When you have been cycling for quite few years, you come across a few useful hints and tips that make all the difference to the success of your ride, sometimes making that crucial difference to whether you end up walking to riding home to base.
When beach riding pay attention to your tyre pressures. I started at 20 psi then reduced then to around 10 psi, or even lower, for a marked improvement. On sand or snow it makes quite a difference to traction and ease of riding.
Sprinkle ordinary household talcum powder on your inner tubes. Not only will they be easier to fit inside the tyre but you will also help prevent pinch flats as it permits the inner tube to slide inside the tyre during fitting.
Just in case you suffer from a broken spoke carry a few of each size on every ride. Wrap them in polythene, secure with tape and drop them down the seat tube of the frame. Remember spoke nipples and a spoke key as well.
The front wheel of a Pugsley will also fit on the back. So, if your gears stop working on sub-zero winter rides, swap the wheels around. Of course, you will need a single speed cog on the front hub.
If using your Pugsley in saltwater environments such as the beach, a wise rider always prepares their steed beforehand. Grease all bolts to help prevent seizure. Apply plenty of waterproof grease to brake and gear cables.
Spray WD40 or similar inside the frame tubes and don’t forget the chain and gears. A wash after every ride goes a long way towards keeping your Pugsley in top form.
Before fitting your tyres, apply a small amount of WD40, light oil or similar to the spoke nipples to help prevent them seizing up. Use good quality rim tape to protect your inner tubes.
If you prefer to use ordinary side panniers on your Pugsley, you may find they tend to bounce around a bit on rough ground. To solve this annoying habit, hook a bungee cord from the top of the rack to the bottom, running down across the pannier.
Fat bike tyres have a huge air capacity and take a lot of pumping up. That’s fine in the workshop with a track pump but another matter in the field when fixing a puncture. My tip is to carry a full size frame-fit pump. It’s still hard work but better than those silly mini pumps you get.
Never assume that your new set of pedals have been adequately lubricated. Always disassemble them, pack with saltwater resistant grease – not too much or they will bind – and reassemble.
If you find that panniers fastenings are rubbing on the rack, use duct tape to fix some old inner tub to the rack frame. It won’t last for ever but will help a little. You can also bulk up the top rails of the panniers clips are too large.
Check your tyre treads after each ride for anything that might work its way through the casing and cause a puncture. Thorns are particular offenders!
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