Russell Brunelle (russellb) wrote,
Russell Brunelle

Today's cycling tips

  1. If you use only one pannier, put it on the drive side. This way, if you lean your bike against something and it tips over, the rear d/r won't be damaged even if the bike tips to the right.
  2. With the Cateye odometers, you're better off using DST2 to coordinate with the maps: this way if you accidentally reset DST while switching modes you haven't lost any information that bears on navigation.
  3. You only need to unscrew Presta valve release nuts halfway at most before inflating the tire: more than this and you're at a greater risk of bending the small part of the valve (at least in my experience). Also, as far as I can tell the black plastic valve caps are useless and can be discarded: I think their only real purpose is to keep the tube from puncturing itself when it's folded into the box it comes in.
  4. Both brake cables and shifting cables gradually stretch from their lengths when they were originally installed. In the case of the brakes, this means the brake pads will lie farther away from the rim, and you'll need to pull the brake levers slightly farther to get the same braking effect. This is actually how I prefer it, as it means there is now chance a brake pad will drag against the rim even if the wheel goes slightly out of true. The shifting mechanism is another matter, but for what it's worth (at least on a touring bike with a triple chainring) this is pretty much all I've ever had to do in the field: turn the barrel adjuster on the left handlebar counterclockwise once the outer side of the front d/r starts rubbing against the chain.
  5. For riding safety, the best non-obvious tip I know of is: "hold the line." In other words, don't move farther to the right out of a misguided interest in being nice if a parked car or road debris or disappearing shoulder will force you back to the left immediately ahead.
  6. When it comes to cycling efficiency, the best tip I know of is to always make sure you're in the best possible gear, whatever that may be at the time.
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