Bike Tire and Gear Belt




About: Dan Goldwater is a co-founder of Instructables. Currently he operates MonkeyLectric where he develops revolutionary bike lighting products.

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

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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.


MIG welder
grinding wheel
leather punch
contact cement
cable cutter

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.

Step 13: Done!

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    64 Discussions

    Cpt. Caleb

    8 years ago on Step 9

    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

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Step 13

    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. ;)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    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. ;)


    9 years ago on Introduction

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


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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


    10 years ago on Step 12

    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.

    3 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 12

    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.


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 12

    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?


    9 years ago on Introduction

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


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1 reply

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

    Allan Mankato

    9 years ago on Step 13

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