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Every day, at least three times a day, I ride about a half mile each way to campus from my house. The rain in the past two weeks has made my commute less than fun. I have a SKS Race X Blade on my rear wheel to prevent getting splatterback, but what are some other easy and convenient methods of trying to stay dry that rely on being attached to the bike?

staying dry bike fenders

My methods of keeping the body dry is O2 Rainwear’s Jacket, and/or an umbrella. Yeah. sometimes I’m lazy.

What do you guys do to stay dry? Do you commute anywhere, rain or snow?

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The velomihottie is also a runner, and was outside in the rain at 6am this morning. This kind of dedication to one’s sport is awe inspiring. Don’t get me wrong now, I haven’t picked up running, but I was motivated to go out and ride in today’s heavy downpour. By the time I got home from work, and was kitted up, the roads were already steaming and evaporating the rain off of the hot surfaces. Very eerie!

I’ve been working on a local trail for about two days now, and since it rained today, this was the perfect time to see how well my modifications to the trail have held up. There are about twenty-something coroplast arrows creating a trail path that maximizes the available land, while creating a very efficient and fun topographic course. All I did was cut up some coroplast boxes, make a cardboard stencil, and spraypaint each one with the little arrow design. To create a little less than thirty of them took about half an hour from idea to completion.

mtb trail coroplast signs arrows directions

I’ve been placing them about five feet from the ground, 6-10 feet before a turn on flat sections, and about fifteen feet before a downhill section:

Very easy to see, no?

I’ve dug up some edges around ponds like the one above to allow the water from the rutted out ATV potholes to runoff down the hill, or disperse into wooded/grassy areas. This took a lot of time, but I’ve been wanting to do a lot of this since 2009 or so.

I’m having trouble determining what to do for one section of trail that the ATV’s have decimated with their tires, and there is about a fifty foot section of horizontal ruts full of water. Video below:

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shimano downtube shifter derailleur keychain keyring

With an ornament such as this on your keychain, people will know they are in the presence of a cyclist, even when you’re not on your main steed.

Inspiration from Velominati

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Well, first snow has fallen, so it is another round of trying the snow chains. This year, I have scrapped the external tensioning wire on both sides, saving about 120g,  and the install takes less than 20 minutes for both wheels:

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Before

DIY | Tagged 700c, better traction, bicycle, bicycle on ice, bicycle snow, bicycle snow chain, bicycle snow chain diy, bicycle snow chains, bicycle tire chains, bike chains snow riding, bike snow chain, bike snow chains, brake, carbide, chain, continental, disc, DIY, how to make bike tire chains, howto, ice, icebike, innova, Mountain, mountain bike snow chains, mtn, nokian, people slipping on ice, peter white, peterwhitecycles, Pneus à crampons, road bike snow chains, schwalbe, slipping on ice, snow, snow bicycle, snow chain bicycle, snow chain bike, snow chains bicycle, snowchains bicycle, stud, studded, teeth, tire, Video, weather, zip ties, Ziptie

After

The only change I noticed in having the chains being held in place by zip ties alone was that the tension needed to hold them in place created unneeded stress on the sidewalls of the tires. One of the chains where the entire link was not fully aligned ended up rubbing a hole into my rear tire, ending the ride prematurely.

I stopped here for a photo op, and to let the tubeless goo seal the hole:

DIY | Tagged 700c, better traction, bicycle, bicycle on ice, bicycle snow, bicycle snow chain, bicycle snow chain diy, bicycle snow chains, bicycle tire chains, bike chains snow riding, bike snow chain, bike snow chains, brake, carbide, chain, continental, disc, DIY, how to make bike tire chains, howto, ice, icebike, innova, Mountain, mountain bike snow chains, mtn, nokian, people slipping on ice, peter white, peterwhitecycles, Pneus à crampons, road bike snow chains, schwalbe, slipping on ice, snow, snow bicycle, snow chain bicycle, snow chain bike, snow chains bicycle, snowchains bicycle, stud, studded, teeth, tire, Video, weather, zip ties, Ziptie

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One last photo really shows how cold it was outside; all of the grit and water that flew up onto my frame froze. This created an impenetrable fortress of frozen gunk on the bottom side of the downtube:

DIY | Tagged 700c, better traction, bicycle, bicycle on ice, bicycle snow, bicycle snow chain, bicycle snow chain diy, bicycle snow chains, bicycle tire chains, bike chains snow riding, bike snow chain, bike snow chains, brake, carbide, chain, continental, disc, DIY, how to make bike tire chains, howto, ice, icebike, innova, Mountain, mountain bike snow chains, mtn, nokian, people slipping on ice, peter white, peterwhitecycles, Pneus à crampons, road bike snow chains, schwalbe, slipping on ice, snow, snow bicycle, snow chain bicycle, snow chain bike, snow chains bicycle, snowchains bicycle, stud, studded, teeth, tire, Video, weather, zip ties, Ziptie

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chilly weather, cold weather, bringing bikes indoors, bikes inside, bicycle Business and Economy cycling indoor bike storage Met Office Recreation and Sports Shopping Sports Temperature

While I do not follow my own rules to an exact science, I do tend to follow them as a general sense of rule.

For example, once the weather becomes inhospitable enough for me (when shorts are becoming less of an option for daily wearing), I tend to bring all of my bicycles indoors like you would a cat or dog for the winter months. This is never a specific day marked on my calendar, but usually within a two-week grace period. I doubt leaving the bikes in the garage vs. home all winter does a significant amount of benefit to them, but at least they are safe indoors~

Anyone else bring their bikes from the garage to indoors during the winter months?

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trainer winter riding, trainer, winter riding, bicycle trainer

This picture is is very important. In three months, this exact location will be a crime scene. My motivation for cycling will be murdered here, and lie dead until Spring.

Any cyclists know this punishment. It is no more difficult than the steepest hills, but hurts so much more just because the action is happening indoors. There is nothing as bad as the trainer. If your friend says he enjoys riding his trainer, he is a liar.

I can only think of three things worse than the trainer:

  • Jogging
  • Stationary exercise bikes
  • Exercising on anything made by Tony Little

 

What about you guys? When are you going to start your routine of masochism? I wish you the best of luck, while we envy those in Florida or Anaheim together…

Don’t forget to check this out: http://www.thesufferfest.com/bike-torture-chamber/

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Last Wednesday, someone donated three older bicycles to me. They were grungy, and felt like they had a major film layer of coal or sap or some kind of odd mix of the two; as if they were in someone’s basement for forty years. Well, to my surprise, they were in pretty decent shape. The tires were not dry-rotted and held air. I thought, “Hey, this will be a good project to work on!” as I looked them over. The main problems were to update the brake cables, housing, bar tape, and clean up the components.

ross bicycles, allentown, pa, pennsylvania, road bike, classic brakes, drop bar, american made road bike

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I used a lot of steel wool and Simple Green to remove the gunk from the frames, and even more steel wool to polish the rims, and any other chromed parts that started to have rust blemishes. Hard work (2+ hrs, each), but the shine was totally worth it.

ross bicycles, allentown, pa, pennsylvania, road bike, classic brakes, drop bar, american made road bike

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ross bicycles, allentown, pa, pennsylvania, road bike, classic brakes, drop bar, american made road bike

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ross bicycles, allentown, pa, pennsylvania, road bike, classic brakes, drop bar, american made road bike

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ross bicycles, allentown, pa, pennsylvania, road bike, classic brakes, drop bar, american made road bike

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I ended up repacking all of the bearings on the hubs and headset, and luckily didn’t have to pull the bottom brackets… I don’t even think I have the tools needed to pull a one piece crank from the frame… *Pfew*

The gearing on two of the road bikes were massive. like a 44/53 tooth chainring. We are in West Virginia, not Florida… On a cruising-style road bike, there is no reason for such huge gear combination. The cables in these two bikes were also rusted, and I didn’t want to spend close to $20 replacing cables, let alone housing. I had an idea… Why not just make the bikes a single speed bicycle by toying with the limit screw on the rear derailleur?

Brilliant! Since these bikes are meant for town cruising, a 44/18 gear ratio is fantastic. I’m sure whoever I sell these bikes to are not going to go try out all of the local hills, so having them not have to worry about shifting or derailleur adjustment will just make their life easier too. The bikes also looked a lot nicer with two less bunches of housing on them. Very Chic~

montgomery ward, open road, classic road bike, vintage road bike

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The cruiser bicycle had a seized seatpost. I hate when this happens. It also kept the seat in place with one of those old, outdated clamp-on seat clamps that also clamp to the tube at the same time… Ugh… Why? Eventually I got it to move around, and get it to a very generalized height. Good enough. I hate seized seatposts… Ugh… I even hate saying seized seatposts…

Murray, nassau, cruiser bike

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So luckily enough, in between running errands, hanging out with friends, and going on a small ride, I was able to clean up and restore three bicycles over the weekend. I have about three or so hours worth of labor on each one, but I am not trying to become rich by selling old bikes; I just want people to afford and enjoy some pedal powered activities…

If you know anyone who wants a classic bike, let them know I have a couple for sale!

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