Bicycles are responsible for a tiny fraction of transport waste, and people who ride bicycles are renowned hoarders.But most small-wheeled bike commuters will have thrown away a few worn, but otherwise intact wheel rims over the years.They may not be safe to ride on, but there’s no need to throw them away!
Meet the 347mm barbecue griddle.Take one old Brompton front wheel and strip it right down, removing the axle and bearings (you’re bound to find a use for these). Study the spokes: if pre-February 2000, they will be galvanised steel, so you’ll need to fit newer stainless spokes (around £11 per set). Stainless steel spokes will need no more than a thorough clean.
Take the old axle, cut out the centre section and reassemble the two end caps back to back, then re-thread the old spokes to build a two-dimensional wheel, using the new or recycled stainless spokes.You’ll probably need to put spacers (we used 5mm nuts) under the spoke nipples, because the spokes will now be a little long for the job.
Finally, take an old bit of wooden dowel, drill down the middle and put a bolt through the valve hole to fasten the handle to the rim. It would also be sensible to lace wire around the spokes spider’s web fashion to stop chipolatas falling through the gaps, but we prefer the aesthetically pleasing 28-spoke look, and the occasional ashy sausage.
Cost (assuming you re-use old spokes) is zero. And don’t bother with all that charcoal nonsense. Six house bricks, a pile of sticks, and you’re ready to grill. OK, maybe Argos does sell a whole barbecue for £7.99, but that will be rubbish – yours will be a tastefully recycled fashion statement.
PS Those with very few friends could use a 305mm rim, while more gregarious types may need a 406mm.Traditional 26-inch wheels will enable you to cook for the whole street, thus possibly making new friends. An unexpected bonus.