I have a brand new reason to love bicycles–other than green, heart healthy transportation and tons of fun on a sunny day–bicycles have beautiful gears that are perfect for steampunking! Mine were given to me by a friend who works in Tom’s Bicycles here in Tulsa (thank you Casey!).
For other steampunkers out there–be warned that bike gears are incredibly tough to clean. It will take you a couple of washes and a ton of elbow grease. I would recommend using a brillo pad saturated with Dawn (or any grease cutting soap of your choice). Despite the hours (and believe me you will be at it for an hour or two) of cleaning, used & worn bike gears are ideal steampunk material because the rough edges have already been worn down from riding and are no longer sharp.
Another great thing about bike gears (those from cassettes, that is) are their many holes. So while you will spend a great deal of time cleaning them, you do not have to file or drill at all! This is even more perfect for beginner steampunkers who have not built up an arsenal of tools or for those who are steampunking on a budget. Without further ado, here are my bicycle creations!
Steampunk Cyclist-Poet’s Necklace: Made with various chains, a pen nib, metal filigree, and clock cogs & gears.Asymmetrical Steampunk Cyclist’s Necklace: Made with key, various chains, and metal filigree.Steampunk Brake Pad Earrings: Made with bicycle brake pad parts, chain, and washers.Steampunk Cyclist’s Key Chain: Made with key, various chain, and clock gears.Steampunk Brake Pad Necklaces: (Left) Made with brake pad, chain, washers, and grandfather clock gear; (Right) Made with chain, brake pad, washer, and lock washer.
Hope this inspires you to upcycle!