Recently we featured a hack that incorporated a small stick to lock a front derailleur in place when the cable snapped. Reader Jonathan saw the post and noted that he solved a similar problem, but the issue was that the rear derailleur cable broke. He had to wait for parts but still wanted to ride, so he came up with this . . .
My rear derailleur snapped inside the Tiagra shifters in a way that necessitated replacing the shifters. Rather than bike in the toughest gear for several weeks as the new parts came in, I found a piece of wood and tied the cable down in a reasonable gear.
I have a question for the reading audience. The question has to do with seemingly abandoned/derelict bikes. I will describe the situation then pose the question.
I have passed a bike that is locked to a bike rack in a very public place several times over an extended period of time. The first time I passed the bike I admired an accessory that is attached to the bike - an accessory I have contemplated buying. When passing the bike at this time, it looked as if someone had locked it up mere minutes before.
A week or so passed and I passed the bike again and this time the front tire was off the rim and it looked as if someone had tried to pull the inner tube out - unsuccessfully.
A week or so later I passed the bike again and the rear tire was now flat and the front tire was still off the rim. A piece of discarded trash was left on the bike and it was obvious the bike had not been moved. The accessory I had eyed was still on the bike and that is where my question, or I guess questions come into play. Initially my question was just, "Is it ever okay to take a part or accessory off of a seemingly abandoned bike?" But maybe it is actually a series of questions that I would love to see addressed in the comment section of this post . . .
Is it okay to remove a part or accessory from a seemingly abandoned bike?
If so, what are the factors that come into play? Length of time the bike has been left out? The place where it has been left? Signage indicating a specified period of time a bike can be left locked up? Inappropriate place where a bike has been locked up?
If you have removed a part, accessory, or an entire bike, what criteria or personal logic did you use?
Ultimately the question is, if it is fairly obvious an owner cares little about their bike or has abandoned it, is taking parts or the bike itself theft or "liberating" equipment that will be used by another?
It seems like every bike accessory made comes with a beer bottle opener, however if you prefer wine to beer and don't have a wine opener handy, you can use a pump and inflation needle to get the cork out. The dude is this video is very passionate about science.
Good news y'all , we have something to give away and we will once again be using our Haiku contest format to determine the recipient. Drum roll please . . . we are partnering up with BeachBikes.net to give away a Customized California-Style Beach Cruiser.
That’s right, you read it right and clear. Beachbikes.net is sponsoring a giveaway contest where YOU can be the winner of a brand new, completely personal 100% customized beach cruiser bike. BeachBikes.net is a company based out of Santa Monica, California, that specializes in custom-made beach cruiser bikes.
Design your bike exactly the way you want it; choosing everything from the frame (Men’s or Women’s), to the speeds (1, 3 or 7), fenders, rims, seat, and even adding custom decals, among other options! With the customizer, the possibilities become endless. The winner of the contest will receive a $350 coupon to the site, where you’ll be able to order your brand new bike and get it shipped straight to your door (as long as that door has a U.S. address). Here are a few sample pictures from their website . . .
And here is a color scheme of my own doing via me playing with the customization feature on their website -
Here's what to do if you want to enter the contest:
Ask yourself if you live in the U.S. If the answer is "yes", your entry or entries will be entered into the contest for the bike. If international readers want to submit Haiku for fun we welcome it, but the winner of the contest will have to reside in the U.S. I might try to come up with some sort of other prize if readers residing in other countries still want to participate.
Compose your Haiku – see examples of the 5-7-5 pattern below. If you wish to use the traditional Haiku pattern of 5-7-5 with syllables that is fine, but as this site states, "In foreign languages, there exist NO consensus in how to write Haiku-poems." Thus simply using 5 words, 7 words, and 5 words is fine. Haiku purists, this is bikehacks.com and following rules is not our specialty.
The Haiku should be inspired by the usage of a beach bike and/or uses of the bike (for example, like cruising man). "Beach bike" does not need to appear in the Haiku, but we would like the Haiku to relate to usage of the bike and/or play on the theme. A title can be used but is not necessary.
Leave your Haiku as a comment to this post. Enter the country and city you live in after your name in the name field. For example, if your name is Eddie Van Halen you could enter any of the following:
Eddie Van Halen - Los Angeles, USA
Eddie - L.A., USA
Eddie the Guitar Shredder - Los Angeles, USA
Eddie, my guitar solos will melt your brain - L.A., USA
Eddie, I can't get along with lead singers - L.A., USA
Submit as many as you like and yes we need your email address in the appropriate comment field too so we can contact you if you win. If you want inspiration for submitting multiple entries, please watch the totally tubular movie Real Genius - why this movie did not win an Academy Award is beyond me.
The deadline to submit is Friday, March 4, 2016.
The winner will be chosen by random number selection and will be announced in early March 2016.
The winner must post their review of the bike to BikeHacks.com after putting the bike through the paces.
Living near a beach is not a requirement to enter this contest.
Because of spam I approve individual comments so your submissions may not post immediately but I will get to them.
When I tell people I commute by bike year round, it is not uncommon to hear the reply, in an incredulous voice, "Even in winter?" My response is that riding in cold weather is actually preferable to riding in hot weather in some ways. When it's hot out you have no choice but to be hot. You can only dress down so much. In the winter however, you can layer up and control your temperature by zipping down or taking things off as you ride. While zipping a jacket down is easy, taking garments or accessories off while riding is not always easy or safe.
An inventor we worked with in the past is back at it with another product meant to make your biking experience more convenient. Brian, who came up with Fix It Sticks, let us know about what he is calling the Weatherneck.
My first thought when I saw the Weatherneck was, "That's cool and all, but I already own a ton of bandannas." However, after getting a sample Weatherneck and testing it out, I see the benefit of the product. The genius is the incorporation of magnets so you can simply pull it off as you ride. If you get hot while riding, there is no need to either stop or fiddle with taking off a bandanna other such warming accessory. After testing out the sample I can confirm that the material is comfortable and it is easy to adjust the size. You can fold over the fabric to tighten as needed, as seen in this image from the product site.
I will spare you any pictures of me wearing the Weatherneck as I think the pictures and video from the site do the product justice. I think there may be some similar products out there which feature Velcro as the means to secure/size such an accessory, but as much as I love Velcro, it does have some disadvantages. One disadvantage of Velcro is that it can catch on other fabrics and cause snags or pilling. Pilling is when balls of tangled fibers pop up on your clothes when the fabric rubs against itself or another material, like Velcro. Pilling or snagging can easily occur if the Velcro enclosure are course.
I give the Weatherneck high marks and if you ride in cold temperatures it is surely worth checking out.
It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. In the bikehacks.com world, perhaps we could say that breakdowns are the father of freakish hacks. Reader Evan suffered a broken cable at a bad time, but came up with a genius field repair, provided by mother nature, to get him home. Take it away Evan . . .
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I was descending a big hill in the first mile of ~10 mile commute home from work (dark, ~30 degrees): try to shift into big chainring & it does not go as planned. Coast to a stop under a streetlight at bottom of hill & determine that front derailleur cable is severed (out of the blue, although I guess I might have seen that it was damaged if I had looked). No way to tension derailleur. Decide that I do not want to ride remaining 9 miles in small chainring (24T). Remembering that derailleur is a parallelogram, grab likely-looking stick, shove it into derailleur, and voila! Back to the middle ring. Ride home smugly. Replace cable.