BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: bicycle repair

Mobile Bicycle Repair Unit-Back in Action!

It’s been a few months since we’ve been out fixing bicycles for the homeless community of Santa Ana. It wasn’t until I received an email from our resident Doctor-Biker, Doc Li asking when the next event would be. After some calendar checking and asking our wives which date would work, we headed out to Civic Center and Ross in Santa Ana, Ca.

The weather was a crazy hot, 95 degrees with about 50% humidity. Needless to say it was we were sweating before we even did anything. I loaded up my mini van with all the tools and parts that we received from our various sponsors such as Two Wheels One Planet of Costa Mesa, Planet Bike and Freedom by WTB. We also had received a cash donation from our favorite Cop, Officer Ben, which allowed us to purchase additional hard goods for the event.

mobile bicycle repair by bikecommuters.com

Locked and loaded with parts, tools and water to pass out to the homeless…it was a hot day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our way out!

The Moe and RL. These are the two Original Founders of BikeCommuters.com

The Moe and RL. These are the two Original Founders of BikeCommuters.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon arrival, we immediately got set up. We had our EZ-UP to shield us from the sun, had our two work stands ready, got the tools out. As soon as we were ready, things got busy. Word quickly spreads in the community that we are providing FREE BICYCLE REPAIR SERVICES.Doc Li is our most loyal volunteer. He's ALWAYS available when set up these events. We're really grateful for his help.Doc Li is our most loyal volunteer. He’s ALWAYS available when set up these events. We’re really grateful for his help. The Moe is a major asset in our efforts because he is our translator. 70% of our “customers” speak Spanish, so he makes it easier to communicate with them. There have been times when I didn’t have a translator with me and that proved to be difficult. Giving back to the community. Giving back to the community is always rewarding. Even though our volunteer count was low this time, we did manage to help out at least 20 bicycles. The most common issues we see and this is where Two Wheels One Planet helped us out with are brake pads.They donated a good amount of pads for the cause. Almost ALL of the bicycles we fixed had some sort of braking issue. Some of them didn’t even have any brakes! With that in mind we replaced cables, housing and brake pads. We also made sure that all the bicycles had a well lubed drive train.

As we’re working away there was a gentleman who was just standing watching us. He started asking questions why we were out there, and if we were affiliated with any religious organization. So I briefly gave him our back story that at one point in time, I was coming out there to help feed the homeless with my church, but once I saw there were so many bicycles, I knew this was a greater need that needed to be addressed. With the help of various corporate sponsors and generous individuals, we’ve managed to keep this initiative going strong for a couple of years now. He was pretty impressed on what we were doing and thanked us for providing this service. I told him it’s the least we can do, we’ve been blessed with the ability to fix bicycles, we’re pretty good at it, so we might as well use our talents to serve others.

If you’re interested in taking part of our next event by either volunteering, donating hard goods or funds, feel free to reach out to us: info@bikecommuters.com

Don’t be like Dave Matthews

Our good friend Ken Sturrock pointed out this gem on today’s CNN homepage:

Stranded Dave Matthews hitches ride with fan to show

Basically, singer/songwriter Dave Matthews went for a pre-concert bike ride. He flatted and didn’t have the things he needed for a trailside repair, so he had to hitch a ride from a passing motorist (who just happened to be a HUGE Dave Matthews fan).

Don’t be like Dave, ok? Be prepared for roadside breakdowns! We’ve written several articles over the years that give a good overview into skills and tools you should have on hand when you commute:

Tools for the New Commuter

Tool-less Bike Repairs

Regular Maintenance for the Bike Commuter

Be safe, be prepared, and learn some basic maintenance tasks so you’re ready for anything. If you don’t know how to do your own bike maintenance, now’s a great time to check out your local bike shop for classes or to consult your friendly community bike co-op for lessons.

Review: Planet Bike’s 25g CO2 refill twinpack

Mark from Planet Bike sent me some of their new 25g CO2 cartridge refills a couple weeks ago to try out. PB introduced the 25g cartridges at Interbike last year, and they were so popular that the company started selling twinpacks of them.

DSC06448

Bike tires are getting bigger so our C02 inflation cartridges are rising to the challenge. Planet Bike’s new 25 gram threaded CO2 cartridge is the right tool for the job when it comes to 29ers and cross tires. It packs enough punch for two large volume tires. You can’t prevent the untimely flat, so you might as well be prepared to fix it fast. We offer the 25g CO2 in a single pack (with insulator sleeve) and in our new 2-pack!

• Our CO2 cartridges work in Planet Bike inflators as well as our competitors’ inflators
• Our CO2 cartridges are tested to the highest standards for durability, safety and reliability. They contain pure CO2 with no oils or contaminants
• 100% recyclable steel cartridges
• 25g CO2 Cartridge, quantity 2

2012-08-28_2236

As PB states, these cartridges are suited for higher-volume tires…something I’m sure many of us commuters can appreciate. Here’s a comparison shot of the 25g cartridge next to a standard 16g unthreaded one (in the middle) and a “Copperhead” unthreaded 12g cartridge at the bottom. The 12g is currently my favored size because it fits completely inside my inflator, and because I can buy a 12-pack of them for about the cost of 2 16g ones (the 12g carts are sold for use in BB pistols). When you’re faced with filling a big tire like a cushy 38C touring tire, a DH monster or a fat ‘cross tire, 12g carts just aren’t going to do the trick.

DSC06450

The inflator I use is a Genuine Innovations “Second Wind IH”…no longer available, but able to swallow threaded or unthreaded cartridges and also serving as a low-volume hand pump to get things started. I tested the PB 25g carts on my wife’s Electra shod with voluminous Schwalbe “Fat Frank” tires:

DSC06451

Starting from a dead-flat tire, the Planet Bike 25g cart worked like a charm! I even had to stop to correct an escaping tube, bleeding off some pressure from the valve stem and reattaching my CO2 inflator “mid stream”. The 25g cartridge had plenty of oomph left to finish the job even after my screwup.

Before:
DSC06452

After (the photo’s a bit deceptive, but the tube is at full riding pressure):
DSC06453

So there you have it…need to fill a high-volume tire on the go? You could carry a handful of smaller cartridges or just one of these mini-SCUBA tanks from Planet Bike and be on your way in no time!

One word of caution, though: these cartridges get FROSTY in a hurry. Wear a glove or keep a spare piece of innertube in your saddlebag to cover the steel cartridge, or it will freeze to your bare hand.

DSC06454

Looks like PB has another winner on their hands! A twinpack retails for about $21, so they’re not cheap, but they are competitively priced with other cartridges on the market. And remember, you only need one to get the job done.

Please click here to read our review disclaimer as required by the Federal Trade Commission.