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18-08-2021 | Frank Jansen

8 lifehacks for cyclists

Lifehacks are handy tricks that make life easier. In this article we collected 8 of them specifically aimed at cyclists.

1. Chain tool

When assembling a chain, it can be useful to fabricate a small tool to hold the chain together while you punch in the pin or assemble the quick link. Such a tool is easily made from an old spoke or a piece of power wire.

2. Olive oil as a chain lubricant

You're on vacation and you forgot your chain oil (or wax). Of course you can buy something locally, but did you know that you can also use some olive oil for an emergency? A bit of motor oil from your car will do the trick too, by the way.

3. Corsage magnet for the cadence sensor.

Do you ride with a cadence sensor that works with a magnet? Then drive past the florist and pick up a corsage magnet. This fits exactly on the inside of your pedal. Looks just a bit more chic.

4. Bottle won't fit under the tap? Use your mouth...

After a long search, you've finally found a toilet with a small tap. But your water bottle barely fits under it and when you take it out, half of it spills out. There is a wonderful low tech solution for this: take sips from the tap with your mouth and spit the water out into your water bottle. Sounds a bit gross but works great.

5. Valve cap as adaptor

Valve caps have a bad name among cyclists - they are said to be unnecessary. Nothing could be further from the truth! There are three types of valve caps. 1. Schrader (cars, sometimes MTB), 2. Presta (road bike), 3. Dunlop (some city bikes). The pump at a gas station can only handle Schrader valves. Good news, if you cut the cap off your valve, it acts as an adapter and you can inflate your tire with it. See this YouTube video for more explanation.

6. Doctor's gloves as lifesavers

It's not a bad idea to put a set of doctor's gloves in your saddlebag. They come in handy, for example, when you need to repair or replace a chain on the road. But they also come in handy if you're unexpectedly caught out by cold weather, which can happen especially in the mountains.

7. Money bill as an emergency solution for a cut in your outer tire

If you get a cut in your outer tire, it's highly annoying, because the inner tube will come through as soon as you pump it up. Good reason to bring cash, because a money bill can serve just fine as a temporary fix. Fold the banknote and put it between the inside of the outer tube and the inner tube and that's it. No money with you? An empty gel pack will do just as well.

8. Shoelace to open your quick link

Opening the quick link on your chain can be a challenge, there are special pliers on the market for a reason. Don't have them? Then you can also use a shoelace. Closing it without pliers is even easier. Make sure you stand next to a wall and stand firmly on the pedals.

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