Introduction: Bike Tire and Gear Belt

Picture of Bike Tire and Gear Belt

I made a custom belt out of old bike parts. My idea was to use 2 bike gears for the clasp, which works well and looks great. The downside is I needed a welder, grinding wheel and leather punch for the project. I'd love to hear ideas on how to make something similar with less tools!

This article is brought to you by MonkeyLectric and the Monkey Light bike light

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need


- 1 old road bike or cyclocross tire. MTB tires are too wide.
- assorted old bike gears. a rear cluster can work. i used a 17T single-speed gear and a 13T gear from a rear cluster.
- 1/4" steel bolt, 3" long.


MIG welder
grinding wheel
leather punch
contact cement
cable cutter

Step 2: Clip the Bead on the Tire

Picture of Clip the Bead on the Tire

a steel-bead tire will require a cable cutter to get through. Folding tires are much easier.

Step 3: Cut Tire to Width

Picture of Cut Tire to Width

a scissor works fine. you probably will want to cut off most of the sidewall. measure against your belt loops to make sure it will fit!

Step 4: Remove Gear Cluster From Rear Wheel

Picture of Remove Gear Cluster From Rear Wheel

There is a special socket tool for this which you can get at any bike shop for about $10. It's nearly impossible to get the cluster off without the special tool. Once you have the tool you just unscrew the end of the cluster and it slides off.

Step 5: Take Apart Rear Gear Cluster

Picture of Take Apart Rear Gear Cluster

Now separate all the gears in the cluster from each other. expensive clusters can be un-screwed. cheap ones are riveted and you need a grinding wheel to get it apart (see photos).

Step 6: Choose Your Gears

Picture of Choose Your Gears

Now lets look a bit closer at our gear assortment. You need a smaller gear that will fit through:

(1) the opening in the bigger gear
(2) your belt loops

You also don't want the bigger gear to be too big or it is going to gouge you when you bend over. ouch!

None of the little gears was really quite small enough, so i'm going to grind it down in the next step.

I ended up using a 17T gear from a single-speed bike and a 13T gear from the rear cluster.

Step 7: Attach Tire to Big Gear

Picture of Attach Tire to Big Gear

Just fold the tire over around the big gear as shown. I used contact cement to glue the tire to itself. You can see I also punched some holes in just in case I needed to rivet it together, but so far its holding.

Step 8: Cut Tire to Length

put the gear and belt around your waist. cut the belt about 6" longer than where it meets.

Step 9: Weld Crossbar Onto Small Gear

Picture of Weld Crossbar Onto Small Gear

I made a crossbar out of a 1/4" bolt.

- cut the ends off the bolt until it is the right length.

- clamp onto the gear

- weld the ends onto the gear

Step 10: Grind Clasp to Size

Picture of Grind Clasp to Size

Now take a grinding wheel to your new clasp.

Grind off the sides until it fits through your belt loops, and fits through the hole in the bigger gear.

Also clean up the welds while you are at it.

Step 11: Put Clasp Onto Belt

Picture of Put Clasp Onto Belt

just feed the tire through the clasp.

I punched holes in the tire every 1" using a leather punch. You can fold over the end of the tire and strap it into a loop by feeding wire through the holes. This will prevent the belt changing length. The belt will be sized for you, but you could change the length without too much trouble if needed.

After I did that though, I discovered that my tire made a snug fit, and the clasp doesn't slide at all even with no loop and attachment. So depending on the details you may not need to bother with the hole punching.

Step 12: Check Fit

Picture of Check Fit

Now put the belt on. Practice engaging and dis-engaging the clasp so you'll be comfortable with it in an emergency!

To dis-engage first pull the clasp away from the big gear, then tip the end through the hole in the big gear.

Step 13: Done!

Picture of Done!


matthew.byfordloggie (author)2014-08-20

really good i just got some old bike tyres and im going to have a go at doing that ;)

Agentfern (author)2012-10-14

Did you clean the gears at all?

Cpt. Caleb (author)2011-04-26

Hey, I'm doing someting like this but I have no welder, haven't found a strong enough epoxy or glue yet, and solder didn't take

I made one. it actually works.

Giesterfarher (author)2011-03-12

I'm going to try this, but without the tire. I'm going to do the belt in leather and just emboss the tire treat in by hand. The rubber on the tire will rub off onto your shirt and jeans. Nothing worse than skid marks on your pants. ;)

bobbelsekwol (author)2010-10-03

I already have a spare" tyre" around my waist, I don't need another one!!!! Just watch your sprockets when you bend down, OW! It's amazing what great "gear" you can make out of bike bits.

HellborN-HarbingeR (author)2010-09-24

Wow, it's a modern day "Cog-Piece" haha.

But seriously, undo your belt, whip it out (the BELT you filthy minded person you) and you could do some major flailing damage to a would-be mugger.

What do you want from me, I live in Johannesburg, South Africa, you have to know how to turn anything into a weapon to survive. ;)

toad (author)2010-09-21

I made something like this years ago. Works well but hurts to sit down sometimes. Especially now with all my pants shrinking.

anax22 (author)2010-09-20

nice but don't ride a car waring that or any sudden bricks will lead to a pirsed stomach and u may lose other important things........ u know

Widget83 (author)2009-10-01

I'm interested to know what type of emergency you could find yourself in to quickly remove your belt.... ~~~~ You're walking through the park and suddenly find yourself in the pants prohibited section and to avoid embarrassment, you need to quickly whip off the pants...kapow, make sure that belt is quick release!! ~~~~ Maybe also in the bedroom, for quick shenanigans.

mysss (author)Widget832010-09-19

Say you spill sulfuric acid (car battery acid) on yourself. Or high concentration bleach. Or any other of a number of extremely dangerous things. You want those pants OFF. NOW. Chemicals can either severely damage (burn) your skin or kill you. For example, a biologist (chemist? I'm not positive how the story went.) spilled a huge jug of phenol on himself. He saved his notes, but by the time he removed his clothing and I think went over to the chemical shower, it was too late. He died. But that's lab safety, not belt safety per se. Also, suppose you're caught on something. Just one more argument for carrying a fair-sized knife, in addition to knowing how to undo anything strapped to you.

BigShotUK (author)Widget832010-03-22

I take it you've never run into a bathroom at full tilt while undoing your belt on the move to avoid any delays in getting seated for... erm... a movment?

MrRodrigez (author)Widget832009-11-14


Whales (author)2010-09-19

You might be able to get away with just rounding the edges more, that was it still has the look, without the pain.

jules15 (author)2010-09-18

This has got to be painful when you bend over

SinAmos (author)2010-09-17

Sweet Make.

kimithy (author)2010-09-10

This is fantastic! I was a little pressed for time, so ended up just using my two gears like a D-ring belt. Only tools required were box cutter, 2 rivets, mallet, and leather punch. (Basically just put both rings, small on big, on one side of the belt, riveted it closed, rounded off the other end of the belt. Voila!). I'm excited to try this design though - I think it looks a bit better, and puts a lot less stress on the rivets than the D-ring design.

dan (author)kimithy2010-09-16

can you post a photo?

NostalgicStone (author)2010-09-16

Looks awesome!
I would totally hurt myself all the time wearing this thing

Allan Mankato (author)2010-05-23

I don't quite understand how the two gears come together. Further explain with more pics? or a video of how the belt works....

kimithy (author)Allan Mankato2010-09-10

The big gear is basically the "belt buckle", the little gear slides onto the belt at the other end. You then bring the two gears together, and slide the little gear inside the big one from behind the big one. The little ring stays because it's gear teeth on one side pushes into the rubber of the tire, and the other lays on the outside of the big gear. Once you grind the teeth off the top and bottom of the little gear, test this with the big one - it'll make a lot more sense when it's in front of you! Good luck :)

handy adam (author)2010-06-09

nothin a big hammer wont do

lucek (author)2010-06-01

that would hurt. ok yes if you're doing some fancy thing or other but running biking sitting down etc. the bike gears would dig into you.

pueblita (author)2010-05-24

I love it!... Incredibly creative and resourceful!

emericanskater (author)2010-04-20

 would it be possible to arc weld it?

Kryptonite (author)2009-09-27

Did you have to use a lower setting for this? My dad's got a welder so that's fine, but I don't know how the gear would stand up to heat.

MrRodrigez (author)Kryptonite2009-11-14

 or if you have the ability to, get a hold of a TIG welder, that would be my choice, just make sure to grind the galvanized plating off of the bolt though, or you could get poisoned

Kryptonite (author)MrRodrigez2009-11-16

Yeah we have a gas mask for that exact reason. I took apart a rear cluster and made an Instructable, check here:

MrRodrigez (author)Kryptonite2009-11-17

 haha yeah, i saw that when i first saw this, much better than the method here IMHO, plus, i'm using the sprockets for a double kick pedal for drums, and a few more for an EV I've been wanting to build (likely a motorcycle), so i would rather have them flawlessly disassembled :D

MrRodrigez (author)Kryptonite2009-11-14

 try running your welder at around 90 amps or so, and adjust the wirefeed to whatever you can handle, i weld some pretty thin steel at about 60 amps, so 90 should be just fine

Kryptonite (author)2009-09-27

With the rivets; I always drill them out but I must try the angle grinder option, thanks.

dan (author)Kryptonite2009-09-27

angle grinder is very easy

Kryptonite (author)dan2009-11-01

Found a rear cluster in a dumpster behind my local bicycle store and dissected it today! I plan to make an Instructable on how to take a rear cluster apart, and I remembered this Instructable at the last moment so I thought I'd check back.

alexanderichartill (author)2009-10-28

 simple genius

madwilliamflint (author)2009-09-20

Pretty slick. Isn't that going to scuff up any pants you wear it with?

dan (author)madwilliamflint2009-09-20

if scuffing your pants is something you worry about, you're probably on the wrong website :)

madwilliamflint (author)dan2009-09-20

Well no, it just strikes me that that rubber material is going to mar everything it comes into contact with as long as there is a token amount of friction. Clever 'able and the buckle's awesome. But if it ruins every pair of pants you wear it with...

dan (author)madwilliamflint2009-09-20

it doesn't make any marks.

madwilliamflint (author)dan2009-09-20

Excellent! Now if I can only get welding gear in my 5th floor Brooklyn apartment... ;-)

Just being silly, not serious, but as someone who has lived in NYC.... a jumper cable grounded out off of the 3rd rail from your closest subway station might work for welding the bolt n' gear.

yanggers (author)madwilliamflint2009-10-10

Search with the terms microwave and welder.  You will be mesmerized! :)

madwilliamflint (author)yanggers2009-10-10

holy crap.  Oh this is gonna be dangerous.

CamWaite (author)dan2009-09-20

he he he so true

SKPhoto (author)2009-09-26

I think for this part you may be able to use a couple of spokes instead and possibly braze them instead of welding. I'll build a belt and let you know how it works.

geekdude (author)2009-09-21

does it poke you in the stomach when you sit down?

yes, i made something similiar, except i started with a regular belt from goodwill and i added a black iron sprocket from Farm and Home supply. It left marks in my stomach so i had to cut off the top 2 teeth.

dan (author)MechEngineerMike2009-09-24

mine has not poked me at all, even doing some yoga stretching. i don't have a gut though. i guess it depends on the size of the gear you use also.

bart.p (author)2009-09-24

i love the look of this belt! great project to add to my bike chain bracelet and keychain! lol "check if you can take it off in case of emergency..."

shortone (author)2009-09-24

This is really imaginative! I do have one question, however: do the spikes on the belt ever get in the way and poke your stomach when you bend over or anything?

dugthegreat (author)2009-09-24

Dude; this is great.! This is truly a genius at work!

About This Instructable




Bio: Dan Goldwater is a co-founder of Instructables. Currently he operates MonkeyLectric where he develops revolutionary bike lighting products.
More by dan:Giant Xylophone made from Bed SlatsEasy Mothers Day Fudge (with small child)Mosaic Tile Pixel Art Car
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