09 July, 2006

Things that Work

After years of being the guy who never flats, my luck has run out. Or maybe it's moving to a more urban area where there is glass and stuff on the streets. My solution has been to start using Slime Lite tubes. These have a slimy goo inside that self seals punctures up to 3mm wide, so I hope to get far fewer flats.

I've never been a fan of regular Slime tubes; at 200+ grams they are just too heavy. But the "Lite" version is listed at 158gm in the 28-32mm size, but only weight 144gm on my digital scale. That's only about 30gm more than a regular tube. At $9.75 they are not cheap, but worth it for me. We do have them in the Velo Orange store.

We also have good quality regular tubes at $3 each, just so you can stock up when you order other stuff.

Another one of my favorite little items is the generic two legged bike stand. Most of us don't need a full blown repair stand; they take up to much room and are expensive. But this little stand hooks over the downtube, cradles the bottom bracket shell, and lifts the back wheel up. So you can spin the crank, make adjustments to your drivetrain, do an entire overhaul or build up a frame. When you're done it fits in the parts drawer. Okay, it may not be as convenient as a full size professional $200 repair stand, but it only costs $14.50 in the Velo Orange store and will last forever.

Finally, I've been using Delta Inox stainless steel water bottle cages for a few years now. They are very light, elegant (in a modern way), and don't mark-up water bottles. They come in a silver mat finish that goes well with most newer bikes. $14 in the store.

Do you have any favorite "things that work"?


C said...

Things that work:
Honjo fenders. Yes, Berthoud is nice but so are the hammered Honjo models.

Shimano 14x25 cassettes. Sold for junior racing but handy for non-racers.

A nice looking rear LED light that doesn't look like an ugly hunk of plastic. Bruce Gordon has one but it's a single LED. Be nice to have something a little brighter.

Wool jerseys. Can never have too many! A nice one would be gray with a white chest panel with Velo Orange embroidered in orange.

VAR and Hozan tools!! These are getting harder and harder to find.

patrick said...

I like the Kool Stop bead jack, a handy tool for pulling a tenacious tyre back onto a rim.

Also, the little y-tools for allen and box wrenches have become an indispensable part of my arsenal.

david_nj said...

1. alloy water bottles (i saw a modern one, with a cork, in a poofy bike shop made by Cuissi)

2. some sort of kit to fit a carrying strap to a Berthoud handlebar bag

Chris Kulczycki said...


Alloy water bottle? Just wait a couple of days, I have some really neat, shiny, well designed metal bottles with either flat caps or proper sports tops on the way!

E-mail me about the strap, next time I order leather I'll get some D-rings and can set you up.

C said...

Nitto racks. Rivendell has some, Ben's has some. Availability at both seems sporadic, especially when it comes to the Campee model.

david_nj said...


Have you seen Chris's racks in person? I practically guarantee that when you do you'll think the Nitto racks are for commoners.

C said...

Yes, I've seen the VO racks. However, the VO racks are not the same design as the Nitto Campee. The VO rack is fine for smaller loads that can be carried up high. The Campee is for heavier loads that are best carried down low. Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges.

david_nj said...

Fair enough c. The problem with those Campee racks, when you bolt on the lower carriers, is you better have mile-long chainstays, or your heels just bonk into 'em. (I understand they make front Campees too but I've never seen one in person -- seems like that design would be good on the front for sure.)

But to my mind V-O isn't really about the heavy loaded touring thang, either.

Joe B said...

hey c..., (and ck,)

here's a link to an old nitto catalog, with both the front and rear campees / panniers.

old nitto catalog

joe b said...

Alright, just want to put in a few good words for the mini-two-leg-stand. I'd been on the fence about pursuing a "real" work stand, but for reasons of space etc. ("too many bikes!"), had been getting by without.

Also, old habits of impromptu bike repairs when-and-where left me feeling resigning to the basement wasn't exactly the most appealing choice. However, I've put up with the (disastrous) leaning of bikes against washing machines/stoves/refrigerators for too long.

This little guy pops right under there, is toolcoated to protect where it counts, and is smart enough to avoid clunking into the crank arm/pedals when operated in "finger slicer" mode ;-)