Bikes are a green way to travel, so what better way to make bike inspired art than by using recycled bike parts?  I stopped by Thick Bikes and they were welcoming and willing to send me home with a greasy bag full of used cassettes and fly wheels.  If you’re in Pittsburgh and in need of bike parts you can find Thick Bikes in the South Side, or find another local shop to raid their recycling bin.

Before doing anything with the gears, they needed a good cleaning.  The bike shop recommended a degreaser, an orange type that you get from the hardware store.  In my DIY nature (and desire to get these clean now and not after a trip to the store) I found a recipe online for a degreaser made from things I already had in the house.  This formula and a lot of scrubbing got most of the grease off.

Degreaser formula:

  • 5% Blue Dawn (the original type, not the kind with lotion in it)
  • 50% Rubbing Alcohol
  • 5% Baking Soda
  • 40% Water

I’ve painted a couple of the gears with the intention to make a bike cassette into a clock.  However, I couldn’t find a clock movement with a long enough rod, so if you know how to take a bike cassette apart, let me know!  My project will wait patiently until then, or until I am inspired with another use for these beauties.

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