Author Topic: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories  (Read 3675 times)

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Offline danieljndube

In holiday spirit, I compiled a list of a few (50) of my favorite things for road bikes. Would love to hear about a few of everyone else's. I posted the list and the reasoning behind each choice on my nascent blog as a public conversation starter. http://danieldube.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/50-less-usual-but-very-helpful-road-bike-components-and-tools/.

It is continually astonishing to me how the cycling industry has developed to meet even the most esoteric needs.The longer I ride (now since 2003, in Montreal, Maine (coast/inland), Middlebury, Santa Fe, Cleveland (Chargin Falls/Hunting Valley), DC), the more refined become my problems, but there always seems to be a solution available. Would love to hear the thoughts of those many who know that better than me.

I'm sure some would also disagree with a few of my selections or reasons. I'm here to learn.

Dan
(Maine)

Offline johnsondasw

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2012, 11:17:47 pm »
That's a good list. 

I would add zip ties.  They are very handy and have several applications.  I have been riding for three years now with the cable guide on the chain stay zip tied on to the stay because the original guide broke off my carbon fiber chain stay.

I would disagree with the statement that helmet mirrors are the most effective.  They often vibrate and give a smallish view of the road behind.  I use a bar end mirror which provides a great view to the rear and never vibrates at all.

 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline tonythomson

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2012, 07:56:06 am »
Hi Dan, very interesting list and a mixture of high & low tech.  Def add zip ties one of the most useful items when out on a bike,doing workshop repairs etc.
   What was also interesting for me is that as I never read cycling mags so as far as new innovations I'm a cyclelasaur - even some of my bikes go back to 1800's.  So you have probably saved me months of having to buy these mags and  I particularly liked the spoke repair kit and will add that to my touring list.   
As John pointed out - mirrors are personal choice mine is a flat mirror that Velcro's to the handle bars, easy to remove for shaving, getting grit out of your eye etc.
I would be interested which of your list you would never leave home without on an extended metalled road tour.
From your list the items I would probably never make use of would be the various small bags dotted around he frame, simply because any small items kept in them could easily be accommodated in a handle bar bag and taken with you when you have to leave the bike unattended.  I prefer a few small colour coded nylon bags inside the bar bag so my valuables etc are easily identified.
Tony
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline RussSeaton

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2012, 02:10:21 pm »
I would disagree with the statement that helmet mirrors are the most effective.  They often vibrate and give a smallish view of the road behind.  I use a bar end mirror which provides a great view to the rear and never vibrates at all.

Odd, but you stated the exact opposite of the truth.  Helmet mirrors do not vibrate because they are attached to your helmet which is on your head and body.  Your head and body absorb all of the vibrations from the road.  Its soft tissue that cannot transmit vibrations.  Vibrations are absorbed by your body.  Whereas the bar end mirror is attached directly to the bike.  Vibrations from the road go through the hard metal of the frame and through the hard metal of the bars and vibrate the mirror.  I'm guessing you ride a bike occassionally.  Ride on a gravel road or pot-holed road and look at your bike and its parts.  They move and vibrate.  A helmet mirror also provides a very large view of the road behind.  Its a small mirror, but its 4 inches from your eye.  Being so close amplifies the view seen.  Bar end mirrors are about 2 feet from your eyes.  Even with their larger size, they still provide a small viewing area.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2012, 07:20:04 pm »
I would disagree with the statement that helmet mirrors are the most effective.  They often vibrate and give a smallish view of the road behind.  I use a bar end mirror which provides a great view to the rear and never vibrates at all.
  I'm guessing you ride a bike occassionally.  Ride on a gravel road or pot-holed road and look at your bike and its parts.  They move and vibrate. 

Gee, Russ.  I guess you got me figured out.  Only been riding for 56 years, old one speeds as a kid, decades of multi-speeds, touring for over 30 years, mountain biked (I live in the mountains) for about 12 years.  I figure I've biked maybe 30K to 40K miles or so total.  Just got back a few minutes ago from one of my "occassional "rides in Seattle in late November. 

Admittedly, I  haven't tried a helmet mirror for about 15 years, so I'm perhaps not up on them.  Back then, I found the mirror to give a small view and had to twist my head around to get the scope of what's going  on to the rear.  Also, I would get headaches from looking up into the corner for the mirror which, contrary to your assessment, was giving a shaky view. Perhaps if I had had a good one, fitted correctly and all, it would have worked for me.

It's probably one of those personal preference things like trailer vs panniers.
 








May the wind be at your back!

Offline danieljndube

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 07:32:49 am »
Thanks. Zip-ties have been added, grateful for the reminder. My mirror assertion has been rephrased to acknowledge how personal is the choice. Right now, I have a Take-a-Look on my helmet and the Ortlieb at the very end of my drop, with both mirrors set vertically. For years, I went without any.

Your question, Tony, reminds me of the Robinson Crusoe question popular among academics: "Of all books, which would you take with you if you knew you'd be left on a deserted island?" In fact, I am facing just this scenario both with books and with bicycles, as I am to enter service in the Peace Corps.

Perhaps the expected choice, I have to say the Brooks. Whether or not I ship a bike out (and one will be issued), the Brooks will be in the luggage. I can ride anything that's given me contentedly and for a long time, as long as that's my saddle. Were it not for my B17 Narrow, I'd no longer be cycling.

However, I will also be taking with me a pair of friction shifters with Paul's thumbies (mountain bike issued), should I not be shipping out an LHT.  Those would be Shimanos for unquestionable simplicity and reliability, leaving Silver/Dia Compes Stateside.

Lastly, Lake shoes with rubber grips and dual-platform pedals might be included, if there's room, or at least Gripsters (never liked clips). The Fiberfix, zips, and a replacement derailleur hanger will certainly make it along with other items of minute size and weight, such as quality levers. The trusty Lezyne floor-drive pump will more than likely make it, especially given its feather weight.

But to pick one--the Brooks. And to pick two, the friction shifters.

Dan (Maine)

Offline litespeed

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 11:35:56 pm »
I'd add Gorilla Tape - sold in any hardware store. It is a sort of super duct tape - very strong, durable and so sticky that it is hard to peel off the roll and requires some care in applying. It is great for patching tents, sleeping bags, the bags they come in and attaching most anything to anything.

I'd also add a small multitool, mainly for the pliers. That rare stuck valve nut can be a real problem.

Offline DaveB

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2012, 10:35:28 am »
I'd also add a small multitool, mainly for the pliers. That rare stuck valve nut can be a real problem.
The lightest, smallest and cheapest tool I know about that has useful pliers is the Swiss Tech Micro.  As a supliment to a regular bike oriented multi-tool it is extremely useful and much better built than it's price would indicate.  I've carried one for years on my key ring and it has proved its worth many times over.  Here's one source but I've seen them at Target also:

 http://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Tech-MMCSSS-Micro-Max-Multitool/dp/B001AY2WLU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1354548641&sr=8-3&keywords=swiss+tech+tool

Offline danieljndube

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 06:36:02 am »
Dave B, I think it's time I start expanding the list beyond a nifty fifty items, if slowly. Yes, I have often wondered why few cyclists carry pliers, as there's no other way to make significant corrections to cables. I myself carry the Leatherman Squirt PS4, and I have marveled at its quality. Will put both that and the Swisstech in the post per your review. Thank you for the suggestion.

Dan

Offline danieljndube

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 06:40:28 am »
Thanks Litespeed, for the Gorilla tape and pliers suggestion. I'll put a tape post for the traditional three: black electrical, duct tape, Gorilla tape. How do you carry yours? I've heard many carry the latter two kinds of type on pieces of plastic straws, or broken pencils, rather than on a full roll.

Appreciate the notice on stuck valve nuts.

Dan

Offline staehpj1

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 07:24:12 am »
These lists will vary greatly from individual to individual.  I think that for me most of the items on your list are stuff on my "leave home to save weight" list :)  I counted 5 items on your list that I actually carry and a few others that I carry, but carry a different brand.  A fair number of your listed items are on my "avoid like the plague" list.  At one time I carried quite a few more of the items, but found that after a few long tours I really never used them.

Not knocking your list, if it works for you that is great.  I just can't help but observe how different it is from what I carry.

Offline DaveB

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 08:49:09 am »
These lists will vary greatly from individual to individual.  I think that for me most of the items on your list are stuff on my "leave home to save weight" list :)  I counted 5 items on your list that I actually carry and a few others that I carry, but carry a different brand.
I also don't agree with all of the items but the OP didn't intend it as a list of what to carry on the bike.  It also includes a lot of things for home use, maintanance, seasonal use, etc.  If you really took all of those things on a tour, you would need a BOB just for them and another one for your clothes and gear. :)

Offline staehpj1

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 12:04:12 pm »
These lists will vary greatly from individual to individual.  I think that for me most of the items on your list are stuff on my "leave home to save weight" list :)  I counted 5 items on your list that I actually carry and a few others that I carry, but carry a different brand.
I also don't agree with all of the items but the OP didn't intend it as a list of what to carry on the bike.  It also includes a lot of things for home use, maintanance, seasonal use, etc.  If you really took all of those things on a tour, you would need a BOB just for them and another one for your clothes and gear. :)
True.  I made some assumptions about what he intended as items to carry and items for home.  Those assumptions may or may not be correct.

Offline danieljndube

Re: less usual but very helpful road bike components, tools, and accessories
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2012, 06:43:39 am »
Hello StaehPJ. Thank you for the response. It's not a carry list. In which case, the question arises, why post on this  forum? I started out as a standard recreational cyclist, using a racing bike. More and more, I came to see that touring and randonneuring practices, cycles, gear, and thinking make the most sense to me. Hence, while a general road-bike list, it shows some favoritism to the kind of riding people on here do, touring.

Posting it was intended to serve three purposes, ideally. One, save some beginners countless hours of research. Two, let more experienced cyclists take away the one good idea or product they may have overlooked. Three, gain suggestions for both deletion and addition.

I say ideally: I wasn't sure anyone at all would read it; figured it'd at least organize that greasy portion of my brain devoted to cycling "stuff". Turns out that twenty-five hundred riders in fifteen countries have read it, so the first two purposes have been served. The third has been served partially (relatively low rate of suggestion). One unintended purpose has also been served: a few of the cottage-industry sized companies look to have benefited, rightly, from their provision to us of really good products. For instance, Cyclelogical: Design & Ideas posted a thank-you for the mention, and Velo Orange's Dajia stand received the first or second-most clicks on its link. I have not spoken with these folks, but I suspect some orders have been placed and some riders' needs have been met.

That's the thinking behind the little piece. Sounds like you're an experienced rider, so I'd love to hear any suggestions for items missing. May also add a blurb of intent next I update the post. A couple of suggestions have already been snuck in without the magic 50 number changing, but three items will be added later today or tomorrow bringing it to 53.

Dan