Step 1: Prototype
I decided to add a strip of polished aluminum behind the tubes to act as a reflector, directing more light downward, and to help reinforce the acrylic tubes. In addition it would mean the straps would not go over the tubes but under, alleviating the source of bending, and not obscuring the light.I'd also want a better battery pack, as six pounds of lead is hardly noticed on already heavy tallbike, but not really welcome on nice lightweight bikes.
Step 2: Materials
2. 12v Battery, i improvised a AA holder out of sprinkler pipe, and used NiMH cells. Any old 12 or 14 volt battery pack will do, the tubes draw about 0.6 amps, so 2 amp-hour should be plenty. you should be able to put something together for $20
3. Aluminum bar, 5/8"x1/8"x2', To reflect more light downward, as well as reinforce the tubes, i had this already, but it's only about $3 at home depot
4. Foam, to pad the back of the tubes
5. Velcro straps, I used RipWrap cable straps i found at Fry's
I utilized some things i had laying around, and spent about $20 but even if you bought everything in the store, it should be about $45. It's not as slick and bombproof As the Fossil Fool's Down Low Glow, but it's cheap and effective.
Step 3: Reflectors
On the tubes, which have square end caps, i touched one face of each end with a drum sander, leaving the acrylic very rough, and taking the material down almost flush with the tube.
Then I just glued the tubes to the reflectors with some thirty minute epoxy, putting a dab in the center to back up the tube.
Step 4: Padding
Step 5: Velcro
I used thins RipWrap stuff i found at Fry's, $6 for 45 straps, comes on a roll, just tear them off as needed. any old velcro straps will do, or zip ties.
Step 6: More Velcro
Took about five minutes to velcro everything on, now to test it.
Step 7: Galvanick Lucipher
I think the blue is the coolest color, but i think green is the brightest cold cathode. White may be bighter, but wouldn't be as eye-catching. Whatever color you use it looks awesome. Combined with a mutant bicycle it makes for a street level UFO.
I took the fixie for a ride, and while the reaction wasn't as strong as with the tallbike, it definitely turns heads. The feeling of ridng on a carpet of light is pretty cool too.
Step 8: Further thoughts
1) put the CCFL tubes in bigger acrylic tubes like these
2) resolder up the tubes to some wire
3) put the battery and inverter in the peanut butter jar bottle pack like fungus amungus did.
I'm ordering the acrylic tubing, when i rebuild it, i'll post up a new instructable.