Best Bike Lock

It’s pretty heartbreaking when you drop a bunch of money on a cool bicycle or motorbike, just to have it stolen days or weeks later. So, if you really want to protect your bike, it’s worth investing in the best bike lock you can afford.

And honestly, given how much money it’s guarding, you might even consider buying an extra lock or two for added security.

Of course, there are tons of really good locks to pick from, so I’ve done the heavy lifting and included a variety of different options, quite a few of which you can combine with each other for that extra level of security.

So, what are the best bike locks?

Best Choice: SIGTUNA Bike locks – 16mm Heavy Duty U Lock

Sigtuna #1 - Imgur

Key Features:

  • 16mm steel
  • Mounting bracket
  • Included flex cable
  • Double bolt for better securing to the crossbar

Pros:

  • No need to memorize passcodes
  • Vinyl coating is excellent
  • Keyhole cover helps protect the lock

Cons:

  • Lock can be finicky sometimes from whether
  • Not completely impenetrable

SIGTUNA Bike locks – 16mm Heavy Duty U Lock Review

Obviously the most important aspect of a bike lock is its ability to deter bike thieves. Well, with the Sigtuna bike lock, you get 16mm of ‘Viking Steel’, Sigunta’s own proprietary formula) which should certainly make life difficult for any potential thief with a power tool. The body itself is also pretty hefty, so you’re getting protection all around this U-bolt.

What’s cool is that this lock comes with a 1200 woven steel flex cable that affords you an extra little bit of protection. It’s also long enough that you can easily fit this around two bikes, so it’s great for couples or if you have kids. Similarly, it’s easy to carry around and you should certainly be able to secure it around and to pretty much anything you want.

Honestly, one big part of any lock is deterrence, and the Sigtuna bike lock’s 16mm steel and sleek, black look means that even if somebody thinks of stealing your bike, they’ll move on as soon as they see it. 

Opening and closing the lock is smooth and simple, so you don’t have to worry about struggling with getting it open. That being said, you will struggle with the fact that it’s not weather-proof, so it can get a bit tough to open. Thankfully, with a little bit of WD-40 or other lubricants, you can get it back to full working order without much fuss. 

Finally, one nice feature I’d like to mention is the locking bracket, which really makes the whole deal incredibly handy. It’s just a matter of a quick push of the little red button, and you can angle the bike lock in any direction you need to secure it. I really wish more bike locks did this.

Overall, the Sigtuna Bike Lock is an all-around excellent bike lock that isn’t going to break the bank. It’s stylish, strong and comes with a pretty great cable that increases its usability twofold. If you’re looking for a great middle-ground option, this is a great one.

Amazon

Premium Pick: Kryptonite New York LS Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock

Kryptonite New York LS Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock - Imgur

Key Features:

  • Double deadbolt
  • Keyway protects from leverage attacks
  • Protective dustcover to extend life
  • Comes with 3 stainless steel keys

Pros:

  • Is well secured
  • Mounts to bike and is large
  • Lots of anti-tampering protection

Cons:

  • Big and bulky, so it’s hard to carry around

Kryptonite New York LS Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock Review

If you’ve been looking for a big massive lock that secures around your whole bike, then I have the lock for you!

The Kryptonite New York LS is not only a pretty heavy-duty bike lock, but it’s also pretty massive, with an interior locking dimension of 4″ x 10.25″. Much like the Sigtuna, it’s also made of 16mm heavy steel, so it can withstand from some pretty intense attacks. Of course, that’s on par for what you should expect from Kryptonite and their brand quality.

The double-deadbolt construction means that the lock secures at two points, so you don’t have to worry about a single failure causing the loss of your bike or other property. Similarly, the disc cylinder works well against any lockpicking or drilling attempts, so it keeps you secure for much longer. It also has a keyway that makes it difficult for potential thieves to leverage something against it and break it open.

Unfortunately, the big downside here is that because it’s a big ‘ole lock with tons of protection, it’s actually surprisingly heavy and a bit difficult to carry around. That being said, it’s actually pretty perfect if you’re in a high-risk or high-crime area, as the combination of anti-theft techniques offers an equal level of protection. On the other hand, if you live in a remote area without much crime, it might not be as useful, although still very much worth the purchase.

Finally, and while this might not matter much, it’s actually a pretty cool looking lock, with the yellow/black color theme being pretty simple while being minimal and sort-of mean looking. Hopefully, that should also help to act as a deterrent

The Kryptonite New York is a top-notch lock and probably one of the best you’ll find in terms of the security it provides you and the features it has. Yes, it’s certainly on the pricier side, but when you consider that it’s protecting several hundred, if not several thousands, of dollars of gear, the cost doesn’t seem too bad.

Amazon

Best Value: Via Velo Heavy Duty Bicycle U-Lock

Via Velo Heavy Duty Bicycle U-Lock - Imgur

Specifications:

  • Mounting Bracket
  • Included flex cable for extra security
  • Double bolt crossbar mount

Pros:

  • Corrosion resistance
  • PVC outer coating
  • Extra key
  • Cover to protect keyhole from dust

Cons:

  • Might not be long enough for the whole bike

Via Velo Heavy Duty Bicycle U-Lock Review

While not as expensive or fancy as the Kryptonite, the Via Velo is still a pretty good bike lock if you don’t want to make a big hole in your wallet.

At 14mm, the shackle is more than durable to handle all types of stresses, and it should still present a difficult situation for anybody who wants to break it open with bolt cutters. Adding to that is the overall PVC casing around the shackle, so there’s some extra protection there. Similarly, the lock is designed in such a way as to make it lockpick resistant, which is pretty good for a lock this cheap. 

You also get yourself a nice 180mm steel cable which will help to secure your bike, whether you wrap it around both wheels, or to a fixed point. There’s also a super-handy mount, much can fit crossbars between 20 – 42mm in diameter. You’ll also certainly appreciate the keyhole cover which should help with resisting a variety of different weather. 

Honestly, there’s not much more to say about the Via Velo except that it’s a consistent and good quality lock for a pretty amazing price. If you put all the security features together, you get a sturdy lock that can take quite a beating before it gives, and hopefully, past any point a bike thief would be willing to invest. The added cable and two keys also make this an attractive package, so you should check it out if you don’t want to drop $100 on a bike lock.

Amazon

Best Mini Lock for Bikes: Kryptonite Evolution Series 4

Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 - Imgur

Specifications:

  • Cover to protect the cylinder
  • Double deadbolt
  • 3 keys, one with an integrated LED

Pros:

  • Small and portable
  • Great price
  • Sturdy construction

Cons:

  • Needs a chain or flex cable to work

Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 Review

If you don’t necessarily want a big U lock and would prefer to go with a chain, the Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 is a great option for locking up your bike. Plus you can always lock it into your brake disk directly if it’s motorized, so you might not even need a chain.

Being a smaller bike lock, the shackle is only 14mm, although that’s still quite thick and great for deterrence, especially considering it will likely be mounted in a difficult spot. While there’s no external coating such as PVC on the shackle, the cylinder itself is disc-style, and so it has some protection against drilling and leverage attacks, which is great. There’s also a dust cover for the keyhole which should help prevent rust or wear and tear on the cylinder. 

Unfortunately, it is possible to lockpick by a very skilled lockpicker, although, given the price, that’s to be expected, and even so, don’t let it put you off the Series 4, it’s still not easy. Also, the cylinder can lock up from time to time, but some WD-40 should fix that right up, just like with the Sigtuna. I also particularly like that this has a double deadbolt, even though it’s a somewhat smaller lock.

On a little side note, when I was doing some research on the lock, I found out that somebody used it to lock their guitars by placing it on the neck, and apparently it worked great as a deterrent. So, if you have guitars that you also want to keep secure, this might actually be a good option!

All in all, the Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 is a great lock in a small package. Yes, the use-cases aren’t as many as larger locks, since you’d need a chain or to place it on a disc brake, but for those applications, it’s awesome. The anti-drill and anti-pull safety is super useful, although it gets some marks knocked off for being slightly easier to lockpick.

Amazon

Best Bicycle Chain Lock: XZSUN Bike Lock Bicycle Lock Chain

XZSUN Bike Lock Bicycle Lock Chain - Imgur

Specifications:

  • PVC coating helps prevent weather damage
  • 120cm long 
  • 5-digit combination lock
  • Cylinder made of zinc alloy and has ABS rotating discs

Pros:

  • Offers a lot of protection for the price
  • Flex cable is long
  • Has a lot of use-cases beyond just bikes

Cons:

  • Not as secure as other options
  • Flex cable diameter is not that thick

XZSUN Bike Lock Bicycle Lock Chain Review

All the bike locks we’ve looked at so far have been key-based and essentially U-locks, but maybe that’s not necessarily what you want. With the XZSUN you get a tumbler-style lock with a flex cable, which makes it easier to carry.

In terms of the cable itself, its 120cm long, made of braided steel wire so while not super thick, it’s still thick enough and will be quite difficult to easily cut through. Helping with the anti-tampering is the external vinyl coating of the cable itself, which will offer at least a little bit of extra security, plus it helps avoid scratching your gear. Finally, the cable is self-coiling, so you don’t have to worry about manhandling it into a small size for storage. 

One thing I will say though is that the cable might be just long enough to cover two wheels, although if you have more than one, it might not work that well. It also probably won’t be long enough to hook up two bikes to a rack or some other fixed point. That being said, you can use this bike for a bunch of different stuff, not just your bikes, so there’s a silver lining there.

Much like the other bikes on the list, this comes with an easy to use mount so you don’t have to worry about carrying it around in a pouch or basket. 

Probably the nicest thing is the 5-number tumbler lock, with 5 numbers being pretty good to safeguard against somebody trying to brute-force it. The combination is pretty easy to change, and the tumblers themselves are easy to turn and pretty smooth. On top of that, the whole thing is covered in PVC, which helps a lot with weatherproofing and tampering. 

The XZSUN bike lock is probably one of the best you can find on the market if you’re looking for a tumbler-style flex cable lock. True, it’s not as thick as some of the other options here, but it does offer great protection in a light and easy-to-carry product. The only real downside might be the length of the cable, so you should take a couple of measurements to make sure it will be enough for you.

Amazon

Bike Lock Buying Guide

While there may be tons of different designs and choices to pick from, their pros and cons are pretty clear cut. That means you can get a pretty good idea of what bike lock you should be aiming for, rather than having to do more and more research. 

D-Locks vs. Cable Locks vs. Chain Locks

D-Locks, also known as U-Locks, are probably one of the most secure types of locks out there. 

One of the main ways that thieves try and get through bike locks is using bolt cutters, and these can be anywhere from 18” all the way up to massive 42” ones (the latter tends to be hard to hide). With D-Locks, you tend to get shackles that come in 16mm to 18mm diameter sizes and those are pretty much impossible to break with manual bolt cutters, even the 42” variety. The downside though, is that these D-locks tend to be really heavy compared to the other lock types.

EdK7oIU - Imgur

As such, you should mainly go for D-Locks if you live in a high-crime area where you need as much protection as you can get.

Chain Locks are the next step down, and they’re slightly easier to cut through using bolt cutters or other techniques.

Cable Locks are probably the easiest to cut through and should, therefore, be mostly used for deterrence and for areas where crime isn’t very high, or where there are lots of crimes of opportunity (since a simple lock should suffice putting off a potential thief).

Bike Lock Keys vs. Combinations

A lot of this depends on your use case and how you feel about things. In a super-general sense, keys tend to be safer than combination locks, but you will always find good and bad quality locks of each. 

For the most part, combination locks are pretty useful because you don’t have to carry around keys with you that you might potentially lose or forget somewhere. That being said, you will have to remember a combination, although that should be relatively simple.

So which one you go for should be based first on your budget (if you have a small one, go for keys), and secondly on whether you prefer having a key or a combination.

Bike Lock Materials

The majority of bike lots tend to be made out of steel or hardened steel, with some of them either including titanium or made out of titanium. There’s also a few lighter bike locks that are made out of kevlar. 

For the most part, I’d tell you not to worry about the material so much since most locks are made out of the same thing.

FAQs

Are U Locks Better than Cable Locks?

Yes, absolutely. A U lock is usually pretty thick, whereas a cable lock is thinner and easier to cut through. That being said, they each have their advantages. While the cable lock is thinner, it’s also lighter and easier to carry around, as opposed to a U-lock which is usually quite big and heavy.

Is There a Bike Lock That Cannot Be Cut?

Pretty much anything can be cut through, the real question is how much effort it takes. For example, cutting a cable lock is easier than cutting a U lock and cutting a thin U lock is easier than cutting a heavy U lock. 

Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 - Imgur

At the end of the day, you want to go with the option that takes the most effort and therefore acts as the biggest deterrent. Similarly, locks are only as strong as whatever they are secured to.

Are U Locks Easy to Break?

No, they usually require a lot of effort and work. Most of the time you’d probably have to use an angle grinder or some other drilling or heavy-duty tool to cut through it. Since those tend to be noisy, they’re likely to tip off people nearby, so thieves are not likely to chance it.

Can You Pick a Bike Lock?

Absolutely, but again, it’s all about the amount of effort it takes. Tools will always be made to pick locks, but newer locks have newer security measures, and so they tend to be harder to pick. Similarly, it’s not easy to pick a lock in general, especially on a higher-end lock, so if you’re worried about this, I’d suggest you go for something on the more expensive side.

Final Verdict:

As you can see, there are absolutely tons of options in terms of bike locks and budget. As I said at the beginning, I would totally suggest buying two locks if you’re in a high-crime area. I know it’s a bit on the expensive side, but it’s totally worth it if your bike is worth several hundred dollars.

Either way, I hope you found at least one bike lock that’s piqued your interest, and I hope you the best of luck!



Source: Bike Hacks – Best Bike Lock

Bike Helmet Danger

There are many certainties in life, and one is, if you want to get a raging debate started, post your opinion about whether helmet use increases or decreases the danger posed to cyclists. There are logical arguments on each side, and emotions generally run very high on the issue. 

This entry focuses on one thing that is not debatable – helmets can be disgusting. Although I do choose to wear a helmet each time I ride, I have not let a helmet touch my head in over 20 years. Think about it, would you wear the same piece of clothing day in and day out and not wash it? Those sweat filled pads touching my head every day? No thanks.

If you were to ask the average cyclist who wears their helmet every day if they protect their head from their sweat caked helmet,  I hazard a guess that they would look at you with a blank stare.  I wear either a bandanna or hat depending on the weather, and then put my helmet on. This keeps a barrier between the germ bucket and my head.

However, another part of the helmet can be equally as disgusting – the strap. Recently I noticed some irritation on my skin around my cheeks and neck. It puzzled me for a while, but then as I reached for my helmet one day it became quite clear what the issue might be – the strap on my helmet was quite dirty. 

You can’t quite throw your entire helmet in the wash so I put some laundry detergent in a glass, filled it with warm water, took an old tooth brush and proceeded to scrub the strap for a few minutes and then ran the straps under water to rinse out the soap. I let the helmet dry over night and I now feel much better about putting it on. You can see the before and after below. This practice is now going to become a non-debatable ritual for me. 

Helmet stories or advice? Feel free to comment or hit us up.

Beforeafter

test

test

test



Source: Bike Hacks – Bike Helmet Danger

Hacked Clamp on Drop Bar Adapters

Reader Chris is embarking on a two year bike trip from Alaska to Argentina. Think on that for a moment . . . don’t know about you, but I’m jealous. He sent along the following post and will likely contribute more during his journey.

* * * * * * * * * * *

One of the best parts about planning for a two year bike tour is revamping your gear.  Tents, shoes, bags, electronics; you need it all.  I have a reputation for envisioning a very specific piece of gear that I want and painstakingly scouring the bowels of the internet only to find that it exists nowhere but in the depths of my mind.  One of the more recent examples of this is a set of clamp on drop bar adapters.  I have always had drops on my bikes, so when my Surly Troll showed up with mustache bars I felt a bit out of place.  Eventually I came to enjoy the more relaxed feel, but still found myself wanting to get low when firing down a hill or schlepping into the wind. 

Origin8 actually makes a pair of these.  I ordered a set from Amazon with cautious optimism.  I would have to describe them as ill-conceived but well executed.  The quality is top notch, but they missed a detail in the design stage.  It is tough to tell from the shot below, but the radius of the bend is so small that I could not fit my hand into them.  I’m only 5’11”, so I have average sized paws.

ScreenShot095

I really liked the idea of these, but this particular product just wasn’t right for me.  Unable to find another pair, I decided to make my own.  I hit the St. George Bicycle Collective and raided their parts bin.  My plan was to take a pair of clamp on bull horns and marry them with a set of drop bars.

ScreenShot096

Above we see the drops and bullhorns that I settled on.  The bullhorns are exactly the same style despite being different colors.

The next step was to cut them down to size.  This was a pain, and sort of dangerous.   The bull horns were designed to come off at an angle.  This meant that they had to be cut at an angle in order for the drops to come off perpendicular to the mustache bars.  Because of the shape, neither fit into a chop saw.  I decided to try cutting them with an angle grinder….. (Please note that the trailing periods after that last sentence are meant to foreshadow a very bad idea).

I’ve had some close calls with power tools.  But this may have been the closest.  I was in a hurry to get these things cut and as a result did not take all the precautions that I should have.  The result?  The bars got yanked into the grinder with my hand not too far behind.  It would be much harder to type this had I not been wearing thick leather gloves.  Check out the picture below.  The nick on the glove is from where it got pulled into the angle grinder.  That would have been my finger tip.

ScreenShot097

Unphased from nearly losing my pointer finger I decided I needed to find a way to make this work on the chop saw.  This proved to be only slightly less awkward than the angle grinder.  The drops got pulled into the saw and completely destroyed the blade.

ScreenShot098

Third time is a charm right?  I might be a slow learner, but as Churchill said, “Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”    I built a jig to hold the pieces so at least my fingers were out of harm’s way.

ScreenShot099

The final cuts came out alright. 

ScreenShot100

The next step was to find somebody to weld everything together.    At this point it is worth noting a few things about St. George, Utah.  First of all, the locals are a people of unmatchable self-pride.  They’re cowboys and their ancestors were pioneers.  They settled one of the most don’t give a fuck places on earth.  Hot, dry, and dead.  Being isolated in the middle of the desert, they had to be incredibly resourceful.  I appreciate this trait, but sometimes they take it a bit too far; I recently noticed that somebody did a plumbing repair on our house with duct tape…..

I’ve had mixed results with skilled trades here.  And by mixed I mean ranging from abysmal to atrocious.  Seamstress, boot repair, carpentry, knife sharpening, and now welding.  In all cases people have limitless confidence in themselves and are happy to take a stab at repairs, but more often than not this results in me wondering what the hell went wrong and how this person is still in business.  I tried three different weld shops.  One of the reasons I had to do all the cutting was because nobody seemed to know how to use a protractor and I wasn’t confident that they could get them cut at the proper angle to mount the way I wanted.  I tried to explain to one guy how important it was that these things be bomb proof and he cut me off saying, “I just have to be clear, I can weld them, but they will break.” 

Nobody inspired confidence.  Not willing to risk it, I called a friend and explained what I was looking to do.

“There has to be some old buzzard in this town with a missing finger that would be willing to do this for a case of beer,” I said.

Enter a mysterious character named Ron.  I never met Ron.  Apparently he builds hotrods in his garage.  All I know is that I dropped my parts off with a twenty dollar bill and a twelve pack of High life and two days later I picked up a package from an unnamed woman behind a resale shop that contained my makeshift drop bars. 

ScreenShot101

The welds are solid.  Ron made an aluminum plug to fit between each piece for reinforcement.  I took them for a test ride; applying only light pressure at first.  After a few minutes though I could tell that they would hold up.

ScreenShot102

Next step; paint.  It would have been nice to powder coat them, but in reality they’re getting wrapped with bar tape and they’re just going to get scuffed up.  So an old bottle of Krylon would do.

ScreenShot103

They ended up having a few drip marks.  But as I said before, this isn’t really a concern.

ScreenShot104

Originally I had planned on putting a set of road brakes on the drops and putting interrupters on the mustache bars.  This would have made a mess of the cable routing though.  After some playing around, I realized that the best solution was to keep the mountain bike style levers on the mustache bars and mount the interrupters on the drops.  This provided a relatively clean finish and leaves a few inches of cable to spare on the rear brake.

ScreenShot105

Not having to wrap a complete set of bars left me with enough tape to double wrap the drops.  I decided to go with some cheap pleather tape because it will tatter sooner and need to be held together with electrical tape.  This will give the bike a nice poor man’s look and make my wife’s Disc Trucker more attractive to any would be thieves.  I’ve been riding on them for a few weeks now.  People seem to love them or hate them.  Hardcore tourers that realize that there comes a point where you stop worrying about weight seem to get it.  They rich guys driving their carbon fiber race bikes to the ride laps up and down the hill think I’m crazy.  Personally I’m stoked to have these on my rig for the next two years.

ScreenShot106

ScreenShot107

Chris Haag is from Detroit, Michigan, although he currently resides in St. George, Utah.  He manages the site www.theplacesipee.com and will be riding with his wife, Sophie George, from Alaska to Argentina beginning in July of 2018.



Source: Bike Hacks – Hacked Clamp on Drop Bar Adapters

Hacked Clamp on Drop Bar Adapters

Reader Chris is embarking on a two year bike trip from Alaska to Argentina. Think on that for a moment . . . don’t know about you, but I’m jealous. He sent along the following post and will likely contribute more during his journey.

* * * * * * * * * * *

One of the best parts about planning for a two year bike tour is revamping your gear.  Tents, shoes, bags, electronics; you need it all.  I have a reputation for envisioning a very specific piece of gear that I want and painstakingly scouring the bowels of the internet only to find that it exists nowhere but in the depths of my mind.  One of the more recent examples of this is a set of clamp on drop bar adapters.  I have always had drops on my bikes, so when my Surly Troll showed up with mustache bars I felt a bit out of place.  Eventually I came to enjoy the more relaxed feel, but still found myself wanting to get low when firing down a hill or schlepping into the wind. 

Origin8 actually makes a pair of these.  I ordered a set from Amazon with cautious optimism.  I would have to describe them as ill-conceived but well executed.  The quality is top notch, but they missed a detail in the design stage.  It is tough to tell from the shot below, but the radius of the bend is so small that I could not fit my hand into them.  I’m only 5’11”, so I have average sized paws.

ScreenShot095

I really liked the idea of these, but this particular product just wasn’t right for me.  Unable to find another pair, I decided to make my own.  I hit the St. George Bicycle Collective and raided their parts bin.  My plan was to take a pair of clamp on bull horns and marry them with a set of drop bars.

ScreenShot096

Above we see the drops and bullhorns that I settled on.  The bullhorns are exactly the same style despite being different colors.

The next step was to cut them down to size.  This was a pain, and sort of dangerous.   The bull horns were designed to come off at an angle.  This meant that they had to be cut at an angle in order for the drops to come off perpendicular to the mustache bars.  Because of the shape, neither fit into a chop saw.  I decided to try cutting them with an angle grinder….. (Please note that the trailing periods after that last sentence are meant to foreshadow a very bad idea).

I’ve had some close calls with power tools.  But this may have been the closest.  I was in a hurry to get these things cut and as a result did not take all the precautions that I should have.  The result?  The bars got yanked into the grinder with my hand not too far behind.  It would be much harder to type this had I not been wearing thick leather gloves.  Check out the picture below.  The nick on the glove is from where it got pulled into the angle grinder.  That would have been my finger tip.

ScreenShot097

Unphased from nearly losing my pointer finger I decided I needed to find a way to make this work on the chop saw.  This proved to be only slightly less awkward than the angle grinder.  The drops got pulled into the saw and completely destroyed the blade.

ScreenShot098

Third time is a charm right?  I might be a slow learner, but as Churchill said, “Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”    I built a jig to hold the pieces so at least my fingers were out of harm’s way.

ScreenShot099

The final cuts came out alright. 

ScreenShot100

The next step was to find somebody to weld everything together.    At this point it is worth noting a few things about St. George, Utah.  First of all, the locals are a people of unmatchable self-pride.  They’re cowboys and their ancestors were pioneers.  They settled one of the most don’t give a fuck places on earth.  Hot, dry, and dead.  Being isolated in the middle of the desert, they had to be incredibly resourceful.  I appreciate this trait, but sometimes they take it a bit too far; I recently noticed that somebody did a plumbing repair on our house with duct tape…..

I’ve had mixed results with skilled trades here.  And by mixed I mean ranging from abysmal to atrocious.  Seamstress, boot repair, carpentry, knife sharpening, and now welding.  In all cases people have limitless confidence in themselves and are happy to take a stab at repairs, but more often than not this results in me wondering what the hell went wrong and how this person is still in business.  I tried three different weld shops.  One of the reasons I had to do all the cutting was because nobody seemed to know how to use a protractor and I wasn’t confident that they could get them cut at the proper angle to mount the way I wanted.  I tried to explain to one guy how important it was that these things be bomb proof and he cut me off saying, “I just have to be clear, I can weld them, but they will break.” 

Nobody inspired confidence.  Not willing to risk it, I called a friend and explained what I was looking to do.

“There has to be some old buzzard in this town with a missing finger that would be willing to do this for a case of beer,” I said.

Enter a mysterious character named Ron.  I never met Ron.  Apparently he builds hotrods in his garage.  All I know is that I dropped my parts off with a twenty dollar bill and a twelve pack of High life and two days later I picked up a package from an unnamed woman behind a resale shop that contained my makeshift drop bars. 

ScreenShot101

The welds are solid.  Ron made an aluminum plug to fit between each piece for reinforcement.  I took them for a test ride; applying only light pressure at first.  After a few minutes though I could tell that they would hold up.

ScreenShot102

Next step; paint.  It would have been nice to powder coat them, but in reality they’re getting wrapped with bar tape and they’re just going to get scuffed up.  So an old bottle of Krylon would do.

ScreenShot103

They ended up having a few drip marks.  But as I said before, this isn’t really a concern.

ScreenShot104

Originally I had planned on putting a set of road brakes on the drops and putting interrupters on the mustache bars.  This would have made a mess of the cable routing though.  After some playing around, I realized that the best solution was to keep the mountain bike style levers on the mustache bars and mount the interrupters on the drops.  This provided a relatively clean finish and leaves a few inches of cable to spare on the rear brake.

ScreenShot105

Not having to wrap a complete set of bars left me with enough tape to double wrap the drops.  I decided to go with some cheap pleather tape because it will tatter sooner and need to be held together with electrical tape.  This will give the bike a nice poor man’s look and make my wife’s Disc Trucker more attractive to any would be thieves.  I’ve been riding on them for a few weeks now.  People seem to love them or hate them.  Hardcore tourers that realize that there comes a point where you stop worrying about weight seem to get it.  They rich guys driving their carbon fiber race bikes to the ride laps up and down the hill think I’m crazy.  Personally I’m stoked to have these on my rig for the next two years.

ScreenShot106

ScreenShot107

Chris Haag is from Detroit, Michigan, although he currently resides in St. George, Utah.  He manages the site www.theplacesipee.com and will be riding with his wife, Sophie George, from Alaska to Argentina beginning in July of 2018.



Source: Bike Hacks – Hacked Clamp on Drop Bar Adapters

iGS60 Cycle Computer Review – Post #2

When last I posted on the iGS60 computer I was given to review, I asked readers to guess where I ultimately chose to mount the computer. Likely the safest place to mount the computer is on the handlebar stem. 

Comp1

However, I ultimately decided to go for the more risky extra space on the end of the PVC pipe I installed for my lights.

Comp2

Out on the end of the PVC makes the computer easier to see while riding as I do not need to shift my eyes as much as I would if it were mounted on my stem. It’s a bit risky in that if I were to take a tumble or run into something, the computer would likely be subject to an impact of some sort. Also on the subject of viewing, the computer does have nifty backlighting which make the display easy to read at night. During the day you don’t need the backlight feature which can conserve batter power. 

Comp3

The computer does come with multiple mounts which is nice for transfer between bikes, however one would have to purchase extra sensors for each bike. While mounting the computer itself is super easy, just stretching a round rubber fastener around the stem or PVC pipe, mounting the sensor on the hub of the wheel was a bit more of a challenge. More on that in a future entry.

 



Source: Bike Hacks – iGS60 Cycle Computer Review – Post #2

iGS60 Cycle Computer Review – Post #2

When last I posted on the iGS60 computer I was given to review, I asked readers to guess where I ultimately chose to mount the computer. Likely the safest place to mount the computer is on the handlebar stem. 

Comp1

However, I ultimately decided to go for the more risky extra space on the end of the PVC pipe I installed for my lights.

Comp2

Out on the end of the PVC makes the computer easier to see while riding as I do not need to shift my eyes as much as I would if it were mounted on my stem. It’s a bit risky in that if I were to take a tumble or run into something, the computer would likely be subject to an impact of some sort. Also on the subject of viewing, the computer does have nifty backlighting which make the display easy to read at night. During the day you don’t need the backlight feature which can conserve batter power. 

Comp3

The computer does come with multiple mounts which is nice for transfer between bikes, however one would have to purchase extra sensors for each bike. While mounting the computer itself is super easy, just stretching a round rubber fastener around the stem or PVC pipe, mounting the sensor on the hub of the wheel was a bit more of a challenge. More on that in a future entry.

 



Source: Bike Hacks – iGS60 Cycle Computer Review – Post #2

Floating Chainring

I passed this bike the other day and something seemed odd.

20170506_165647

I got closer and yes, this did seem odd at first.

20170506_165643

But my feeble brain then kicked into gear and I realized that this “floating” chainring was a brilliant form of chain tensioner. Simple, a bit elegant in my mind – and yet there is that feeling of unease at having something solely held in place by tension. Reader reaction welcome in comments. 

 

 



Source: Bike Hacks – Floating Chainring

Floating Chainring

I passed this bike the other day and something seemed odd.

20170506_165647

I got closer and yes, this did seem odd at first.

20170506_165643

But my feeble brain then kicked into gear and I realized that this “floating” chainring was a brilliant form of chain tensioner. Simple, a bit elegant in my mind – and yet there is that feeling of unease at having something solely held in place by tension. Reader reaction welcome in comments. 

 

 



Source: Bike Hacks – Floating Chainring

iGS60 Cycle Computer Review – Post #1

I was intrigued when I recently received an email with an interest in a cycle computer review. The computer in question is the iGS60, which the email proclaimed is . . . “similar to the Garmin Edge 520 but at about half the price.” I was partially intrigued because this is my point of reference for a cycle computer –

Vetta

I think I got my Vetta C-15 in . . . perhaps 1997, and it’s still going strong even though it has bounced off the pavement a good many times.  I  will admit, I have not even used it for the past several years – I have been cycle computer free for quite some time. 

Why the Excel picture? Well I used to utilize Excel to track my mileage. However, the last time I had an interest in tracking my mileage was about 10 years ago. I used to engage in quite a bit of recreational cycling, however I am very much a “utility” cyclist now. A deep dive into my riding history, if I kept one, would show that my routes take me to and from home/work, with stops at take out restaurants, grocery stores, and liquor stores mixed in.  

I am not really a “gadget guy” per say. I certainly have gadgets, but I don’t geek out on them and seek to upgrade as soon as new stuff comes out (duh, I have a Vetta C-15). I know the name Garmin, mostly from rental cars, and I hear people talk about Strava and get the gist of what it’s about, but don’t see tracking my movements as beneficial to my life or even remotely interesting to others. The whole fitness band trend has been lost on me mostly because I will confess to being blessed with the metabolism of a humming bird. Weight loss is not my issue, I try hard to gain weight and fail consistently (I know, poor me). 

Anyway, I thought that interacting with a modern cycling gadget might be interesting so I took the plunge, and I have to admit I was immediately intimidated – look what came out of the box that was sent to me!

Boxes

One product came with three boxes and one of those plastic wrap packages that sends multitudes to emergency rooms when people cut themselves trying to open the product. I think my Vetta came in a box you could fit a small mouse in. My first thought was, “How many beers is it going to take me to unpack, study, and install this thing!?” I will go through all of the stuff in a future post, but here is the “feature” product, staged next to the light for size reference.

ScreenShot4415

The first thing that I noticed was that the device breaks one rule I try to live by – I try to buy products with replaceable batteries. This is one of those devices that has the battery locked in and you charge it like you would your phone. You can connect it to your computer or to a wall socket. I plan on running multiple posts on this thing and will have to comment on battery life as I use it. 

I must admit I was also intrigued because one of my first thoughts was where I was going to put the thing. Take a look at my cockpit.

Cockpit

My front basket does not exactly make my cockpit conducive to gadget mounting, thus the lights on the PVC pipe. This post is already running a little long and I will try to build some suspense. Readers, where do you think I ultimately chose to mount this modern marvel of computer engineering? Thoughts welcome in comments.



Source: Bike Hacks – iGS60 Cycle Computer Review – Post #1

iGS60 Cycle Computer Review – Post #1

I was intrigued when I recently received an email with an interest in a cycle computer review. The computer in question is the iGS60, which the email proclaimed is . . . “similar to the Garmin Edge 520 but at about half the price.” I was partially intrigued because this is my point of reference for a cycle computer –

Vetta

I think I got my Vetta C-15 in . . . perhaps 1997, and it’s still going strong even though it has bounced off the pavement a good many times.  I  will admit, I have not even used it for the past several years – I have been cycle computer free for quite some time. 

Why the Excel picture? Well I used to utilize Excel to track my mileage. However, the last time I had an interest in tracking my mileage was about 10 years ago. I used to engage in quite a bit of recreational cycling, however I am very much a “utility” cyclist now. A deep dive into my riding history, if I kept one, would show that my routes take me to and from home/work, with stops at take out restaurants, grocery stores, and liquor stores mixed in.  

I am not really a “gadget guy” per say. I certainly have gadgets, but I don’t geek out on them and seek to upgrade as soon as new stuff comes out (duh, I have a Vetta C-15). I know the name Garmin, mostly from rental cars, and I hear people talk about Strava and get the gist of what it’s about, but don’t see tracking my movements as beneficial to my life or even remotely interesting to others. The whole fitness band trend has been lost on me mostly because I will confess to being blessed with the metabolism of a humming bird. Weight loss is not my issue, I try hard to gain weight and fail consistently (I know, poor me). 

Anyway, I thought that interacting with a modern cycling gadget might be interesting so I took the plunge, and I have to admit I was immediately intimidated – look what came out of the box that was sent to me!

Boxes

One product came with three boxes and one of those plastic wrap packages that sends multitudes to emergency rooms when people cut themselves trying to open the product. I think my Vetta came in a box you could fit a small mouse in. My first thought was, “How many beers is it going to take me to unpack, study, and install this thing!?” I will go through all of the stuff in a future post, but here is the “feature” product, staged next to the light for size reference.

ScreenShot4415

The first thing that I noticed was that the device breaks one rule I try to live by – I try to buy products with replaceable batteries. This is one of those devices that has the battery locked in and you charge it like you would your phone. You can connect it to your computer or to a wall socket. I plan on running multiple posts on this thing and will have to comment on battery life as I use it. 

I must admit I was also intrigued because one of my first thoughts was where I was going to put the thing. Take a look at my cockpit.

Cockpit

My front basket does not exactly make my cockpit conducive to gadget mounting, thus the lights on the PVC pipe. This post is already running a little long and I will try to build some suspense. Readers, where do you think I ultimately chose to mount this modern marvel of computer engineering? Thoughts welcome in comments.



Source: Bike Hacks – iGS60 Cycle Computer Review – Post #1

Mystery Bike Platform

More images from a recent trip to NYC. This definitely took some thought, and I have my own ideas about the intended purpose.

Plank1

If it is what I think it is for, carrying a dog, I would be worried. There is an electrical cord that runs from the seat post to the front of the bike which may well be a leash. 

Plank2

 If it is for a dog, I hope the dog is very well behaved.

 



Source: Bike Hacks – Mystery Bike Platform

Mystery Bike Platform

More images from a recent trip to NYC. This definitely took some thought, and I have my own ideas about the intended purpose.

Plank1

If it is what I think it is for, carrying a dog, I would be worried. There is an electrical cord that runs from the seat post to the front of the bike which may well be a leash. 

Plank2

 If it is for a dog, I hope the dog is very well behaved.

 



Source: Bike Hacks – Mystery Bike Platform

Imitation Game

A motto of BikeHacks.com could well be, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” I certainly do not take credit for coming up with this light mounting hack on my own –

20160825_075521

But when I posted it, reader Craig sent along his own version, which definitely is high on the style factor. 

Flattery1

Craig wrote – I built this bike with a specialized rockhopper I picked up for $5 at a garage sale and mostly spare parts.

Flattery2

Imitation is welcome on BikeHacks.com. If you are proud of something you have done, contact us for posting



Source: Bike Hacks – Imitation Game