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Matt
New York
I like bikes.
Interests: photography, beer, bikes, the color orange
Recent Activity
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Using buckets for panniers is a great idea. They are waterproof, can be used as kickstands, and most of all, filled with ice they can keep a lot of beer cold. Buckets can be purchased, but motivated souls can make their own. One motivated soul is reader Melanie who sent along the following. * * * * * * * * * * * * My "truck" has 2 - 5 gallon panniers made from Tidy Cat containers that are decked out with reflective tape and stickers. I went to a local business that makes reflective road signs and they... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at BikeHacks
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The only thing worse than getting hit with road grime from your own bike is getting hit by road grime from someone else's bike. Imagining what disgusting cocktail of substances are contained in street water causes me to shudder. Reader Benny clued us into a stylish mud flap he created and posted on instructables. Readers who have mud flap hacks are encouraged to send them along. Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2015 at BikeHacks
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I am not a huge fan of people sharing their music with the public and the trend of those who are piloting automobiles blasting their music seems to be spreading to the bicycle community. On my morning commute I have run into one cyclist a few times who has some sort of speaker system set up on his handlebars, and I have not been amused. I also have received numerous emails from companies promoting products meant to amplify music on bicycles. Although I am not a huge fan, some out there might be and reader Henry sent along the following... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at BikeHacks
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Child trailer conversions are no stranger to this blog. For three great examples, here are direct links: Post 1 Post 2 Post 3 Thanks to reader Bassfran from Chicago, we now have one more to add to the list. If you are looking to convert a child trailer to a utility trailer, cruising around on craigslist or keeping an eye on your local alley or trash bin are options for tracking one down. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Store bought trailers can be expensive. Maybe you do get what... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2015 at BikeHacks
Reader Amanda contacted us with a question, and I welcome our readers to offer assistance. Leave a comment with your advice or send along your solution via our submit your hack form. Help a kiddo out! * * * * * * * * * * * * * I don't have a hack, but I'm desperately looking for one! My daughter enjoys riding on the touring rack of my bike. She's nearly five. She's balancing well, and is very good about staying put. However, she finds it difficult to hang on when I'm standing. We live in an area... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2015 at BikeHacks
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Reader Matteo, who submitted the rim ceiling light in our 21 Bike Inspired Home Decoration Hacks post, also sent along a like to a blog entry documenting the transformation of a run of the mill bike into a DIY chopper. Here is the before - And here is the after - For the full transformation, visit his site Wild Pigs Crew. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2015 at BikeHacks
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I love developing my own bike hacks, but I do have my limits. For me, there is typically one simple rule I follow, and it is this - if while engaged in the hack it takes more than four or maybe five beers to finish the project, I will buy an off the shelf product to meet my needs. This rule may change if I ever get a garage or workshop, but at present, not having access to such a space, and the natural need to fill such a space with tools and a mini-fridge, is my rationale for keeping... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at BikeHacks
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Do you have a bag you like that is not built for bike portage? Reader Lukas has a simple solution - with a couple of Carabiner's that bag just might attach nicely to your rack. For another Carabiner hack I utilize, check out this previous post on carrying a chain lock. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2015 at BikeHacks
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One of the slightly amusing things to me about the invention of the "smartphone" is the rapid obsolescence of accessories built for phones. A phone will come out, a whole slew of accessories are produced . . . and then a new model of phone is released that is a different size, requires a different adapter, different battery, etc. The "smart" part of the smartphone is that companies can keep making money off of new accessories. I have never been an iPhone devotee, however if you have an iPhone 5 or 5S and want to review product, here is your... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2015 at BikeHacks
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Wires and electronics freak me out a little. Maybe it has to do with that one time when I was kid and I grabbed an electrified fence with my hand. The voltage was not dramatic enough to knock me out or anything, but I always remember the sharp pain that shot through my body. If it had not been for that experience, maybe I would have chosen the electronic circuit set instead of the giant plastic Godzilla when my Grandpa took me to the toy store way back in the day to pick my own birthday present. Who knows what... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2015 at BikeHacks
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The Charles River was frozen for several months, but the mercury has cracked freezing for a few days now and the river is cracking as well. Good news for fishermen, although I am not so sure I would be comfortable eating anything that was fished out of the Charles. This is not a beautiful hack that might match the prose of Earnest Hemingway, but as readers know, this site is about practicality and not beauty. In the theme of bike hacks . . . “He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2015 at BikeHacks
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Reader Josh sent along the following . . . 49er hack. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * This bike is used by a Gold prospector in the San Bernardino mountains outside of Los Angeles. It's constructed out of electrical conduit and scrap aluminum. I wish I had a pic of it all loaded up with his gold panning gear. If you look closely you can see that the owner, instead of trying to attach the top of the rack near the rear of the bike has wire-tied it along both... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at BikeHacks
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I first heard or saw the term "unboring" in an IKEA ad. I do not know if the ad firm they hired "invented" the word or not, but in my opinion is applies beautifully to various containers being repurposed into bike fenders. I have used several variations of my own over the years, and every so often a reader sends along his/her own take on this common bike hack. We have featured . . . Various water bottle hacks: version 1, version 2 Beer cans: version 1, version 2 Laundry detergent container This version comes from reader "Formil XXL" in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at BikeHacks
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There are creative ways to address bike security, 8 are covered in this previous post, however in the end, any serious commuter likely needs to throw down for a manufactured lock or locks. I have used a Beast Chain as well as a Kryptonite cable lock, but I have never owned a U-lock of any kind before. The fine folks at Pinhead Components contacted us and asked if we would be interested in putting some of their products through the paces. This package arrived . . . . . . with a combination of a U-lock (or perhaps I should... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2015 at BikeHacks
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Greasy hands are no fun and as documented in previous posts, I tie an old sock to my frame or rack in case I have on road repairs. I just put the sock over my hand and do what I need to do, and then toss the sock and replace it with another. Reader Spannerrash was having problems with chain slips and came up with a hack to keep his hands from getting greasy. The solution is effective, but those with chain slip issues might also benefit from visits to two great web sites that address this issue, as well... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2015 at BikeHacks
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Back in 2010 I posted this hack and asked readers to guess the purpose. The bike belonged to a laundry service and the employees would use the platform to stack on bags of laundry for delivery. I escaped Boston, other wise known as Ice Planet Hoth, recently and spotted this laundry service vehicle in the West Village. Looks like a great wrinkle free hack to me. Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2015 at BikeHacks
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Boston has turned into Ice Planet Hoth in recent weeks, and this has necessitated some creative bike parking. Witness this parking job, along with a bike pulling a Han Solo in the snow embankment (end of the green arrow). Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2015 at BikeHacks
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Reader Dr. Isotope was blowing digital dust off of some of our old entries and came across a post on cable rubbing. He sent along a hack that not only addresses the rubbing, but possible noise as well. Cables can "ping" against tubes when riding on rough roads. Take it away Dr. Isotope . . . * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * My bike is new, and a part of me would like to keep it looking that way for a little while, at least. My cables come in pretty... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at BikeHacks
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I recently commented on some graffiti that appeared on my commuter route and reader Beth sent along this piece she spotted on Humboldt Ave in Milwaukee, WI. That piece is certainly more entertaining than this tax payer paid for graffiti that started appearing in Boston in 2012. No excuses? Really? What irks me is the lack of attention to the behavior of drivers. The government tells cyclists to wear helmets, but in 2014 there were over 600,000 vehicle crashes in Massachusetts, resulting in 1,600+ deaths and over 16,000 incapacitating injuries. It seems like not a news hour here passes (or... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2015 at BikeHacks
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Over the now seven years of running this blog, I have noticed a couple of topics which generate controversy or raise the dander of readers - helmets and listening to some sort of audio while riding. In this post I mix the two of them together! Over the years of blogging I have noted that while commuting I always ride with a helmet and I always listen to podcasts. I have made it clear that I ride with just one earbud in, leaving one ear free to listen to what is going on around me. I should also note that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2015 at BikeHacks
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I wanted to post this in case readers missed it. We recently ran a post on bike inspired home decoration hacks and reader monogodo commented with a link to the picture below: A couple of friends made TP roll holder for me when I moved into a loft with a really inconvenient location for the wall-mounted roll holder. Every part of it is a bike part. Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2015 at BikeHacks
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Reader Matteo recently contacted us and noted that he had turned an old wheel into a ceiling light. His bike deco hack kicked my brain into search mode for another post along the same lines, and before I knew it was in full search mode for hacks we have posted related to decorations made from bike parts. A bunch of time typing and mousing through memory lane resulted in this cumulative post. If you have a bike deco hack you would like to have featured on bikehacks.com let us know. 1. Rim Ceiling Light - Vintage Reader Matteo sent along... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2015 at BikeHacks
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I will admit I am a total pack rat when it comes to keeping items destined for the trash bin that I believe can be used for cleaning products. Rarely if ever will I throw away a textile after it is no longer wanted for its intended purpose. An old bed sheet? That could be used as a drop cloth for bike maintenance or painting. Old t-shirts? Great rags for cleaning your bike or other nasty spills around the house. An old sock? At all times my bikes have at least one sock tied somewhere for use as a "glove"... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at BikeHacks
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A few minor snow flurries have hit Boston this winter, but the snowfall has not hindered my ability to commute with my "normal" tires. Reader Bassfran from Chicago took some inspiration from our post on Eight Solutions for Riding a Bike in the Snow and created some DIY studded tires. The only thing I might suggest adding to the instructions is a nice cold beer. * * * * * * * * * * So, after last year's winter on my Conti Tour Rides, (great tires IMHO, but strictly 3-season), I decided to mount up some good ol' MTB... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2015 at BikeHacks
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As I dressed for my commute today a new definition for the Dictionary of Bike Commuter Slang came to mind. Here is what I saw on my phone as I groggily made my coffee this morning - So I thought of a definition, but not an actual term. The circumstance/definition is: When you layer up for a cold ride and start to sweat profusely while still indoors. When I used to live in a fourth floor walk up, by the time I carried my bike down all of the steps and got outside I was practically soaking wet. This morning... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at BikeHacks