Air is much cheaper! But IMO small pumps do not get the job done fast enough and slow the pace of the ride!
I need CR 2032 batteries occasionally, for bike computers and lights. My drugstore wants US$7.50 each, and WalMart wants $6.40. However, WM also sells bike taillights for ~ $6.99 that contain 2 of the CR 2032 batteries. The taillights are basic, steady and flash mode only, but are decent and have the rubber loop "bracket" that attaches easily to a seatpost, etc. Not bad.
Not sure how good the quality of the batteries are. Same with the online ones I've bought - they may be counterfeit or outdated, dunno, but they sure are cheap, with free shipping (just be prepared to wait a week or more). If you want the batteries in a hurry, you can get them with the free taillight attached.
If you have any old computers around you can pinch the backup battery off the motherboard.
An inner tube around the seat post and brake hoods will keep the front wheel straight while the bike's in the repair stand.
A electric motor field magnet holds screwdrivers, allen wrenches, etc. on the bench. I got one from a dead garbage disposer. (Idea stolen from bike co-op)
Colored tape on the most used (5mm) end of three way allen wrench speeds things up.
Cut off plastic vitamin bottles are handy to hold small parts- different sizes nest.
Friction tape still works good to build up tool handles, and is way less toxic than plasti-dip.
Small diamond files to sharpen screwdrivers, de-burr galled fasteners, flatten machined surfaces, etc.
Spray bottle with rubbing alcohol for general cleaning/degreasing, hand cleaning. Low toxicity
Two methods for opening quick-links if you don't have the dedicated pliers. Slack onto the chainring and tap, or (from legendary framebuilder Dave Moulton's blog), two thin screwdrivers:
Speaking of Moulton, I linked his homebrew headset press and remover before, but I also just discovered his homebrew hanger alignment tool. Basically get 13" of 3/4" steel scrap, drill a hole through it, and bolt it onto the hanger with a long enough M10 bolt. Lever as appropriate until the arm is the same distance from the rim in multiple locations.
I've bought SHEETS of 2032's with 20 cells each, for $2. I got far more than I expected, so I sold a few on ebay. They went for over $1 each.
does anyone use beeswax instead of loctite? or for anything else?
I've heard a tip that I haven't tried yet; instead of loctite, try plumber's tape, you know the rubbery-papery stuff that waterproofs a screw-on pipe fitting?
Here's another: in the line of using 'real' tools instead of high-price specialty bike tools when possible: swiss-made Felco C-7 wire cutters for housing and cable (C-7 is the right size; C-5 or C-3 are smaller and housing will not fit into the jaws). They are actually pretty expensive new, but I looked on eBay and there were a whole bunch of used options. I got one that came from a closed auto repair shop for $22 shipped. Blades are in perfect condition, and it cuts housing and cable like a dream! I'm so glad I don't have to unpack my dremel, plug it in, replace the cutting wheel, find the safety glasses, and put everything away again just to cut housing!
Though the two-thin-screwdrivers method is better, IMHO.
not sure if it's been mentioned previously, but i carry a few pair of blue nitrile gloves in my kit. a box of 100 from a medical or industrial supply shop is reasonably cheap. anyway, that's part of my "chain tool" if i need to do any chain repair in the field.
homebrew their own tubeless strips and sealants. For instance, someday I think I'll try this setup with gorilla tape, a (removable-core) valve cut from a regular tube, and sealant made from caulk, slime, and antifreeze.
MTBR is an exceptional resource. I'm just not exactly fond of all the advertising.
Anyway, I've tried the homebrew method and I'm content with buying rim strips. G-Tape leaves a pretty nasty residue if you ever have to remove it. As far as sealants, I'm still big fan of Stan's.
That is nice trick of the trade. Thanks!
Quick link pliers-
Some old wire strippers and a few minutes on the grinder
Edit- Nice wheel truing rig!
For me, the handiest trick for removing the quick links for is a 8 inch long wire (coat hanger??) with a hook on each to grab a chain link. With this hook I just grab enough chain to leave a loop of slack at the quick link. Much easier to do with all the tension off. I also keep a round eye lash brush handy to swap out the quick link and the two adjacent links so no grit, gravel or spooge prevents the halves of the quick link from sliding together. Bit of MS on the eye lash brush helps swap the links clean.