Picture of Bicycle Light Steampunk Style
Don't be too harsh on me, this is my first instructable! YAY Instructable.

This is a project I completed a little over a year ago, I wanted to redo my Schwinn World Tourist mainly to get rid of a little bit of surface rust, but decided it need an updated, or rather dated, look.

My apologies as I don't have pics of each individual step, because well, I didn't know I would be writing an instructable on it.

This was a little contest, my girlfriend stated that I never finish any project that I start, so we set a date and the bike had to be finished by then. I will explain in a little detail what all i did to the bike here as this instructable is about the light fixtures I put on it.

I completely disassembled the entire bike, sanded and painted everything. For extra durability on my time consuming paint and scrollwork job, I took it to the paint shop at work (I work at a body shop) and had it clear coated in Mercedes' famous ceramic clear coat. The paint was the largest step and I used a number of different colors to achieve the patina look.

Now, the lighting system!

NamOoni19745 months ago

Ooooh, going to need to make one of these! Thanks for the instructions.

lunius4 years ago
"erotically asphyxiate myself" I see what you did there with all that extra speaker wire laying around xD
I've looked for projects like this for some time ... congratulations, it was beautiful, and is useful ^ ^ I will like so I can.
jakdedert5 years ago
Re: Age of the bike. Here's a site with a link to Schwinn serial numbers, along with their location on the bike (thinking they're on the bottom of the Bottom Bracket, but you can find that at the same site). http://www.re-cycle.com/History/Schwinn/SwnB_Serial.aspx
DdraigGoch6 years ago
Brilliant, in all the best senses! I'm almost inspired to start cycling again, it's that good. Thank you.
freek723 (author)  DdraigGoch6 years ago
Thank you kindly! I have just started cycling again decently, but riding as a pedicabber. I am working on a recumbent right now, long wheelbase lowrider, look for the instructable soon.
SureShot6 years ago
Good job, looks great. I really dig this whole steampunk thing.
freek723 (author)  SureShot6 years ago
Thanks I appreciate it, we enjoy the aesthetic part of it. We have quite a few costumes in the style which is how we got started in it. I think people like the idea of a time when things were hand made and always elegant, instead of mass produced and streamlined.
downs6 years ago
I don't get it. wouldn't lamp oil and a reflector be more steam punky?
freek723 (author)  downs6 years ago
It would indeed, but as phantom mentioned, it would be very unsafe. I have this problem with showing off... you know, standing on my seat with no hands while riding down the street. Would have been pretty painful had I wrecked with oil burning. Also, since the lantern is attached permanently, it would be problematic to refill it. I did think about though... just decided against it.
downs freek7236 years ago
perform within the means of your equipment. Nothing like a good 3rd degree burn to keep you from showing off (you realize your friends talk about you behind your back when you pull those stunts, don't you? see below for punk / crash-burn correlation. I assume you've inspected an oil lamp. they are quite easy to fill whether or not they are permanently attached via the cap located on the reservoir. also, nothing more steam punk than bailing wire. (yes they still sell it, even at home depot.) finally you all do realize that a dynamo instead of a battery would have fully qualified this project as steam punk, not just "steam punk style", right?
freek723 (author)  downs6 years ago
Personally I think the copper wire is more aesthetically pleasing than bailing wire. And under normal circumstances, yes the lamp would be fairly easy easy to fill through the reservoir cap, had the cap not been placed on the back side butting up against the fork. And as for the dynamo, another great idea, I did this however on a tight budget and tight time, with things i found throughout my garage, thus the wording "steampunk style." When you build one up let me know, as I would like to see what you incorporate into it.
downs freek7236 years ago
Sounds like a design flaw. Function before fashion I say. My light consists of two 15 watt 12v fog lights from autozone a toggle switch and a 20amphour 12volt gel cell battery. Not cute or stylish by any means but it got the drunken bums off the dark river trail bike path I used to commute to work; they figured I was a car which was the effect I wanted.

Here's a instructable from someone with no fear of fire. He too went for function before fashion:

I may be wrong, but I believe the whole intent of steampunk is kinda the other way around.. Fashion before function?
freek723 (author)  downs6 years ago
Feel free then to write an instructable on the subject, as far as I'm concerned the light does what I needed it to do, with things found lying around. And on a side note, I am costumer by trade, and we always go for fashion over function (depending on the idea of course). What use is something if it doesn't look good? For now, if you please, stop highjacking my comments and say what needs to be said in one comment or in a private message to me. You claim my instructable and overall concept is lacking, but yet you have no write ups of your own. Be constructive, or say nothing at all. Like I mentioned I built it over a year ago with all supplies on hand... to me that is the true nature of a maker and McGyver, not specifically purchasing things for the sake of a project (although I do projects of both sorts)
It would be, but it would also be unsafe. If he crashed with an oil lamp, he can catch on fire.
tell me, what's not punk about crashing and burning ? it's a sell out to modern tech.
Calorie6 years ago
Keep up the practice. I think the lantern idea has a lot of potential. There's an instructable on how to paint a bike that is excellent. You might get some good ideas on how to make your ride look sharper. It's an old bike, and a bit of mineral spirits will do wonders to remove any paint and allow you to try something new. Good Luck!
freek723 (author)  Calorie6 years ago
I actually repainted the whole thing already, it used to be baby blue. The gold/silver/copper/brass mixture you see is a new paint job. I wanted something old looking, so I used quite a few colors... All the mottling and flaws you see are intentional (okay some of them not so much but eh, they work). And speaking of old bike I would gladly welcome anyone who could tell me the original age of this thing. It's a Schwinn World Tourist internal 3 speed.
mi5tergone6 years ago
Fantastic job! I've been looking online for ideas for my own steampunk bicycle. I'm glad I ran across your instructable.
static6 years ago
A carbide lantern bones, would be more steampunkish, IMO.
randomray6 years ago
Great bike .I really like the steampunk theme . Did you mean rabbit hole when you were talking about the boomboxes ? I also remember the bigger the boombox the better it was .Now the smaller the electronic equipment the cooler it is .
freek723 (author)  randomray6 years ago
I didn't mean to, but now I feel as if it was an integral part of the write up. True that, if you had a boombox bigger than your head, you were decent. A boombox bigger than your torso? Welcome to lady land... at least thats what we thought.
gmoon6 years ago
Great paint job!
freek723 (author)  gmoon6 years ago
Thank you, I worked very hard on it. see the comment above to see what I used!
Phoghat6 years ago
What color did you use to paint the bike?
freek723 (author)  Phoghat6 years ago
I used a variety of colors, none of which I can name exactly off the top of my head. All were rattle can, but I believe what made the paint pop so well was the use of black automotive primer underneath. I used about six different variations of gold, copper, and brass, black, and green including a strictly gold flake. I have been playing with the mixing combos of these for a while to get a decent mottled look to the paint, thus making it look aged. It takes some practice, but is totally plausible to recreate what I have done here. The ceramic clear coat also reacted with the flake in the paint to mottle it a little more, which was not my intention but produced a great effect.
rdholtz6 years ago
Terrific first Instructable, and a terrific read even for those who don't build a lighting system. Parenthetical expressions are fine (there's no such thing as too many); even semicolons are cool -- and so are hyphens. I love ellipses, too . . . Write some more stuff -- you're very good. Makes me want to come play in your shop with you and help you not finish some more projects.
freek723 (author)  rdholtz6 years ago
Why thank you! I've had a little bit of formal training (had to have in order to even spell asphyxiate ;) ) as a copy editor for the local paper and editor for three years of my high school newspaper. I am disappointed there wasn't a few more steps, but the system overall was a really easy build, it was stuff I just had lying around. Future projects include a recumbent that will have more of the computer age feel. I was considering using Riley's plans for his Groundhugger X2, carbon fiber FTW!
redplanet6 years ago
Beautiful work. I'd very much like to see close-up shots of the bodywork and lantern, please. And you are fucking hilarious. I look forward to more instructables from you.
freek723 (author)  redplanet6 years ago
No problems, we just moved so let me get her out and get her all shiny (I have moved WAY closer to work and if I could get a decent morning I would actually put her to good use [is that too much to be put in a parenthesis?]). I will gladly get some more pics and let you know when I have some up.
hahaha...way cool...though maybe u could hide some highpowered leds in the front
freek723 (author)  HeWantsRevenge6 years ago
I had considered the possibility and even had a nice little 9 light setup, but it was too white for me. Remember I am not so much trying to see the road, as I live in the suburbs and streetlamps do well enough for lighting. I want to make sure cars see me. I enjoy the cheapo flashlight as it gives off a yellow-amberish glow, akin to an actual lantern. At first I had mounted it up to look like a flame, but decided that wasn't effective enough.
KentsOkay6 years ago
Awesome! Love the styling.
freek723 (author)  KentsOkay6 years ago
Why thank you! I take pride in my want of old and nearly impossible to get and afford things, so the style seems to get integrated into all the things I do. Whether it be costumes, electronics, my wheeled companions.
PKM6 years ago
Well, you seem to have got the "make your writing entertaining for others to read" bit fairly well. I use too many ellipses as well, and hyphens when I really ought to use semicolons. Semicolons just look too formal, y'know? Anyway, enough of that- I'd love to build one of these if it wasn't going to be instantly stolen by scallies and used to set someone's car on fire. Great first Instructable!