Wanna look like a pro out on the trail? Here are 9 tips and tricks for getting dialed this spring.
Tip #1:Line up the tire label with the valve – makes the valve easier to find.
Centering the valve stem with the tire logo(s) makes it easier to find the valve when you’re in a rush.
Tip #2:Friends don’t let friends ride with kickstands. They’re heavy, and dangerous.
Tip #3:I don’t care how cool you are, how long you’ve been riding, or how easy you’re taking it on your ‘recovery ride’ – wear a helmet, dummy.
Tip #4:QR Lever goes on the disc/non-drive side of the bike. Don’t ask why, it just does.
Quick release levers go on the disc-brake side of the bike. Thru-axle forks will only let you put them on the correct side.
Tip #5:Protect your spare tube – put it in a ziplock bag or an old sock to prevent your multitool from rubbing/poking a hole in the tube.
Tip #6:When photographing your bike, make sure the chain is in the big ring. Itlooks faster.
Proper bike photo. Chain is in the big ring, rim/tire labels are in the proper places.
Tip #7:Gorrila tape. Keep a smallroll in your saddle bag/hydration pack, or wrap some around the frame or seatpost. It has many many uses: keeping a broken spoke from flopping around, booting a slashed tire sidewall, or even taping up a broken finger. Gorilla tape is stronger than duct tape, so don’t substitute.
I keep some gorilla tape wrapped around my seatpost. If you’re clever, you can place it so it’s hidden by the saddle bag’s strap. If you’re lazy/in a hurry like me, just put it anywhere.
Tip #8:Fenders. Get some. They’re cheap, light, easy to install and remove, and work really well. Combined with waterproof shoes or shoe covers, they turn your bike into an all-weather adventure machine. Stay off the trails when they’re wet, but ride paved and gravel roads to your heart’s content in the rain without getting mud in your eyes or spray up your crack.
All set up for a long ride in the rain. Note the improper gear selection for photographing however.
Tip #9:Sunglasses go UNDER your helmet straps, that way you can take your helmet off while wearing the glasses. The roadies will tell you they go outside the straps,but, that’s stupid.
Which tips and tricks would you add to this list?
I call shenanigans on using fenders!
I just read #1 in this month’s Bicycling magazine (though let it be known that Dustin wrote this article back in April!)
I always have to think to get #4 right but my trick is to look at the back wheel and see which side the QR lever is on. If both wheels are off – you’re screwed. 🙂
I’m really paranoid about #5 because even things that aren’t sharp (sand, a pump) can, over time, wear a hole in your spare tube. A spare tube with a hole in it completely defeats the purpose.
Bright red valve stem caps work well for #1 also.
For #1, don’t forget to look at both sides of the tire. For example, with GEAX tires, you have to line up with the model name, not the brand name, due to the placement on each side.
Tip: buy a Sram or KMC Power/Quick Link and carry it with you. When your friend breaks a Shimano chain. Let them diddle with the stupid pin for a bit, then fix it for them in with the link. It will look like a magic trick. 😀
Great tips, although I cannot recall ever having a difficult time finding my stems.
I’ve fallen victim to #5 before.
For #1, this is also great when you are trying to double check the recommended pressure on the tires (for those who run tubes). Makes it easier to find.
Also, on #4, while that always applies for the rear, I know people who were adamant about keeping the lever away from the disc up front because of the possibility of touching the rotor with your hands. They were very serious about how the oils from your hand getting on the rotor could reduce your braking power. Personally, I don’t really give a rip either way.
I put the tire pump presta adapters on both valve stems or I will lose them.
Take all the reflecters off the bike if you only use your bike off road.
When installing fenders, don’t forget the bell, and telescopic orange flag attached to your sissy bar…love #9
I’ll bet that anyone ragging on fenders has never spent four hours or more riding in the rain. 😀
And I have a bell on one of my bikes, need to get one for the other bike too!
Nothing but fun, and you are correct…4 hours in the rain also necessitates a tube of desitin and a friend to help apply. Desitin should be added to previous list of essentials…and in typing about diaper rash ointment I see the error of my ways in mocking your fenders…:)
What is rain? 😀
Here in Western Oregon it rains for about 8 months out of the year. In fact, it’s pouring right now. Our trails, as a result, tend to have a ton of water crossings and it makes for a much more comfortale ride if you have fenders (or at least a rear one) to keep your rear from getting soaked.
tip #10 When riding with faster riders, volunteer to ride sweep so you have an excuse being last.
hahah this is…….dumb! dont get a fender! who cares how your wheel lines up with the tube valve! Who cares how you take pictures just ride!! ah ok all i need to say is this was very random!
If your bike has fenders, I’ll laugh at you behind your back. Although I did get caught in the rain once a few years back…
@brianW “volunteer to ride sweep so you have an excuse being last” too funny, I’ve done that before lol, good one..
And #9 is my favorite mainly because every roadie I know that also rides MTB will always mention “hey you should put your sunglasses outside the straps, never fails..
I don’t think I can do fenders either, although they would no doubt come in handy in an extreme situation. I don’t really ride in rainy conditions, my local trail maintainers prefer no one ride until at least 2 days after a heavy rainfall to try and avoid tearing up the trail. I personally would love riding rainy and muddy but I have no problem respecting their requests.
Good tips. Thanks! I had no idea that there was a correct way to photograph your bike. Also, I’d like to try fenders. Goodness knows I’ve had many a ride with mud up my crack!
“Looks Faster” LOL #7 I like the idea of tape around a tube, but personally like to pull off a good bit and make a flat role. that is fold 6″ back on it self and role the rest on. It look like a long wallet and slides into camel back well. And Gorilla is the best with Duck the next by a good margin. Old navy guys no Sierra stamp of approval.
my ss has a rear rack that doubles as a fender.
I disagree with tip #9, straps under sunglasses, unless you like headaches! Fenders here in the desert are just added weight.
May get some gorilla.
Unless you want to break your glasses frames. Never put them out side the helmet straps. I poped off the helmet and snapped off the ears and watched my 600 dollar lenses bounce across the payment. Sum ideas are just stupid.
I have a pair of glasses for riding from http://www.zennioptical.com/ Prescription sport glasses for under $30.
The chain should ALWAYS be on the big ring. The smaller rings are for kids and delivery bikes.
Sunglasses should be worn however they are most comfortable for you.
The only fender on a bike should be Freddy Fender … on your iPod!
What the h*)) is a “trail maintainer”? ROFL
Good tips. At least if your not a great rider, you can at least look like you are….
I thought the reason for lineing up your valve stem with your tire logo is for when you get a flat you can find the puncture in the tire by finding the hole in the tube, then realigning the valve stem with the tire, you can then pinpoint the puncture point, remove the hard to find cause of the flat tire so you won’t get another puncture in your new tube. Looking like a pro, I wish it was that easy..
An old piece of tube works as a good sleeve to carry your spare tube.
Always clean your water bottles after every ride. If you have a hydration pack, clean the outside and put it in the fridge to keep mold from growing in it.
I ride in all conditions, and love rain, but still don’t have fenders.