And before we get started, we should have a demonstration of the finished effect (the video is when the bike wasn't yet covered).
I have seen many different attempts to “pimp the ride” by decorating a bicycle with LEDs. Some are better than others. I hope mine falls in on the right side of the scale.
-Programmable: this is based on an Arduino and the WS2118 Chipset. There are an endless number of possibilities that can be implemented.
-Water RESISTANT: The LEDs are covered providing a certain level of weather protection.
-Discrete: The same covering hides a lot of what is going on and from a distance, the bike looks to be unmodified.
-Expandable: Adding sensors (eg: accelerometers, Bluetooth, hall effect sensor) allow to expand the capabilities.
Step 1: Costs
The donor bike was a $30 road bike I bought for the wheelset for my girlfriends bike.
The LED strip came from Alibaba which offered a 4m strip for around $40
The Arduino clone was $11 from China on Ebay.
Covering material $17 from eBay
The saddle bag also came from eBay for $2.50
Double sided tape was around $5
All up around $120 bucks or so.