Plumbing or automotive clamps are like a zip tie on steroids when it comes to bike hacks. Metal clamps are bigger, meaner, and shinier. I have never actually used a plumbing type clamp (I am a zip tie fiend) but I see them all the time on bikes in NYC. The most common use in NYC is when someone uses one to secure their quick release to try and keep would-be thieves from walking away with wheels or seats.
We recently got a submission from Ed who hails from Chicago. This is not a pizza blog, but in the epic battle between Chicago and New York Style pizza, after I made a trip to Chicago last fall, NYC pizza wins hands down in my book. You know that sick feeling you get when you eat too many doughnuts? If you want to feel like you have eaten a giant tomato sauce covered doughnut, Chicago style pizza is for you. I don't think I "processed" my Chicago pizza for several days. Let's just say I had a going problem.
Anyway . . . Ed did not contact us to talk pizza, he contacted us to talk clamps. In this own words and pictures . . .
I have a simple hack to attach any cylindrical style flash light to the handlebars of any bike with only two automotive style hose clamps. I have photo and have used this hack for over 6 months through the Chicago winter without any problems. It cost me less than $3 and is clean and simple.
And a picture of the whip . . .
Ed's hack reminded me of a bike hacks classic submitted by reader Ross. Clamps are prominently featured in this one as well . . . along with a power tool. Part 2 of this entry is all Ross.
-Old handlebar stem
-(4) medium hose clamps
-(2) high-power LED flashlights
-Dremel with cutting wheel
-(optional) Pipe cutter
Note: I found two 170 lumen LED flashlights on sale at Kmart, but you can use any aluminum-body flashlights you have on hand or see for sale cheap. Use aluminum-body flashlights for better heat dissipation (the mount works as a heat sink).
1. Remove and discard the stem binder bolt and cinch (the triangular/cylindrical piece that holds the stem against the inside of the fork tube)
2. With a pipe cutter or Dremel with cutting wheel, cut off the pointy part of the stem and file off any rough edges. Wouldn't want to impale somebody with that!
Caution: You MUST wear safety glasses when cutting metal. Don't force the cutting wheel -- let it do the work on its own. Aim the sparks away from your eyes. Cool the stem with water as it gets hot.
3. Using the Dremel with cutting wheel, cut eight 1/2" slots in the stem tube. Cut four slots (upper and lower slots) on each side of the stem tube. Cool the stem with water as it gets hot.
4. Unscrew a hose clamp. Insert the clamp tip into a lower slot in the stem, then out through an upper slot. Repeat for the remaining three clamps.
5. Secure the flashlights to the modified stem using the clamps.
6. Attach the assembly to your handlebars. I prefer to hang the assembly below my handlebars.
7. Adjust beam angle, as needed.