Fix your ride in a pinch the next time your down & out early in the session.
Over the years, we have tested hundreds of bikes of all styles and price ranges, so it only goes to say that we have picked up a few tricks along the way to get us through those particularly tough tests. You have probably heard us mention tips from time to time while trying to resolve a pair of slipping bars or brakes that seem to have better things to do than work. The concept is simple: Resolve, or at least improve upon, the current function of the bike using free or cheap, quick and easy techniques.
Throttle grip is hands down the most annoying thing on the planet. Get some water or some dirt under your grip, and your session is ruined. For moisture-related throttle bummers, you can use a bike pump with a ball needle on it, or any gas station compressor to blow air under your grips, and dry them out so they will stick, and you can get back to business.
LOCTITE PEDAL PINS
Even the best metal pedals have issues with the traction pins falling out, and in the abuse of a test, it’s not uncommon to have bikes return with only one or two left. To ensure proper traction and a worthy test, we will remove pins and hit them with a drop of Loctite to ensure our traction makes it through the day.
RATTLES IN THE RIMS
Rattles in the rim can be caused by any number of things falling between the walls of your rim, from broken-off spoke heads to excess material left over from when the rim was made. While this won’t hinder performance, it can drive you mad. So put a few small dabs of grease in the holes on the inside of your rim to catch whatever is rolling around, and go on in delightful silence.
Too much angle to your seat can be dangerous, but none is down right uncomfortable, which is a common problem with many micro-adjust posts on stock race bikes. The solution? Take off the seat, turn the post backwards and put the seat back on. Now you will have a little more nose-up adjustment for a better feel and look.
BOOT A SIDEWALL
Torn sidewalls are nothing new, but with the resurgence of ultra-light tires, torn sidewalls are again becoming more of an issue. Even a small tear will allow your tube to poke through and eventually pop. For a temporary fix, remove your tire and boot the hole with a folded-up dollar bill—or a fifty, it depends on how you roll. This fix will save your tube, get you back to base camp for a tire swap and have you back in action in no time.
SAND THE BARS
Painting over the knurling on bars is a sure way to put slip where there should be grip. Remove your bars and sand the clamping surface the exact width of your stem down to bare metal. Once reinstalled, your bars won’t look any different, but their hold will be improved dramatically.
For a quick brake fix, a little soda on the rim, and we mean a little, will go a long way. Dab some on your finger, wipe it on the rim, let it dry and get your brake on. It will be loud and won’t last long, but if you have a particular fufanu in mind and need some boost for a weak set of brakes, this is a proven quick fix we have used for years.
Sometimes we have to test a bike before we get it to the studio, so to save cleaning time, we will tie a short loop of shoelace around the inner hub. As you ride, the lace will turn and actually keep your hubs clean of dust and dirt, a cool trick for the clean-minded riders out there.