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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by DMF

NealH wrote:...better contrast...

THIS!! +1000!

I've been working in construction for many years now, and seen a lot of safety glasses, clear and tinted, sporty and heavy duty, brand name (like 3M) and no name, costly and inexpensive, you name it...

On the bike I exclusively ride Oakley and Rudy, not that there aren't other good options but of the high-end options some of theirs fit my face best.

Anyway, the point here. There is a hell of a difference regarding how clear, sharp, contrasted and defined "the picture" is. It's like comparing low-def and high-def TV's... It's DVD vs Blue-Ray, in many cases its even VHS vs Blue-Ray...

I would really put it like this, the best construction worker glasses I've tried, when brand new, give me less clear vision than no glasses. The best high end cycling/sports glasses I've tried, give me slightly sharper vision than no glasses. It's got nothing to do with optics, it's just the better contrast and the fact that the lenses are really, really clear. Construction worker lenses NEVER have that perfect clarity.

I'm not saying this is the end of the world, but if you've put 5.000€ into a bike, and atleast half that into each of the other three, and riding a bike is a way of life more than a hobby, ...then it just seems ridiculous to save 150€ with the tradeoff of experiencing every single minute of it in a less than perfect vision.

So put in that perspective, what is 150€?

There are ofcourse a lot of mid-priced cycling glasses, 30-40€, honestly never been very impressed with most of them...

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by bricky21

Brand new cheapos are far superior to scuffed, scratched, broken, or lost oakleys, and for most people it's much easier to replace their glasses when they don't cost $300. To me glasses are throw away items. They never last I either scratch them, loose them, or break them, so the very minimal enhancements are not worth an extra $285 every few months.

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by DMF

Why on earth would you buy completely new glasses when the lenses are scratched. The thing with Oakley's (and the likes) is that spare lenses are very readily available. I think I'm on my third or fourth lense in four or five years on my M-Frames, (the same M-Frames). Granted, those lenses are done now, but new ones can be found fairly cheap and just like most other bike parts new lenses are sourced online so availability can't really be an argument for any serious cyclist...

I wouldn't dream of throwing away a set of nice glasses, that's like throwing away your handlebars because the bar tape is worn...

There is an initial cost, and yes there is a cost to new lenses once or twice a year. But set in the grand scheme of things, and considering the tradeoff in clarity, why does this cost get people going crazy reaching for the cheapest possible option?

I easily go thru 6 or 7 tires in a season on one bike alone, and about 3 chains on that... Should I mount cheap ass tires that last forever and run cheap cassettes so I can run the same chain for the entire life span of that cassette, could probably get two years use out of one chain and cassette...

I get some people trading clarity for money, but a weight weenie on a 5.000€ bike, why does money - very suddenly - become a huge issue and the wallet shuts together like a bear trap?

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by bricky21

A couple of points.

1. Why do you assume I have a 5000 euro bike, or that I think spending 5000 euro for a bike is a good idea? I quite often laugh at the massive expense of insignificant upgrades found in the world of bike components.

2. Replacing Oakley lenses is pretty costly if done once or twice a year, but scratched lenses are not the only way to loose out on expensive glasses. When you break them or loose them they need to be replaced with something.

3. Cheap cassettes and chains are a sign of a savy cyclist. I would highly recommend them.

4. There is no way a pair of top of the line Oakleys vs. cheap sunglasses even comes close to the difference between FMB's and rock hard wire bead tires that are about 40% of the cost btw. However, when the cost of good quality tires is 5% of the best tires money can buy I will certainly be paying attention.

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by jpanspac

Buy rags??? You've got to be kidding me. Doesn't everybody have a supply of old, worn-out t-shirts?
My favorite components are the ones I never have to think about.

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by DMF

bricky, I don't assume anything about you specifically, but 5.000€ bikes are counted by the hundreds on this forum so it seems like a fairly valid scenario right here. And this is where we're having the discussion, this is not the Beginners Triathlete forum...

Ofcourse cheap glasses are great value for money, just that value for money as a whole concept seems to be of very little concern when it comes to many board members, and absolute performance (at just about any cost) seems to be the main concern in many cases wherever it concerns the bike itself. Or shoes, or bibs, or... or why not glasses too?

"Value for money" is just one conceptual way of looking at things. There are other POV's too.

I apologize for bringing this thread a bit off topic, but I think I've said what I can and I'll leave it be from here on. There is absolutely nothing wrong with cheap construction workers glasses and they are great value for money (albeit at some cost performance wise IMO).

OnT, old toothbrushes are a cheap alternative to real cassette brushes. Baby wipes are the only way I clean bicycles, when you get into the routine they are really fast, don't need that many for a whole bike and there are very few places I can think of where they aren't the easiest way (when you get the hang of it). Old bar tape is great as chain stay protection for mountainbikes, a fork no longer fit for fight makes a great toilet paper holder.

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by Frankie - B

@bricky21, are you sure you are in the right forum? ;)

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
'Tape was made to wrap your GF's gifts, NOT hold a freakin tire on.'

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by Musiker

In my younger years and on the MTB I swore to cheap glasses, because I always seemed to break them or loose them, within a few months.. However I finally caved in and bought a set of Oakleys (Radar) with photocromic lenses in 2010 and I have not yet replaced anything. The lenses are shot and I should have gotten new ones a year or two ago, lol. But they still keep bugs out of my eyes and vision is pretty good.
I know that since they where more expensive I have taken (a tiny bit) better care of them.. However I am still very impressed with the amount of abuse they have taken without going to pieces.
Does it warrent the higher cost? Yes for me it does, I ride a lot in shifting visablity (in and out of woods, and cloudy weather) and I love that the lenses adjust somewhat to the shifting light conditions... And the oakleys do that job perfectly.. None of the cheaper options I tried worked well in shifting light conditions.

Well back to the thread..
Best cheap/free bike (related) stuff:
Coffee grit from our Espresso machine - Mixed with soap (for dishwashing) that cleans my hands perfectly after working with a dirty bike.
Winter road bike that I bought used (and cheap) - A Fusion sport leader with with ultegra 9 speed that just keep going and going, with minimal maintance.. I am impressed!

Other than that I must admit that even after a long thinking break, I can't think of much of the cheap stuff I have gotten which is so good that I would buy it again... I am a sucker for things that last's and functions perfectly.. I can't seem to find stuff that is:
1) Cheap
2) Durable
3) Functions perfectly
Maybe I just don't have the eye for it, so this thread is welcome! :-)

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by RimClencher

Probably an old one but applying tape over the holes in a helmet is an easy way to keep you warm in winter that has the added benefit of making yourself an aero helmet. When it warms up you can gradually remove the tape from each hole and apply again as the season turns. Electrical tape also works well at covering the holes in some cycling shoes.

Also, an old tennis ball or baseball for focused massage in problem areas.

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by wojchiech

RimClencher wrote:Also, an old tennis ball or baseball for focused massage in problem areas.

speaking of massage/recovery, foam rollers are very useful for recovery, especially back, IT band, and legs. I used one made of foam for less than six months before it started to lose its shape. Then I went to a hardware store and bought a 10cm PVC pipe, cut it in two, and now I have two rollers for several times less than anything you would buy in a fitness/sports store. Of course there is no padding so it's a bit more painful, but it works faster. :unbelievable: :shock: :mrgreen:

here's my old roller beside my new one

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by kac

Two more items:
1) "Rescue" whistles. These are really cheap (e.g., pack of two "Rescue Howler" whistles @$9.00) and they emit a piercing blast capable of alerting even the most stuperous driver to your presence. Lightweight, too (only a couple of grams!)
2) Sixtus "Butt Cream" is a pretty good bargain. It's from a German company that (as far as I can tell) sells mostly medical-grade ointments for diabetics directly on the internet. Their "Butt Cream" is designed for as a lubricant for "sporting use". Last time I purchased it was ~$25.00 (breaking my threshold for "cheap" by $5.00) for a 100 gram tube. I include it because they formerly (and maybe still do) sell 50 gram tubes for less. It seems to work as good as "the high-priced brands" (to borrow an advertising slogan) and (to borrow another slogan), "A little dab will do ya"!

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by uraqt

@ cost per mile/cost per ride my Sidi's were free : )

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by bricky21

I got this recipe for making chain lube from one of the DaveS chain threads "3-4 parts mineral spirits to 1 part motor oil or gear lube".

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by Tapeworm

I was getting frustrated with the position of the PC7 on the aero bars so I rigged this up with pvc pipe off-cuts, zip ties and electrical tape. ImageImageImage
"Physiology is all just propaganda and lies... all waiting to be disproven by the next study."
"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG

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by limba

Blackburn Slick bottle cage. $10 or less. 23g real weight. Lifetime warranty ...

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