You have hit the Jackpot of all Tech Tips. Hopefully the following 36 Mechanical Tech Tips will make up for 36 months of neglect.
1. Do not ride slow rebound rubber tires in the winter! These soft compound tires are temperature sensitive and become as hard as skateboard wheels when riding below freezing or in snow/ice conditions.
2. Do not over tighten your brake lever and shifter clamp bolts. A lever/shifter is less likely to bend/brake off if they can move during a crash and will be easy to align after a crash. Properly tightened lever will require a punch/slap to move them back in place.
3. Build your wheels with DT Swiss “Pro Lock” spoke nipples. You will never have loose spokes again, (unless you flat spot). Pro Lock nipps are available in Alloy and Brass (so sorry bling addicts: black color only).
4. Align your tires logo with your valve stem. You will look like a dork if you don’t.
5. Put a drop of Blue Loctite (#242) on your disc brake caliper bolts and rotor bolts every time your remove them.
6. Change your chain 1 to 2 times a year to prevent excessive wear to your bikes expensive sprockets.
7. Install new disc brake rotor bolts 1 to 2 times a year. Rotor bolts are under extreme pressures and can break off inside your expensive hub.
8. Spray your frame with Pam or WD 40 before riding in muddy conditions. The mud will fall off rather than stick to your frame.
9. Armor All your tires side walls when racing in mud conditions for the same reasons as above.
10. Service your freewheel after muddy race/rides. Clean and lightly grease the internal pawl mechanism. It’s time to clean your freewheel if your chain droops while pedaling backwards. (Make sure your rear derailleur jockey wheels and chainguide bearings are working properly before testing your freewheel).
11. Buy the Hadley 108 pawl freewheel if you have a Rear hub that is compatible. (only newer style DH rear disc hubs). The 108 Hadley will perform like a Chris King!
12. Fix flats on DH tires by simply patching the tube when the rim is still on the bike. Pull the tube out of one side of the tire. Find the hole/s and use the top of your helmet to do the repair.
13. Broil your contaminated disc brake pads. They will come out like new.
14. Use Wax style chain lubes such as: Finish Line Krytech chain lube.
(Never use WD 40 on anything other than shining up your dull paint job).
15. Repair slightly cracked rims with JB Weld. This is only a temporary fix!
16. Use Velox Rim Tape. Velox rim tape is strong and may hold a cracked rim together.
17. Pack grease into pedal spindles and slow them down. A slow moving pedal is easier to step back on in emergencies situations.
18. For Shimano riders that constantly break the rear derailleur barrel adjuster: Remove the rear derailleur barrel adjuster and drill the thread clean and use a V-brake noodle in its place. You will still have an adjuster at the shifter.
19. Stripped threads in derailleur hangers can be repaired with a Helicoil (a steel thread that will take the place of the alloy thread). The Helicoil thread is actually much stronger than the factory alloy thread and most Pro’s install a steel Helicoil on brand new frames. Helicoils are also available for pedal threads.
20. Tune out the largest rear cog on your rear cassette (DH bikes and Trials). Chances are you never use the LO range gear anyway. This trick will lessen the chance of the chain jumping into the rear spokes if you bend your hanger during a run.
21. Always check your bearings in the rear derailleur jockey wheels and the chainguide rollers. These bearings are prone to contamination and will rob you of a ton of power if they are seized.
22. Serious racers only: Wash out the heavy grease from the wheel bearings, and lube fresh with Powell Skateboards Speed Cream. Your wheels will roll like greased lightening!
23. Bring an Umbrella when you race at Mt Snow. Don’t forget your fender and goggle tear offs. April- June is Biting Fly season. Bring a bug net for your head. Those bastards are flying piranha!
24. Bring spare parts when racing/riding in Canada. A tire is over $100!
25. Bring toilet paper when racing at Plattekill! For some reason they always run out. Nerves?
26. Ride with a Moto X, DOT approved Full Face Helmet. They are much more comfortable, compared to MTN helmets and will protect your head much better during a crash. Check out TLD SE and O’Neal. They’re not heavier and cost the same as MTB helmets.
27. Remove chain master links if you’re the type of rider that neglects your ride. Freewheeling backwards could cause the chains master link to separate especially if your freewheel needs servicing or jockey wheels/ chainguide bearings are seized.
28. Spray “3M’s Inner Panel Rust Proofing” inside steel frame bikes tubing. Frames can rust from the inside out and fatigue without you even noticing. Rust proofing will protect the inside of the frame. Also use inside steel handlebars and crank arms.
29. Keep your pedal studs clean and replace with fresh studs frequently. Don’t be afraid to run longer studs. Pedal traction is a huge advantage especially in wet conditions. Always use pedals that can shed mud well.
30. Have two pairs of goggles. One pair: clear lens, tear off compatible. The second pair: tinted/smoked lens.
31. Trim off zip ties leftover sharp edge with a razor. I’ve seen zip ties slice through human flesh like butter.
32. Bring large plastic bags with you to the track. Put your nasty, stank ass clothes inside the bag, tie it tight and give your travel companions a break.
33. Never forget to pack your insurance card and first aide kit.
34. DH with a fully charged cell phone. Record the telephone number of the resort you’re riding at into your phone.
35. Ride with lock on grips. They’re a must for us East Coast riders. Your grips will never spin or move again.
36. Make sure your handlebar ends are capped off. Danger Boy and NYC Freeride both designed slick end caps that are compatible with ODI lock on grips. Brooklyn Machine Works has a burly end cap that will still be on this planet long after we are gone.