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Thread: Tips and Tricks

  1. #376
    Senior Member Clarabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Another tip ...

    Rather than buying bags of uncooked oatmeal to make breakfast with (which oddly seems to be a favorite among cycle-tourists), and going through all the hassle in the morning of starting up the stove, cooking the oatmeal, and then washing out the cooking tins with the oatmeal that has turned to glue stuck to them . . . buy bags of ready-to-eat granola with the fruit and nuts in it. It is a little bit more expensive, but so much less hassle. In the morning, all you need to do is to add some milk (if you want, you could eat it without), add any extra ingredients you might have, such as honey or more fruit ... and when you're done a quick rinse and the tins are clean.
    We picked this up from a young couple on a tour who brought it back from Spain. Instead of cooking the oatmeal, we mix it with some yogurt and add some fruit or nuts if we have it. It looks a bit gross, but tastes great and stays with you for hours.

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    Picked up a nice few tips from this thread, adding one didn't see but often recommended elsewhere:

    Might I suggest to thread starter to compile these in the first post, maybe one line per item? Condensed version will be a nice clean 100+ line list.

    - a drop or two of superglue smeared onto the end of a cable will keep it from fraying, also better than the little aluminum nipple because you can pass the cable easily back out of holes and the cable housing.

    - full lengths of cable housing are much more contamination resistant, especially below bottom bracket runs, than raw cables. Doing top routing with cables is much better for touring for avoiding mud/water/etc. You dont need new brazeons for these. Just use velcro strips to hold them in place or gently snug cable ties. Think of gravity's role in water collecting when routing cable housing when fully lengthed.

    - debranding / uglifying your expensive, well known bike-brands may make you less likely than your neighbor to be nicked. Electrical tape especially on a black frame both does this, preserves frame decals, and adds a bit more abrasion resistance for you. Black is an ideal frame color if your considering for this reason.

    - aquarium / misc. clear tubing over rack tubing can help take up that extra gap on your ortlieb or vaude big hooks, also reduces noise. Slit in half to get over the tubing. There are a ton of different diameters for this. This can help you have a common rack outter diameter among all your fleet's racks.

    - for those that have front racks with the side link member (eg, tubus tara), you have considered what will happen the day when you go over bars? Will the rack survive? Nice argument both for racks that are independent and have little forward footprint, also for considering forks that allow same.

    - solder a proper pair of wires to your front dynamo spade connectors, then link a disconnect (rcm dean's connector)to this ~5cm up the fork. The tiny and irritating spade connectors from Shimano/Sturmey/SON aren't a necessity.

    - have read a temporary frame lock with someone undoing chain quick disconnect and rerouting it through frame.

    - dab a bit of grease in your exposed allen bolt head to help with rust prevention, especially those facing up. Put allen key in to spread to all internal surfaces of allen bolt head.

    - those with SS couplers, use an innertube sleeve over them both for rust prevention and making frame less identifiable. Dont let water accumulate in the sleeve if possible!

    - spokes/other long items in your seat tube (bagged), or if SS couplers, you may have two more exposed tubes. Also have read others stashing valuables there, eg, rolled bills for emergency cash.

    - much easier to replace a spoke if you've used a plastic rim strip instead of the sticky tape, schwalbe/continental have high pressure plastic rim strips that are simple to temporarily uninstall.

    - those needing the 2-3 mm longer non-drive side spokes can just use drive-side spokes plus a nipple whose threads start 2-3mm earlier (several do this). So only one size spoke needed per wheel. Although really like the z-bend idea posted earlier to avoid cassette removal in that case ! You've all seen the kevlar fiber-fix spoke I'm sure too.
    Last edited by JimBeans83; 05-18-12 at 06:59 AM. Reason: rimstrips / spoke nipples

  3. #378
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67 View Post
    G
    Cars are like wolves... they travel in packs.
    the Truth. I am amazed at why cars stick together for even when I am driving on the highway (no lights) . Doesn't everyone say keep your distance....

  4. #379
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    Thanks JimBeans83, that is a darned good list of ideas you've posted there.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  5. #380
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    I have to say that I'm more than a bit verklempt that my humble thread is still going strong after nearly seven years.

    Unfortunately I've been caught in the vortex that is P&R, and I had sadly forgotten how nice it was to just talk Bikepacking*

    * My version of touring, based upon the wisdom of the late, great Ken Kifer - with a bit of Ed Abbey thrown in for spice.

  6. #381
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    Might I suggest to thread starter to compile these in the first post
    Hmmm...


  7. #382
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    OK, some perhaps unknown to some, tips.
    More general camping, then bike specific:

    Pine needles make for a great dirty dish scrubber. Just grab a big ol' handful and start going to town on that half burnt oatmeal.

    The Lentil is the perfect legume for touring. You can mostly "cook it" just by soaking during your day of bike-touring/backpacking/canoeing/et al.

    I bring an empty plastic peanut butter jar. Fill her 1/3 with the magic beans, the rest with river water.
    Let those babies swell all day.

    Then empty the water.
    Then empty the swollen nuggets into my pot - add fresh river water, then bring that to a roiling boil for 10 mins.
    Strain and season.

    * never season while it's boiling. Salt makes them tough.

    I like to add a little butter fried onion and garlic - and maybe a chopped tomato.
    Last edited by Bikepacker67; 05-22-12 at 11:16 PM.

  8. #383
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67 View Post
    The Lentil is the perfect legume for touring. You can mostly "cook it" just by soaking during your day of bike-touring/backpacking/canoeing/et al.

    I bring an empty plastic peanut butter jar. Fill her 1/3 with the magic beans, the rest with river water.
    Let those babies swell all day.

    Then empty the water.
    Then empty the swollen nuggets into my pot - add fresh river water, then bring that to a roiling boil for 10 mins.
    Strain and season.

    * never season while it's boiling. Salt makes them tough.

    I like to add a little butter fried onion and garlic - and maybe a chopped tomato.
    Legumes are an important part of my diet. At home I almost always make them from scratch, but when I'm on the road I buy them already cooked. In this country they come in glass jars; elsewhere in cans. There are white, red and pinto beans, garbanzos and lentils. I always carry garlic and some spices: pepper, paprika and cumin, which I add along with a little olive oil and tomato and onion if I have it.

    This makes for a fine meal, especially if accompanied by a good loaf of bread and a bottle of red wine.

  9. #384
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    Zen Master, what is the name of that mirror. The link didn't work. "If you don't already have one, spend the $15.00 on one of these mirrors (A Must Have) if you don't already have one."

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    Yes ,I always thought that it would be the following car that would get me .Heres a very important tip -Hold your breath when a tour bus passes ,a bored driver may dump the chemical toilet for a laugh as he's passing the cyclist

  11. #386
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    - Using webbing as a emergency cassette chain whip, see link below to build it. 15grams, and webbing can be used for something else. Great idea, I made and tested this after reading it. I might add to put the webbing under slight tension as you mark the spacing for the teeth holes.

    - using some innertube sections to help seal headset top/bottom (he's also shown below)

    source : http://frankrevelo.com/hiking/sewing_bikemisc.htm

  12. #387
    Senior Member Tansy's Avatar
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    If you're one who camps and cooks often on tour, think about this.

    Instead of using up a lot of stove fuel(I suppose people using gas or propane stoves don't mind so much, but the ultralight alcohol stoves really go through fuel fast), try cooking with a pit fire. Just dig a shallow hole, slightly wider then the container you need to heat up(Leave a spot for air to get in, and for you to push more fuel in!). Start a small fire with twigs, pinecones, ripped up paper bag, whatever is handy. Put a grate or tent stakes over it to hold up your pan.

    I dig in my alcohol stove in places where it's not practical to burn anything. It protects it from the wind, cooks very efficiently, and it's barely noticeable as a fire. I've cooked pasta in 25mph winds without much trouble. If you use a grate, you can cover up the gaps between the pan and pit-edge with rocks to make it even more efficient. When you're done, fill the hole back in and either make use of a hot spot of ground(Comfy to sit or sleep over it on a cold night) or pour water over it to make sure it's completely out under there.
    Be the change you wish to see in the world.


  13. #388
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    I can't remember where I picked these up, but they're good tips. Sorry for any repeats:

    1. Bring individual allen wrenches instead of a multitool to save weight.

    2. Sprinkling your tire tube with regular baby powder before you put the tire back on after a flat will make it easier to lever the tire onto the rim, and it'll reduce the chance of pinching your tube.

    3. Bring basic, all-purpose items. Safety pins, duct tape, fishing twine, nylon swatches, vaseline, and plastic bags can be used for improvising thousands of solutions for common problems.

    4. Invest in a good headlamp rather than a bike lamp, unless you need a high-powered one for bikepacking. Headlamps point where you're looking, provide greater visibility to cars since they're higher up, and they can be used around camp.

    5. A Nalgene Cantene™ rolls up when you're not using it. Pack it instead of a third water bottle to save weight, or to repurpose a bottle holder with a tennis ball container for storage (great tip from this thread).

    6. Lumbar or Fanny Packs let you store items on your person that you use often, can be accessed while riding, don't make your back sweat, and are safer balance-wise than backpacks. Simple ones are great, but the Inov-8 Race Pro 4 is lightweight and weather-sealed, and extremely stable, with tons of space. 5/5 stars.

    7. Libraries are safe and quiet places to rest in on a tour. Stop by and read for a few hours when it starts pouring.

    8. Gorilla Tape is stronger than duct tape. Use a strip on the underside of your frame to protect the metal from the dings of rocks and debris. When riding in dangerous countries, wrap over logos to make your bike less desirable. Use Gorilla Tape or Duct Tape to make "channels" along your fork or frame to store things like spokes, pumps, plastic bags, and tent poles.

    9. Sleeping Bag Liners add warmth and comfort, and they keep your sleeping bag from smelling or deteriorating. Wash them like clothes regularly. Keep a dryer sheet in the bottom of your sleeping bag to keep it smelling fresh.

    10. Put Silica gel packets or aluminum tins in the bottom of Ortliebs and other dry bag panniers to keep out mildew from dampness.

    11. If you're careful, you can boil water in a classic Nalgene bottle by turning it near a fire. Too close, and you'll melt it. Put it in the bottom of your sleeping bag to stay toasty all night.

    12. They make Paracord that supports up to 400 lbs. Use it instead of rope to save weight and space when hanging things in bear country. Also makes a great way to secure a bike onto a vehicle in an emergency (so long as it's not bearing the full weight of the bike, eg. hanging).

    I'll edit it if I think of more.

    I want to add my GLOWING support to Henessey Hammocks. The sleeping position is so comfortable it feels like sleeping at home, and it keeps leg soreness to a minimum, you don't rock all over, you can't fall out, get wet, get bitten, and it sets up in minutes. I see people making huge sacrifices to get a tent under 1,000 grams while mine is a mere 800 with perfect comfort.
    Last edited by mdilthey; 06-25-12 at 07:34 PM.

  14. #389
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    Camping with a hammock, do you use a sleeping pad? what if the trees are too few or too far apart to hang it up?

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    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    The hammock has a really good range, it's like 8 feet to 22 feet or something. I have NEVER been unable to find trees, and neither have my friends. All 3 of us are using hammocks.

    A good analogy is to think about how hard it is to find level ground, with no rocks, and no water drainage when pitching a tent. The difficulty is about the same. When touring, I think the odds of being unable to find trees are astronomically low. If I find myself in a desert with no trees, I can pitch my rain fly between my bike handlebars and my front wheel with no problems.

    Take a tree with a 6 inch diameter and try to push it over- it's damn-near impossible. I trust anything thicker than my leg.

    Yes, I do use a sleeping pad. I use a Thermarest NeoAir, and it's sized to reach my head to my ankles. It keeps me toasty.

    The hammock has a 1-3 night learning curve where you learn how to put it up, then it's the best way to travel. You're never wet, you never see any bugs, your legs are elevated so the soreness fades out, and every time you see someone bragging about tent weight, you're either beating them in grams or they've sacrificed comfort/money far beyond you. Abandoning poles and 30 square feet of rain tarp to cover 3-4 walls is VERY significant.
    Last edited by mdilthey; 07-02-12 at 10:15 AM.

  16. #391
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    Next time you're out biking, find a place with no trees (that's a challenge by itself, depending on location). Then, see how many miles you have to go to find just two. If you have to go more than 3, you can safely say your area is not hammock friendly. I probably just described about 1% of the United States.

  17. #392
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    Thanks for the information. I have a net hammock that I haven't used much. I might try sleeping in it to see if I would be comfortable all night before I buy a Henessey.

  18. #393
    Senior Member Tansy's Avatar
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    Found this tip in a journal. Two cyclists encounter a third, in Mexico, who has been eating some kind of powdered baby food for breakfast, which he shares with them. Supposedly it's cheap, light, tastes good, and is very nutritious. Think I'm going to look around for anything that fits that description next time I'm at the supermarket.
    Be the change you wish to see in the world.


  19. #394
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post

    4. Invest in a good headlamp rather than a bike lamp, unless you need a high-powered one for bikepacking. Headlamps point where you're looking, provide greater visibility to cars since they're higher up, and they can be used around camp.
    Keep in mind that headlamps are likely to blind car drivers as well, especially if the head lamp is bright enough to ride a county road at night.
    One man's adventure is somebody else's boring life. These are my adventures: http://adventurelaus.blogspot.com/

  20. #395
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    Ortlieb back-rollers can be modified to go "ultralight".

    On the back face of the new (2012?) pannier, there are 9 screws with nuts attaching the top rail, bottom hook, and bottom rail to the bag. Unscrew all of them (regular wrench on the inside, "star" hex wrench on the outside) and lift off the plastic pieces. This allows you to remove the plastic stabilizer sheet and the nylon organizer from the inside of the bag.

    Replace all the rails and screws and tension them tightly to retain the watertight seals. The weight of a loaded bag will maintain fabric tension between the top rail and bottom rail, making the plastic sheet unnecessary. The bags are a little unwieldy without the sheet (though never at risk of falling off) when empty, and just fine when full.

    On the front of the bag, remove the two screws attaching the plastic hook for the shoulder strap and take off the plastic piece. Seal the holes with some gorilla tape or a sewn-in piece if you're crafty.

    Next, throw those shoulder straps in the trash. Attach the buckles from the right bag to the buckles of the left bag instead. Keeps them out of the way.

    You just saved a ton of weight! Now your Ortlieb panniers are some of the lightest touring bags you can buy!
    Last edited by mdilthey; 07-09-12 at 02:22 PM.

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    From my backpacking, camping and canoe camping days......

    Hammocks are great when it is warm/hot. If it gets cool/cold you will FREEZE you * off. Most people don't think f the ground as an insulator, but it is. Once you are laying on it for a while it will get closer to your temp. With air moving under you, if it is cooler than you, it will suck the heat right out of you. (This is what you want on a hot day.)

    Try out your diet and cooking before heading off on a trip. This should avoid the runs or constipation, but also make sure you can cook what you bring with what you bring.

    I can fix most things with a Gerber tool and a Swiss army knife. I will add my Park tool since it is bicycle specific. Between the three items there is very little that can't be fixed. Things like scissors, knife, magnifying glass....

    Always carry 1/3 more water than you expect to need. Nothing sucks more than going dry and not being able to fill up at the expected spot. The extra 1/3 will be able to carry you to the next watering hole.

  22. #397
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWBlue01 View Post
    From my backpacking, camping and canoe camping days......

    Hammocks are great when it is warm/hot. If it gets cool/cold you will FREEZE you * off.
    That's why they make under quilts.
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  23. #398
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
    That's why they make under quilts.
    Defeats the purpose of the hammock (go light) and you will still be warmer on the ground.

  24. #399
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWBlue01 View Post
    Defeats the purpose of the hammock (go light) and you will still be warmer on the ground.
    Nonsense. A quilt is still lighter than a pad and pack smaller. But for a lot of us hammockers, it isn't about weight it is about comfort. And the ground is not an insulator, it will suck the heat out of you, that is why you need a pad to stay warm.
    Learn what's a platform pedal.

  25. #400
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
    And the ground is not an insulator, it will suck the heat out of you, that is why you need a pad to stay warm.
    It's a hell of a wind break, though.

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