Quick Tips

How to Deter Dogs While Cycling

Today's QT comes to us from Premium Member (and a regular correspondent of mine) Greg Titus, an Iowa roadie who admittedly has more dog issues than most roadies based on where he rides. But he's developed what he believes to be the absolute best deterrent to any feisty, nuisance or attacking dog. He's also graciously agreed to share with fellow RBR readers his 12-page article with step-by-step instructions on how to make his "dog poppers."

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No-Hands Way to Apply Chamois Cream on the Road

Today's QT comes from RBR contributor Sheri Rosenbaum, who offers a great solution to applying extra chamois cream while on the road. Here's what she says: With the bike season about to hit high gear and longer rides, including brevets and centuries, taking place, it's important to stay comfortable. When it comes to applying chamois cream on the road – assuming it's an organized ride with at least a couple rest stops – here's a tip to keep you lubed up and your hands clean.

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How to Adjust Brake Hood Position

Today's QT comes to us from RBR Premium Member Martin Estner, who offers a take on adjusting the positioning of shifters/brake hoods. Here's what he writes: The recent tip on aligning a handlebar stem reminded me of how I adjust the positioning of brake hoods. I like my handlebar drops parallel to the ground, and I like my brake hoods to be set so that my hands and wrists are in a straight position with no bend as if I were shaking hands with the hoods.

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How to Clean White Road Shoes

Today's QT comes from RBR contributor Sheri Rosenbaum, who happened upon a great way to clean up her white road shoes. Here's what Sheri says: I have a pair of Nalini Snake white road shoes. As with any white apparel, it's hard to keep them looking clean. I asked my local bike shop for suggestions, and they recommended I use a Mr Clean Magic Eraser on the synthetic leather and a mixture of Oxy Clean and water on the mesh microfiber. One worked. The other didn't.

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How to Align Your Stem with the Front Tire

For those who are perfectionists, aligning your stem/bars can be a pesky issue. Correcting the miss-alignment simply by loosening the stem and trying to nudge the bars has always been an iffy, trial-and-error exercise. Now, with this straight-edge technique, I can nudge it around during a single session and finally get it right without having to set it, go ride to try it out, then re-set, etc. So for me, it works well and gets a faster, more reliable result than what I've been doing. Maybe others will, too. 

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Follow Helmet Makers' Replacement Recommendations

A reader named JJ emailed me after reading last week's article Donate Unused Cycling Gear to a Good Cause: "Concerning donating gear: Is it a good idea to donate helmets that are in good shape and never been involved in an accident? Helmet manufacturers say replace your helmet every 5 years. What do you say about that?" JJ's timing was great, because just the week before I had the perfect experience and example to share with him (and now with all readers).

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'Maintain' Your Tires for Extra Wear

Even though I do keep track of when I install my tires, I know that they're not really a component I can accurately plan to replace at a certain interval. Where the rubber meets the road is the one place on a bike that can go from perfect condition to useless almost instantly if your luck is bad enough. We've probably all got at least one such tire story. I'm not the kind of rider who wears my tires down to the nub. I do, however, take steps to "maintain" them to help prevent flats and get as much wear from them as I can.

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Used Power Meters an Excellent Low-Cost Option

Today's QT comes from Coach Rick Schultz, who, as an accomplished bike fitter, coach and product reviewer, keeps tabs on the various power meters on the market. He's lately noticed a glut of some second-hand units. Here's what he writes: Lots of sub-$300 Stages power meters are showing up in many different 'For Sale' classifieds. (Stages power meters are thin, small units permanently glued to the inside of the left crank arm. You buy the entire crank arm when you buy a Stages power meter.)

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Keep Extra Cycling Provisions On Hand

Today's QT is something that came to me when preparing for the ice and snow storm Atlanta was forecast to be pummeled by last weekend. Here, the mere forecast of frozen precipitation sends citizens scurrying to the grocery store for bread, milk and eggs, to the hardware store for snow-melt, snow shovels and sleds, et al. While watching this play out last Friday, the thought came to me that the same dynamic is at play among some cyclists I know regarding some typical cycling "staples."

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In-Depth Tire & Tube Install Method Prevents Flats

Today's QT comes to us from Premium Member Michael Hormel, who engaged us in a recent email conversation about the merits of tubeless vs. clincher tires. We agreed, for our purposes, that we'll stick with clinchers, based on the ease of use and the fact that we seldom get a flat. Michael's tip comes from his method to prevent flats – and the results are astonishing. Here's what he wrote: I've only had one flat in the 10-15 years since I went from sew-ups to clinchers. I take my time when installing tires and tubes:

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