Sometimes accessories need accessorizing. Reader Scott takes us through his Topeak rack conundrums and how he hacked them.
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I use a Cannondale 29'er for my daily 25 mile commute. I couldn't mount a standard rack and am not a fan of backpacks (OVERHEAT!) so I use a Topeak Beamrack.
Mounts securely, works great. I have a small duffel that I strap to the rack with book straps (camping store) and the bag condenses down to whatever size I need.
This leaves two problems. Now and then, depending on bumps and speed, the bag wants to roll off the side or warp off the back of the rack. The other problem was that I never have available real estate to mount a tail lamp. So my hack is a add-on to my rack, that solves both of those problems.
It is made out of copper pipe (I used 1/2", 3/4" may have been good but also heavier.) I used about 3 feet of pipe, 3 elbows, 3 caps and a tee; a coupe of sheet metal screws and glue; friction tape to increase diameter for the lamps; and black paint. I added a single copper pipe clamp for stabilization. Necessary tools included a tubing cutter, drill, and a Dremel with cut-off wheels to do the bottom shaping.
My plan was to just place the add-on on top of the Topeak, and let the tying down of the duffel to hold it there. I stuck with that, but the original construction didn't 'sit' nice. I decided to notch out a section of the Tee (and adjoining pipe) so it would settle better, but I went one step farther, and made my cutout section match up with the Quicktrack. I now slide the rack in from the back. It doesn't lock in (never my intention) but is adjustable forward and backward.
My notches are a little off, whick results in too much play in the fit, so a single pipe clamp works perfect to keep the racks aligned. Also, I have about 7" between the vertical side posts. That would be too narrow for a typical stiff bottomed duffel.
So now, for the commute, I slide the rack and the pipe clamp on the Topeak, set my duffel down, slide the rack towards the seat to snug up on the duffel, and use the book straps to bundle it all up tight. My bag doesn't move, I have twin Hotshot lamps on the side vertical bars, and plan to put a third light on the rear post.
I was also not able to mount a kickstand, and am not a fan of leaning a bike, and was short of wall and floor space for the bike(s). I stumbled upon an easy fix: I hooked an old tie-down strap to the end of the garage door rail up by the ceiling, and hooked the lower end under the lip of the seat, and adjusted the length short enough to keep the rear wheel off the ground. Quick, easy and works great.
In June we gave away an NYNE Cruiser Bluetooth Speaker to reader Paul. He reviewed the NYNE and sent along the following text and pictures. Thanks Paul.
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This is a review of the NYNE Cruiser Bluetooth Speaker with bicycle mount.
I receive the NYNE Cruiser as a prize from BikeHacks.com for writing the winning Haiku in the NYNE Cruiser promotion.
I received the NYNE Cruiser in the mail without incident and this is what the package looks like.
Here is the box open
These are the contents: The speaker, a carrying case, Bike mounts, charging cable, pass through cable and instructions.
The on/off switch and the other ports are on the back of the device.
The weather resistant carrying case for when you are off of the bike allows you to use the function buttons on the NYNE Cruiser right through the case, very nice touch.
Mounting the speaker on my bike was easy. If you have ever mounted clamps for lights or bags on your bike the installation was easy and the instructions not needed. But instructions are included and easy to follow.
Once I turned on the speaker and enabled Bluetooth on my phone, Galaxy S5, syncing was easy. Clear music was soon blasting away. Volume controls were easy to use . Working with my son I tested the phone functions. I was able to call out with my phone and hear via the speaker and when I received calls the same, easy to answer and hear the calls. My voice activated functions on my phone worked flawlessly via the NYNE Cruiser.
It was also easy to use with my handle bar bag so the NYNY did not reduce my limited real estate on my handle bars, that is a big plus for me.
My teenage son loves the NYNE Cruiser and so do his friends. So far this summer it has been to 2 beach bonfires, several bike rides, a boy scout outing and endless hours just entertaining my son and his teenage friends.
Battery life is pretty good, over 8 plus hours per charge and charging is quick.
I love this product and have been recommending it to all my friends. Needless to say my sons friends have been asking their parents to get them one of these too.
I have been traveling a bit lately and it has been nice to see bike share programs in almost every major city I have visited. Each one seems to have its own twist. Here is a shot of a docking station in Tel Aviv -
At first the rounded racks did not make much sense to me, but I saw riders toss their backpacks on the rack and there is a rubber cord that can be extended over the bag. Interesting and possibly less prone to the complications of a basket.
We recently featured some handlebar grips of questionable comfort, and reader Nick who blogs at Bicycle Obsession sent along some DIY leather grips which look rather comfy. The full article can be found here, materials and pictures below.
- A pair of worn out lock-on grips (if you don’t have, or you can’t find in your friends’ garage, you can buy them off ebay for around 3$)
- an (unusable) leather belt that you don’t want/like (non-slip, tough, amazing feel, beautiful looks, your hands doesn’t smell rubber after the ride, doesn’t leave black spots on your hands.)
– razor / knife
- A good pair of scissors
- a piece of thick fish line (incredibly resilient to the elements, most of the times you can find it for free, looks great, amazingly strong)
People have different philosophies when it comes to bike parking. Some have no philosophy at all really - they just lean their bike or bikes against a wall and call it good. Others want to combine order with ease and reader Mark seems to fall into this category. Mark sent along the following text and pictures:
I converted our storage shed to dedicated bike parking. Space is tight, so I made two "bike docking stations" out of ripped 2x4s. Now instead of ungracefully climbing into the shed, one can easily dock a bike - push it in or pull it out - with one hand.