Sometimes little tricks can make a big difference, here are 10 bike hacks for mountain bikers, though useful to every kind of cyclist. These were selected from numerous sources and put together here:
1. Soda bottle fenders
This can be helpful both for you and the eventual rider behind you, if your fenders (mudguards) aren’t long enough to protect you from mud and debris, you can cut a couple of plastic bottles and secure them to your existing fenders; this might not be the best looking solution but it works just fine.
If you’re planning to go bikepacking but you don’t want to spend a lot on bicycle bags, consider securing objects (such as sleeping bags or a tent) with rubber straps, these come in many sizes to fit your needs, and will keep your things from rattling and shaking all around.
3. Making your cage secure
When you’re riding hard, especially on bumpy trails, it’s very easy for your bottle to fly out of the cage; to prevent this, you can bend the cage inwards, in case it’s a metallic one, or add some grip tape (the stuff on top of skateboards) to make it more secure.
4. Wrap your chainstay
You can protect your frame from chain-slap by wrapping an old inner tube around your chainstay with some electrical tape to secure it; plus, this can almost look cool.
5. Clean the thru axle
If your bike makes creaking sounds, there’s a good chance the problem can be solved by removing your thru axle (or skewer), clean it properly and grease the threads, now put it back and enjoy a silent and smooth ride.
6. Makeshift chain cleaner
There are many chain specific brushes and cleaning tools around, tough this are made for the job, yiu can replace them by taping together two toothbrushes, run the chain through in between them and they’ll work great. Just remember to label them to avoid using them for your teeth.
7. Wrap Duct tape on your pump
Duct tape can be useful in many ways, so wrap some around your pump to have it always with you.
8. Bring a bill
In case you made a hole in the sidewall of the tire, you can prevent further damage (to the tire itself or the eventual inner tube) by slipping in any paper money, the more plastic bills will work better, but anyway this is good solution to get you home, in fact they work almost as good as the specific made products. Additionally, you’re bringing some security cash, that in case of a lost wallet can help a lot.
9. Baby powder
Store your spare inner tube in a small plastic bag with some baby powder, when eventually you’ll have to change the inner tube, the powder will help the new one slide inside the tire with ease, preventing friction and thus annoying pinch flats.
During your ride you might have to fix or adjust something on the bike, but you want to avoid touching your ride snack or any food after being in contact with whatever your tires and chain have on them, so bring some wet wipes to clean your hands.
I hope these tips will be useful for you, and feel free to comment with your favorite hacks, they might be on the next list.
Enjoy your ride!