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  1. #1
    Senior Member mapleleafs-13's Avatar
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    Cool tips, tricks and secrets, let's hear it!....

    On these forums i always come across intersting tips, tricks and secrets. Anything involving bikes is permitted, from fixing, to cleaning, to selling, whatever... I've learned so much on these forums, so if you have any interesting facts or tricks that you feel like posting then go ahead.

    i'll start:

    1) on flipper bikes or other bikes i usually replace a lot of cables and whatnot. For when brake cables are frayed at the ends, usually i'll remove and replace the cable and put new end caps on them. A lot of the time the rear cable will be in really good condition, just frayed on the end, so i usually just use this one on the front brake cable and cut it while i use a brand new one for the rear, i know brake cables are cheap, but it just prevents less waste and you get to recycle and use a perfectly good part.

    2) when i ship parts out to people if they require a box, i'll usually ship stuff in food boxes turned inside out and taped up with packing tape. this works great cause it saves you from buying boxes from the post office. Recently i sent a campy rear derailleur to horatio in a Lactancia butter box, and i sent a different campy derailleur to Drillium Dude in a Calvin Klein colonge box, hopefully it made it smell better

    3) i'm sure most of you guys know this one already, but mothers polish works fantasic on chrome, and metal stuff, makes everything real shiny...

    4) Goo gone works wonders on stuff, those hard to get out whatever it may be on bikes, from duct tape residue or stubborn stains on the frame that normal soap and water can't get out, and its definitely soft on the paint, i've never ever damaged paint with goo gone and it works fantastic on stubborn stuff...

    that's all i can't think of for now.... your turn...

  2. #2
    RFC
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    Senior Member RFC's Avatar
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    . . . rubber mallet . . .

  3. #3
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mapleleafs-13 View Post
    2) when i ship parts out to people if they require a box, i'll usually ship stuff in food boxes turned inside out and taped up with packing tape. this works great cause it saves you from buying boxes from the post office. Recently i sent a campy rear derailleur to horatio in a Lactancia butter box
    Boxes are very cheap if you buy them in bulk at a supply store. Maybe 15-25 cents each depending. It's very much worth the extra to present a professional image to the customer even if you're doing a casual business. In my opinion.

    /soapbox

  4. #4
    Senior Member tugrul's Avatar
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    Plastic knives are rather useful for scraping off the bulk of melted on handle bar tape and hoods before hitting the residue with chemicals.
    Looking for Quick release for a BR-6208 Cotter pin press

  5. #5
    Senior Member Alan Edwards's Avatar
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    Buy the right tool or make a good one, plyers just make round nuts.
    Totaly cheap wieght weenie. Totaly cheap bike snob. But I love Italian hand made stuff. 84' Ciocc, 85' Raleigh Super Course, 96' Sakae Litage, 2000 Lemond Maillot Jaune,
    2010 Nashbar SRAM RED, 86', 87', 89' Ironmen, 96' Schwinn Super Sport, 79' Shogun 1500, and ten projects.

  6. #6
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire Cat
    Only a few find the way, some don't recognize it when they do - some... don't ever want to.

  7. #7
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    1. Lemon juice or water on aluminum to clean chrome.

    2. For the bikes that have the shifter cables route over the BB, you can use the plastic inner tube inside old brake housing to protect the paint.

    3. Instead of using cable end crimps, try soldering. Looks clean.

    4. Nailpolish is great touchup paint.

    5. Clear plastic wrap on clamp front derailleurs protect paint.

    6. For tires that are extra hard to place on the rim, step on the tire with your heel and pivot the wheel away from you until the tire places.

    7. Don't try to overhaul an X-mart bike and expect index shifting to work.

    8. Awesome Orange is an awesome, cheap degreaser.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DavidW56's Avatar
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    For rust removal: Barkeeper's Friend, made into a paste and applied with a rag, old toothbrush, or a steel or brass brush. It's about $2 a can at the supermarket. I make the paste in a recycled tuna can.

    For cleaning grease: a spray cleaner called Awesome works well and is sold at the dollar store. My wife's shoe store has Canadian customers who stock up on Awesome when they visit Michigan because the same product costs $7-$8 in Ontario.
    Schwinn - World's Finest Bicycles.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DIFFO's Avatar
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    Elastic bands make excellant light brackets if you use 5 or 6 elastic bands on a lamp. Just wrap them round your handle bar / seat post. Great as they can also be fitted / removed in seconds
    Last edited by DIFFO; 10-02-11 at 01:19 AM. Reason: grammer
    Audax and Time Trials

  10. #10
    No Money and No Sense sillygolem's Avatar
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    When tightening down the nut on a one piece crank, use one hand to hold the crank and a flathead screwdriver in one of the cone slots. This will let you get the nut tight enough without inadvertently over-tightening the cone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I ride fixed because I'm mad at my parents. **** you Mom!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Whit51's Avatar
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    1. You can straighten a bent alloy chainring by tapping it with a large rubber mallet, while still on the cranks.
    2. Never give up on seemingly broken Shimano brifters or trigger shifters without first flushing them with a half can or so of WD 40 (lots of info on the fine points of this technique in the forum archives)
    3. The Barkeeper's Friend product mentioned earlier also comes in a thick liquid form. I've found it at Lowe's in the cleaning products.
    4. Don't destroy your chain tool trying to remove a badly rusted chain. You can get a motorcycle chain breaker at Harbor Tools for under 20 bucks.

  12. #12
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    1. Use bolt cutters on chains you plan to toss.

    2. Buy a donor bike if you want to upgrade.

    3. Avoid NOS parts on ebay, often they are not NOS, they tend to go really high, and chances are, your bike is not NOS anyway. Do you really need a NOS part on a 25 year old bike that has lots of "patina"?

    4. I use padded envelopes on small items, where I can send them first class mail (13 ounces or less). On anything over 13 ounces, I use priority mail boxes (free from the post office). Avoid the flat rate boxes unless your item is heavy. Most of the time, a generic priority mail box costs me less in postage than a flat rate box. The exception being the small flat rate box (but you can't fit much in one of those). Almost anything I can fit in a small flat rate box can go first class mail in a padded envelope instead, which is MUCH cheaper.

    5. On flips, fresh tires will pay you back 3 or 4 fold. Buyers fixate on tires, even if the tires are fine, if they look old and dirty, the item will not get full market value.

    6. Patience and aggressive looking is rewarded. This goes beyond just bikes. I have bought a lot of my bike tools used, for a small fraction of what the same tool sells for new. I have also bought boxes of stainless cables this way. When a small bike shop in my town went out of business, I bought his Parks PRS-2 bike stand, his Parks TS-2 truing stand, lots of consumables (tires, tubes, cables), supplies, tools, etc. It was a win-win. He needed to convert his bike shop left overs to cash.

    7. Negotiate in person, with CASH. Look for package deals, where you can help the person get rid of a lot of stuff in one transaction, and get a nice discount. I typically get package deals at garage sales. One example: I bought two bikes (Trek 2000 and Specialized Sequoia), a set of rollers, four sets of take off tires, and a floor pump at one garage sale. By not cherry picking (just taking the one nicest item, in this case the Sequoia), I was able to get a better package price.

    8. Building off #7, when you negotiate, put yourself in the sellers shoes. What do they want? Is it a particular price, or to get rid of a lot of stuff now, or whatever? Don't just focus on what YOU want, meet the sellers needs. I have taken groups of bikes several times, where two or three of them were Xmart, but one or two were pretty nice. On sellers stuck on a specific price, I look for add ons/extras and give them their price.

    9. On selling bikes, put yourself in the position of the buyer. What do they want, and what will they pay for? Don't rehab a bike just to meet your tastes, what does the market want? I sold one bike to a hair dresser, her number one request is that she wanted a "pretty" bike. So I built her up a real nice one, with lots of touches I thought she would like.

    +100 Awesome works great, I use it all the time. Just don't use it in a ultrasonic cleaner, as it will remove the finish on your parts.
    Last edited by wrk101; 10-02-11 at 09:13 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member flash2070's Avatar
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    Recycles boxes like the OP indicated. They are also fun to use. Last Christmas my daughter was unrapping cereal boxes, oatmeal boxes etc. I loved the look in her eyes when I told ther that that was all that I could afford, but eventually she found what she was hoping to find! Lol :-) Here's the best tips, and secret to use while buying. These are so rare that very few people use them, or have heard them from others. They must be used at all times, but specifically when buying or selling bikes/parts....they are.... may I, please, and thank you! They work wonders, and can really bring down someone defenses, and be more than willing to negotiate, and show flexibility. Always remember that your approach to buying bikes and anything else for that matter is extremely critical to your success. Never, never bring an attitude with you! Be nice, smile genuinly, and never forget the magic words that are not found in textbooks in college! Thanks!

    Flash

  14. #14
    As found... devinfan's Avatar
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    For those of you that ride tubs, this stuff made tubulars easy for me. It takes all of the guesswork and prep out. All I ever use is one good coat on the rim, then pull the tire on and inflate hard. Leave overnight. You will have to use gorilla strength to get the tire off after that. I've tried a few glues and nothing has come even close.
    My bike is cooler than me.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Drummerboy1975's Avatar
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    A wire brush and steel wool are great to have around.

  16. #16
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    If you have non-hooked vintage rims and you want to run a tire at higher pressure than 70psi, light rim cement on the bead will add the grip necessary to avoid a blow off. Obviously, a tire change becomes more complicated.

    Note: you assume you own risk on this one.

    And, simichrome is the best metal polish ever made...period.

  17. #17
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    silicone spray.

    i don't know why i didn't use this stuff until now. here are some uses:

    1. spray on the metal parts of a squeaky leather saddle (squeak gone).
    2. spray/rub on spokes prone to rusting after they've been cleaned up.
    3. spray on derailleur springs (and all over the derailleur too).
    4. spray on any areas where a cable rubs something. under bottom bracket, canti hangers, housing stops, etc.
    5. spray inside allen bolt tops to keep them from rusting.
    6. spray anything else: headsets, brake bolts, cranks, etc that you want to keep a nice sheen, and repel dirt and rust.

  18. #18
    Senior Member okane's Avatar
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    Where do you get this Awsome Orange,,,,,I think there are about 3 different dollar store type names. thanx

  19. #19
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okane View Post
    Where do you get this Awsome Orange,,,,,I think there are about 3 different dollar store type names. thanx
    I have seen it at several of the different Dollar stores, along with Walmart. Actually, I normally use the regular Awesome spray cleaner (yellow) in color).




    Before (yes, those were really WHITE brake hoods):




    After:




    I picked up this tip from another lister: OFG or Kurt, not sure who right now.

    This was one of my favorite projects in 2011. Picked up a "bike in a box" at a garage sale. Couldn't inspect it fully, it was as is, where is. And I paid more than the usual low garage sale price. I got lucky that it was all there with no damage (just super dirty).
    Last edited by wrk101; 10-02-11 at 03:31 PM.

  20. #20
    Addicted Newb J.Wolfe's Avatar
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    when flipping bikes, look for solid bikes that have ugly/aesthetically unpleasing aspects that keep potential buyers away. A buyer wants a bike typically where no work has to be done before hand to riding.

    ie. colored saddles/tires/wheels/bar tape/cable housing etc. these are all easy changes that can turn a bike around and open up the buyers pool.

    also when re listing bikes have the bike in a sun light outside where others objects will not take away from whats being sold. not in a cluttered dark garage.
    Peddlin the city blocks of Philly
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Roger M's Avatar
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    This is pretty minor, but I've busted many of my daughters hair bands, using them for this purpose. The YMCA was giving these out when I took my kids swimming today.

    I grabbed a few, knowing exactly what I could use them for...



    BTW, I will turn it inside out.

  22. #22
    Senior Member DavidW56's Avatar
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    ^ Okay, what are the two items secured by the wristband?
    Schwinn - World's Finest Bicycles.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Roger M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidW56 View Post
    ^ Okay, what are the two items secured by the wristband?
    LED flashlight to the handlebars

  24. #24
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    1) 18650 flashlights will beat nearly any dedicated bicycle light at a small fraction of the cost. Use a Twofish lockblock or the generic equivalent to hold them.

    2) Gojo hand cleaner and a big box of disposable gloves are nice to have.

    3) Get some taps. You'll only need about 3 sizes but they come in handy often.

    4) Vice grips and a wire brush on a bench grinder can make any rusty old bolt look nearly new again. Wear eye protection!

    5) Plumbing tubing cutters do a good job on shortening seatposts if you take your time.

    6) Budget a week for stuck stems, seatposts and BB cups. Patience pays off for jobs like this.

  25. #25
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Lemon juice on aluminium foil is one of the best ways to restore chromed steel.

    Mother's polish will make aluminium look like stainless steel.

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