Shift Lever Activated Retro Bike Light




Introduction: Shift Lever Activated Retro Bike Light


This summer I bought a 1975 Schwinn Varsity from a garage sale for a project bike. I took it apart, cleaned everything, replaced the handlebars, seat, cables, tubes/tires. As I was installing the front derailleur, the pinch bolt that holds the cable broke. I just left the front derailleur off and after riding it around a while, decided I wouldn't miss it. I like the look of the Schwinn twin stik shifters and thought it would be cool to get an old bullet style chrome bike light and make the unused shifter the switch for the light!

This is entered in the LED and LAMPS contest, please vote for it, thank you!

Step 1: Concept

My first idea was to use the original shifter cable attached to a lever switch inside the light. When you pull down the shifter, it pulls the cable attached to the lever switch. This would be difficult to get the cable installed properly, so I decided to move the switch outside the light right next to the shifter, and have it hit the switch.

I ended up making my own switch by running the two wires out to the shifter, then adding a small pad of conductive material on the shifter that will touch the two wires when rotated.

Step 2: The Light

I ended up getting an original light off another Schwinn bike. I opened it up and replaced the bulb with leds from a small flashlight. They are powered by two button cell batteries. I used hot glue to hold everything in place. The two wires for the switch run out the existing hole. They run through shifter cable housing for a cleaner look.

Step 3: The Switch

I ran the two cables through a piece of cable housing to the shifter. They are just long enough to reach the shifter, and the ends are striped and soldered for a little more strength. They are glued to a small piece of foam to keep them from touching each other.

The shifter is metal, so I added black gaffers tape to it to keep it from shorting out the wires. I used a small piece of aluminum foil on foam as the conductive pad that connects the wires. It is hot glued to the shifter. When the shifter is in the up position, the conductive piece does not contact the wires, when it is pulled down, the conductive piece contacts the wires and completes the circuit.

Step 4: It Works!

This is entered in the LED and LAMPS contests, please vote for it, thanks!

Lamps and Lighting Contest 2016

Participated in the
Lamps and Lighting Contest 2016

LED Contest

Participated in the
LED Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Lighting Challenge

      Lighting Challenge
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest
    • Puzzles Speed Challenge

      Puzzles Speed Challenge