Any alternative use for old mountain bike tyres and inner tube?

So my frame has a large crack near the headtube and I am replacing it. Could I use the frame in any other way? E.g.

  • give it away for recycling, get a few beers with the money
  • make vases from the tubes
  • make shot glasses from the tubes (e.g. with wooden bottoms)
  • beat people with it (!?!? one friend proposed this)

Anything more sensible? Maybe I could make some tool or stand out of the material?

  • 1
    Should be able to strip off all the parts and recycle it. It's better aluminum than cans. Otherwise some sort of art project. Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 11:18
  • 1
    @DanielRHicks R Hicks, I just checked, the local prices for scrap aluminum are about 2 beers per kilogram. And I anticipate difficulties removing the headset cups and the BB.
    – Vorac
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 11:33
  • 2
    If you're scrapping it, just hacksaw off the headset and BB.
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 11:55
  • 2
    Go to a race and use it for cheering! Bang on it with a handlebar or piece of frame and it's way better than a cowbell!
    – Aaron
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 13:56
  • 7
    "about 2 beers per kilogram" -- That'll make you wish you'd gotten a heavier frame. Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 15:11

9 Answers 9


Use as a dedicated truing stand. While not adjustable, the fork could be used for front wheels, back for rear wheels.

  • And the V-brakes fit perfectly the setup! Adjustable disengageble error measurement.
    – Vorac
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 9:42

I've been thinking about a similar question for my old bike. This google image search might give some inspiration.

More people seem to have the idea to do something with their old bike:

Though most re-use seems to focus on the parts that wear out quicker (tires, tubes, chains, sprockets, etc.)


How to build something out of a bicycle frame
A bike frame can be incorporated into many objects.
1. Have an idea. Start with "I need a [fill in the blank] around the house". Having an actual need for something helps prevent building something that ends up having no use.
Possible categories (not a complete list):
- furniture
- decoration
- signage
2. A "normal" [fill in the blank] looks like this - get ideas, Google images is wonderful.
3. I can incorporate a bike frame into [fill in the blank] by cutting it here, adding a bit of pipe here, or bending it there.
4. Sketching your idea(s) on paper will save you much pain later on.

To spark some ideas.
You could make:

A wall lamp
enter image description here

A floor lamp
enter image description here

Wall art
enter image description here

Coffee table
enter image description here

Another coffee table
enter image description here


A moderately successful lamp. I was too lazy to mount it on a wall.

enter image description here

A sling (and a projectile). Maximum range seems to be only 10 meters.

enter image description here


Do you need a bike hanging bracket, or even a wall mounted work stand? The front triangle as in the church of cycling lamp image suggests how, and old tubes could be used to give it some grip and prevent it damaging a bike hung from it.

Or how about a single wheel bike trailer?


At our local bike coop, we've welded some old bike frames together to act as a anti-burglary window grille. They were steel though.

I've used chainstays and seat stays as robust tent pegs, for staking down a plastic greenhouse. Worked well once the ends were hammered shut.

Dollarwise, recycling is your best bet for aluminium, because its $4 to $15/kilo locally depending on grade and whether you parted all the non-aluminium off.

Recently I've been trying to convince myself that I could forge a new aluminium thing from discarded metal, like this guy. Not sure its within my competency level though.


As a sort of DIYer, I think that aluminum bits can be interesting for a lot of projects.

I'd hacksaw it and extract bits and parts for my creations. For example, the stays can be turned to tool handles; other tubes cut apropiately could serve as shims.

The dropouts, specially rear ones can serve as holders for other things, like a toilet paper holder or a couple of coat hangers, key chain hangers, or as beer bottle opener.

The whole frame can be mounted on a sturdy base and convert it into a stationary bike. No need to conserve the wheels, just put an old hub in the rear and some rubber bands as resistance.

The rear triangle can be converted into a bar stool by installing a cheap but nice and big, plush saddle. Just bolt the rear of the frame to a sturdy base (A couple wood planks would do). The front triangle can be removed or install a small table where the handlebar used to be, thus serving as a workstation if comfortable enough.

As others have suggested, parts of the frame can be turned into a desk lamp, a work light holder, or a tool tray holder for your home shop.

As you see, possibilities are just too many. The whole idea is to think of it as raw material, taking advantage of any shape you can extract from it that lessens the work you'd have to do in order to achieve your desired final product.


Pity it's aluminium - I made a nice set of windchimes from an old steel frame that died, but I don't think aluminium would ring as well.


Is there anyone putting up ghost bikes where you live? They might appreciate a donation.

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