How can I reuse or recycle a crooked bike wheel?

Bike wheelWe’ve had an email from James:

I had a bit of a ding on my bike the other day, nothing serious but the front wheel ended up a bit crooked. I’m going to change it at the weekend but don’t know what to do with the slightly bent one. Ideas?

You could see if a bike recycling group (like re-cycle) could fix it – or if they work with youth groups, use it as a teaching aid.

Aside from that, train ivy/honeysuckle or something up it in the garden to make a themed feature?

Any other ideas?

(Photo by przybysz)

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12 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a crooked bike wheel?”

  1. Ben says:

    If the rim is only slightly bent, you can fix it, but it will never be a good wheel. If it is throughly bent, just forget about it. You can probably reuse most of the spokes, the hub, the tire and the tube though.

    You might check the instructables web site for ideas of what to do with a unusable rim. I saw one person had made a wetsuit hanger out of one.

  2. Make it into furniture like the stuff found here:

  3. If its badly bent (ie it won’t go round in the frame) you can’t do much, but some alternative uses are:

    Crayfish nets! – the rim can be used to suspend netting in to catch crayfish.
    (invasive American crayfish destroy our river biodiversity)
    If it has a dyno hub you can straighten it enough to make a wind generator by covering the spokes in tape so they look like windmill blades.

    You can also buy a second hand wheel from one of the many bike recycling projects in the UK
    see for your nearest one

  4. anon says:

    If it’s only slightly bent, you could make a pot rack out of it –

  5. neil says:

    they can be rebuilt, perhaps a new rim is required and a few replacement spokes. All the rest should be OK.

  6. Katie says:

    Clean it up and use it to dry all your socks and pants.

  7. Andy says:

    I saw this…
    Hope thats a link…
    Also you could make a fishing/bait net out of it using some fine mesh like tights..or a keep net..

  8. for another example of a pot hanger,
    you can see the photo posted here

  9. Melinda says:

    The Mother Earth News arvchives still has instructions for making a spinning wheel from a bike wheel.

  10. Street says:

    Depending on how good the spec of the wheel was you may be able to sell either the spokes or the hub on places like eBay. I had a wheel once that was damaged in a crash, I then stripped the spokes and the hub off and got a couple of pounds for it.
    Not technically recycling but got rid of some clutter. :)

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