Category: Tips

What do you wear for this cool weather riding?

In my part of California, we have at least another couple of weeks of unseasonably cool weather. After several years of heat waves and drought in the Golden State, I forgot how to kit up for riding when it’s 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

My upper body is fine — a windproof vest or jacket feels about perfect, and a warm core helps to keep my extremities warm. My legs — which are the engines that power my ride — never get warm.My summerweight shorts aren’t quite enough, but my heavy fleece-lined winter cycling tights are far too warm.

Should I look for my leg warmers that I haven’t seen in five years? What about a lighter weight pair of tights or three-quarter tights?

I think I like the idea of fleece-lined bib shorts like these thermal cargo bib shorts from Ornot in San Francisco. Who else has shorts like this?

How about you? What do you wear when it’s cool with maybe a bit of fog or mist?

Postscript: I asked this question on Twitter and received good responses. Thank you! Let me know what you think.

A DIY tubeless tire pressurizer?

Important Disclaimer: Using inflammable substances and poorly engineered devices to mount tires at high pressure may result in hard bits of these devices achieving enough velocity to take an eye out and other undesirable consequences.

Random thought prompted by Dan’s link to this new tubeless tire charger from Schwalbe: I think we’ve all seen that ghetto tubeless tire charger made from a plastic pop bottle and leftover bits of valves. Surely somebody has dressed it up with ingredients similar to a PVC pipe potato gun?

DIY tubeless tire pumper

Instead of pressuring your cannister with hairspray and a match, you’d charge it with a conventional floor pump through the presta valve. I need to add a valve to the above diagram — I guess a standard ball valve would do the trick? Close the valve, pressurize the cannister, then pop your tubeless tire onto its rim by releasing the valve.

The pump head shown is the SKS EVA bicycle pump head, which does not come with the hose. You also want a grommet to seal the hose hole entry. All of this can be ordered from your local bike shop.

Your local bike shop likely stocks something like the Stan’s NoTubes Tubeless Valve Stems show above, but you can also try using valves cut from an old tube. Be sure to leave plenty of rubber around the valve for a good seal.

PVC pipe can be easily cut to size at your local hardware store, where you can also find caps, connectors, valves and PVC primer and solvent.

And come to think of it, has anybody mounted a tubeless tire with hairspray (or, better yet, lighter fluid) and a match yet? Please note that this is not an incitement or suggestion to run out and try something like this.

Patch your tube without removing the tire

Forget about Lance Armstrong’s tire repair expertise and the hundreds of spinoff videos. This “Patch N Ride” bicycle tire tube repair gizmo seems slicker yet cleaner than liquid tire sealants. The claim: You can repair flat bicycles tires (tubulars and clinchers, tubeless coming Real Soon Now) without removing the tire and tube from the wheel. After locating the puncture, a needle plunges a patch under the tire and into the tube.


Bike Buddies for commuters

I’ve been talking a lot about “bike train” lately as a group of us launch this group ride for commuters in San Jose. “Bike buddies” is another program used to encourage newcomers to try cycling to work.

San Jose Bike Party January 17 2014

The Safe Routes to School people call the bike version of their Walking School Bus a bike train. The Walking School Bus and Bike Train to school are both ways to encourage active transportation to and from school while also dealing with “stranger danger” fears. These programs also help traffic safety — a big clump of children accompanied by adult chaperons are much easier to spot at intersections than a single kid.