"Decorated bike" Decorating your bike not shows your personality, standing out from the sea of plain metal on the road, but it also makes your bike less likely to be stolen. Why? Because bike thieves typically target plain, popular bikes that are easy to steal, difficult to identify, and that do not draw attention. Whether you want to protect your two-wheeled home or are just looking to give your bike a little spruce, check out our ideas below to help you reinvent your wheels.

  • Paint job: One of the most simple ways to change up the look of your bike is to paint it a new color. Head to the store, pick out your favorite spray paint colors, and you’re good to go. You will need to take your bike apart to reach every section of the frame and to achieve an even, layered look. Take the extra step and keep thieves at bay by combining different colors for a melted, tie-dye look. Visit instructables.com to get started.
  • Make your wheels the focus: Without altering any other part of your bike, you can use your wheels to stand out. The spokes found on wheels are perfect for decorating—with straws, with paint chips, and with pipe cleaners!
  • Light up your bike . . . : Few things could make your bike stand out more than decorating the entire body with lights! LED tube lights add obvious personality to your ride, and they increase nighttime safety by making you completely visible to motorists and pedestrians. Check out websites like Glow Candy Bike Lights and Flickr for inspiration. Visit designtaxi.com for instructions on how to make a painted, glow-in-the-dark version.
  • . . . And Your Helmet Too: Adding neon lights to your helmet is another way to help you stand out in traffic and avoid being hit. With a lit-up bike and helmet to match, thieves won’t even think of coming near you.
  • Add a soundtrack to your ride: We advise never biking with headphones in, as they cut you off from the rest of the world and make traffic changes and emergency vehicles much more difficult to hear. Instead, opt for a portable bike speaker that lets you play all your music from the safety of your wattle bottle holder! Click here to learn more about the innovative “boomBOTTLE.”
  • Leave a trail of color behind you: While this option may be more realistic for your young kids, there is no doubt that the Chalktrail would help you stand out on the roads. An attachment is connected to the back of your bike, dragging a piece of chalk along behind it. Every time you move your bike, you leave behind a colorful trail.
  • Spruce up your handlebars: Adding colorful grip rings to your handlebars is another great way to give your bike personality and also increase your safety as a rider. Check out this Kickstarter page for an example design.

Photo Courtesy of Takuma Kimura and Creative Commons