1. Tape around Seat Post
One not-so-obvious cycling tip is to put a bright color tape around the seat post where it contacts the frame. The tape gives a semi-permanent marker for re-installing the seat post when it is removed. The fact that the tape is bright makes it easy to recognize a dropping seat post while riding. There is no need to wait for knee pain to creep up before realizing the seat post has dropped 4 mm during the ride.
2. Leave Valve Cap On
There is not much worse than getting a flat tire on the trail only to realize your spare has a hole in it too. One precaution to take is to leave the valve cap on the tube. The valve cap keeps the valve stem from rubbing a hole in the tube while it’s bouncing around in a saddlebag, a pocket, or on the frame.
3. Left vs Right Side Loading Bottle Cage
Some frames are too small to use a front-loading bottle cage. Therefore, a side-loading cage is the only option. A side loading cage begs the question of which side should the cage open up to. The gear shifter is on the right. If the cage opens to the right, then you can’t drink and shift gears at the same time. Grabbing the bottle with your left hand makes it possible to drink AND shift gears at the same time.
4. Wash kits in shower
We don’t all have a pro’s closet full of cycling kits and must make do with 1 or 2. Wash your body and your cycling kit at the same time makes it possible to wear the same kit the next day without running the washer. Also, reducing the number of times a kit goes through the washing machine significantly extends its life.
5. Rubber Tape on Frame
Using rubber tape under the frame reduces the risk of damage from kicked up rocks. Another place to use it is on the top tube where the shifter/brake levers hit when the handlebars rotate. Placing a small piece of tape on the top tube keeps the levers from damaging the frame in the event of a crash. I have had good luck with Scotch® Rubber Mastic Tape 2228.
Thank you for reading the first edition of “Not-so-obvious Cycling Tips.” Be sure to post your not-so-obvious cycling tips in the comments below. Some will be featured on the next edition.