We all ride, and we all have little tidbits of information that are absolutely great but no one else knows about! So let's use this thread to get some chatter going about what you do to make your riding more enjoyable, efficient, etc.
If you'd love to ride your bike to work, but have no facilities to get cleaned up after your arrival (or if you just want to clean up after a group ride and before heading into the pub), these are the product for you!
Well Jamie, one of the best "tips" I've received was from YOU, a while back. My back break cable kept coming lose, and I couldn't find the right allen wrench to tighten it. You suggested I get a Park Tool (M1-1). I did. And that thing has served me VERY well, indeed. I even found a way to attach it to my bike, under the seat. Now, I don't leave home without it... LOL. Thanks again!
I usually kept some small bills in my saddle bag too. Just a few fives. Nothing that if it goes missing I'll be choked about, but enough for a quick cab ride or some fuel and so on. Having a little extra cash tucked away can be a real life saver.
Great tip, David - I also keep around a roll of quarters. If you live in a city with a bus system that has bike racks on the fronts of the buses, it can help you if you have a mechanical problem or just don't feel like riding in the rain.
Also, I've heard that if your tire gets damaged, folding a bill into quarters and putting it on the inside of the tire to cover the hole in the tire will get you home and safe. Who knew, huh?
Thanks Jeff. That IS indeed a good resource site. What a shame about Ken. So the site has just gone on without him. I guess that will happen to all of us when we leave this earth. We will live on via FaceBook, MySpace and the like. hmmmm. Immortality. What a concept. But then i DO digress... LOL.
Here's another tip, or rather a product recommendation: The Reelight.
Reelights are a pair of permanently affixed lights that attach to the front and back axles of your bike (white light in front, red in back) along with a set of two magnets attached to the spokes of each wheel. The idea is that the magnets' spinning while you ride keep the lights powered, and therefore you have no need for a battery powered flasher on either the front or back of your bike. It even has a small capacitor in each light so that the lights don't stop flashing when you're stopped (at least for a couple minutes).
You'll still need a front steady headlight for night riding, but these lights are great for simply being visible to motorists while you're riding. They're pretty strong, and once you get them installed they're totally self-contained. Highly recommended. I'm not sure where to get them now, but just search for "Reelight" online and you'll find some vendors. They're made in Denmark but there are plenty of retailers everywhere who carry them.
I know that nobody here would locked their bikes incorrectly, but here is a little tip for locking your bike in an urban area ...
When purchasing a lock, the best rule-of-thumb is to spend at least 10% of the cost of your cycle on the lock and never to spend less than £20 on the lock. The most reliable type is a D-lock - a solid metal hoop - and even a cheap D-lock will be more resistant than a cable. For around £35, it is possible to purchase a D-lock that will resist all but the most determined thief. Cable locks are okay but unless it is an expensive (£35 or more) cable lock, it is not recommended to be left outside overnight, especially in a vulnerable location. Finally, always get a key - combination locks are very easy to crack and the Oxford Cycle Workshop does not sell them for that reason.
Once you have a decent lock, to properly lock your cycle is simple: through the frame, and round an immovable object.
"Through the frame" means through a closed section of the frame, such as the front triangle. Additionally, if the lock can also pass through a wheel, it provides additional security.
"Round an immovable object" means anything which is bolted down, such as a cycle rack or an iron railing. If your immovable object is a signpost, be sure that the cycle and lock cannot be lifted over the top of the post. Additionally, a cable (with loops at each end) is useful when locking a cycle to a larger object (such as a lamppost or roadsign).
Another area where thieves can strike is at your wheels and saddle. Many new cycles are sold with quick release wheel and saddles because they are useful for mending punctures, storing the cycle, or for adjusting the riding position, but they are also convenient for thieves. They can be replaced with normal nuts and bolts but they can easily be undone with a cheap cycle spanner. A better solution is to replace them with locking skewers because, with the key, they are convenient as quick releases.
Other quick deterrents:
* Make your cycle look unattractive (or, at least, unique) because bikes are stolen to be sold and a bike covered in tape, crappy paint, stickers, or rust will not sell for a lot.
* Have two bikes. A nice one for long rides. A beater for riding around town.
* If possible, don't leave your cycle outside overnight.
"With that big a crowd, the best you can hope for from a weapon is intimidation. Something that'll stop them and make them back down for a few seconds while you quickly leave. I don't think a switchblade would do the…"
"Most switchblades are not very useful - blade wise. The very good ones are very expensive, and finicky to unreliable at best. A fixed blade (even a small one) is better in a fight. But no knife is going to turn the odds when that overmatched. "