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Matt
New York
I like bikes.
Interests: photography, beer, bikes, the color orange
Recent Activity
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Reader Bruno was looking for a way to carry miscellaneous stuff with him and he sent along a hack he came up with. His hack reminded me of a DIY Box of my own I created a few years ago. Here was mine . . . And here is Bruno's write up and pictures . . . the only thing I question is the length of the bolts on the inside. For mine I put the bolts the other way around (facing out rather than in) and used wing nuts so I could easily take it off if I wanted... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at BikeHacks
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In the olden days, one would have an idea and would get really excited about it, and yet there would be no easy way to share it so the idea would remain just that - an idea. Then the Internet came along and gave birth to Kickstarter. I'm not so sure if Kickstarter coming along was a good thing or a bad thing. It can be good to share ideas, but I swear not a day seems to pass when I don't get an email for a bike related Kickstarter campaign. It's almost become like spam. Every now and then... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Reader Steve sent along some hacks he put together using "cull lumber." What in the heck is cull lumber? Cull lumber is typically scrap lumber left over when a customer has a piece cut in store and does not need the part that is cut, or it is lumber that is not sellable at full price. It might be damaged or warped in some way. One man's junk is another man's bike hack. Take it away Steve . . . * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Just a few inexpensive DIY bike... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Long time readers of Bike Hacks might remember our Fix It Sticks Haiku contest. Well, the next edition of Fix It Sticks has been funded and I was sent two pairs in the mail. Here is a shot of the new product with a cool little inner tube pocket (USB drive thrown in for size context). Look, replaceable stuff! The strange thing is, I am only one person. What do I need with two pairs? Maybe it was because last time I ran the contest but did not actually get the product myself =) I am thinking another contest might... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at BikeHacks
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I am unable to capture many bike hacks I see because as I witness them, I am not camera ready. I spotted this rider coming at me and had time to get out my phone just to catch him as he went by. From what I could see, he had attached an old hand cart to his seat post and was using it as a makeshift trailer. I am not sure about the stability, especially with the size of those wheels, but he rode off into the distance just fine. Watching him ride by reminded me of a suitcase transport... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2014 at BikeHacks
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It has been a long and cold winter in the greater Boston area. Baseball season is only a few weeks away and the "feels like" temperature on my ride to work this morning was 2 degrees American (-16 Celsius for the enlightened countries). Reader George from New Hampshire came up with his own hack for fighting the chill. George is up for questions so feel free to pose them in comments. I appreciate your patience in advance as due to spam I have to moderate the comments. * * * * * * * * * * * * *... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Something I have never seen before, a fixed gear with Moose Mitts. Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Hisham from Germany sends us another hack deadling with wires. This is one that does not scare me too much, I think the possible shock value here is minimal. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The stationary rear bike light of a folding bike needed wiring. So there was a need for a flexible and tear proof wire with two conductors. The Solution is a bowden cable: one on the protective metal and the other through the core. Another advantage is that you can thread along brake and gearmounts and use... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Sometimes bike accessories do not play nicely together. Reader Mohamed's lights and basket were at odds, and he came up with a hack to make them live in harmony. Take it away Mohamed . . . * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * After installing a wire basket for grocery getting, I had problem to install rear lights. As we all know they come with plastic brackets meant to go on the seat post. So I had to come up with the most cost effective alternative. Here is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Reader Dustin wanted his bike to be secure, yet was intimidated by the prices of locks. He sent us the following . . . * * * * * * * * * * * * I needed a new bike lock, priced them out and realized there was absolutely no way I was going to drop that kind of coin on a lock. Hell, I only paid 50 bucks for the bike on craigslist! I remembered that I had a set of leg irons from when I worked EMS at a prison, and that they are highly resistant to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Wires and electricity freak me out. Maybe it's that one time I grabbed an electric fence when I was young. Reader Miguel obviously does not share my fear because he sent along a hack that makes the hairs on my arms stand up. If pictures like the following get you excited, a "Lumi Lock" type hack might be up your alley. Miguel came up with a rather sophisticated way to try to increase visibility on the road. He wrote the following: I recently made a Messenger bag that promotes bike safety through lights, and added feature of a bike lock.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Reader Andy wanted a way to help his son transport his saxophone to school and submitted the following text and picture. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * My high-school aged son rides to school daily, and was having to transport his sax back and forth for band practice. I had bought him a rack (the Delta Post Porter Rack) for a bikepacking trip we did in fall, but the saxophone case was just too long and heavy to attach safely. I cut a piece of 1 x 10 pine to length,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Not all bikes come set up for fender installation, and reader Michael came up with a hack to fight of mud, grime, and snow. He is from Michigan, and commutes 10-miles each way to work, but his main winter riding fun is the renowned Winter Ride Challenge Series (WRCS) . He sent along the following . . . * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I mounted a set of Planet Bike Cascadia (full-coverage) fenders to my 29'er with a suspension-corrected rigid fork. Never before had I noticed that there was no... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Reader Mark sent us an elegant and simple solution to using your mobile hitch mounted bike rack as a bike repair stand. Take it away Mark . . . * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Purchased a $25 trailer hitch from Northern Tool and mounted sideways on an end cabinet. Used my auto bike rack that was taking up room in the garage. Hang my bike from the rack for easy maintenance. Most car racks have straps to limit movement. This also utilizes something that most of us have laying around. When... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2014 at BikeHacks
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The Bike Hacks Dictionary of Bike Commuter Slang originated in the spring time and with the repeated snow storms we have experienced in the Northeast this winter, I realized there are few entries focused on winter slang. This winter I have snapped a few shots of situations/circumstances I think merit entries. Readers are welcome suggest descriptive words for the photos below, and other winter additions from readers are welcome. Descriptive word(s) needed: a bike covered in salt. Descriptive word(s) needed: A bike just poking out of a mound of snow. Descriptive word(s) needed: A bike parked on top of a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Some of my best hacks have been aided by beer. Okay, all of my hacks have been aided by beer. Not only has beer aided reader Brad, he sent along this hack incorporating his tall boys. * * * * * * * * * * * * * As with all of my ideas (shoddy or entertain-able), I was sitting around after drinking a few brews and getting ready to bike to the bar (which in the winter in Toronto usually leaves you with a back full of slush). Staring at all the beer cans in front of me,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2014 at BikeHacks
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There are some road repairs you are not prepared to handle, no matter how much you plan. You can stuff as many tools as you want into your bag or pocket, but that is just when circumstance will laugh at you and throw a wrinkle your way. Reader Cory sent along the following story and picture . . . * * * * * * * * * * * * * When your bike breaks in the Kuwaiti desert, it's often difficult to find spare parts to help you continue on your ride. On a recent group ride, one... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2014 at BikeHacks
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When it comes to tire health and repair, there are varied opinions on how far one should go. We have featured a number of hacks mostly focused on short-term solutions - namely getting you home if trouble is encountered in the middle of a ride and you don't have the tools or equipment you need (see recent "So Money" post). Others want to do anything they are able to do to milk all of the life out of a tire possible. Reader Nick, who blogs over at bicyclosis, submitted a hack meant to extend the life of a tire with... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at BikeHacks
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More and more people are filming their rides these days, with a camera pointed forward. But a band wanted to use a bike for video, with the camera turned around. Reader Nicholas sent along the following. * * * * * * * * * * * * * Out of necessity, indie band "And the Giraffe" used spare rigging equipment and a few pieces of duct tape to stabilize a film camera on the front of a bicycle for their newest music video. The setup was deceptively simple, but the resulting shots were extremely stable as the band rode... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Inner tubes are one of those bike related items that can be hacked in all sorts of ways. Reader Alex from Rochester, NY sent along two uses for thick tubes meant to resist thorns. Thorn Tube Mudflap Cut an old thorn resistant tube (they have a little more "structure") so you have about an inch of overlap on the fender and a half inch or so off the ground. Take two old spokes (cut to size) and skewer the tube as shown in the pic (three horizontal, one vertical). Keep all the pointy ends in the inside (aesthetics). This will... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at BikeHacks
Biking and camping can be a great match, and I have found different people to be fiercely loyal to different gear and transport methods. Some swear by loading bags on various racks. Others like to pull trailers. Some swear by tents. I myself swear by a Hennessy Hammock. One thing I have never heard people argue about is how well beer and camping go together =) Reader Benjy contacted us and made us aware of a new twist on a bike camping option - what he labels the Foldavan - a tent and trailer in one. The following text comes... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Reader Chris (from Manchester UK) was in Rome, and you know what they say about Rome . . . when there, take pictures of bikes and send them to BikeHacks =) from Manchester UK * * * * * * * * * * * These were taken on the 16th November 2013 on a trip to Rome. I saw this chained up across the road from the Vatican City and thought you might be interested. Every time you look at it you find something different from the custom welded handlebars, quirky gear layout and tensioning to the inner-tube around... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2014 at BikeHacks
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There is no doubt about it, flats stink. There are many kinds of flats and one of the worst is the sidewall blowout. Reader Marc suffered this fate but used some currency to ensure he could ride on . . . for quite some time. Marc writes: One midnight moonlight ramble I had a blow out, and noticed that I had a hole in the side of my tire. It was midnight in the middle of the city, so my choices were walk home or get smart. I used a dollar bill inside the tire and re-inflated the tube (may... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2014 at BikeHacks
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Recently I have had to trade my bike for a different mode of transportation - at least partial transportation. They certainly are not as fun, but this form of transit has provided me with a lot of food for thought. This is the first time in my life I have had to use crutches and I have found the behavior of others quite interesting. I am slow, clunky, and inconvenience people while using public transit - but they accept it. Not only do most people accept my presence, they willingly inconvenience themselves for me and exercise high levels of patience.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at BikeHacks
Sometimes solutions for everyday tasks are right in front of your face. I have been around bikes for decades and never thought of this simple presta valve adapter hack. Props to reader Robert for sending it along. Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2014 at BikeHacks