One of the challenging sport or leisure gears to carry is your two-wheeled machine. Besides keeping it safe from damage during transportation to your chosen destination, you need to keep it safe from bad guys.
Whether you are going to spend a long holiday in the mountains or a weekend get-away cycling, you will need your bike in the proper condition. The safest way is to carry it on the car roof rack using a bike rack. But is it only a bicycle that can be loaded on a car rack?
What Can be Loaded on a Car Rack?
The automotive industry is minding the transportation needs of its customers. In return, they have released car roof racks that make it possible to carry bikes with cars, among other items.
By mounting your bike on the car rack, your outdoor activities will be spiced with fun. You can go to bicycle excursions, explore the woods nearby, or decide to hit the trail in your area without hassles.
A car rack will also be required if you are carrying;
This is one of the popularly hauled items on car racks. To keep it secure, you will need to wrap the mattress in its bag and secure it using the packing tape. Use some strong ropes and straps to tie it to the rack securely. The fastenings should be well-centered.
Note: You will be sleeping on it, so ensure it is kept dry and clean.
2. Your sporting gears
Although you have your car rack installed firmly, you will need to use few bucks to purchase custom-built roof racks for your equipment. Such custom racks include bike racks, kayaks, snowboards, and surfboards. These kinds of roof racks are useful in protecting your expensive sporting gears.
3. Other luggage
These may include camping equipment or if you are on hunting escapades, the hunting tools. Mostly you will need a foldable clamshell for the items with soft bags to ensure they are safe.
Any rattling sound that you hear while driving, it is a sign that your cargo is not well-secured. Just pull over and do proper fastening. What are some of the installation tips when carrying your bike on a road trip? Let’s briefly look at that.
Before you haul your bike rack on the roof, ensure you have the best roof rack for your car. There are currently multiple brands in the market. However, this will be determined by the items you are carrying.
These roof racks are more stable and don’t block any access for your vehicle. The only problem of having roof racks is their cost and the energy required to lift the gears overhead.
Whether your bicycle is carried uprightly, upside down, intact or the front wheel is removed, there are specific installation tips you should know:
1. Check the bike transportation laws
Before you start mounting your bike on the roof of your car, ensure that you are familiar with rules governing the transportation industry in your area. If your road trip is traversing to other states, you will need to know their laws. This will be safe for you from unnecessary fines.
2. Check your car’s manual
This will help you know the weight that your vehicle is allowed to carry on its roof. This ensures you are safe together with your car. Every vehicle’s manual indicates the maximum allowable weight on both its roof and boot.
3. Test your rack
Ensure you test the rack you have installed. The fact is, not all bikes fit certain racks, especially women and children models.
4. Ensure you secure the tires of the bike
No matter how you carry your bicycle, ensure the wheels are not bumping or swaying around. Use a strap or maybe a bungee cord to secure the tires.
5. Buy slightly longer load bars
The manual of your vehicle will recommend a specific size of the load bars that you can use. However, it would be best if you bought a load bar that is slightly longer than recommended. This will make it easier to carry other items.
If bike rack installation seems like a hard nut to crack for you, then you can visit a professional mechanic in your area to help you out. Besides, if you are purchasing a new car, you can carry your bike racks to your dealer and let them install the racks for you. But remember to read all the reviews for roof racks to get the right bike racks for your car.
Or you can consider the bike rack for your car that is mainly used to carry the bike. With that, you will have the liberty of carrying your two-wheeled machine in any road trip you are going without compromising the condition of your vehicle, the safety of your bike, and other road users.
(1) Top 8 Best Roof Racks That Will Make Your Travelling a Breeze – Autance.com, September 7, 2017
(2) Why You Need a Bike Rack for Your Car? – Volkerbicycles.com, January 20, 2020
(3) Roof rack (Wikipedia)
Cycling, for some, is more than just a way to get around, it is a profession, a hobby, a sport, a family activity, and a business. For some, upgrading a bike is not about making it look good, it’s about improving performance, but then if you do improve the performance, why not make it look good at the same time.
In this article, I present to you several bike upgrades that will improve its appearance.
Tires are the key to success, they are what connect you to the ground. A good tire improves your performance, and a really good tire will also look good while it beats off the competition. The best tires to get for both an optimized riding experience as well as being eye candy are wide tires that range between 25 to 28mm. Sure, you could go for those thin rock hard racing tires, but unless you are actually racing, why would you?
Bars come in all shapes and styles, you can get low slung, wide straight, high easy rider, in fact, you can get just about any bar design, shape and color and match it to the rest of your bike. Just remember, when pimping your bike, make sure it matches. There is nothing more discordant than a badly pimped ride.
You don’t need a horse for a saddle, and you don’t need a simple black saddle on your bike. There are many options, sizes, shapes, especially materials and colors. Changing your saddle is not just about looking, it’s about comfort too. While you improve your posture and comfort your posterior, make it look good too. There is a wide choice of materials too, such as leather, rubber, and cloth.
Brakes are extremely important safety devices, and the only upgrade you want to make on them is to make them more efficient and easier to operate. However, brakes have handles, and you can definitely upgrade the handles and bling them to oblivion.
Chainrings are always overlooked, and while you might use the same size chain ring for maintaining your current performance, you can tweak performance by upgrading the rings as well as buying some nifty looking ones that glare out a mile away.
6. The Bell
Yup, notice the title…not the horn, but the bell. Sure you can add all kinds of cute horns and sounds, but nothing beats the old style ring a ding round bell. A simple shiny bell in any color or finish to suit your bike will make it stand out, especially when you select a special designer model. On the other hand, you might prefer a horn that sings a tune or is connected by Bluetooth to your mobile device and is essentially a focused speaker.
7. Bike Stickers
Stickers are bike bling and if you want to make your bike stick out a bit, add a few stickers around the frame. Nike stickers can go anywhere on your bike, don’t just limit them to the frame, think of the wheels, the brakes, and especially the seat.
There are baskets, and then there are baskets that look great as well as provide you with the service you require from them. When you do upgrade your basket, pick an option that will hold your backpack or have a flap that is coverable against the rain.
9. Reflective Tape
You might want to put some reflective tape on your spokes, and across your frame. Try not to go overboard, or you will end up with the mummy bike. Setting reflective tape requires some decoration skills, picking out the color and placing on just enough to be snazzy as well as productive.
10. Bike Vases
Yes, you read this right, a bike vase. While you are cycling in the city with all its grey buildings, add a bike vase and put in a flower and enjoy the splash of color and unusual site the bike vase offers.
Upgrading, blinging or pimping or all of them. It’s down to personal taste. You can make your bike just that little bit more responsive and efficient, and you can take it all the way to becoming a thing of desire where everyone looks at your bike with either a look of jealousy or incredulously. You decide what you want, but just know, there are so many ways to improve the appearance of your bike, and all within easy grasp.
No matter how psyched you are to ride your newly acquired bicycle, some preliminaries should be at your fingertips in case of an emergency. Before hitting the road or heading to that adventurous cycling venture, ensure that your bike is ready for the trip.
As a bike owner, you need to keep your bicycle in tune to ensure that it is not just safe for riding, but also it lasts longer. But do you have to visit a bike repairer to have a well-maintained bike?
Well, no need for that. In this blog, you will learn about some tips for the most common bike repairs that will keep your rides trouble-free. Here are some most everyday bicycle repairs.
4 Commonest Bike Repairs
In the cyclist’s arena, you will often encounter the following problems which will need your urgent attention to continue enjoying your ride:
A Broken Chain
A Flat Tire
Loose Bike Brakes
Other bike repairs that you may encounter during your journey may include dropping handlebars, stuck seats, slipped chains, and a loose pedal, among others. But how do you repair them?
Tips for the Most Common Bike Repairs
1. Fix a Broken Chain
Sometimes the unexpected may happen, and your chain breaks. What do you do? Well, you can decide to use pliers, but a chain tool will make your work easier. You must have noticed that every chain link is held by a steel peg putting them together.
All you have to do in fixing a broken chain is to remove the broken link (2 segments of your chain) and to reattach the other remaining ends, especially on derailleurs bikes. For single-speed bikes, you need to get a link from an old spare chain, or you buy a new one because it doesn’t have other connections.
It is good to note that the segments in the chain of derailleur bikes usually alternate each other. That’s why you need to remove two segments before reattaching the broken chain. Be careful when removing the pin; just push it a bit; just enough for the chain to detach. Use a chain tool to make work easier. Note this process is a dirty job.
2. Tighten Up Loose Bolts
Typically, a bike is held together by bolts and nuts. Before you hit the road, ensure its hardware is intact. However, it is not advisable to tighten the nuts to the extreme. Over-tightening your nuts and bolts will create a more profound problem of ruining your threads. That’s why you should have a torque wrench.
Your bike manual has directions on how tight your bolts should be. A torque wrench has calibrated measurements that will enable you to tighten accurately. You should not tighten the nuts before every ride, just mind listening to any rattling noise from loose parts.
3. Fix a Flat Bike Tire
Do you have those awful and frustrating droopy wheels? Well, the first thing to check is not the holes on your tire but your tire pressure. Most bikes have their intended tire pressure on the smooth side of the tire. Ensure that the tire is at the required pressure range.
It is always advisable that you use a bike pump with a calibrated gauge. Never use a gas station pump; else, your tire will explode. However, if the tire goes flat immediately after pressuring it, then it is time to find the hole and fix the puncture. Assuming you have an extra spare tube, here is how to fix a puncture:
1. Pop-out the wheel out of the frame – you may require some tools like spanners to open the lever to remove the wheel.
2. Release all the remaining air from the wheel – this can be quickly done by opening the valve. Then you should push the valve up into your tire.
3. Pop-out the tire from the wheel rim – you may need to use a couple of tire levers.
4. Remove the inner tube – now you have the chance of looking for any hole on your tire and tube. Be careful of those sharp objects; they can easily cut your fingers.
5. Repair any puncture or replace the tube – In case you don’t have a spare tube, you will need to repair the leak by placing a patch on the hole. You will need to use some bike glue and a piece of the tube to seal the hole.
6. Inflate the tube halfway and slide it into the tire.
7. Use your thumbs or levels to fix the tire into the rim.
8. Re-inflate the tire with the required pressure
9. Shut the valve and start rolling on
It is good to note that sealing a puncture with a patch is just a temporary solution. You will need a new inner tube. By fixing a flat tire by yourself, you will have saved around 15-20 bucks.
4. Adjust Bike Brakes
In adjusting your brakes, you will need brake pads and those brake cables on your bike. If your brake pad is worn out or your brake cables too loose, you risk your life riding on such a bike. Fortunately, adjusting and fixing brakes in a bicycle is quite easy.
Before making any adjustments, take a look at the brake pads. Besides notice where the pads come into contact with the rim. If the pads are worn out, just replace them with a similar size labeled on their side. Use Allen wrench when loosening the bolts of the brake pads.
Depending on whether the pads were too high or low on the rim, adjust them accordingly. Now you fully tighten the bolts back. If you are struggling with loose brake cables, loosen the bicycle’s barrel adjusters. If the problem is not solved, adjust the caliper of your bike and then tighten your barrel adjusters.
To ensure that you get your job done quickly without hassles, you should have some essential tools. In your toolkit, ensure you have a gauged tire pump, Torque, a wrench, spare inner tubes, a chain tool, tire levers, lubricant, tire levers, extra links, and a tire patch kit, among others.
Although the processes of tuning your bike may be complicated at the beginning, especially if you are an inexperienced cyclist, with time and practice, it will be the easiest thing to do. Why not follow the above guideline and give it a try?