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Thread: Tips and Tricks

  1. #126
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    Throughout bikeforums, I've seen a number of posts about whether to lock your bike during a tour. I almost always do, including in small/tiny towns. Two reasons:

    1. I've had locals, such as in eastern KY, tell me how rampant illegal drug use was in their town along with a lot of thievery.

    2. As I was eating in McDonalds, my bike was parked outside close to a window. Suddenly, two very young kids were looking at it, and touching it. The bike and my gear weighed at least fifty pounds, so the kids could have been hurt had it fallen over. I always try to lock my bike to a pole to help prevent this from happening.

    David in PA

  2. #127
    gnz
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    Here is another small trick that came in handy to me yesterday:
    Always install your tires with a feature you can easily spot (a label on the sidewall) aligned with the tube's valve.
    Whenever you have a flat, just locate the puncture on the tube and you will have an instant reference of where exactly to look for the culprit stuck in the tire. Does this make sense? It will save you some minutes when repairing flats

  3. #128
    gnz
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in PA
    Throughout bikeforums, I've seen a number of posts about whether to lock your bike during a tour...
    If you lock the bike allways no matter what, the locking procedure becomes a habit and it won't bother you at all as you start doing unconciously. You may get funny looks though, when you lock the bike then sit right next to it in a restaurant or something

  4. #129
    Flying and Riding sam21fire's Avatar
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    Innertubes from motocycles make excellent rubber bands when sliced into rings, and you can make them as wide or narrow as you want. For added entertainment, you could slice up the inner tube before "Big Jim" has removed it from his new Harley!

    Sam

  5. #130
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    A piece of plastic cut from a large recycling/garbage bag makes a great ground sheet to put under your tent. It keeps the tent floor clean and relatively dry (esp. if the ground is muddy) so the tent will be ready to pack up quicker in the morning. A 2' x 5' rectangle of plastic weights about 30 grams (1 oz.)
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  6. #131
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    Use the "bag" of tools that you intend to carry for all your regular maintenance and pre-trip tune-up. That way you won't forget anything and you may find that some of the "lite-weight" or "multi-tools" that you were planning to take don't work very well. i.e. I once needed to tighten my crank bolt to stop a creak, if I was relying on the 2" long 6mm hex key with adapter in my Topeak Alien I'd still be there trying to fix it.
    2006 Lemond Sarthe
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  7. #132
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    +1 To that! A small adjustable wrench (or small ratchet set) and some loose Hex keys are often superior (and cheaper) than most mutli tools and can be almost as light. If you want to be really thorough you can even color code the keys and such as Sheldon Brown describes. I even saw some people that color coded their bolts and nuts or had a small schematic diagram of their bikes that showed every size. This might be a bit excessive but you get the point.

    Vaseline is great for a lot of applications, chaffed Lips, small wounds and scrapes, runny nose as well as to get grease of your hands, for grease removal just rub into your hands and then smear it on something like paper or leaves. Sounds odd but works. I like to carry a photo roll container on longer rides or when it is cold.
    Last edited by v1nce; 01-26-06 at 10:33 AM.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  8. #133
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    This is a no brainer, but always bring some antibiotic ointment with you. But don't use it for too long. Here's my story:

    On a short day trip once I had a mild fall, and cut the bottom front of my ankle. It was almost severe enough to require stitches but not quite. Instead, I decided to use the ointment and a bandage every day until it healed. After about eight weeks, it still had not completed healed, so I went to the doc. He explained that the antibiotic ointment does indeed help prevent infection, but using it for too long can actually slow or prevent full healing.

    I promptly stopped using the ointment, and my cut was fully healed in about a week.

    David in PA

  9. #134
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    As part of a first aid kit, I sometimes carry a tiny aerosol container of liquid bandage. After cleaning a wound, spray on a thin layer or two of liquid bandage. The resulting film is flexible, breathable, impervious to dirt, and easy to reapply.

    In India, I witnessed someone cover a large, festering leg wound with liquid bandage. Within a couple of days the wound showed no signs of infection, and had shrunk to almost nothing.

  10. #135
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoogie
    tips and tricks for cleaning a really dirty chain

    i put about a 100ml of a 50/50 mixture of petrol and detergent into a plastic coke/powerade bottle, drop in the chain, put the top and shake it ... if it's really dirty, i lay the bottle on its side and put it on the top of the washing machine, then i use an old spoke to fish the chain out, wipe it down and hang it out to dry, then reinstall back on bike and lube it thoroughly ... really good for getting absolutely every little bit of crud out of your chain ...
    DO NOT DO THIS! I cannot say strongly enough how incredibly dangerous this idea is! Gasoline and detergent is a recipe for napalm! Flammability of the gasoline is reduced but if it ignites it will stick to everything!
    Last edited by cyccommute; 01-26-06 at 01:17 PM.
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  11. #136
    addicted to coffee velotimbe's Avatar
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    holy crap -

    to the person that mounted the blackburn lowrider to the suspension fork....

    DO NOT RIDE YOUR BIKE. WTF are you thinking? That skewer holds your wheel on?

    That setup is dental surgery waiting to happen.....
    gunnarroadiesurlylonghaultruckergiantcypressstgunnarruffiantrekfuel90

  12. #137
    gnz
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    Quote Originally Posted by velotimbe
    holy crap -
    to the person that mounted the blackburn lowrider to the suspension fork....
    DO NOT RIDE YOUR BIKE. WTF are you thinking? That skewer holds your wheel on?
    That setup is dental surgery waiting to happen.....
    Well I had the same concern the first days but now it's been over 5000km with no problems at all. See, the U bolts are pretty tight providing support from the higher part and the skewer is also really tight.

    Also, I analized the part and in my case the wheel is not being supported by the skewer but only secured in place by it. I could actually ride the bike withouth the front skewer while being careful not to lift the front wheel.

    In the end, of course this kind of setup has some risk but I think it is for people who have an idea of what they're doing, and I think I do. Perhaps I should add a disclaimer to my post though.

  13. #138
    ChainringTattoo
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    Double-sided velcro. This stuff is awesome and replaces bungees and straps for me. I have pieces in various lengths for using to keep my rain pants out of my chain, holding a little radio to the frame, and tying up anything that needs to be tied up. No worries about whether you have a strap that's long enough, because you can just velcro the sections together to get a longer strap in case you need to strap something bigger on your rack. Super lightweight, just keep the prickly side away from the lycra.

    http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...roductId=12110

  14. #139
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    I use an Old Man Mountain rack which is designed to do the same by attaching to the brake mounting bolts, and it includes a special skewer. It is solid and carries up to 70 pounds, depending upon the rack you chose.

  15. #140
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    DO NOT DO THIS! I cannot say strongly enough how incredibly dangerous this idea is! Gasoline and detergent is a recipe for napalm! Flammability of the gasoline is reduced but if it ignites it will stick to everything!
    nah, napalm is soap flakes and petrol with a few other bits and ingredients ... the detergent just blends in with the fuel, plus you don't need much, just 20mls of each is ample ...
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  16. #141
    Senior Member Rogerinchrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoogie
    nah, napalm is soap flakes and petrol with a few other bits and ingredients ... the detergent just blends in with the fuel, plus you don't need much, just 20mls of each is ample ...
    If your gonna clean with gasoline, why the detegent? Doubt you could tell a difference between gas & detergent vs. gas alone. Besides if your gonna go that far just get a can of carb/ injector cleaner. The spraying nocks off have the dirt & grease. (kills grass good too)

  17. #142
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    If you use schrader valves, stop at the first tire store and get a fiew valve cores, these things are easy to loose in grass and gravel. The DAV sells 20 gallon trash can liners they are strong plyable and see threw, make wonderfull bags to stick in the panners.
    A child learns what the village teaches!

  18. #143
    Senior Member crotch_rocket's Avatar
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    I biked through South and Central America alone, so here's a handy one for anyone going solo. These are my hard won lessons on the road.

    1.) Be open and friendly, especially in El Salvador, and you'll never need to find a hostel. Then again, you'll probably be up till 2 AM every night laughing and talking with your hosts, rich or poor. So take it easy when riding the next morning.

    2.) In the tropics, bike between 6-11AM, and 2:30-6PM, otherwise the sun glare will hammer your brains out, and you'll wander around the road with a headache that feels like someone drilled into your skull.

    3.) If you're a straight man, and if you are in lycra, do not mix the words hambre with hombre when going into a restaurant. One means hunger, the other means man. One means I am hungry, the other means I have a man. Latin countries are very macho. Saying the wrong phrase is the difference between lunch and being LAUNCHED out.

    4.) Always smile, always be extra extra extra patient, and begin everything with a please, and finish with a thank you very much. Latin americans place a lot of emphasis on politeness. And don't forget to show gratitude and sincerity, and you'll never ever have a problem... even with any would be thieves! Always give your hosts extra reason to like you.

    5.) Don't worry about the dogs. Just dismount and walk if they give you a hard time. Stooping to pickup a rock makes them run too.

    6.) And last, but not least! If you plan to do a jungle trek, the LAST thing you want to do is bring a bike! Especially in the Peten of Guatemala! Take a backpack and load it on the mule. Or load a pannier on the mule.The hike is far to strenuous hiking, let alone pushing your bike, and the dried mud cracks and fissures on the ground will make you regret bringing it. Lock it up in the base camp, bury it in some leaves, and then hire a guide and a mule, and try to enjoy your 2 week survival trek. Good luck bringing all the water that you will need. YOU WILL RUN OUT. Carry a good water filter and some iodine, and don't worry if the donkey craps and pees in the water, cause that's the only water for miles and miles and miles around. And don't forget to bring your machete and some tobacco for the inhabitants of the jungle. YOU WILL NEED THOSE ITEMS. Don't worry about the bandits, usually your guide will have a *****.

    Hope this helps!

  19. #144
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    @ crotch (ha ha, sorry for that shorthand)

    Real good tips, i am from Southy and i would say you are Spot on, the locals are Ace to you if you are great to them (which is pretty much worldwide). A machete is real good but i personally prefer a sharpened Parang (as does the S.A.S.

    It will allow you to cut down foliage, strip bark of sticks, serve as a hatchet and will work almost like a chef's knive if is its shapened properly. If you sharpen it trreat it with respect or you might chop of your leg.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
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  20. #145
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    an idea i did not see in these postings yet:
    -save a 3 inch stip from a trashed tire in your tool kit. it can be used if you get a major cut on either current tire as support for tube if you don't have spare tire or it's already in use; could get you to next shop! (thanks jerry, x-usa 1982)

  21. #146
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    Always carry a bundle of zip ties (or some call them cable ties) with you wherever you go. You'll never know how useful these things can be until you are in need of them!

  22. #147
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    Tape a little label under your top tube (waterproof is best) with your wheel circumference on it. Then if you have to re-program your computer (i.e. change the battery) on the road you'll have the wheel size handy.
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  23. #148
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    fyi - I saw a flickstand in my LBS the last time I was in there. Also, the wrap that the Polynesian gent was wearing is not called a sarong. It is called a lava-lava.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  24. #149
    ChainringTattoo
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    Sorry to just post a link, but I'm collecting my own list of tips at this page:
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journ..._id=30086&v=2s

    I'm especially proud of the peanut butter jar tool box and Tyvek tarp/grouncloth/bivy/thingy. If you want to do your own Tyvek magic, the guestbook has some more info on making it work for you.
    Indiana Joy

  25. #150
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    excellent info! thank you!

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