Best free or cheap bike stuff

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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kac
Posts: 361
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:31 pm

by kac

Always on the lookout for free or really cheap (as in <$20.00) bike "accessories". Here are a few items I've found worthwhile:
1) Free: Women's mascara brushes for cleaning small bike parts. Just walk into any department store and help yourself at the cosmetics counter! They're free, durable and no lint!
2) Cheap: Lighter fluid (about $3.00 for a lifetime supply in one bottle!). A dab of this stuff on a rag will clean a chain pronto with no apparent side-effects. Obviously, keep it away from frames, paint and fire.
3) Equally Cheap: Testors and other modeling paints for paint touch-up. Costs about $3.00/bottle. Acrylic clear nail polish works for minor clear-coat dings.
4) Pretty cheap: Baby wipes for cleaning a frame. Works great and they smell okay, too. Should be around $5.00/box.
5) Relatively cheap: Halo-type headbands slows sweat run-off into eyes. These and like brands are <$20.00 from plenty of internet retailers. Downside: sweat accumulates and eventually pours down in a torrent, usually right onto the visual center of sunglass lenses and usually at inopportune times. Beats a bandana as these saturate promptly and are then worthless.

Any other suggestions?

KAC

bricky21
Posts: 1405
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:28 pm

by bricky21

Safety glasses for $10-15 in place of $300 sunglasses. I have a specialty trade tool store near me with lots of decently stylish options.

wojchiech
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:33 pm
Location: bay area, california

by wojchiech

kac wrote:Halo-type headbands.


I've used a Halo for a couple years. I've found that removing the helmet pads in the front half of your helmet (where the rubber 'gutter' on the headband is) helps to prevent sweat accumulation/dripdown. I went even further and just cut off the back half of the headband and stuck it unto my helmet (the velcro hooks should still work enough to keep it in place). I still have to wipe my side brows occasionally when it's warmer/on climbs, but sweat never drips down into my glasses.

You can probably go even cheaper and make a similar effect with an old tube sewn into a helmet pad. I'm planning on trying this when the rubber on my Halo headband starts falling apart.


not free, but DIY energy gel can be made with products from wholesale grocery markets (Costco or similar) - we can't all afford to chug organic maple syrup like Ted King. Cost is usually less than $0.25 per serving.
  • a combination of honey, brown rice syrup, and/or blackstrap molasses can produce ~30g carbs/120 calories per 1 fl oz (1 gel packet).
  • Combine with whatever ratio is preferred. I personally prefer less honey because I find honey almost too sweet.
  • You can add fruit jam/preserves for a fruity flavor, cocoa or instant espresso mix for a richer taste, or even a pinch of salt to replace electrolytes.
  • You might have to water it down to make it less viscous when it's colder. I sometimes put it in my bottles so I have to carry less in my pockets.
  • I usually only mix a batch for a couple days worth of riding - separate the products keep longer (honey lasts forever), but mixed I don't risk spoilage by making huge batches.

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btompkins0112
Posts: 2693
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:04 am
Location: Mississippi

by btompkins0112

Caps...Pace makes a summer lightweight cap that blocks sun from your skull while maintaining breathability and the band is absorbent. Best caps ever for summer riding and less than $20.

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stella-azzurra
Posts: 5072
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:35 am
Location: New York

by stella-azzurra

kac wrote:Always on the lookout for free or really cheap (as in <$20.00) bike "accessories". Here are a few items I've found worthwhile:
1) Free: Women's mascara brushes for cleaning small bike parts. Just walk into any department store and help yourself at the cosmetics counter! They're free, durable and no lint!
2) Cheap: Lighter fluid (about $3.00 for a lifetime supply in one bottle!). A dab of this stuff on a rag will clean a chain pronto with no apparent side-effects. Obviously, keep it away from frames, paint and fire.
3) Equally Cheap: Testors and other modeling paints for paint touch-up. Costs about $3.00/bottle. Acrylic clear nail polish works for minor clear-coat dings.
4) Pretty cheap: Baby wipes for cleaning a frame. Works great and they smell okay, too. Should be around $5.00/box.
5) Relatively cheap: Halo-type headbands slows sweat run-off into eyes. These and like brands are <$20.00 from plenty of internet retailers. Downside: sweat accumulates and eventually pours down in a torrent, usually right onto the visual center of sunglass lenses and usually at inopportune times. Beats a bandana as these saturate promptly and are then worthless.

Any other suggestions?

KAC


The lighter fluid won't really clean that chain by just wiping the outside links. There is a procedure to really clean the chain and you would need to submerge the chain.

Rags may be cheaper to use to clean a frame since they are washable and reusable.
I never took drugs to improve my performance at any time. I will be willing to stick my finger into a polygraph test if anyone with big media pull wants to take issue. If you buy a signed poster now it will not be tarnished later. --Graeme Obree

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Juanmoretime
Administrator
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am
Location: Urbana, Illinois

by Juanmoretime

Instead of bulk or single serving gels or sports bars I eat fig bars on the bike. If you go a discount store they are really cheap.
RESIDENT GRUMPY OLD MAN.

vdrey
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:37 am

by vdrey

If you like to use cotton rags to clean your bike, go to a paint/hardware store and buy a bag of rags. 10lbs of rags for less than $10. That bag should last at least a year unless you do a major clean of your bike every week

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

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trychle
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Location: The Netherlands
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by trychle

I would like to double that safety glasses comment.

My 80 year old granddad (who still rides 50 km a day :thumbup: ) bought some safety glasses on a flea market for his riding.
At first glance I thought they were a pair of Assos Zegho's..

Butcher
Shop Owner
Posts: 838
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:58 am

by Butcher

The best buy I got was a '06 S-Works Tarmac with Campy SR11 groupset. Got it for $500.00 on Craigslist. $500 under budget too! I even printed the ad so my wife could see it [since she had to give the ok].

BTW, I was the seller too!

I did get a nice rain bike too. '06 Tarmac with Campy Chorus11 groupset. This time I got it for free, she approved that even more.

BTW, I gave that to myself.
Last edited by Butcher on Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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btompkins0112
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Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:04 am
Location: Mississippi

by btompkins0112

^ hehe.....stellar idea there

S1mmo
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:23 pm

by S1mmo

trychle wrote:I would like to double that safety glasses comment.

My 80 year old granddad (who still rides 50 km a day :thumbup: ) bought some safety glasses on a flea market for his riding.
At first glance I thought they were a pair of Assos Zegho's..


Treble the safety glasses comment... Like using mine more than any other glasses. Now instead of cursing whenever I drop them on the road, I smile to myself knowing I spent less than a fiver on them!

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dgasmd
Posts: 1300
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:10 am
Location: South Florida

by dgasmd

Best free stuff I ever got was advice: "when you join a group ride you haven't ridden with several times and know the players, assume they are all idiots looking for the best opportunity to make you crash and kill you until proven otherwise. Despite that, beware of the traffic coming behind you and whats on the ride of the shoulder because one of those 2 places is where you are ring to throw yourself to when the selected idiot on the ride makes his attempt". Serving me well 20 years later!!

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kgt
Posts: 6789
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:29 am
Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

Do these safety glasses have serious UV protection?

NealH
Posts: 493
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 3:40 am
Location: Triange, NC

by NealH

Yes they do, applying UV coating is relatively inexpensive. The tradeoff on these cheap safety glasses is that the lens are not optically corrected like good sunglasses are. However, its not something readily noticeable while bike riding. Remember workers wear these all day in some cases so they are corrected enough - especially with modern manufacturing. Oakelys and Rudys are superb glasses - better contrast, optically and color corrected, hard coatings, suitably fashionable, relatively lightweight with excellent fitting......but for cycling they are overkill....not to mention over priced (imho of course). I still own a pair though, as I like fell victim to the fit and fashion.

bricky21
Posts: 1405
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:28 pm

by bricky21

Define serious. As far as I know as long as glasses meet ANSI Z80.3 standards then your eyes are adequately protected from UV damage.

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