BikeCommuters.com

How To

Basic bike hygiene and protection

Welcome to Monday! This means it is time for our weekly post! This post is dedicated to giving love back to our trusty steed(s), yes, they need love too after we have ridden them hard during the week or weekend.

Now, some of us do not have the luxury of a backyard, heck, there are some of us that we don’t even have access to a freaking hose! Yeah, Condo life sucks sometimes. So what do I do to clean my bikes? Well, first of all, I usually don’t clean my bikes often because “Condo Life” but this weekend I dedicated some time to clean my Mountain bike, Road Bike and my CX/Commuter bike.

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These are the three products I use: Simple Green degreaser, FastWax Wash Wax and water. Yeah, no fancy bicycle specific cleaners.

Mister

My daughter had ordered a CoreGear USA 1.5 liter Mister to cool off during the summer but it never left her room. So I figured I could use it to wash my bikes and boy did it work like a charm! The mister is pretty cool, it has a variable nozzle that allows you to change the flow of the water from a wide mist to a stronger stream that will get rid of that nasty road grime or dirt.

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For that nasty tough-to-get-rid-off grime or grease; the Simple Green All-purpose cleaner is hard to beat. I use it to clean the cogs, derailleurs, the chain and anywhere else that needs a good cleaning. I usually spray the components, let it set in for a couple of minutes and then simply rinse.

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I usually use a microfiber towel to dry the bike and then I use FastWax wash wax to give the bikes that new showroom shine. My story about the FastWax is that I bought a couple of bottles at a gas station after a couple of pretty girls did a demo of how well it cleaned some areas of my car. I tried it on the bikes and I noticed that it really did a good job at making the bikes shiny. I’ve used bicycle specific silicone sprays but I think this product does a better job.

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So now that my bikes are all clean, this is a great opportunity to add some protection to the frames. I invested on 3M 8mil protective adhesive film and applied it to every place where cable housing or cables touched the frames.

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I really can’t stand the sight of cable rub on the frame and this tape is practically invisible and it does a great job at protecting them.

The last step is to re-lube the chain, derailleurs and other moving parts such as suspension pivots. I usually use Tri-flow bike lubricant but I can’t find my bottle so a trip to the LBS is in order.

BikeBug.net Cargo Trike Update

So we set out to create a new project for BikeCommuters.com. We wanted to debut the project at the Two Wheels One Planet Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. The proceeds of the event was donated to the American Cancer Society; Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. We reached out to BikeBug.net because we thought their Cargo Trike would be a perfect match for this build. They saw our vision and graciously sent us one of their Cargo Trikes. bikebug.net

 

Once un-boxed, we started building it up. Here’s a photo right after we assembled it. We did make a few changes. We added a bell and a white saddle. But the major changes are coming!cargo trike bikebug.net

As you can see from the cargo area, there is quite a bit of potential. What we did next was very important to the build. We sourced wood from old pallets. In fact, the wood came from broken down pallets that Two Wheels One Planet received from deliveries. We did have to get 2, 2×1 lumber pieces to help with the framing. With all of our materials in-hand, we started cutting and piecing things together.12074968_10207174347184637_4451090786850402141_n

This is the floor of the cargo area that is supported by 2×1 pieces that are bolted onto the frame of the trike.12079541_10207196393895791_1585582633886914512_n

Flipping the trike upside down made it easier to create a jig so we can make sure that our floor was installed evenly. 12088383_10207196394135797_4526714278549380360_n

Floor is pretty much done. We then started building the upper shelf with more 2x1s and then used the pallet wood against the bars of the cargo area. Once everything was screwed in and bolted down, the shelf was pretty secure.IMG_5063

The next step was to box in the upper shelf to keep our goods secure. Again we used reclaimed wood, measured twice and cut once. We’re almost done! Now we just have to finish up the rest of the wood work and then we’ll get to try out our new build.

So here’s what we set out to do…serve cotton candy for the Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. We figured the pink cotton candy was a great match to the event’s theme color.12122398_10207259838761873_4199634754740551532_n

Yes, cotton candy! So here’s the final product…We installed a commercial grade cotton candy maker on the upper shelf to help us serve massive quantities of cotton candy.IMG_5088

The upper shelf also has 6, 1″ holes that holds the paper cones for the candies. That sign was hand painted by my 14 year old daughter and it came from a used pallet! The bottom shelf is great for storing extra goods such as sugar, cones, extension cords and etc. We installed the BigBug.net 200 Smiles Per Gallon plates right in the front so people can see it!IMG_5089

Notice the white wall tires? Those were provided by Two Wheels One Planet! I went with the white theme because the fenders were white and I upgraded the saddle to a white one. I’m considering running white bar tape too. IMG_5090

Here I am explaining to a “customer” how cotton candy works. I told him that cotton candy is “delicious science!”trike

Here’s one of the great things about the BikeBug.net Cargo Trailer. It fits perfectly in my mini-van. That way if I want to do another event for a school or other non-profit, I can easily load it up and go! 12088045_10207263810461163_1412244360725008626_n

Believe it or not, we served more cotton candy to adults than kids! In fact we served some to a whole family who have never had it! Both mom and dad as well as their daughter have never touched it. This photo is of Muni, one of the employees of Two Wheels One Planet, he wanted a cotton candy bigger than his face! Challenge accepted!12143259_10207266149319633_5574283332260106554_n

Overall the reception of the BikeBug.net/BikeCommuters.com Cotton Candy Trike was well received. People kept asking about the trike and where they could get it. When I explained that the wood was sourced from the bike shop, I got more nods and approvals.
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We want to thank the folks who supported this build such as BikeBug.net, Two Wheels One Planet and of course BikeCommuters.com (someone’s gotta pay for supplies). I also have to thank our friend Loren Brewster who guided us in building the wood sections of the trike. We anticipate many more events where we can feature the cotton candy trike. We’re hoping that we can bring it out to more bicycle events like Ciclavia, Ride of Silence and even local races.

I’m sure you’re wondering, “why cotton candy?” Simply put, people love that stuff and it’s easy marketing. We can pass out stickers, business cards and tell them all the great things going on at BikeCommuters.com as well as BikeBug.net.

Got a new project: Bike Bug Cargo Trike

We’ve partnered up with the folks of BikeBug.net to create a new project build. We’ve got a Breast Cancer Awareness Ride that we plan on debuting this build at. The event is slated for October 17th, so that means we don’t have a lot of time to get it finished. So here is what we received from BikeBug.net, a foldable cargo trike. It comes with everything you see, but we did upgrade the seat to match the white fenders and we threw on a bike bell just for kicks.

Cargo Trike by Bikebug.net

Cargo Trike by Bikebug.net

The cargo trike is equipped with a single speed coaster brake.

The cargo trike is equipped with a single speed coaster brake.

Riding the Cargo Trike is going to take some getting used to. We found that it likes to tip when you take sharp turns. Another upgrade we are considering would be a 3 speed Nexus hub. Pedaling the trike isn’t impossible, but it is tough!

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The white fenders POP against the red paint.

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There’s going to be some major work involved with this build project, we just hope we can meet the deadline. Hopefully with the help of some talented people, we can get this project rolling.