While reorganising, cleaning and maintaining my tools and supplies, I decided to put some broken stuff into good use. You don’t need to buy all the stuff you need, especially the ones you use less often. I built few wheelsets so far, and been too lazy to buy a spoke nipple driver. “Proper” spoke nipple drivers have rotating, offset shaft – I don’t need that. I just need something to firmly hold nipples, so they don’t drop into the rims. When I found a small, flat tip screwdriver with a broken nose, I got my angle grinder and shaved the nose to make it flat (as I can). Then, carefully grinding the edges, I made it fit to a nipple firmly. Mission accomplished! No dropping nipples anymore! It took less then 10 minutes, most time spent on getting the angle… Continue Reading Useful DIY bike tools for bike repair / maintenance in few hours or lessContinue reading
Whatever it is, DIY is my lifelong hobby. It is relevant for bikes because, as you utilize it, it becomes second nature.
In at least bipedal life forms, there is a strong desire to create and customize things.
DIY is not always cheap, good, or the best, but sometimes only viable option.
When it comes to bikes, DIY can sometimes be the only option: when I bought my XTR shifters, I couldn’t find an i-Spec B kit to mount them, so I chopped a bolt to fit.
You won’t be able to find a bike trailer that exactly fits your tastes or needs, so why not make your own? Making pannier bags that is sold for ridiculous prices is not that difficult.
I had a thing for sewing, probably because it’s somewhat family tradition, and you’ll be probably reading about MYOG (that is, “make your own gear”) like DIY sleeping bags, various bags including waterproof frame bags, maybe more ambitious stuff like tents, even camping bags. Unfortunately, synthetic fabric is hard to source here in my country, but definitely will try my best!
I’ve lots of broken bike gear, and will publish some posts about the repair options, if I can.
Sharing and improving DIY projects is enjoyable. You are welcome to share your projects!
DIY waterproofing fabrics, bags, shoes and Brooks saddle – virtually anything
First thing you learn on a boat is to keep yourself dry, if it’s winter. It’s not different when you’ re on your bike. Being wet is not just uncomfortable, it can quickly become a health issue – from catching cold to having arthritis, depending on exposure time. On a bike, keeping yourself dry is easier said then done. Unfortunately, waterproofing works both ways: while you may keep away the rain, you may be soaked in your clothing due to excess sweating. You may not even imagine how much sweat human body can produce. Ask bike trainer users: without a huge fan, sometimes two, you’ll be dripping all over the place. While cruising on your bike at a relatively high pace, you don’t sweat that much, even under the hot sun thanks to wind. With waterproof clothing, wind does not… Continue Reading DIY waterproofing fabrics, bags, shoes and Brooks saddle – virtually anythingContinue reading
Aluminium bike restoration: worth restoring?
When you look around for restored bikes on the ‘net, you may be surprised to see that almost all of them are steel – yes, steel bikes look better, and aluminium bikes are relatively new. But is it just that ? Why people are shying from aluminium bikes, or at least, restoring them? Aluminium bikes are mass produced since 1970s, though not as much, but there are still wonderful examples worth salvaging, like Yeti Ultimate, Nishiki Alien, even Gary Fishers that are relatively new. Unfortunately, aluminium bikes are harder to restore compared to steel, even carbon fiber (if not shattered completely). This sounds absurd, given how cheap aluminium bikes can be, and produced almost anywhere in the world. Aluminium bikes are not always repairable, or can be a huge challenge. So, let me sum up why aluminium bikes are so… Continue Reading Aluminium bike restoration: worth restoring?Continue reading
A case against spray paint, again…
A few weeks ago, I decided to build a new bike. There was an old 26″ MTB frame lying around, I had all the parts, so why not! For some stupid reason, I happen to only like blue bikes. That’s a bit crazy, given the fact that I am not a fan of blue: I don’t like blue clothes except jeans, I don’t like blue cars a bit, I don’t like blue motorbikes, maybe I like blue watch dials, to a degree. So I decided to challenge myself, and paint a bike that has no blue on it. I have a compressor, few spray guns, hardeners, reducers, and thinners, but not paint. Besides, I’m too lazy these days to mix and paint various colors. So I decided to go for spray paint, which I don’t like. I talked about this… Continue Reading A case against spray paint, again…Continue reading
Do you need a torque wrench ? Why correct torque matters ?
Torque wrenches are rare and expensive, and most mechanics don’t know how to use them. Worse, they need to be calibrated, again, never seen anyone calibrating their torque wrench. So why it should be used anyway? There are two reasons to use a torque wrench, but with carbon bikes or carbon fiber bike parts, it is actually 3! Metals are elastic, though it may seem absurd. Yes. That’s why some people CAN complain about rigidity (otherwise it would be totally absurd, like aquaplaning resistance in road bike tires!). When you tighten a bolt too much, it elongates. This can cause two things, provided that screw holes are made from Adamantium, an imaginary metal that has infinite strongness, hardness, durability, you name it. Or Valyrian steel. Same. When elongated (or stretched) beyond certain limit, a bolt will snap, causing you too… Continue Reading Do you need a torque wrench ? Why correct torque matters ?Continue reading
2 must-have chemicals for any mechanic: thread lock and copper grease
Copper grease and thread lock compound. Now, you can dismiss 🙂 Or, if you want to know why you need them, stick with me a little longer. If you have a look at the image, you’ll see an ordinary socket hexagon bolt. If you look closely, you’ll notice a tiny hole in it, indicating that it’s not a standard item. When I received my first disc brake set with mounting hardware, I was surprised to discover a very fine wire in the box and wondered what it was. Strangely, even on brand-new bikes, I never saw that wire. It’s a preventative measure against bolts slackening and falling off and causing catastrophic damage to your bike and you: that wire is threaded through two bolt holes and tied together: if they slacken a bit, the wire will not let any further… Continue Reading 2 must-have chemicals for any mechanic: thread lock and copper greaseContinue reading
An ultimate guide to converting MTB to dropbars, or a road bike
I’ ve come across these questions a lot: can I convert an MTB to a road bike? Is it possible to convert an MTB to a gravel, or a cyclocross bike? No short answer to this; and this will be a long read about why should go ahead, or stop, or what are the disadvantages to this conversion? Which frames work best, which don’t; including a short primer on road bikes. What is the purpose of a road bike? This may sound as a stupid question, but in order to start a conversion, we have to determine if our idea makes sense in the first place. A road bike is designed for efficiency: it aims to reduce drag, which is very, very, very pronounced after especially 30 km/h, and let the rider pedal more efficiently. For a rider to go… Continue Reading An ultimate guide to converting MTB to dropbars, or a road bikeContinue reading
A quite non-technical word on tubeless tires, ghetto conversions mostly
One day on a long ride, I thought “how nice it would be, if there were tubeless bicycle tires”. I came back home, got a wheel, removed rim tape, and started rolling gorilla tape around it. A few times. Then, I got an old inner tire, cut around the valve, and taped it to the rim same way. I have some spare tires around. Put one on, ran the compressor, and after about 30 minutes and lots of detergent dispersing, my first ghetto tubeless conversion done! I was so sure nobody thought it before, and was very proud of myself. Then did a Youtube search, and shamefully, lots of videos came up, mostly about ghetto tubeless conversions! For a long time, I was very happy with my conversion, in fact, I even ordered some fancy latex compounds that claims to… Continue Reading A quite non-technical word on tubeless tires, ghetto conversions mostlyContinue reading
What should be in your toolbox to repair / maintain your bike?
I like breaking/fixing things since my childhood, so it’s no surprise I’m fixing, maintaining, or even building my bikes. This proved to be a good habit because if I can’t, I’d suffer a lot. I read a lot of romantic stuff about bikes these days, especially becoming more common with Covid-19 and e-bike frenzy, but let’s face it: bikes can be dangerous. Lots of people die when riding a bike. You may say, lots of people die, also when taking a shower, but it’s not the same thing: an unmaintained shower head cannot kill you. A loose pedal getting off the crankset when you’re pedaling downhill at 90 km/h is disastrous, and more common than you think. I learned to never trust a mechanic, even the manufacturer. There are lots of skillful, capable, well-mannered people in the business, but some… Continue Reading What should be in your toolbox to repair / maintain your bike?Continue reading
Painting your bike, the right way
If you ride long enough, you’ll want a custom bike, fits perfectly to your taste. Nothing beats a custom paint job. Painting your bike seems trivial, believe me, it’s not. A great looking paint job may flake off in a matter of weeks if you have an aluminium bike, or your steel frame can show up rusty dots in a surprisingly short period of time. I’ve quite a lot of experience with paint, as I used to paint almost everything, with every tool, and with every type of paint. I’m by no means a professional car painter, but I know it about quite a lot. Not just I paint things, but also seen a lot of cars getting painted, because I was a petrolhead. Preparation and choosing the right equipment is everything. What I’m going to tell you may look… Continue Reading Painting your bike, the right wayContinue reading