22 October, 2014

Bike Tips and Tricks

by Igor

Here's a small collection of tips and tricks I use in the shop, and one I use while out riding. If you have more, put them in the comments!

Penny + Quill Stem
We've all been there. Unwrap your new drop handlebar and immediately scratch the bend trying to get it through the quill stem's clamp. Then you sigh and say to yourself, 'it's okay, tape will cover it up'. If your stem clamp has a threaded portion, put the bolt through the backside and tighten a penny. It will keep the clamp expanded and you'll be able to open it up a bit to more easily slide the bar's curves through the clamp without damage. If you have a threadless design like a Nitto, find a thin nut to place in the clamp for the screw to thread through.

Nut on bolt
If you're cutting a bolt for a better fit, thread a nut further down than the cut. When you unthread the nut, the threads are automatically cleaned up!

Wrapping Non-Aero Brake Levers
The clamp and body of non-aero brake levers are much smaller than their aero counterparts. Being able to see the clamp through your new bar tape is unsightly and detracts from the appearance. When you've set up the position of the levers, put some scotch tape on the clamp to hold it in place. Unscrew the body from the clamp. The clamp should stay in place by the tape. Wrap around the clamp and screw the body back on. Voila! No embarrassing clamp is visible through your wrap.

Fender Eyelet Bolt for Dynamo Cable Guides
This one I picked up from Mark. Our fender eyelet bolts are absolutely perfect for guiding dynamo wires. Zipties should be kept to an absolute minimum on a bike. Yes, I did use a few zipties. I am ashamed. The back is in need of severe de-ziptieing. De-ziptying? De-zipting? Anyway, use a couple washers to achieve optimal guiding of wires.

P-Clamps are acceptable
Cloth Under Cork Grips
Put a piece of cloth tape lengthwise on a handlebar to prevent the grip from turning. Careful not to tear the grip when slowly pushing it on.
Fingers Cold?
Stick them inside your handlebar bag's flap to get them out of the wind.
Keep Your Valve Rings!
Don't be tempted to throw away your valve rings. They are the absolute most important asset in a shop. They are the perfect spacers for racks and fenders.

Have more? Let us know in the comments!


Anonymous said...

Another classic shop trick for grips is to use hairspray to get the grip on. The alcohol base dries quickly and the sticky residue acts like a mild glue. I've never tried it with cork grips like your illustration photo, but it works great with rubber grips.

jagur said...

Fingers cold? Put on gloves!

Anonymous said...

+1 on the bag-flap-as-hand-protection! Gloves don't go with me on every ride but my bag does. It perfect for shielding from cold or even rain on a summer ride. Rad!

Anonymous said...

I recommend that you attach the fender to the rack bottom eyelet like it should and not use it as cable guide for wires. Your fenders will last much longer thst way.

Hoopdriver.ca said...

Pennies?! Heavin forbid! Only pure silver coins here!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these Igor. Some were new to me.

dana the tall said...

I use the rack fender mount for the fender, but I get the point of using the eyelet bolt for wiring. Good tips all, an new to me.

Hank said...

Your timing could not have been worse. Got my new handlebars and new quill stem. Struggled to get the bend through stem clamps (full disclosure I did have a few pints before I started). I tried grease and that worked well however the next morning I checked the finish on the new bars and they were all scratched up. Decision time new bars or tape over. Thanks for the tip

philcycles said...

I was fortunate to live near Joe Factor Sales in the San Fernando Valley. It was the last of the great aircraft surplus store in Los Angeles. You could buy the most amazing things here, first among them a giant bolt and nut selection, mostly sold for a couple of dollars a pound.
If you have nuts and bolts you must have bushings and they had a lot of them. I moved away 11 years ago and I'm still using the bushings for spacers.

philcycles said...

Bar installation:
Many years ago I managed to sweet talk the Nitto handle bar tool from them at Interbike. They had a small table and nobody spoke English but I got the tool and I've been using it for years.
I don't know if they're still making it but it without question the single best tool for installing bars.