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!
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Step 1: 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.
Step 2: 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.