DIY Pokeball Bike

Wallace outgrew their last bike and so I wanted to get the next size up. The plan was to just get any used bike and maybe give it a coat of paint to make it neat and new. Instead it turned into a massive project that cost almost as much as buying a new bike, but it was worth it!

The blank canvas.

The bike we started with was in way worse shape than expected, so that is where most of the cost came from. But it was free so I was able to make it work. I bought new tires, two cans of spray paint, a kick stand, and one set of break pads. I used tools I had on hand and amazingly the tubes were still intact and worked just fine. I also used grip tape that I happened to have on hand that I grabbed on clearance years ago. It doesn’t have a chain guard, which would be nice to replace somehow. The pedals were really bashed up so I replaced them with ones from the tag-along bike we aren’t using right now (since riding hurts my neck too much still).

Naked bike.

I prepped the bike for painting by taking most of it apart. If they had done a better job on the painting, I probably would have taken more of it apart and done a better job on mine too, but I just needed to cover up all of their black paint. I took off the wheels, the pedals, the break handles, the torn apart handle grips, and took the chain part way off. I used torn up plastic bags and box tape to cover over the parts I left on that I didn’t want painted red. The previous owner had just painted the whole thing matte black without removing anything. Even the chain and wheels. I should have put down more cardboard since I did get some spray paint on the driveway, oops.

I used electrical tape to cover over where the chain goes.
I hadn’t been able to get the left pedal off before painting. Tip for others is the right goes how you’d expect and the left goes opposite. I had some advice online and found an article that explained it with pictures.

My paint job was not perfect, but I was trying to get it done in one coat. I chose a high gloss that looked like it would work for this situation. I did sand down some rough patches from the black paint first, and then wiped it down thoroughly with a damp rag to get any dirt and dust off. I had some drips and some spots that could have used a 2nd coat. It was my first time using spray paint and my arm was feeling it!

I finished up in the dark, so it could dry over night before assembling. Then I had to bring it all in because it was forecasted to rain!

One of the wheels was half painted black and both tires were completely worn out. I decided that since it was going to be red like a Pokeball I should make the wheels white to fit the theme! I taped over the center parts with the gear and the bolts with my same method of plastic bag and tape. My arm was so sore by this point and it was getting dark, so I missed quite a few spots. I went with the “won’t notice on a trotting horse” theory and didn’t go buy another can of paint.

Back together again! It looked so good with the white wheels and black tires.

The next day I got it put back together before Wallace was due home from a week at my mom’s. I got the kick stand installed and the new grip tape on. The next step needed Wallace’s expertise.


My dad had bought Wallace a pack of really nice Pokemon stickers and once this project started taking shape we knew they needed to go on the bike. And not just to cover up my drips and smudges… We spent quite a while deciding on which stickers to put where and get them on as smoothly as possible.

Final touch!

And of course it needed a Pokeball bike basket! I started basing it off of a pattern but ended up making it my own so I plan to turn it into a free pdf pattern. I still need to install the new break pads on the back and the front breaks don’t really work, but it has the kind to pedal backwards anyway.

About JennP

Single mom by choice, lesbian, natural living, parenting, car free, Chicago.Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment!
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