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8 Useful Bike Hacks That Might Save Your Ride

By Adam Marsal

How to continue riding or at least buy enough time to cycle home is just one of the hacks we have put together for you. You can also find more bike life hacks a little further. We hope they will help you when something goes wrong.

Opening a chain lock without any special tools

All you need is a strong shoelace and a bit of skill. Thread it through the two tabs next to the lock and cross the ends. Then pull hard on both ends. Click, the lock opens. Re-locking is even easier. To do this, position the lock so that it is not yet engaged and turn the chain point with the lock upwards between the crank and the cassette. Apply the rear brake and press the pedal down at the same time. Click, and the lock is closed again.

Tightening bolts correctly on the road without a torque wrench

Who has a torque wrench with them on a bike trip? Very few, right? It is sometimes necessary to loosen a bolt on the road because you might want to change the riding position. However, there is a simple trick to finding the right torque afterwards. Use your multitool and remember the starting point. Then turn the screw 180 degrees or 360 degrees until you can make your change. Once you’re done, turn the screw back the exact number of turns. You have tightened the screw to the same torque as before.

Turning a skirt into cycling shorts on windy days

When cycling in a skirt on warm days, a gust of wind can lift it higher than you’d like. Since holding the hem is not a comfortable solution, we offer a better one. Place a coin (preferably a 1 or 2 euro coin) on the back hem of your skirt and pull the hem, including the coin, forward through your legs. The back hem of your skirt should now be touching the front hem and wrapping the coin around it at the same time. Tie a rubber band around the coin from above, making a sort of knot. The coin will prevent the fabric from slipping through the elastic, and the knot will transform your skirt or dress into comfortable cycling shorts.

Cleaning bike accessories and your hands

Bike cleaning
You can effectively clean your bike chain even if you have no care products at hand.

Keeping water bottles clean is always an issue. Back in the days when there was no such thing as an abundance of drinking bottles, there was the tip that you should add eggshells or pebbles to the water in the bottle and then give it a good shake. Yes, that works.

When it comes cleaning your bike chain if you don’t have any care products at hand, simply remove the chain, place it in a large glass, and pour coke on it. Leave for 48 hours and then rinse and wipe off. Not quite perfect but the worst of the dirt is gone. And if you do end up with oil-stained hands from bike maintenance, soap and coffee grounds will help. This will clean your hands down to the pores.

Going home safely despite a punctured tyre

Sooner or later, every cyclist experiences it. You get a flat on a ride and you see a big tear in the tyre. When you change the inner tube, the new one pushes out of the tear as you inflate. Riding is impossible. Since you’re an environmentally conscious cyclist and don’t throw empty gel packs into the countryside, you can use this pack from your jersey pocket. Place it exactly between the tear and the inner tube and re-inflate. The tube stays in the tyre! This emergency solution will get you home, even if the tyre is a bit rough.

Bypassing the battery for Shimano 12-speed Di2

Out on a great ride and forgot to charge your 12-speed Shimano Di2 battery? It’s pretty weird to pedal in just high gear yet there is a solution if one of your buddies is also using the same system. Just pull the shift cable off your rear derailleur while your buddy does the same, and then insert their cable into the socket on your rear derailleur. The LED will light up. Your rear derailleur is now powered by your buddy’s battery, so shift into the gear you want to ride in. Then disconnect the cables. Plug the cables back into the bikes and ride on. Despite being an emergency solution, it surprisingly works.

Keeping your white road shoes bright

White road shoes only look good if they are really white. It is not easy to keep your beloved shoes in this condition. One way is to pre-clean your shoes. Remove the insole and scrub the shoes with mild detergent and a shoe brush. Rinse and air dry. Next, mix a 2:1 ratio of baking soda and white vinegar to treat the stains. Allow this mixture to dry and then “break” the crust off again. Rinse carefully and leave the shoes to dry. That’s it. Repeat the process when necessary.