Washing your bike is a key part of keeping it running smoothly, but using the wrong soap can dull the finish. I didn’t even know this until recently. So, use car wash soap.
It’s really easy to obtain and generally less expensive than than the stuff marketed for bikes.
With the right brushes, you don’t need much soap to clean your bike anyway. A few months ago I crashed into a tree in Arkansas and damaged the handlebars on my hardtail.
, We’re gonna replace them, but first we need to cut the new ones to size.
When cutting carbon, use a spray bottle filled with water to prevent dust from getting in the air. Carbon dust is really bad for your lungs, so this is actually a safety hack. A rarity. Thanks to Calvin and Truman from park tool for this one.
What do you do with a broken carbon bar?
Make a disc brake truing tool. Take a straight piece of straight carbon bar, and cut a notch an inch down the center. Use your spray bottle, and make sure to get rid of any sharp edges or splinters.
You can add a bar end, grip, or tape handle to protect your hand from the end. If you have a slight bend in your disc brake you can tweak it back into place without the risk of marring it up. Magnetic dishes are great shop tools, but so are these super strong neodymium magnets. Mount one on your repair stand or wherever you work on your bike. This way, you have a quick and easy bolt holder when you need it.
When changing bars or doing anything stem related I find this particularly useful. On the end of a shifter cable you’ll find this little nub, which keeps it retained inside the shifter.
If you’re in a dire situation where you need to make due without one, you can tie a knot at the end. You’ll definitely need pliers to get it tight enough, and it may take some finagling, but it’s better than nothing. If you don’t have a new shifter cable but somehow do have a soldering iron, you can fray the end slightly and add a nub just as good as the original.
At home supply stores you’ll find these equipment ties which are essentially rubber coated bendy rods.
These are great if you need to keep your bars from moving while performing a repair.
For headset and stem related repairs, you can wrap a tie under your fork to keep it from dropping out of the bike.
Since these ties are rubber coated, they’re probably good for any application where you need to hold a bike in position. Recently I tried using electrical tape to neaten up my cables, and it actually didn’t turn out too bad. But mountain bikers with true OCD, use heat shrink tubing.
You can get half inch tubing online or even at harbor freight. I’m measuring it against my cables and cutting it to size first, then unhooking everything. I even needed to put a new end on my disc hose to get the connecting bolt through the tubing. Once you have everything in place, use a heat gun or hair dryer to evenly and slowly shrink the tubing.
Take your time, it’s not worth melting something. Once it’s finished, you can stare at it for the rest of the day. You can do a lever bleed on shimano disc brakes using only this little funnel, and actually you can do the same with many other brands with varying degrees of effectiveness.
But in a pinch you can do it without the funnel, it just takes longer. Use the opening under bleed screw as a mini funnel, and take your time. You can keep an emergency supply of fluid in an eye dropper if you want to keep it on your person.
And yes, this is the wrong fluid for Shimano. If that makes you cringe you’re really gonna hate this next one. Johnson’s baby oil. I had no idea babies needed to be oiled, but this is available at any drug store.
The main ingredient is mineral oil, so in a pinch you could use it to bleed mineral oil brakes—maybe.
I’ve read a lot of arguments about whether or not this is okay to use, and although I’ve found no record of it causing damage, there’s a lot of skepticism. So I can’t officially give it the thumbs up until I try myself. So, for one year we’ll run it in the rear brake of my fat bike, and then do a full autopsy on it.
My guess is that it only voids your warranty and makes your brakes smell like diaper.
You should check out this article where the shredist, explains how to make a kydex frame guard. Since seeing that article I’ve been really interested in using this stuff, but my bikes already have factory downtube and chainstay protection.
So, we’ll make a tail guard for my electric skateboard. Kydex can be cut and manipulated just like abs plastic, and it’s sold in various thicknesses. When you heat it up, it becomes malleable and conforms to whatever shape you want. It wasn’t supposed to come out that good.
And it seems to work.
So there you have it, the last 10 bike hacks of 2018. If you found this article entertaining, give it a thumbs up and share it with a friend. Be sure to read all my other ten bike hacks articles in the playlist at the end, and if you can think of any hacks I haven’t done yet, list them below for the chance to have them featured. I left links to everything featured in the article below.
Thanks for riding with me and I’ll see you next time.