Mechanic’s Corner

Off Line 2019

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You’ve taken that step and signed up for your ride of a lifetime. Now it’s time to consider the details. Here are a few tips & tricks that I’ve found helpful supporting riders for AbB over the years.

Checklist

First and foremost, bring the mechanical checklist that AbB provided you to the shop when you bring your bike to be tuned up for the tour. That list has been developed over many tours and years of experience. The list is detailed but following it will help reduce lost time & aggravation associated with on-road repairs.

Spare Parts

Take a close look at AbB’s recommended spare parts list, especially those that are specific to your bike. 

  • Rear Derailleur Hangers: These vary for nearly every make and model of bicycle on the road. Having a spare one in your seat bag makes the repair process quick & painless on the road. 

  • Bottom Bracket Bearing: For those of you who ride bikes with “PressFit” BB30, BB90, BB86 or other similar bottom bracket bearings, bring a spare set. They are small, relatively inexpensive, and will be needed at some point in the life of your bike. There too many variations and brand specific types for AbB to stock them all.

These items might sound a bit technical, but fear not, your local bike mechanic can easily get them.

Accessories

Think beyond your bike - be sure to check over your accessories. 

  • Pump: Has it been a while since you changed a flat on the road? Make sure it still works. 

  • Spare Cleats: Bring a spare set for your shoes that match your pedals. 

  • Helmet Pads: Bring a spare set. They can take on a life of their own with the combination of rain, sweat, and road dirt.

  • Rear view mirror: Whether helmet, glasses or bar end mount, a quick & easy view of cars or cyclists behind you is very useful, especially on narrow roads.

  • Lights: Be seen! Front and rear lights that are daylight visible and have strobe settings provide an additional layer of visibility and safety. 

  • Cycle Computer: Bring its instruction manual, spare batteries, and bike mount. 

  • Phone Mount: AbB provides tour routes on Ride with GPS. The routing can be followed using a Garmin or other compatible GPS device. You can also use an Android or iOS smartphone. If you use your phone, you will need a secure mounting system to secure your phone to the handlebars.

  • Cue Sheet Holder: Even using the Garmin or smartphone, you will need to read a cue sheet while riding. Bring a means of attaching a cue sheet to your handlebars.

I hope you find these simple tips useful. They will help you and help us make your ride with America by Bicycle as enjoyable and problem free, technically speaking, as possible. See you on the road! JB