Last time we took a look at 10 bike hacks for mountain bikers and beyond, but we’re not finished. Today, we’ll be doing ten more hacks that mountain bikers, BMXer, and even road cyclists can enjoy. Let’s get started.
Until you get good at it, working on a bike chain can be frustrating. Your derailleur can snap back and flick the chain into oblivion. For people like me with poor dexterity, a paper clip or hair pin can serve as a third set of hands. Hook this to your chain before you start working on it, and it’ll behave a little more predictably. By the way, to set a master link back in place, just position it above the chainstay and crank forwards abruptly.
Working on your bike can get messy, and we all know that dish soap doesn’t quite do the trick. There will always be spots that you just can’t get clean. Use an abrasive like seal salt or even sand to scrub the dirt off of your hands.
A 2×4 is only a few bucks, and it’s more than enough to make a bike stand. Just cut two pieces about 22 inches long, and use two 12 inch pieces as cross bars. Fasten them together with screws, and flip it over. This needs to be made to the width of your tire, but it’ll usually work with slightly different sizes. You could build a rack with really long cross bars and multiple tire notches to keep your whole fleet parked. You can even paint it, and there’s no precision carpentry required.
There are various ways to get BMX grips off, but did you know that you could just use water? Just pour a little around the base of the grip and twist it until it comes loose. The grip should come off very easily, and the water should evaporate like it never happened.
To get the grip back on, make sure it and the handlebars are really dry. Then put some zip ties inside the grip and position them around the handlebar. The plastic will reduce the traction of the grip, and make it much easier to get on the handlebar. Once your grip is installed, just pull the zip ties out one by one. I used hairspray to install grips when I was a kid, and I must admit this is a lot cleaner.
Adjusting a road bike saddle can be pretty involved if you’re a serious rider, but a good starting point is to get it level. To do this, you can use—a level. Set the bike on a flat surface and then put the level on the nose of the saddle and on one of the butt pads. Then adjust the tilt until it’s level. From there, you have a starting point to get it just right.
When locking up your bike, it’s a good idea to secure your frame with a u-lock and your wheels with a cable. If you don’t have enough cable, you can lock the rear wheel on the inside of the frame. This secures the frame and the rear wheel. It takes some time to wrap your head around, but stare at it for a little bit and think about it. You’d need to saw the rear wheel in half to steal the rest of the bike.
Another great way to secure your wheels is with security skewers. These, unlike quick release skewers, require a key to get off your bike. They’re also lighter, better looking, and less bulky than quick release skewers. With the key, they come off easy. Note that no security measure will truly keep your bike safe, but anything that makes it a bigger pain in the ass to steal will at least buy you some time.
Your floor pump is arguably the most important tool you have, but after a while it may start squeaking and acting up. You may need to oil it, and it comes as no surprise that chain oil works great for this. Just apply some oil, clean off the excess, and usually it’ll make the pump work as good as new.
Scuffs on your bike’s paint can be pretty hard to clean off, but WD-40, surprisingly, does the job well. Apply it to a rag or paper towel and work the scuff out until you can’t see it. WD-40 won’t damage your paint, and it’s especially good for cleaning the scuffs that shoes leave on mountain bike seat stays.
Let’s be honest, we don’t all have precision braking setups on our mountain bikes. If you’re having trouble aligning your disc calipers you can use two business cards to get the spacing just right. Loosen the mounting bolts, put business cards between the pads and the rotor, and clamp it down hard with the brake lever. Then tighten the bolts while holding the lever. Release the lever and pull the business cards out. Now, your brakes mean business.
So there you have it, ten more bike hacks, or 11 or something. Even if you don’t use any of these I hope you found them entertaining. Click the scraggly head to subscribe to my channel, for more hacks, riding tips, repair tutorials, and shenanigans. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll see you next time.