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How To Make Your Bike Glow-In-The-Dark, For Safer Night Riding
By Anthea Quay, 09 Feb 2012
After too many close calls while cycling on the road at night—and inspiration from a Blackberry commercial—Instructables user Adobi created a bike for safer night riding.
In the detailed tutorial ‘Night Bike’, Adobi instructs viewers on how to make their bikes glow-in-the-dark, so that they can be more-easily seen by drivers at night.
To do it yourself, you would need: a bike (preferably a fixed-gear bike, or ‘fixie’, as it has less parts and is much easier to paint), bike assembly/disassembly tools, a Y Allen wrench, nylon string, masking tape, paint brush, spray paint primer (2 bottles), spray paint white flat (3 bottles), phosphorescent paint (4 ounces for frame, 4 ounces for tires), spraypaint high-gloss overcoat, and helmet.
Adobi advises to use phosphorescent paint (super glow-in-the-dark paint), as it takes a shorter time to charge up, and its glow is brighter and lasts longer—these may be purchased from websites, such as Glow Inc.
Users are recommended to disassemble their bikes—and take pictures along the way, to know how to put the bike back together—and put little pieces that make up one common part (such as the seat) in one bag.
Then, tape up all the parts that you don’t want painted, as well as the bike chain.
Tie a string (with a large loop for easy maneuvering) to every part you’d be painting—but tape up the string that is in close contact with the parts that would be painted, so that the string won’t be ‘sealed’ to the parts—and hang up the bike parts (but with a long-enough string so that the parts are low enough for you to reach).
Prime the parts with a layer of paint (doesn’t have to be a thick layer to cover the previous paint), and let it dry for 24 hours in a place with good ventilation.
Then spray paint it white—with as many light coats to make the bike really white (as that the phosphorescent paint glows better on a very white background). But with each layer, let it dry.
Use a paintbrush to apply the phosphorescent paint in even coats (uneven coats causes uneven glowing). Apply more coats for a brighter glow—but allow each layer plenty of time to dry.
After letting the last coat dry for 72 hours, apply the clear protecting coat.
Now ‘charge’ the bike’s glow by exposing the paint to bright light or black light.
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