10 Bike Tips & Hacks for MTB, Road, and Beyond

Fall is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere,
which often means the best dirt and weather of the year. Let’s kick off the season with 10 bike hacks
and tips that you can use to save money, be prepared, and have fun. Have you ever used duct tape to make a temporary
repair? Eric Porter did when we were far from civilization,
and I noticed that he had it wrapped around his pump. This is a great way to make sure you have
tape with you. I prefer the one inch Gorilla tape personally,
but you could use any width or brand. Just carefully spool some duct tape around
your pump, and be sure not to get any wrinkles in it. This way, if you’re storing the tape outside
the sticky part doesn’t get contaminated by dirt or water. You can forget it’s there until you need
it. For a quick and dirty bike wash, you can use
a garden sprayer. I got this one for $10, and customized it
with some of that duct tape. These sprayers are powered by air pressure,
and are far from powerful, but with the help of a brush you don’t need a fire hose to
touch up your bike. This is a fairly popular trick, and for good
reason. It’s inexpensive, easy to carry, and effective. If you’ve ever gotten your shoe laces tangled
up in your drivetrain, well, you’re not alone. Double knots help, but why not give yourself
an extra layer of security? Just pull on a lace further up the shoe, and
pass the loops underneath it. This hack is tried and true, effective, and
free. Now for some tire tips, starting with this
little hook that you’ll find on tire levers. No these are not for hanging the levers on
your tool wall although you could. The hooks are actually designed to hold the
lever in place on your spoke. When removing tight tires, many people will
start with the first lever, hold it down, and then insert a second lever to pop off
the bead. It’s much easier this way with your hands
free. I was very surprised to find out how many
people didn’t know this. Of course with tubeless tires you should try
to avoid using levers altogether, as they can damage the rim tape and mar up the bead. Here’s how to work your tires by hand. First of all notice how tubeless ready rims
have an indentation in the center, with flat areas on the sides for the bead to sit on. The trick to getting the tire off by hand
is to push both sides of the bead to the center. First deflate the tire and pop the bead off
by pulling it hard towards the center. Once you’ve done this all the way around,
you can pull back the tire and grab it with both hands, pulling it over the side of the
rim, and pushing it down using your body weight. If you’re having trouble, double check the
bead to ensure it’s centered in that little valley in the rim. Once you get the first part of the bead over
the rim, the hard part is over with. To mount a tire by hand, start by locating
one side of the bead in the center of the rim. Work your way around the tire, constantly
checking to ensure you’re keeping everything in the center. I cannot stress how important this part is. You’ll reach a point where it’s a lot
more difficult. Use both of your hands to gorilla the tire
on, pulling towards you in a rolling motion. If you’re not sweating, try harder. Once you’ve popped the bead over the rim,
you can start working on the other side using the same process. Soapy water can help make this easier, but
I just did it dry. Now that we have our tubeless tire mounted,
I’ll give you one final tire hack: Setting the bead with a hand pump. This is gonna be a bummer. Remember those flat parts on the edge of the
rim? That’s where the tire bead makes its seal. Normally a blast of air from a compressor
or floor pump will force the bead outwards, but you’ll need to this manually if you
want it to seal with a hand pump. Grab a handful of tire and try to pull it
up and on to the side of the rim. Do this on as much of the tire as possible
on both sides. Keep attempting to pump up the tire, until
the air you’re adding exceeds the air leaking out. If it doesn’t seal, keep on working the
bead. Give it hell with the hand pump and don’t
stop until you hear the magical sound. This demonstration was done totally dry, but
adding sealant beforehand can help quite a bit. Either way it took me about 45 minutes, so
it only makes sense in an emergency situation. That’s enough tire stuff for now. Tailgate pads are a great way to carry bikes
on your pickup. In fact, I’ve gotten 8 on mine. But when you’re only carrying one or two
bikes there’s a better way: A mini tailgate pad made from high density foam. This will cover less of your tailgate and
retain the use of your backup camera, which gets covered by other pads. They sell this foam at home supply stores
in the flooring department, and it’s pretty durable. Just measure from the edge of your tailgate
to your backup camera, cut the foam to size, and make adjustments as needed. This does a great job of protecting your tailgate,
and rolls up to the size of a yoga mat for storage. If you carry your bikes using a hitch rack,
you may notice that it wobbles from side to side. This is because receivers are designed for
strength, not precision. But you can reduce the slop with shims made
from aluminum cans. Just cut some pieces out with a shop scissor,
and lay them inside the receiver with lips on the edges for retention. You can experiment by folding them over for
a tighter fit. If you have access to different thicknesses
of sheet metal, you can definitely make something nicer than this, but in a pinch it’s a pretty
effective hack. With action cameras coming in more shapes
and sizes than ever, we’re placing some huge demands these little mounts. Especially when leverage is involved, tightening
the plastic screw just doesn’t cut it. The answer? Carbon paste. Carbon paste is simply an abrasive compound
that increases grip, and you might already have some laying around. Apply it to the joint on your action camera
mount and install it as usual. The little grains in the paste will bite into
the plastic and reduce the chances of it moving. Since carbon paste isn’t permanent, you
can unscrew your camera mount and use it again like normal. Filthy trail dogs belong in the back seat,
but sometimes they don’t want to be there. So today we’ll make a pup jail out of cargo
net, a bungie cord, and some plastic clamps. Just cut the cargo net to size and fold it
over the bungie, using zip ties to secure it in place. Now you can hook the bungie to your headrests,
and clamp the cargo net to your seat back pockets. With enough determination, Drama could probably
power through this thing, but I left him alone with it for long enough to satisfy my curiosity. He didn’t bother. This is going to be great for when he’s
messy or drooling, but I’ll probably still let him ride shotgun most of the time. Hopefully you found some of these hacks and
tips to be entertaining or useful. If you want me to make more videos like this
just give it a like and share it with a friend. Better yet, give me some suggestions below,
and maybe you’ll see them in a future video. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll
see you next time.

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