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10 Hacks and tips for mountain bikers

10 Hacks and tips for mountain bikers


Adjusting the air pressure in your suspension
fork is supposed to be an easy part of routine bike maintenance—but it isn’t always. Air caps have a way of being ridiculously
stubborn. It’s tempting to break out the heavy artillery
in these situations, but the solution is right under your nose. Your shock pump. This can actually be used as a slide hammer
to knock the air cap loose. Just brace the handle of the pump on the cap,
and then use the body of the pump to initiate a precise impact. This won’t scratch your air cap, and it
makes use of a tool you already have handy. It also works with most suspension forks. Of course the next time you screw on your
air cap, be sure not to make it so tight. Even the best knee pads have a way of sliding
around, especially if you’re doing a lot of pedaling. If you wear a chamois, you can stretch it
over the top of your pads to hold them in place. I realize that this doesn’t work for all
pads and that some of you are so tall that your chamois doesn’t actually reach your
pads, but for us short people this does an incredible job. I use Dakine chamois and they reach all my
pads. Another hidden benefit of this is warmth in
the Winter months, as it makes for continuous coverage down your leg. As far as bike racks go, it doesn’t get
much simpler than the tailgate of a pickup, and today’s tailgate pads even include straps
to secure your bike. Still, they can bounce around on rough roads. So if you’re on a long trip or doing any
kind of over landing, you can use a ratchet strap to hold several bikes in place at once. Just use the tie downs in your bed to hook
the strap over the bikes, and then crank it down just enough to hold the bikes in place. If you want even more security, you can wrap
the strap around each bike, which will keep them from moving side to side. This trick also makes theft more difficult
during quick stops like intersections. These next two hacks come courtesy of Eric
Porter, although these are both old tricks. First, a way to secure the rear brake hose
on your dirt jump or BMX bike. Because these bikes are made for tricks like
barspins, the hose is often left really long so it can wrap around the steerer tube. That leaves a lot of extra hose that can slap
around and make noise. Some people put a zip tie here, but it’s
only a matter of time before it slides down. For a permanent fix, put a zip tie around
the hose loosely, and then pass another zip tie through it and around your steerer tube. This solution is barspin friendly, and costs
only pennies. So in my opinion, it’s about as good as
hacks get. Even mountain bikers who ride tubeless, still
usually carry a tube for emergencies, and if you want that tube to work for as many
bikes as possible, use a 29. You can actually shorten a 29 inch tube down
to just about any size. Just push down on the tube with your thumb,
and pull it back so it folds over itself. You can then keep pulling it down to achieve
the size you’re going for. It’s a good idea to do this opposite the
valve stem to counterbalance the weight, but in reality you won’t counterbalance anything. This hack is strictly to get you home without
having to walk your bike. Here’s another inner tube hack. Shraeder valves are found on BMX bikes, dirt
jumpers, and unicycles, while presta valves are found pretty much everywhere else. Install a presta tube in a shraeder wheel,
and it sits off center, flops around, and allows for dirt ingress. But you can solve all these issues with a
presta valve cap. Just cut it in half, and then screw it on
to the stem upside down about a quarter of the way up. When you install the tube, it should make
for a perfect fit. Although this looks pretty official and will
get you by, it’s still a hack. If you run high pressure this could in theory
stress the base of the valve stem and damage the tube, so be aware of that and buy the
right tube if you can. That said, I did this for a bit at 60 PSI
with no problems. Small multi tools like this one are convenient,
but they lack leverage. If you’ve ever tried to break a pedal loose
with one of these, you know it’s nearly impossible. But assuming your bike has thru axles, you
can use one to add leverage to the tool. First remove your thru axle, and then slide
it over an unused hex wrench opposite the one in your pedal. It should now look like this. In this configuration you can apply pressure
to both the multi tool and the axle, giving you the leverage to crack loose just about
anything. On hex thru axles you can use the hex head,
and on quick release thru axles you can use the hollow end. Some may worry about damaging their axle doing
this, but I tried several with no issues or even so much as a mark. but I don’t know how tight your pedals are
or how strong your axle is. So if you have any concerns about this hack,
don’t use it. Now for some trail building hacks, starting
with one we’ve used on Berm Peak: Removing small stumps with a reciprocating saw. For this you want to use a pruning blade,
and just cut around the stump in a circle. For a little shrub this can get the stump
out of the ground in under minute. Having done this countless times now, I can
confirm that it does no harm to the saw itself, but it will put a little bit of a hurtin’
on your blade. For slightly bigger stumps, this trick still
does work but definitely takes an extra minute or two. When building dirt jumps, you ideally want
soil without any sticks, pebbles, or roots in it. To get perfect dirt, you can use a leaf rake
as a sifter. Just rake some soil into a pile, scoop it
up with the leaf rake, and then shift it around until you’re left with just sticks and pebbles
in the rake. This takes some time, but if all you need
is a top layer on a little jump like this one, it works great and leaves you with perfect,
chocolaty soil that compacts like it’s supposed to. With a little practice, you can do the same
by just raking, but this is more thorough and kind of satisfying to watch. You’re all alone in the woods—the only
human being for miles, or so you think. Pull off trail to take a whiz, and it’s
a scientific fact that you’ll get run up on immediately. It’s just the way the universe works. So use this to your advantage. The next time you need some local knowledge,
just summon a local. I hope you found these bike hacks entertaining,
and I’m pretty sure you realize they’re just hacks. There are proper ways to do all of these things. Nevertheless, leave a comment below, share
this video with someone who would enjoy it, and subscribe to see me build a mountain bike
trail in my backyard. Ride safe, and enjoy the fall weather. Thanks for riding with me today and I’ll
see you next time.

100 comments on “10 Hacks and tips for mountain bikers

  1. The last time I tried to break pedals use with that exact Park Tool multitool the bolt that holds all of the Allens to the tool base bent and broke!

  2. For the trick with the breakhose. Just do a barspinn or two untill the hose is wraped around the stem and voilla😂 every dirtjump/slopestyle athlete does it and it loos way better🔥

  3. No no no … A 26er tube will work for every bike (except for plus sized junk)! You just have to be careful stretching it around the rim and not pinching it on install. Lighter, cheaper, better! Although with newer carbon rims ensuring you have a long valve stem is probably the most important thing. Cheers!

  4. Yo seth, i have mad respect for you because you upload quality video's every week (almost but if you can't just let us know so we don't worry about you) and still keeping berm peak in as good shape as possible, please keep up the great content!!! (and by the way this was the perfect way to start the weekend thx)

  5. Why do you tighten your pedals so much I just give it a little nudge after it gets difficult to turn, and I've never lost a pedal

  6. The ratchet srap hack on a long trip with the tension on the frame like that will rub through the paint on the frame

  7. Wether it’s a mountain bike, diy, or any kind of channel I get furious when I see you guys who live in soft soil dig. You practically need a pick ax to plant a seed where I am.

  8. Another kneepad hack..electric tape on the lower fabric under the pad. Used to do that keeping my shin guards in place for playing soccer . 🙂

  9. Yes more hacks from Seth

    Ps could you try my idea and get a really cheap bike and build it all up to look nice and perform on berm peak

  10. 1:51 – Get some cam straps like kayakers use. They'll change your life…no more cranking a ratchet, overtightening, or hook falling out when strap goes loose.

  11. That thru-axel hack is amazing. Dunno why I never thought of it! I could see it being especially useful for sorting out a loose crank, which is absolutely impossible to tighten with a multi-tool

  12. Guys I need your help, I need a bike for long rides (on and off road), some light trails and for the city. Im thinking about cube aim race due to its reliability and the locking front suspension, any other suggestion? (budget : around 500-550 euros)

  13. Seth I don’t even ride bikes but it’s been killing me the past week like I’m literally addicted to your videos at this point, you just made my day by uploading!!!

  14. Seth! Just a note. You have your tail gate pad on wrong. I had the same problem with my fat tailgate on my truck. You need to slide it back so that straps hold onto the downtube of the bike. Love your videos!

  15. My allen bolts on my chain ring got round. Now i cant remove my chainring planning to go 1x. My crank is alivio 3x.

  16. That last hack was gold! Never fails when you're doing 1 or 2 in the woods. Someone will always come up on you lol

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