Sometimes solutions for everyday tasks are right in front of your face. I have been around bikes for decades and never thought of this simple presta valve adapter hack. Props to reader Robert for sending it along.
Even though my commute is on pavement, my chain picks up its fair share of gunk and grime. Reader Cam has a really muddy commute and came up with a great hack for trying to fend off the onslought of mud.
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My commute is really really muddy, so muddy that mudguards are impractical as they just clog up with mud.
Now, I don't mind getting muddy, as I dress for the occasion and get changed at both ends. What I do mind however, is having a graunchy drive train that needs to be cleaned and lubed after every ride, and wears out really quickly if you don't. (Let's be honest - who cleans and lubes every day?)
So I've been trying to stop the muck from getting on the chain, being carried round to the rear mech and clogging up the jockey wheels.
To this effect I've built a mudchainguard.
If you want to make some, here's how it's done: -
1) Buy some chocolates and hide them from the kids.
2) When the kids have gone to bed - eat all the chocolates.
3) Make a template from a cereal packet. (I found that the lid off a jar of curry powder was a perfect match for my bottom bracket diameter)
4) Mark up the sweetie tub using the template and a marker pen and cut it out.
5) Offer it up and fettle.
6) Punch in some holes for cable ties and cable tie it in place - one around the down tube and one on the seat tube. Because my seat tube has a smaller diameter than the down tube, I spaced out the seat tube cable tie by passing it though a rubber tap washer.
I'm not that bothered by the colour as it'll be covered in mud after 5 minutes.
In a past entry I noted a problem with an inadequate rack. The rack needed enhancement to help keep my pannier from hitting my spokes, and recently reader Andrew also encountered a rack job. Check it out . . .
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Leaving the Hopworks Urban Brewery after an especially heavy
Portland deluge, I encountered the bike of a fellow traveler who also
chose to wait it out under their roof, over a pint of HUB. At first, these violet colored plastic coat hangers
looked like a wacky fashion statement, but eventually I realized that
they are spoke guards. Our hacker needs a wider platform to prevent the
panniers from swinging into the wheels, not the overkill of a stout,
large-framed touring rack.
I ride with a brass bell and like it, but I find myself in a damned if I do, damned if I don't circumstances. Half of the time I use my bell, people give me a dirty look. When I don't use it, people also give me a dirty look or yell at me half the time. The other half of the time in both instances, most people are wearing headphones and are oblivious to anything going on around them.
I am lucky that I don't ride around cars too often, but I have in the past and I know my brass bell likely would not get the attention of someone piloting a motor vehicle. A horn on a bike is not a new idea, but reader George came up with a rather sophisticated DIY version. Take it away George . . .
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The key component is a 3 way 2 position manual valve that can be
found in specialized pneumatics & automation stores, choose
the smallest model. Now you can select the other components as
connectors, the "T" and the air hose diameter based on the size
of the valve and it's connections. Explain the schematics to the
owner, it helps to find the best solution available.
The schrader valve I took from an used inner tube, and the horn
body from an used gas horn. To adapt those and the PET bottle cap
to the connectors, I used bicomponent epoxy glue. It
dries fast and seals tightly.
At last you'll have to improvise ways to fix the parts to the
frame, since many things can vary. For instance, I used a rubber
pad to put between the valve and the handlebar, tied with nylon
For safety avoid to put more than 80 PSI in the bottle, although I
read it can hold more.
For a long time I rode with a back pack and/or a pannier and I was getting tired of dealing with a sweaty back and/or packing constaints. I made a trip to Home Depot and cruised the basket isle to see if I could find something assist me with my packing needs.
I found a basket that fit rear rack perfectly, but the basket had a larger cousin that appealed to me more. I ended up going with the larger basket and it has worked out great. I can make the basket "smaller" by just packing heavy stuff near the front, or I can distribute lighter stuff, like the suitbag I take to work with my work attire.
I attached it with some pipe clamps and now I just need to wait for election season to end so I can scour the local trash for coroplast election signs to line the basket with.
What would you do with a little time on your hands? Reader Berto clued us into this cool pedulum clock, made from a bike and miscellaneous bike parts.
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At the Kerkrade Maker Faire I met Toon Boumans. He made a pendulum clock
bike from cycling gear. I have never seen such a piece of craftmanship
before. He lives in a small village with a special collection of 48
bikes, collected over more than 50 years.
Reader Klaus, who blogs over at santa66.net, does not have use of his legs, but that has not kept him from cycling - handcycling. He came up with a great hack to turn his wheelchair into a handcycle. He writes:
I'm a paraplegic in a wheelchair and I had an idea and realized it! A DIY Handcycle for the economically less fortuned wheelchair users in the world.
As a wheelchair user I know the advantage of handcycles very well and thus the plus points of my project: Low (almost no) costs, simple technology, poor roads passable, faster than a wheelchair, open source, increased living range.
The following appears on his site, in English, Spanish, and German:
Due to my paralysis, I use a wheelchair and enjoy handcycling. I would
like to help other handicapped people to get the same feeling (Within
their possibilities). Therefore, I put my DIY handcycle idea as “open
source without commercial use of the general public” (more at the end of
the text). I am thinking particularly of those more challanged
wheelchair users, who can not afford a handcycle. As I use a commercial
handcycle myself, my aim is not to compete with the handcycle
manufacturers or their cycles.
Statistics surrounding the production, usage, and disposal of plastic bottles are alarming. In 2009 it was estimated that 1,500 plastic water bottles were consumed every second in the U.S. All those plastic bottles provide raw materials for creative minds, and reader Nikos, who blogs over at Bicycleobsession, sent along the following . . .
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I'm sending a beautiful hack I've done with two plastic bottles I
found on the side of the road and a hanger. It's a virtually
indestractible fender, light as feather and free as air.
The most sophisticated, durable, efficient, simple, discreet, reliable,
unique, soundless (not more clanking), light, eco-friendly, good
looking bicycle fenders in the world. And they are free.