Today's QT comes to us from Premium Member Richard M., who offers a few suggestions for what you might do with your old tubes after a puncture. I'll chime in after Richard to tell you the most common thing I use my old tubes for. And I invite you to share your own uses in the Comments below the Newsletter version of this article. It seems that of all the old bike stuff, tubes have about a million and one uses. —J.M.
Last week, we ran a QT offering a few suggestions for what you might do with your old tubes after a puncture. We asked readers to add their own creative uses for this most versatile piece of worn-out equipment to the Comments below the Newsletter version of the article. Several did, and a few more emailed us with their own novel uses. I promised I'd run a follow-up. Here it is. Enjoy! —J.M.
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."
Today's QT comes to us from Coach Rick Schultz, whose answer to a client's question comprises the tip. Here's the conversation between the two. Manuel S. wrote: Hi, Any specific comments or review about the Specialized Power saddle? I read recently that you really like it, and I have one here but I can't find the correct way to install it. I love the design, but it is always a painful experience! Thank you in advance for your help.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.)