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  1. #1
    gazing from the shadows
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    Tips to amaze the new rider.

    The other day I went over to a friend's house to get his and his wife's bikes ready for a duathlon. I asked him if he had a workstand, and he pointed to his workbench, covered in junk. I said I meant a bike stand, but I figured he did not have one. I then said "No problem, we will just make one."

    Out comes the rope, tossed over a rafter, a slipknot went around the nose of the saddle, and viola! a workstand that made it easy to lube and tune the bikes.

    The guy was freakin' AMAZED! He looked at me like a miracle worker.

    So, and other basic tricks of the trade people would like to share? Things that you never think about twice, but that a new rider might never think of on their own?

    Bonus points if your tip includes duct tape.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  2. #2
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    Oh, sure, take my best one....

    That's such an obvious one I'm surprised how it wows people, but I've done it on camping trips and at races and they stand and gape like I'd invented pressurized air.
    Couple of others, obvious to veterans but probably helpful to newbies:
    When fitting a chain, just stretch it around the big cog and big ring, add one link and put the sucker together. It will be close enough.
    Toe strap (which nobody has anymore, but you can use a shoelace) around the brakes to hold the pads against the rim while you adjust the cable.
    Puncture, but no patch or spare tube? You shouldn't let this happen, but if it does, cut the tube right at the hole and tie a figure 8 knot as tight as you can in each end. Insert in tire, pump up and ride (works WAY better with mountain bike tires than road rubber, but it's rideable)
    Whang the high spot of a tacoed wheel on a fence post or something to beat it more or less back into shape, then tweak the spokes with a wrench until it's rideable with the brake release open. To be honest, I've only had to do this once, but it fixed a REALLY bad wheel well enough to get us to the next rest stop.
    Anybody remember those tool-kit freewheel vises you could use to pull a freewheel so you could replace a drive-side spoke? I still have one, useless now, around the garage. A modern-day equivalent, the Cassette Cracker, is the size and weight of a church key can opener and will spin off a cassette with no other tools. On long rides I carry one, plus a couple of spokes taped to the top or seat tube. Don't know where you'll find a Cracker, though, except in my garage.
    .

  3. #3
    Paranoid Android
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr hoo
    The other day I went over to a friend's house to get his and his wife's bikes ready for a duathlon. I asked him if he had a workstand, and he pointed to his workbench, covered in junk. I said I meant a bike stand, but I figured he did not have one. I then said "No problem, we will just make one."

    Out comes the rope, tossed over a rafter, a slipknot went around the nose of the saddle, and viola! a workstand that made it easy to lube and tune the bikes.

    The guy was freakin' AMAZED! He looked at me like a miracle worker.

    So, and other basic tricks of the trade people would like to share? Things that you never think about twice, but that a new rider might never think of on their own?

    Bonus points if your tip includes duct tape.
    Some people seem to be amazed when I can:

    -Put on a tight-beaded road tire with my bare hands.
    -Adjust a disc brake so it is dead silent (no rubbing).
    -Get a stiff link out of a chain with my hands.
    -track stand
    -ride and steer my bike without hands
    -fix a slashed tire with duct tape

    Ok, I'm not trying to brag, since lots of people can do those things, but it's fun to show off sometimes .

    -R

  4. #4
    flinty-eyed moderator
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    Simple stuff that's good to know:

    1. New chains come with a wax paste type covering which prevents them from rusting in the box. It is not lube and forms a gritty sandpaper paste on your chain. You need to clean it off (chain degreaser does the trick) and apply proper chain lube.

    2. Proper chain lube and chain cleaning will vastly extend the usable life of your chain, cassette and rings. Old T-shirts are great for general drivetrain cleaning.

    3. If you are road riding, you need to carry: at least one spare tube (protected from punctures in your saddlebag), at least two tire levers, a basic multi tool, a method of inflating your tires (pump or CO2 cartridge and inflator), tire patch kit or glueless patches (for double flats ect.) and at least $5 cash. That is the basics, you can carry more stuff but less then that and you will be walking home someday in uncomfortable shoes.

    Dr. Cox: Lady, people aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard fillings. But I don't find them half as annoying as I find naive bubble-headed optimists who walk around vomiting sunshine.

  5. #5
    ..a trick of the light..
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    With a cut tire, where the tube will stick out and pop again, place a dollar bill (or 5 pound note...) inside and insert/inflate new tube. Done this several times and I always carry a bill with spare tubes.
    ..and too much caffeine, he thought.

  6. #6
    Shirtcocker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim M
    With a cut tire, where the tube will stick out and pop again, place a dollar bill (or 5 pound note...) inside and insert/inflate new tube. Done this several times and I always carry a bill with spare tubes.
    energy bar wrappers also work for this.
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  7. #7
    OES
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    When you come to an obstacle in the road, push down, pull up, hop over. The first time you manage it -- well, talk about an amazed newbie.

  8. #8
    I don't exist
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    Cut up FedEx, UPS, DHL envelope (Tyvek)strips are better & ~~free & you still have the $5 bill to spend on a congradulatory beer for your field expediency.
    Rocket Sturgeon
    -2B1 Ask 1-
    Fast Stinky Fish
    in KY jelly

  9. #9
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    When using any hand held pump, find a stone or a fence post and rest the end of the pump on it; effectively converting your hand pump into a mini track pump.

    I also second the no lever approach to taking tyres on and off.

    Cold day that's gonna warm up? few sheets of newspaper up the jersey, take out when warm.

    Putting wheels in? Front first; it's the easiest and lifts the front of the bike making the rear easier, and always remove the wheel in the smallest sprocket, that way you know where it goes when replacing.

    Arm warmers are the greatest bit of kit.

    Shaving legs? always shave towards the knee, ie down at the top, up from the feet.

    Good trick? picking up a dropped cap while riding along.

    Best bottle cages? Metal 'cos you can bend them in to grip the bottles for cobbles and rougher races.

    Rainy day? cotton cap under helmet = dryer eyes.

    Power Bars take more energy to chew than you get from the bar itself. ;)

  10. #10
    Spicy Dumpling
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL9000
    Cut up FedEx, UPS, DHL envelope (Tyvek)strips are better & ~~free & you still have the $5 bill to spend on a congradulatory beer for your field expediency.
    I use tyvec CD/DVD holders as a bag for my tubes in my seatpack. It protects the tube from my toolkit and other stuff in the bag, and can be used to boot a tire like you said.

  11. #11
    Gone for a bike ride ....
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    Quote Originally Posted by olr1
    Power Bars take more energy to chew than you get from the bar itself. ;)
    DEFINITELY don't store your Power Bar away from body heat when it's cold. They could break your teeth! Clif Bars are another story .... much softer and tastier.
    ---- Perfection is our goal, but excellence is tolerated. ----

  12. #12
    scruffy nerf herder
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    My tips....

    Im sure the arguements will come, but after many years and threads read, this is my price for performance tips. All of these answers have their caveats, but these ARE the correct answers for the newbies.

    1. The best upgrade for your money: If your frame fits you CORRECTLY: Wheels, wheels, wheels otherwise FRAME FRAME FRAME
    2. The best frame material for your money: Aluminum
    3. Ultegra vs 105s, for the money: 105s
    4. Carbon handlebars, Cranks, or handlebars: For the money, Handlebars
    5. Shimano vs Campy: again price for performance: Shimano
    6. the best sports drink....: price for performance.... Water with a touch of salt
    so sayeth the funk....

    Chris

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    "The RBR Lounge. You won't ever find a more wretched hive of scum and villany. We must be cautious."

  13. #13
    Squirrel Hunter
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    My Tip

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    Im sure the arguements will come...but these ARE the correct answers for the newbies...
    Don't believe everything you read on the internet.

  14. #14
    Just Riding Along
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    32 spoke wheels...

    are the best long term value. Low spoke count wheels may look cool but can also leave you walking home or waiting for a factory rebuild.
    Bikes are like bottles of beer; as soon as you get one, you want another.....

  15. #15
    Cycling
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    i third the no tool/tire off method

    and to learn that it takes...well.........practice

    i cant repair a flat within 2 minutess now w/no tools(Execpt patches_

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycling
    i third the no tool/tire off method

    and to learn that it takes...well.........practice

    i cant repair a flat within 2 minutess now w/no tools(Execpt patches_
    certain combos are a real pain though. carry your tire irons just in case or you may end up with blisters on your thumbs.
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  17. #17
    scruffy nerf herder
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    oh yeah?

    Shimano is better than campy!

    honestly (I agree).
    so sayeth the funk....

    Chris

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  18. #18
    Squirrel Hunter
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    Yeah!

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    Shimano is better than campy!
    Interesting, not even the one I was warning newbies about. Sounds like someone may have a predisposed bias.

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    ...this is my price for performance tips...
    1. The best upgrade for your money: If your frame fits you CORRECTLY: Wheels, wheels, wheels otherwise FRAME FRAME FRAME
    After you have a properly fitting and fitted bicycle the best upgrades are changing stock components that do not fit your body or riding style. Saddle, tires, cassette, shoe & pedal combination, computer with cadence... Buy a couple of pairs of good shorts.

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    2. The best frame material for your money: Aluminum
    Although for a newbie comfort often times trumps performance and they may develop their riding ability quicker on a bike that they can put long miles on rather than an aluminum rocket that lets them go fast over shorter distances.

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    3. Ultegra vs 105s, for the money: 105s
    Hmmmm, is this still true in the longer term with Shimano's transition of its product lines to 10 speed? Certainly something to think about depending on the short and long term goals of the newbie.

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    4. Carbon handlebars, Cranks, or handlebars: For the money, Handlebars
    Well handlebars over cranks but properly sized handlebars should have been dealt with in the bike fit and carbon is really not necessary although it may look cool. Why would you be putting carbon handlebars and cranks on a 105 level bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    5. Shimano vs Campy: again price for performance: Shimano
    Maybe or maybe not. A lot of factors to look at and the old rule of thumb from 2 or 3 years ago may have changed with recent developments in the market. Certainly a point to be researched and discussed in a different forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    6. the best sports drink....: price for performance.... Water with a touch of salt
    Print this list so you can put it in your pocket and read it while you try to gather enough energy after bonking to make it back home.

  19. #19
    Paranoid Android
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    Utterly Infallible!

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    Im sure the arguements will come, but after many years and threads read, this is my price for performance tips. All of these answers have their caveats, but these ARE the correct answers for the newbies.
    LMAO

    -R

  20. #20
    AIE
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    re: bike stand

    Same can be accomplished by perching the nose of your saddle on a low-hanging, horizontal tree branch. Bikes balance quite well this way.

  21. #21
    too fixed, too furious
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    "Well handlebars over cranks but properly sized handlebars should have been dealt with in the bike fit and carbon is really not necessary although it may look cool. Why would you be putting carbon handlebars and cranks on a 105 level bike?"

    cause they dropped almost a half pound off the bike, and were not much more than upgrading to an ultegra crank and bb.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    3. Ultegra vs 105s, for the money: 105s
    especially for 2006!
    10 SPEEEED!!!!



  23. #23
    Bike Dude
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    Yet another bike stand

    Using motorcycle tie down straps with the s-hooks. Hook one end to a cross beam and the other end around the seatpost, the other strap will hand from another cross beam (or hook) and then around the stem.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnA
    I use tyvec CD/DVD holders as a bag for my tubes in my seatpack. It protects the tube from my toolkit and other stuff in the bag, and can be used to boot a tire like you said.
    Old cotton sock for the tube. Holes in it are OK, also the ones that show up in the laundry with no mate. Put the tube in the foot end and fold the top over. Then store the CO2 cartridge, irons, etc. in the "leg end." This does a couple things: Keeps the tube from getting chafed in the bag against the tools, but also keeps the tools from chafing your seat bag against the rails on the saddle. Finally, when you do have a flat or a minor roadside repair, you have a "grease rag" to clean up your hands.

    NEVER pass up a chance to top off your water bottles!

    Sodium bi-carb in the bottle with water is an electrolyte and better than salt because it will settle your stomach a bit on a hard ride. A pinch will do ya!

    Leather pouch coin purse for keys and change. Keeps keys/change from poking a hole in your $100 jersey, and keeps the contents together.

    Speakin' of jerseys. Zippers cost money. When looking at jerseys and comparing prices, get the one with the LONG zipper that comes all the way down to your navel. Hang the cost! It will pay for itself in the long haul. Also, put it on. Zip up the neck. It's nice if you can un-zip the neck with one hand and no fancy finger work. That's a function of fit and design. Helps too if the zipper tab is a decent size.

    For the tourist types -- DON'T secure clothing on the bars. You haven't lived until that shirt comes untied and wraps around the front wheel!

  25. #25
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    Shoes? $100 plus....

    Socks? $1.....

    Put socks over your shoes when it rains.

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