Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

5 Roadside Hacks | Maintenance Monday

– Even if you always
take a spare inner tube, a pump, and a multi-tool
with you on your ride, there may still be occasions
where you come unstuck, and you’re left either
facing a long walk home or an embarrassing phone
call to get someone to come and pick you up. However, all may not be lost because coming up are some of our
favourite get-yourself-home roadside maintenance hacks. You’ve got a flat tyre. You’ve run out of inner tubes, and you’ve got no puncture repair kit. What do you do? Well, before you resort to
stuffing your tyre with grass which, as we’ve shown, it can work as long as you’ve got a spare hour or so and a good supply. And there is a much better
and much easier hack. Firstly, you need to remove
your punctured inner tube and then find the hole in it. Then, tie a knot in the
inner tube, over that hole and pull it really tight. Then inflate your inner tube a little bit to make sure it is now airtight. And if it is, you’re good to go. Pop it in back in the tyre, inflate it, and then be amazed at how you
can’t even feel the flat spot as you’re riding along. Magic! What happens if you
tear a hole in your tyre that’s so big that when you
come to put a new inner tube in, it will simply poke
through and then explode as you inflate it? Well, all you gotta do is to line the inside of
the tyre with something. And you’d be surprised at
just what can do the job. So, for example, if you were to have a gel wrapper in your pocket, simply neck it and then you
can line the inside of the tyre with that or a dollar bill
does the job, I’m told. And I suspect most currency
will if it’s made out of paper. Well, I’d probably more likely, if I’m honest, to have a gel wrapper than actual money with me. And if you don’t have either of those, then you probably
actually would be as well to have a rummage in the
hedge next to the roadside and see what you can find. That’d be true recycling at its best. Breaking a rear derailleur is
a truly heart-sinking moment. Not only is it a very
expensive problem to have, it also looks traumatic with bits of mangled metal everywhere. And it can also seem like your
ride is over in an instant. And yes, it pretty much is. But you do not have to walk home. There is a hack. Firstly, we want to split our
chain using our chain tool we will, no doubt, have with us. Then, when the chain is apart, we can actually remove
the tangled mess that is, or was, our rear derailleur. And then, essentially what we’re doing is turning our beautiful 22-gear bike into a rudimentary single speed. So we need to make sure the chain is on the smallest chain ring. And then, we need to wrap
it around the cassette about mid-way down the block. So that should give you a gear that can pretty much get yourself home. Now, before you throw your
rear derailleur into a bush out of a fit of rage, I would say stick it in your
back pocket and take it home. First, you see, you’re
not littering obviously. But also, because it’s actually
loads of really useful bits that you can salvage in
even the most mangled rear derailleurs. Now, putting the chain
as tight as you can, you’ll be able to see where you need to then split the chain again before rejoining in its
shortest configuration, giving you, hopefully, the
right amount of chain tension in your preferred gear so that your chain
doesn’t keep coming off. Or, indeed, make sure that
the chainline is correct so that the chain doesn’t
keep trying to shift into a larger cog and then, potentially, breaking the chain again. A truly horrifying roadside bodge then but an important bit of
knowledge that could well help get you out of a very sticky situation at some point in the future. And also, if you needed another reminder, a very good reason why you
need to keep your bike clean because, really, that kind of mechanical can always be avoided. Oh, and just so you know, no rear derailleurs were actually harmed in the making of this video. I like this one. If you break your gear cable, which can happen out on a ride, then rather than getting
stuck in your smallest cog at the back, which is a
pretty tough old gear, really, then you can do this
rather cool little hack. First, you unscrew the cable
from your rear derailleur. And then, take the other end of the cable out of your shifter. Now for the cool bit. You need to re-thread the cable directly into your rear derailleur. And what you’ll find is
that the little barrel that normally lives in your shifter, will then get wedged in
your rear derailleur. And then you can actually
move the mech by hand, then tighten the clamp bolt onto your now tiny section of cable,
and it holds it in place. And then you could even
use the barrel adjuster to fine tune the position
to get your gear spot on. Told you that is cool, isn’t it? There you go, job done. Now, if your cable actually
breaks in the shifter, then all you gotta do is
tie a knot in the cable and then have that wedged
down the barrel adjuster to hold the cable in place. It will do the job just as well. It looks quite clean really, doesn’t it? Finally then, what do you
do if you snap your chain and you don’t have a chain tool, or your pedal falls off,
or your crank snaps, or indeed your freewheel breaks? How do you get yourself home? Well, you could do what one
enterprising GCN viewer did which was to use your spare
inner tube as a tow rope and then harness the power
of one of your riding buddies to pull you all the way home. Genius! All I’ve got to do now is hope that someone actually rides past on this slightly
out-of-the-way gravel track. But I hope they do come and
take me away from this corner, because I’ve never had
quite so much bad luck in just one place ever before. While we wait, do make sure
that you suscribe to GCN. To do it, just click on the globe. And then, if you’re after more content, if you click just down there,
then you can watch that video about stuffing your tyre with grass. Can it be done? And then just down there, the five legitimate
roadside maintenance fixes that you probably need to know.

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