10 Bike Tips & Hacks for MTB, Road, and Beyond

10 Bike Tips & Hacks for MTB, Road, and Beyond

Fall is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere,
which often means the best dirt and weather of the year. Let’s kick off the season with 10 bike hacks
and tips that you can use to save money, be prepared, and have fun. Have you ever used duct tape to make a temporary
repair? Eric Porter did when we were far from civilization,
and I noticed that he had it wrapped around his pump. This is a great way to make sure you have
tape with you. I prefer the one inch Gorilla tape personally,
but you could use any width or brand. Just carefully spool some duct tape around
your pump, and be sure not to get any wrinkles in it. This way, if you’re storing the tape outside
the sticky part doesn’t get contaminated by dirt or water. You can forget it’s there until you need
it. For a quick and dirty bike wash, you can use
a garden sprayer. I got this one for $10, and customized it
with some of that duct tape. These sprayers are powered by air pressure,
and are far from powerful, but with the help of a brush you don’t need a fire hose to
touch up your bike. This is a fairly popular trick, and for good
reason. It’s inexpensive, easy to carry, and effective. If you’ve ever gotten your shoe laces tangled
up in your drivetrain, well, you’re not alone. Double knots help, but why not give yourself
an extra layer of security? Just pull on a lace further up the shoe, and
pass the loops underneath it. This hack is tried and true, effective, and
free. Now for some tire tips, starting with this
little hook that you’ll find on tire levers. No these are not for hanging the levers on
your tool wall although you could. The hooks are actually designed to hold the
lever in place on your spoke. When removing tight tires, many people will
start with the first lever, hold it down, and then insert a second lever to pop off
the bead. It’s much easier this way with your hands
free. I was very surprised to find out how many
people didn’t know this. Of course with tubeless tires you should try
to avoid using levers altogether, as they can damage the rim tape and mar up the bead. Here’s how to work your tires by hand. First of all notice how tubeless ready rims
have an indentation in the center, with flat areas on the sides for the bead to sit on. The trick to getting the tire off by hand
is to push both sides of the bead to the center. First deflate the tire and pop the bead off
by pulling it hard towards the center. Once you’ve done this all the way around,
you can pull back the tire and grab it with both hands, pulling it over the side of the
rim, and pushing it down using your body weight. If you’re having trouble, double check the
bead to ensure it’s centered in that little valley in the rim. Once you get the first part of the bead over
the rim, the hard part is over with. To mount a tire by hand, start by locating
one side of the bead in the center of the rim. Work your way around the tire, constantly
checking to ensure you’re keeping everything in the center. I cannot stress how important this part is. You’ll reach a point where it’s a lot
more difficult. Use both of your hands to gorilla the tire
on, pulling towards you in a rolling motion. If you’re not sweating, try harder. Once you’ve popped the bead over the rim,
you can start working on the other side using the same process. Soapy water can help make this easier, but
I just did it dry. Now that we have our tubeless tire mounted,
I’ll give you one final tire hack: Setting the bead with a hand pump. This is gonna be a bummer. Remember those flat parts on the edge of the
rim? That’s where the tire bead makes its seal. Normally a blast of air from a compressor
or floor pump will force the bead outwards, but you’ll need to this manually if you
want it to seal with a hand pump. Grab a handful of tire and try to pull it
up and on to the side of the rim. Do this on as much of the tire as possible
on both sides. Keep attempting to pump up the tire, until
the air you’re adding exceeds the air leaking out. If it doesn’t seal, keep on working the
bead. Give it hell with the hand pump and don’t
stop until you hear the magical sound. This demonstration was done totally dry, but
adding sealant beforehand can help quite a bit. Either way it took me about 45 minutes, so
it only makes sense in an emergency situation. That’s enough tire stuff for now. Tailgate pads are a great way to carry bikes
on your pickup. In fact, I’ve gotten 8 on mine. But when you’re only carrying one or two
bikes there’s a better way: A mini tailgate pad made from high density foam. This will cover less of your tailgate and
retain the use of your backup camera, which gets covered by other pads. They sell this foam at home supply stores
in the flooring department, and it’s pretty durable. Just measure from the edge of your tailgate
to your backup camera, cut the foam to size, and make adjustments as needed. This does a great job of protecting your tailgate,
and rolls up to the size of a yoga mat for storage. If you carry your bikes using a hitch rack,
you may notice that it wobbles from side to side. This is because receivers are designed for
strength, not precision. But you can reduce the slop with shims made
from aluminum cans. Just cut some pieces out with a shop scissor,
and lay them inside the receiver with lips on the edges for retention. You can experiment by folding them over for
a tighter fit. If you have access to different thicknesses
of sheet metal, you can definitely make something nicer than this, but in a pinch it’s a pretty
effective hack. With action cameras coming in more shapes
and sizes than ever, we’re placing some huge demands these little mounts. Especially when leverage is involved, tightening
the plastic screw just doesn’t cut it. The answer? Carbon paste. Carbon paste is simply an abrasive compound
that increases grip, and you might already have some laying around. Apply it to the joint on your action camera
mount and install it as usual. The little grains in the paste will bite into
the plastic and reduce the chances of it moving. Since carbon paste isn’t permanent, you
can unscrew your camera mount and use it again like normal. Filthy trail dogs belong in the back seat,
but sometimes they don’t want to be there. So today we’ll make a pup jail out of cargo
net, a bungie cord, and some plastic clamps. Just cut the cargo net to size and fold it
over the bungie, using zip ties to secure it in place. Now you can hook the bungie to your headrests,
and clamp the cargo net to your seat back pockets. With enough determination, Drama could probably
power through this thing, but I left him alone with it for long enough to satisfy my curiosity. He didn’t bother. This is going to be great for when he’s
messy or drooling, but I’ll probably still let him ride shotgun most of the time. Hopefully you found some of these hacks and
tips to be entertaining or useful. If you want me to make more videos like this
just give it a like and share it with a friend. Better yet, give me some suggestions below,
and maybe you’ll see them in a future video. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll
see you next time.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. I always mount tires with the air pressure label next to the valve, eliminating the need to search around.

  2. I have always used the second shoe lace hack when I play soccer. I have been doing that since I was seven!!!!

  3. Shoe lace hack – when you finish lacing up your shoes, thread the laces through the top holes from the outside in, tie a little knot on the lace at the inside of the shoe (with the knot snug against the hole) & tuck the rest of the laces inside your shoes then simply slip them on your feet!

  4. I had no idea that I'm not supposed to use tire levers on my tubeless tires/rims. Hopefully I haven't damaged my rim with the one tire change I've had to do!

  5. I already use the plant sprayer and shoelace folding hacks, but these videos are great, keep 'em coming dude!

  6. Hey guys here is 2 tricks from me.

    1. If you smoke you carry with you a lighter. If you have a flat tire you can carry with you a hot patch rubber and some sand paper to help you out. Of course don't forget a pump.

    2. If you ride tubeless carry a sealant (the same one you sip into the tire just in case if you puncture it) carry it in a small form factor like an old nail polish. I use that because it has a brush so you can apply that fast.

    P. S. For the hot patches I don't know any brands just because it is a friend of mine that rides with them.

  7. I've been carrying duct tape and other kinds odd tape wrapped around a pen in my uni backpack for years. Everytime I got them out people were like whooa.

  8. Bit sad of you just discovered that those hooks on the tire levers can be used to hook behind the spokes. That’s how they have been designed for the last 60 years

  9. hey seth any good cheap parts store you can recommend ? I am poor and have a 2 year old and had to sell my bike to pay bills,

  10. Thank you for making my mind up about tubeless tyres. Won't be going near those feckers any time soon , then. 😊

  11. Can’t you just cut a small hole on your tail gate pad to allow your tailgate camera to actually work

  12. Dogs should have a harness with seatbelt attached. You get in a crash, even a small one, they will be flying against the windshield or smashed against the cabin.

  13. Gonna try the cargo net bungee dog stopper hack to see if my German Shepherd stays on the back seat 😂😂😂😂😂

  14. Can we please trade mountain bikes por favor mine is a total bust and I want to see if you can trade with me or if you can fix it

  15. 1:40 that’s such a good idea, I was riding a month ago, and got it looped around my left pedal really tightly, it took me 10 minutes to undo the borderline knot on my pedal, and now I have a solution

  16. My 6 year old neighbor bought a bike he came into me home and told me ibought a bike with a back break 😂😂

  17. Hey, thanks for the great tips. You totally fix my problem with the hitch slightly moving back and forth while im driving.

  18. been changing bike tires for so long i dont even use anything but my hands to take tires off the rim and put tubes in and re mount the tires

  19. 5:55 wait, you DRINK that stuff? I tried some once, and I couldn't even drink half the can. To each his own I guess….

  20. Most backup cameras aren’t next to the handle though. For example on my uncles 2016 Ford F-350, it’s beside the license plate

  21. bro ur not supposed to leave frenchies alone in the car cuz they can die of overheating, but if it wasn't a hot day then I get it.

  22. Hey Seth! I've got a hack for you, with a little modification you can use the garden pressure sprayer as a quick blast of air to seat tubeless tyres!!

  23. Dont forget to apply the tyre the correct way (arrow on side wall) as well as some need to be put a specific way to work optimally

  24. A tip I learned the hard way…when mounting your bike on the back of any vehicle, make sure no part of a tire is anywhere near the exhaust outlet. I destroyed a tire in about 60 minutes on one trip due to the hot gasses baking the tire.

  25. Our small dog (Cocker Spaniel-Poodle mix) figured out all on its own how to climb over a 6ft chain link fence in just a few days. I kinda think the cargo net "jail" won't cut it. She also climbs trees.

  26. If your on city streets with your bike, I use reflective tape on my back pocket. Pull your back pocket in your shorts in-side-out and put a bit of reflective tape where cars can see it on the exposed pocket. If your hitting up happy hour with friends after work you can just tuck the pocket back in and your good.

  27. you talked me out of tubeless tires! no way i have the arm strength to wrestle tires on and off. too bad. i have arthritis. i see no reason to abandon tubes. i rarely flat. 20,000+ km per season average.

  28. At least on the 10 or so rims I have used, you can center the bead in the lowest (Deepest valley) part of the rim all the way around, and it should be a lot easier to man/woman handle the last bit of bead over the outside of the rim. I am going to assume it doesn't work for everyone, but i would like to know.

  29. "Filthy smelly trail dogs belong on a back seat"

    Ah, now I see why my parents wouldn't let me sit in the front.

  30. I end up using your shoelace hack everyday, even out of my bike. You can say it is a life hack as I never have my shoelaces loose again 😛

  31. I used the my hand sprayer with round up in it to wash my bike.
    Now everywhere I lay it down, it kills the vegetation.

  32. I saw from your product review video, that you reviewed the sticky finger lever grips, you could use heat shrink wrap instead

  33. Like a lot of people . I rode a bike as a kid but eventually quit as I got to the age where motorized transportation became available to me. I bought a new bike just after my 40th birthday and soon found myself buying all the pieces of kit that comes with bicycle ownership . I assembled a tire patch kit with a frame mount pump . This kit contained 2 sets of tire levers . I had never seen or used them before but figured out immediately what the hooks were there for . Of course my mechanical aptitude is higher than the national average , by quite a bit I suspect. I was riding a rail trail on my first cruiser as an adult . Vandals had littered the trail with tacks to pop tires and it worked . My bike got a flat on the front and my friend popped both of his. We pushed the bikes to a nearby bench Ian I proceeded to patch the tires . While I was working on the tires other riders came by also pushing their own bikes . And many of them said something along the lines of "you can fix a tire, which bike shop do you work at?" I've gone into bike shops and seen big box brands of bikes waiting in the repair que for nothing more than a flat tire . When I was 9 years old I was riding back home from a nearby swimming hole and had a flat tire . I made it to the corner gas station . I peeked the tire off by hand and patched the tube with a foil sticker from a vending machine by the door and reinflated the tire . It held up to get me home and even a couple days longer. This was in 1979 when gas stations had air for free. The sticker was of Gene Simmons face . I've also heard of duct tape being used for this , but never actually seen it myself.

  34. A bike hack I invented as a kid . .177 Cal BBs can be used to replace ball bearing in front axles of BMX and beach cruiser bikes . I've done this quite a few times to repair bikes I drug home in boxes after someone else had disassembled them .

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