Winter is dead, the race season is coming. It’s time to get that bike ready for a hard summer of tough love. Here are 5 tips that we have learnt from pro’s on the EWS circuit, not only will they make you look like you know what you are doing, but they are also guaranteed to make you at least 20% faster, probably.
When you ride in muddy trails, it’s amazing how much of that mud comes back home with you. Here’s a great tip we learnt from the Trek Factory Racing team. Small plugs made out of Motofoam are pefect for filling the gaps where mud accumulates, under your seat, inside your fork steerer and inside the crank. Not only does it stop you dragging round lumps of mud, but it also looks pro as hell! One sheet is enough to do loads of bikes, so club together with your mates.
Life’s full of mysteries, and one of them is how to find the dropper remote or shifters when your hands are wet and everything is covered in mud. Finding that elusive lever is as easy as trying to post a wet eel through a letterbox. For a true pro bike, cover your shifter lever and remote in adhesive skateboard grip tape. It will wear away your gloves a little quicker, but you will never be left fishing for traction again. One inexpensive sheet is enough for a hundred bikes so share one with your riding buddies.
Watching one of your mates snap their chain as they exit a corner is, of course, very funny. Realising that you have no link and are 30km from home is less so. Never be caught short again and use this tip from the pros, taping a powerlink to your hose. Not only will it ensure that you never get stuck with a broken chain, but will also mean that you look like a pro, and therefore people will think you are faster than you are.
Flapping hoses are the work of the devil, clicking away and driving up the blood pressure of OCD freaks. One way of neatly wrapping your hoses is to use some cool shrinkwrap, yes it does take a little longer to fit, but it keeps the front of your bike neat and tidy. Simply pass the hoses through the wrap, then apply some heat and instantly the wrap shrinks and you are left with a professional, tidy finish.
Most chainstay protectors are as much use as non-stick cellotape, falling off after the first wash. If you want the real deal, get yourself a roll of rubber Scotch 2228 tape, it’s not cheap but the adhesive hangs onto your bike like a fat kid hanging onto the last slice of cake. The thick rubber tape silences even the most enthusiastic chain and we all know that a quieter bike is a faster bike.
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Words & Photos: Trev Worsey