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  1. #1
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    50 less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories

    In holiday spirit, I compiled a list of a few (50) of my favorite things for road bikes, a significant portion being maintenance/tool oriented. Would love to hear about a few of everyone else's. I posted the list and the reasoning behind each choice on my nascent blog as a public conversation starter. http://danieldube.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/50-less-usual-but-very-helpful-road-bike-components-and-tools/.

    It is continually astonishing to me how the cycling industry has developed to meet even the most esoteric needs.The longer I ride (now since 2003, in Montreal, Maine (coast/inland), Middlebury, Santa Fe, Cleveland (Chargin Falls/Hunting Valley), DC), the more refined become my problems, but there always seems to be a solution available. Would love to hear the thoughts of those many who know that better than me.

    I'm sure some would also disagree with a few of my selections or reasons. I'm here to learn.

    Dan
    (Maine)

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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Don't know if a permissions thing, but your link doesn't like me! And I was SO looking forward to reading all those Christmas ideas!

  3. #3
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    Yeah the link isn't clickable or copyable for some reason. I still managed to get to it but I had to click 'Reply with Quote' and copy it from there. Heres a fixed link: http://danieldube.wordpress.com/2012...nts-and-tools/

    Anyway that is an absolutely fantastic article, I wasn't aware of even half of those useful items. Looks like I've got a lot of buying to do.

  4. #4
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    It's a good list and I like it, but I have to take issue with #9 as it's simply not true.

    9. Schwalbe tubes. Schwalbe tubes are of a higher-quality rubber than any other, even German Continentals, as evinced by their ability to fit a wider range than any other. The SV 15′s, for example, are the only tube that can fit anywhere from an 18mm to a 28mm tire. Try that with another tube, and a more than annoying bouncing sensation will be felt from the wheel or wheels. The advantage of such quality is not only as one may expect–less leakage, fewer pinch-flats, a strong connection with the valve–but the very practical advantage of being able to carry one size of spare tube for multiple bikes. Many riders own multiple bikes that have tires of differing widths; many riders go out with or encounter other riders with same; and some bikes even have different front and rear widths
    I've stuffed tubes meant for 32-38mm tires in 25mm tires no problem. You have to be careful but it works fine and I've never gotten any "bumps." It's common knowledge around here that tubes stretch, and can be used in a wider range of sizes than what it says on the box. I've also used the common 18-23mm tube in tires up to 35mm. But on that end they are stretched thinner and need to be inflated a bit more frequently.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

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    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
    It's a good list and I like it, but I have to take issue with #9 as it's simply not true.



    I've stuffed tubes meant for 32-38mm tires in 25mm tires no problem. You have to be careful but it works fine and I've never gotten any "bumps." It's common knowledge around here that tubes stretch, and can be used in a wider range of sizes than what it says on the box. I've also used the common 18-23mm tube in tires up to 35mm. But on that end they are stretched thinner and need to be inflated a bit more frequently.
    I'm with you, I never buy tubes other than the standard road 18-25mm ones, and I never ride tires smaller than 28mm, and I've used them quite successfully in tires up to 42mm.

  6. #6
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
    It's a good list and I like it, but I have to take issue with #9 as it's simply not true.

    I've stuffed tubes meant for 32-38mm tires in 25mm tires no problem. You have to be careful but it works fine and I've never gotten any "bumps." It's common knowledge around here that tubes stretch, and can be used in a wider range of sizes than what it says on the box. I've also used the common 18-23mm tube in tires up to 35mm. But on that end they are stretched thinner and need to be inflated a bit more frequently.
    Actually you just confirmed his point. Schwalbe tubes DO hold air better.
    The advantage of such quality is not only as one may expect–less leakage, fewer pinch-flats, a strong connection with the valve–but the very practical advantage of being able to carry one size of spare tube for multiple bikes.

    You may have been lucky yourself in not having experienced uneven inflation from using a too small tube in a large tire, or pinch flats from using a largeer tube in a smaller tire - but its often the reason I have to change tubes for clients at the shop.

    Aside from that - Shwalbe presta tubes come with their own valve adapter that lets you use them in Schrader drilled rims. But they cost more - so most people don't buy them.

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    I was just talking to a bike shop guy about item #3 - Tektro levers. I have them on my old classic steel Davidson and swear by them, especially since I have the Chorus 10 speed levers they copied on my better bike. He thought they were brifters until he saw the downtube shifters. They are surprisingly good feeling levers that are much more comfortable than the old style narrow grips, and provide plenty of braking power. I'd put a pair on my other steel bike but that one is all original Italian/Campy, except for the Modolo Kronos levers. Those Kronos levers suck but look cool. They were the first hidden cable levers I'd ever seen.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Too long and didn't read the whole thing.... but I got as far as Lezyne minipumps with hoses. I have both Lezyne and Topeak Race Rocket pumps, and Topeak is the better design and higher quaility IMO.

  9. #9
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    Very interesting list. Some comments:

    1. The BBI chain tools is an unnecessary refinement as a bent spoke or coat hanger wire works just fine.

    3. Tektro brake levers are indeed a good copy of Campy brifter shape and work well at very modest cost. I now have them on my Cross Check in V-brake format as they are the levers used by Retroshift's makers and have previously use the short pull version with cantilever brakes.

    17, 38. Extra "false links" are indeed useful and good insurance to have on your bike but there is nothing "false" about them. Most of us call them "master links".

    18. Mirrors, never leave home without one. However, I could never learn to use a helmet mount mirror and the Miracycle only works on old-style exposed brake levers unless you are willing to drill and tap aero levers and they can't be used on brifters. I've settled on the Third Eye handlebar end mirror on all my bikes. YMMV.

    50. What you and Amazon refer to as Parks "Rescue Wrench" is also known as their "Dog Bone" tool and I have one on every bike. Cheap, light, strong and versatile with adequate leverage for the larger hex keys so they are really useful. I once adequately tightened another rider's crank with the 8 mm hex and got him through the ride. Most multi-tools have no where near enough leverage.

    BTW, I also saw your posting on the ACA site. Welcome to BikeForums.

  10. #10
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    "Miracycle only works on old-style exposed brake levers unless you are willing to drill and tap aero levers and they can't be used on brifters."

    Actually Mirrycle makes a mirror for Shimano brifters: http://www.mirrycle.com/road_mirror.php

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
    Actually Mirrycle makes a mirror for Shimano brifters: http://www.mirrycle.com/road_mirror.php
    Well, wadda ya know. I lost track of their products when I first went to STIs and didn't realize they had a newer design. I used them on my first bikes with exposed brake cables and then modified a couple of sets of aero levers to fit them. Once i went to brifters, I started to use the Third Eye barend mirrors and never checked back. Thanks for the link. Now, if they would make one for Ergos....

    Edit: I looked more closely at my set of 9-speed 105 STI levers and they have the "open space" under the "lever clip" that Miracycle specifically says won't let their mirror work. Too bad.
    Last edited by HillRider; 11-25-12 at 10:16 AM.

  12. #12
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    OK - have to admit I'm curious about No 28, Park Tool Handlebar Holder - HBH-2. Mostly cause I've never used one. I've usually used an elastic band looped around the valve stem on the front wheel, over the frame and again around the valve stem. Occasionally a tie-wrap in about the same location. The packing from new bikes a good source for either so they're easily available.

    What are the thoughts of those who have actually used the HBH-2? Or maybe both methods?

  13. #13
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    i don't use a HBH-2. for new bikes i just take some of the white foam pipe insulation from new bikes and slap one on the top tube with a toe strap

  14. #14
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    Yeah, never heard anyone refer to a master link as a "false link". Nothing false about them. The handlebar holder? I use a ball bungee for that duty.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    OK - have to admit I'm curious about No 28, Park Tool Handlebar Holder - HBH-2. Mostly cause I've never used one. I've usually used an elastic band looped around the valve stem on the front wheel, over the frame and again around the valve stem. Occasionally a tie-wrap in about the same location. The packing from new bikes a good source for either so they're easily available.

    What are the thoughts of those who have actually used the HBH-2? Or maybe both methods?
    I never used the commercial Park HBH-2 but I made a copy of it using a piece of 1/8" steel wire and a section of plastic tubing to protect the bike's finish. Worked fine.

    Trek also sold a handlebar holder that is two lengths of small diameter (~1/2") steel tubing, one telescoped into the other, with a pinch clamp at the interface so you can adjust the overall length and then lock it in place. There is a rubber cord at each end, one goes around the seatpost and the other around one side of the handlebar, thus immobilizing it. One came with my "Wrench Force" repair stand and it also works very well.

  16. #16
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Trek also sold a handlebar holder that is two lengths of small diameter (~1/2") steel tubing, one telescoped into the other, with a pinch clamp at the interface so you can adjust the overall length and then lock it in place. There is a rubber cord at each end, one goes around the seatpost and the other around one side of the handlebar, thus immobilizing it. One came with my "Wrench Force" repair stand and it also works very well.
    I have the same type; bought with my Ultimate stand. It works well, but 99% of the time, I just mount the bike with the front lower than the rear. Gravity keeps the front wheel straight. It's not something I'd buy again.

  17. #17
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    OK - have to admit I'm curious about No 28, Park Tool Handlebar Holder - HBH-2. Mostly cause I've never used one. I've usually used an elastic band looped around the valve stem on the front wheel, over the frame and again around the valve stem. Occasionally a tie-wrap in about the same location. The packing from new bikes a good source for either so they're easily available.

    What are the thoughts of those who have actually used the HBH-2? Or maybe both methods?
    I have a couple of them. They work well, but some of your make do solutions work just as well I suspect. The Park tool is especially useful for holding the handlebar when the front wheel is removed and your options are not available.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. Elbert Hubbard.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    The Park tool is especially useful for holding the handlebar when the front wheel is removed and your options are not available.
    So is the Trek version. It's also very useful when wrapping handlebar tape since it only attaches to one side of the bars at a time and doesn't obstruct the side you are working on.

    Note to rogerstg: The Trek bar holder accompanied my "Wrench Force" repair stand that actually is an Ultimate (now Feedback Sports) stand private labeled for Trek so perhaps it is an Ultimate/Feedback design.

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    Hello FastJake,

    I have used undersized tubes (Avenir 25mm for a 28mm), inflated properly, and while I could ride it, there was a bumping sensation. Now it is possible that the tired had inflated in a slightly unequal manner, as can very occasionally happen when the tire fails to seat evenly or there are irregularities in the tube. My examination did not reveal this, but I was by the car, not in the shop. I will rewrite #9 to state that the SV 15's are the only tubes I know of that are labeled and intended to fit 18mm-28mm.

    Thank you for the comment.

    Dan

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    Thanks Doug. I've also heard of people buying metal at Home Depot and bending it, but then one would have to rubber coat it. Personally, I'd rather spend twenty dollars. Your option promises good results with little fuss. Just RSS'd your blog.

    Dan

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    Thanks RogersTG,

    Will track down the Trek and add it, along with a BBI (Barnet Bicycle Institute) model. Will also note the utility of gravity at next update

    Dan

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    Thanks a bunch Gearslinger and all commenters. Have been updating slowly per suggestions, and will continue to make additions and emendations. Glad it was useful, and really glad to learn some new ideas.

    Dan

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