Cowbell cowbell, made popular during a classic Saturday Night Live skit. (I suggest the matching shirt too, if you spend time in cowbell-inappropriate places like a library or funeral home) If you’re a cyclist, get a bell for trail riding, to warn hikers. Or better yet, check out their jersey with the “Be Herd! Cowbell.com No Bull.” imprint. Fun stuff. I find the cowbells.com site very moooving.
Rydesafe makes some really fun reflective tape that not only dresses up your ride, but can improve night-time safety. Put some on your wheels and chain for a distinctive look after dark. Modular kits are available in a variety of colors to dress up your bike, plus they have several kits for kids, including nautical themes, butterflies, flowers, and even outer space. Pricing is very reasonable, making them an inexpensive way to have some fun in the dark. rydesafe.com
Fiks: Reflective makes a similar product, but take a different approach. Their wheel stripe kits are available in eight colors, and although not as whimsical as some of the Rydesafe options, they look equally cool at night. Fiks also offers reflective clothing, and based on what I’ve read on their website, fiksreflective.co, we can expect to see more reflective products in the future.
All of these products make great gifts for cyclists. They’re fun, not too expensive, and each serves a purpose (although not necessarily a totally serious one) in one way or another. Equally important, they’re all small businesses created by cycling entrepeneurs.