Attaching fairy lights to bike

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jadeddog
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Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby jadeddog » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:54 am

I am going to be using the following lights for my bike setup:
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01765H36U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

These have a pretty thin wire that runs along the lights. Its like 24 gauge wire (or thereabouts), so pretty thin stuff. I am going to wrap it around my bike tubing, but was concerned about rips and tugs on it. My original idea was to just wrap the wire (and therefore the tubing) in clear tape (packing or duct). But now I'm not so sure.

Does anybody have experience with this wiring, or have experience with other thin wiring wrapped around your bike?

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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby Meat Hunter » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:02 pm

Most of the bikes that you see on the playa will have similar light strings.

If you are afraid that the wire might break, you might wish to go ahead (like you suggest) and wrap it around the frame and then every 6" or so apply a wrap-around of electrical tape.

In case the wire does break, bring a back-up light string.

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Just_Joe
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby Just_Joe » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:05 pm

jadeddog wrote:Does anybody have experience with this wiring, or have experience with other thin wiring wrapped around your bike?

If you can, wait until on playa to wrap it. Bike carriers and the beds of trucks tend to rip the stuff up.

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spacetime
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby spacetime » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:10 pm

Those things are rugged. Great for bike tubing.

I don't think you need to wrap the actual wire in tape. The failure point for these is actually at the battery pack connection.

The last 6 inches leading up to the battery pack and on/off switch is not lit. Typically these hang loose, which leads to them getting caught on stuff or yanked. That's where they fail. Not on the actual light string itself.

Our biggest problem with this product is forgetting to turn them off, and running the batteries down. Replacing the batteries is a pain, and more likely to lead to killjoy than cord failure.

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BBadger
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby BBadger » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:35 pm

Yeah, fairy lights are pretty durable for what they are. Better than EL wire, and cheaper too.

Just zip-tie it to your bike enough to prevent areas where they could get snagged. You could even pallet-wrap them to your bike if you're so inclined (I might try this this year).

If you haven't already, get the variety that use AA batteries, not the coin cells.
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jadeddog
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby jadeddog » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:39 pm

Just_Joe wrote:
jadeddog wrote:Does anybody have experience with this wiring, or have experience with other thin wiring wrapped around your bike?

If you can, wait until on playa to wrap it. Bike carriers and the beds of trucks tend to rip the stuff up.


that is a good idea! thanks

jadeddog
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby jadeddog » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:41 pm

BBadger wrote:Yeah, fairy lights are pretty durable for what they are. Better than EL wire, and cheaper too.

Just zip-tie it to your bike enough to prevent areas where they could get snagged. You could even pallet-wrap them to your bike if you're so inclined (I might try this this year).

If you haven't already, get the variety that use AA batteries, not the coin cells.


I'm sorry, I am unfamiliar with what "pallet-wrap" is. The Google machine seems to indicate that its basically large-scale saran-wrap? Is that correct?

jadeddog
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby jadeddog » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:43 pm

spacetime wrote:Those things are rugged. Great for bike tubing.

I don't think you need to wrap the actual wire in tape. The failure point for these is actually at the battery pack connection.

The last 6 inches leading up to the battery pack and on/off switch is not lit. Typically these hang loose, which leads to them getting caught on stuff or yanked. That's where they fail. Not on the actual light string itself.

Our biggest problem with this product is forgetting to turn them off, and running the batteries down. Replacing the batteries is a pain, and more likely to lead to killjoy than cord failure.


I'm 100% going to tape the battery pack to the bike in some manner, to try and prevent the "disconnect problem" that I've read a lot about. We'll see how successful I am, lol.

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Token
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby Token » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:50 pm

jadeddog wrote:
BBadger wrote:Yeah, fairy lights are pretty durable for what they are. Better than EL wire, and cheaper too.

Just zip-tie it to your bike enough to prevent areas where they could get snagged. You could even pallet-wrap them to your bike if you're so inclined (I might try this this year).

If you haven't already, get the variety that use AA batteries, not the coin cells.


I'm sorry, I am unfamiliar with what "pallet-wrap" is. The Google machine seems to indicate that its basically large-scale saran-wrap? Is that correct?


Yep. You can get smaller rolls at box and moving stores. Even Uhaul has em.

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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby Traveller in Time » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:06 pm

Is it not the same static thin film as used in the kitchen?

There must be a MOOPless way to attach such lights.
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby Savannah » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:13 pm

Once on playa, I tend to do one long wrap of the frame, with the battery pack zip-tied under the seat, and the free end tucked and maybe taped or zip-tied, depending. I haven't tried packing tape or pallet wrap yet, but I would.
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby BBadger » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:30 pm

Pallet wrap is stretch wrap (e.g. this) that is really used for securing packages and boxes so they don't open up in transit.

If anything, pallet wrap prevents MOOP. Pallet wrap is also super useful for keeping pipes, boxes, etc. together when transporting stuff to the playa. I use it for my carport pipes to make them super easy to carry to site and to bundle them up when leaving. Sure beats using straps or tape, or other stuff.
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby maladroit » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:07 pm

I put them in my bike wheels. The best way I've found is to prepare your spokes before touching the light string. Tear up a bunch of postage-stamp sized pieces of gaffer tape. Roll these around the spokes about 1/4" above the spoke nipples. Then come through with the light string and loop the wire around the spoke between the tape cylinder and the spoke nipple. Leave a fair amount of slack in the wire so it's not under any stress. You can run the lights around the whole wheel pretty quickly this way. Then use strong velcro straps to attach the battery pack to the hub or the spokes near the hub. I find that a fat bike tire fits a 3AA battery pack perfectly against the hub itself.

I just redid my wheel lights for the first time in 3 years. Not because they broke, I just wanted to change the color and upgrade to an animated version with remote control :)

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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:44 pm

I attached fairly lights to my bike.
I wanted it durable and playa-proof so I armored it like rope light by fishing it through clear plastic tubing. I think I got the tubing at Home Depot.
It's next to impossible to fish it through a long length of tube (if you're using the smallest tubing the lights will pull through), so I cut the plastic tubing into short lengths, fished the lights through a short section of tubing at a time, then sealed the tubing joints with clear scotch tape.
It was easy and it worked great, I never had any trouble with it and I used the same stuff a few years in a row.

Disclaimer: I rarely actually ride my bike at BM, but it was a really durable way to do fairly lights.

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BBadger
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby BBadger » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:03 pm

Tubes and a 3AA battery pack is pretty much what those commercial bike lights sell for $15 a pop.
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby gaminwench » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:00 pm

I put the battery pack in a drawstring bag and install it under my seat.
I run the lights up a vertical pole mounted on the back rack and add streamers or a flag.
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby Eric » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:10 pm

I've been using those same fairy lights for years, and I just zip-tie them to the frame. Usually I just need to replace a couple of ties at the beginning of the Burn and I'm good to roll. For the battery pack itself I use Goop glue to stick it to a secure area, then use zip-ties over that. Never had an issue.
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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby Ronk » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:12 pm

For the last few years I have bought a roll of poly tubing about 3/8 or so and 100 ft long. Then took fishing line and put a nice big knot at one end and stuck it in the tube. At the other end I attached my vacuum and turned it on pulling the line through. Actually, in preparation I would hang the tubing from the highest point I could find, having the lengths needed for each wheel or length of lights marked with a sharpie. After some time - a week or so of stretching, I would pull the line through - making sure the tubing is in a straight line. Cut the tubing at the marking but not the string and pull out a few extra feet of string then cut it. Then - at one end tie the fairy lights to the string and pull the lights through the tubing. Leave it to you for the rest of the process and it is easier with two people for guiding the lights and pulling on the string, however I always seal the ends of the tubing with something like E6000 adhesive. I then attach the battery pack to the axle and thread the tubing through the spokes. Every maybe 5-8 spokes I use zip-ties to the spokes. Hint - start threading the tubing where the air valve is located - easier to have enough space to pump up your tires without the tubing in the way.
This process keeps the wire lights from catching on someone else's bike pedals, or what ever , even while transporting to the playa.

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Re: Attaching fairy lights to bike

Postby RosieTahoe » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:59 pm

Eric wrote:I've been using those same fairy lights for years, and I just zip-tie them to the frame. Usually I just need to replace a couple of ties at the beginning of the Burn and I'm good to roll. For the battery pack itself I use Goop glue to stick it to a secure area, then use zip-ties over that. Never had an issue.


I second this! Always use fairy lights on my bike and zip ties have never failed me... they are also pretty easy to get off without damaging the bike. I've never even used glue on the battery pack I just use two zip ties going horizontally and two going vertically so it's in a little "pouch" of zip ties.


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