Wheel covers. Not difficult to roll your own. Know all this has been covered here before.
i) Circle of fabric (done mine out of rip-stop kite material through to stuff usually destined for kitchen tablecloth / picnic table cover - non-stretchy) with a hem round the outside through which you run a length of lightweight cord (non-stretchy) - and a make a hole in the middle for the axle.
ii) Hoop of glass-fibre rod (kite shop or model shop a good source) ends joined by a wee sleeve of rigid tubing (brass in my case). Usually put a curve in the brass tube to match the curve of the finished hoop. Size to suit the rim / cloth thickness / position of fixing clips.
iii) Lots of little clips to hold the hoop next to the rim. These can be made really cheaply using a bag of cable clips, a drill and a sharp knife. The cable clips I use are ones destined for nailing co-ax TV aerial cable to walls and skirting boards. Lose the nail and drill the nail hole out to match the spoke nipple in diameter. Now cut the hook of the clip down the middle from nail hole to tip. (You may wish to ask an adult to help with this). The clip should be able to hook round the spoke nipple leaving two tongues ready to accept the disk. Lots less time than bending piano wire and no sharp edges to catch on things.
iv) The scuttery bit is getting the hoop the right diameter and the disk tensioned to the correct amount and everything clipped in snuggly (start big and work down - who said measure twice, cut once) but that work is shared by the original uni-disc design anyway. Once sorted it can be left alone. Think drum skin.
Holes for the valve, reinforcement where the wheel magnet touches the disk, reflectors - blah - blah - to suit your own requirements. Lots of scope for creativity and decoration. Very cheap and very light. Seen at all the best HPV races - quiet compared to more rigid wheel covers or disk wheels
I need to get round to making a new pair to replace the 'big red poppys' that have finally given up the ghost on the back wheel of the Kingcycle (old original uni-disc hoops that have finally disappeared in a cloud of corroded aluminium - cover of my own creation that has been cut and rubbed against things more than a few times too often).
Thursday, 29 January 2009