tutorial: sick wheel covers

quiet thunder, boston

First rule of polo: don’t talk about polo. Second rule: don’t play with your nice wheel set! Everyone knows that your wheelset will be the first thing you have to replace on your polo bike…especially after a few rounds with Sassy. Check back later for a tutorial on redneck truing from Sassy himself!

In the meantime, build yourself a sick wheel cover. Helps keep everyone’s mallet from going through your spokes, including your own.

Build a sick wheel cover!

“bad attitude”, boston

How much time and money are you going to invest in this project? Cardboard is quick, easy, and free, but corrugated plastic is going to hold up much better and is rain-proof. Either way, you’ll need:

Two pieces of material about 2′ x 2′ for each wheel you want to cover. Really, only the front is necessary.

Zip ties – I used about 8-12 per wheel, others use more. Don’t skimp.

Materials to decorate your wheel cover and make it sick. Spray paint, stickers, markers, whatever. Don’t skip this part or you are lame.


Box cutter


Drill – only if you are using corrugated plastic

24″ or so of string

Tape measure (or just use your string to measure, whatever.)

Push pin

Make those covers:

Start with your 2×2 square, and mark the center.

Measure your wheel radius – rim to rim. Keep in mind that the wheel cover should not cover the braking surface if you are running a brake! Bad news!

Tie a loop in each end of the string, making sure that the total length is equal to the radius of your rim. Pin one end loop of your string to the center point you just made, and put your marker in the other end, and draw yourself a circle exactly the size of your wheel. Now cut it out.

Cut a 2″ circle out of the center for the axle. Also make a cut along the radius of your wheel cover if using corrugated plastic – this will allow your cover to match the dish of your wheel. This cut isn’t really necessary for cardboard covers.

Repeat above – you’ll need two covers for each wheel.

Decorate those covers to make them sick! Be creative! I’ve included a gallery below to get you thinking.

Mark holes for the zip ties by laying your wheel over the cut out cover and marking every few spokes. A small hole on either side of the spoke will allow the zip tie to loop around the spoke and hold the cover on. Don’t go too close to the edge of your cover, especially with cardboard.

Cut the zip tie holes by stacking your wheel covers on top of each other and cutting through both pieces. For this step you can use an exacto on cardboard, or a drill for the corrugated plastic. What the heck, use a drill for either material, it will turn out better.

Throw those covers on your wheel by running that zip tie through one sheet, through the wheel, then the other sheet, and then back again, making a wheel cover-wheel-wheel cover sandwich. Don’t tighten too much until you have all the zip ties in loosely – then go back around and snug everything up. Trim of dangly zip tie ends.

Play polo! Your wheel cover is awesome and now everyone thinks you are cool! Make them for others that are too lazy and charge in beer!

I’ll keep a running gallery of awesome wheel covers. Email me at editor at boston bike polo dot com if you want your cover pic added. Here’s a start…

gus legit, boston

tink, dc

mystery wheel cover, who claims it? I like.

ken, NYC

veronique in the background and “bad attitude”, boston

7 Responses to “tutorial: sick wheel covers”
  1. Bhima says:

    Hey, don’t know how old this article is as i’ve just found it through Google.

    A good way to make these discs is by using card – make your design and print it on the card (or print on paper and glue it to the card) before laminating the whole thing to make it waterproof. You’ll need to decrease the radius/diameter of the discs slightly to allow for about a 3mm rim of the lamination plastic on the edge.

    Super lightweight and shiny!

    It’s great because you can glue all kinds of stuff to the card or simply draw on it yourself. I’ve made some for someone before with loads of newspaper cuttings glued on – looks shweet!

  2. Mika says:

    Where did you get a lamination machine that could laminat such a big piece of cardboard?

  3. Bhima says:

    I went to a printing shop which did up to A0-size lamination. It cost me about £3/$5 per sheet. Most good printers should be able to do it…

  4. Bhima says:

    By the way, another good design is a spiral – using the string mentioned above, you can do it easily: http://www.wikihow.com/Draw-A-Perfect-Spiral

    If you get the spiral the right way round (so it seems to “expand” as the wheel goes forward), it looks amazing! Gotta watch out on the roads though – you could be asking for an accident if you manage to hypnotize passing drivers!

  5. Marc Polish says:

    We are own the rights to Mr. Positive and would love to find a company that can make bike wheel covers.

    If you can send us an e-mail where can send his photo, maybe you can help

    Thank you


  6. jon says:

    Anykind of polo is silly..bike polo, polo shirts, actual polo, polo cologne.. but wheel covers are cool.

  7. http://mensengagementrings.ca says:

    I like this web site very much, Its a real nice billet to read and find information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: