As a competitive triathlete and avid cyclist, I thought it would be a fun project to make a bicycle chainring clock. What motivated me in this project was not only my love of anything to do with bicycles, but the fact that I am graduating this Spring and I wanted to give my collegiate coach a present to remember the four years I have spent here with the CU Triathlon Team. I am definitely a gift giver and it’s one way I like to show my love and appreciation of others.
The aesthetic I am aiming for here is both school representation/pride, sports, and simplicity. The pin at the top of the clock serves as the 12 0’clock position and the rest of the times can be determined from the teeth on the clock. I am also proud to be a CU Buffalo, so I wanted to show my pride in my project by using school colors. I spray painted the chainring gold and pasted a picture of Ralphie as the background image to the clock.
I spent a long time simply trying to figure out what project I wanted to do. I am a passionate individual, so it was important for me to find a project in which I feel passionate about and enjoy the process of working on it. I did a lot of exploration on the internet and also went to a few art stores to see if they offered me any inspiration. I left every store empty handed and more unsure of what I wanted to do. My older sister was the person who initially gave me the idea of making a bicycle wheel clock, but I wanted to make something smaller and easier to carry around, so I thought “what about making a chainring clock?!” I spent much time on websites like pinterest to see if this had been done before, and luckily it had been. I am not excellent when it comes to electronics, so I decided that I would use the electronic components from a clock that was already together.
This chainring below is very similar in design to mine. I liked the matte black look and simplicity of this clock, however I didn’t really feel like there was much emotion or spirit put into this clock. I decided to look at alternatives in which I could incorporate the black background look and simplicity of the clock which I liked.
Next I found this clock, and it really sparked interest in me. As an cyclist, we are consistently trying to find new routes. I love analyzing the map of Boulder with my friends and trying to come up with a new route we can ride. I then thought it would be a great idea to incorporate a map into the background of the chainring, however, this design seemed like it added too much complexity and made the times more difficult to read.
I finally had my ah-hah moment when I realized that I could express my Boulder pride by including a buffalo and then keep the matte black background and simplicity I was going for. This is what I came up with. Gold and black! Let’s go Buffaloes!
I used a pencil to trace out the shape of the inside of the chainring, so I knew what size cardboard I needed to cut out. I then used a knife and tried to cut out the shape to my best ability. I then glues the cardboard to the chainring using E6000 glue and then glued black construction paper on the cardboard. I also want to note that the cardboard I used on this project is from the box that the actual clock came in. The greatest challenge on this project was being very careful while taking apart the electrical components, the motor, and hands of the clock and reassembling it on my mount. Initially the clock wasn’t working because there is a specific orientation that the arms need to be put on the pin, and also I bent them a little because they are fragile so I needed to bend them back into a straight position and I think it turned out pretty well!
My aesthetic vision was successfully achieved in that I wanted to create a clock that matched the Colorado Buffaloes school colors, showing my pride. I also wanted to have a black background, so that it could serve as a contrast and match the black and gold buffalo which I wanted to put in the middle of the clock. Initially, I was hoping to have a smaller buffalo in the middle of the clock and then to somehow incorporate mountains in part of the design, but I decided to go with the simpler look. I also initially was thinking of going for a matte black chainring color, however, my sister suggested that I spray paint it gold. The gold color provided a perfect mix of colors for the chainring, and I am glad that I followed her advice. I was aiming for a functional aesthetic in the respect that it is a working clock, easy to read and well centered. I was able to achieve a number of the functional aesthetics that I wanted. however, it was more difficult than I expected it to be to center the clock. I maybe should have done a better job of measuring where the center of the chainring lies.
My team came up with the following design process shown below. The process that we came up with was fairly linear, which is definitely ideal but not realistic for a typical engineering project or any project for that matter.
My actual design process was the following. Though the pattern appears to be linear, it wasn’t. It took a lot of time and effort for me to simply find a design and commit to it. Then it was difficult trying to decide aesthetically and functionally what I wanted for the design. When I made up my mind, I committed and went for it.