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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 08-01-13, 04:10 PM   #451
ThermionicScott 
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Originally Posted by 2wheelspeeding View Post
You can save money airing up flat tires by buying C02 cartridges for pellet guns from a sporting goods store like Dick's. All you have to do is put a small washer or a smidgeon of dirt in the bottom of the inflation device to make up for the 2mm difference in size between a cycling C02 cartridge and a pellet gun C02 cartridge. A cycling C02 cartridge goes for $3-$4 compared to a pellet gun cartridge you can usually get for about 50 cents if you buy in bulk. I have put together a lot of rides and always end up helping people with flats and have found this method to save tons of money.
Air is cheaper.
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Old 08-02-13, 02:41 PM   #452
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Air is much cheaper! But IMO small pumps do not get the job done fast enough and slow the pace of the ride!
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Old 08-31-13, 12:06 PM   #453
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CR 2032 batteries - free taillight

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 Same with the online ones I've bought - they may be counterfeit or outdated, dunno, but they sure are cheap, with free shipping (just be prepared to wait a week or more).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.
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Old 09-01-13, 01:51 AM   #454
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If you have any old computers around you can pinch the backup battery off the motherboard.
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Old 09-02-13, 09:21 AM   #455
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If you have any old computers around you can pinch the backup battery off the motherboard.
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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.
Or you can get a pack of 50 CR2032 from Amazon for $10.99 and skip the waste.
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Old 10-11-13, 10:58 PM   #456
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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
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Old 10-29-13, 02:30 PM   #457
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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.
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Old 10-29-13, 03:14 PM   #458
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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.
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Old 11-07-13, 09:15 AM   #459
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
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 hate quick links, and am having trouble finding chains without them anymore. And thanks for this tip.
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Old 11-22-13, 12:34 AM   #460
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does anyone use beeswax instead of loctite? or for anything else?
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Old 11-22-13, 08:51 AM   #461
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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?
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Old 12-09-13, 11:14 AM   #462
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Colored tape on the most used (5mm) end of three way allen wrench speeds things up.
Thanks for the tip! I did this yesterday, and it was actually quite helpful as I swapped v-brakes and shifter/brakelever pods from one bike to another. Plus, blue masking tape matches quite well with Park blue!

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!

Last edited by RubeRad; 12-09-13 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 12-09-13, 03:39 PM   #463
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Two methods for opening quick-links if you don't have the dedicated pliers. Slack onto the chainring and tap
Just so that this method is better documented, and because the Internet is transient, here's the picture of the V-shaped slacked chain ontop of which one is supposed to hit with a hammer or rock:

Though the two-thin-screwdrivers method is better, IMHO.
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Old 12-09-13, 05:45 PM   #464
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Just so that this method is better documented, and because the Internet is transient, here's the picture of the V-shaped slacked chain ontop of which one is supposed to hit with a hammer or rock:

Though the two-thin-screwdrivers method is better, IMHO.
Just buy the Park Tool USA Masterlink Pliers. Cheap, and much easier to use.
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Old 12-09-13, 05:51 PM   #465
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Just buy the Park Tool USA Masterlink Pliers. Cheap, and much easier to use.
That's neither a tip nor a trick... But let's not have the "pay for the right tool" vs "improvise on the cheap" flame war here, you can pile on over there...
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Old 12-10-13, 07:05 AM   #466
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Just buy the Park Tool USA Masterlink Pliers. Cheap, and much easier to use.
i'm sure the tool is good to have, but i'm not gonna carry it with me.

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.
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Old 12-12-13, 09:28 AM   #467
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For real mountain biking (i.e. fat tires, relatively low air pressure), the approx. $60 it costs for a Stan's tubeless system kit is the best money you'll ever spend. That is, assuming you have conventional mtb rims and tires. If you've got a factory tubeless system already, whatever it costs for a container of Stan's sealant is the best money you'll ever spend-
For almost any tubeless ready rim, as well as most rims in general, a $20 rim strip is generally good enough. If it has a narrow channel, simply cut to fit. Sometimes I will use a single layer of rim tape underneath as an added measure.
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Old 12-12-13, 09:54 AM   #468
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For almost any tubeless ready rim, as well as most rims in general, a $20 rim strip is generally good enough. If it has a narrow channel, simply cut to fit. Sometimes I will use a single layer of rim tape underneath as an added measure.
There doesn't seem to be much MTB traffic here at BF (maybe they're all at mtbr?), but just like around here we get all kinds of guys that homebrew their own chain lube, there are a lot of mountain bikers who 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.

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Old 12-12-13, 11:04 AM   #469
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There doesn't seem to be much MTB traffic here at BF (maybe they're all at mtbr?), but just like around here we get all kinds of guys that homebrew their own chain lube, there are a lot of mountain bikers who 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.
Hey, Rube. Yeah, not a lot of MTB traffic. Maybe that will change? It appears that this site has grown in the last few years.

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.
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Old 12-14-13, 01:36 AM   #470
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When building wheels, keep a couple alligator clips on hand. We've all dropped the spoke wrench, answered the phone, or checked out the MILF walking past the window only to discover the wheel has rotated in the stand while your eyes were diverted, and you have lost track of which spoke you were working on. As soon as you drop the spoke wrench, attach the clip to the exact spoke you were working on. Then you can take your eyes off the wheel, find the wrench, and if the wheel has rotated in the stand, you just find the spoke with the clip attached, and you haven't lost your place. The clip also works well for detecting spoke twist.
I loop a key chain through the spoke wrench and a rubber band, then put the rubber band around my wrist. The spoke wrench never hits the floor!

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Old 12-23-13, 12:09 PM   #471
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Makeshift wheel truing jig.

6 inch metal pocket ruler from Sears + rubber band. I had two, so I put both pocket clips on one for the side-to-side eyeballing measurement.


Front view


Rear view
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Old 12-23-13, 12:12 PM   #472
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That is nice trick of the trade. Thanks!
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Old 01-15-14, 09:00 PM   #473
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Quick link pliers-

Some old wire strippers and a few minutes on the grinder




Edit- Nice wheel truing rig!
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Old 02-15-14, 08:36 AM   #474
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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.
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Old 03-04-14, 01:20 AM   #475
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My solution is to put a little bit of lithium grease on the strategic places. Lithium grease is hydro-repellant and very stable. Together with the existing insulation, it will provide nearly 100% security against water infiltrations. Try to avoid getting it on the contacts with the cradle, even though it's not critical.
In the absence of lithium grease, I had used petroleum jelly or Vaseline with great success. I used them on the O-rings on flashlights and cyclocomputers. Besides the low cost, they are easy to obtain from the local drug store.
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