Cycling is an expensive hobby. Even at it's cheapest, you'll need to buy a bike which usually runs into the hundreds of pounds and then there's the helmet, lights, clothing, components and spares etc. The list goes on.
There are plenty of brilliant hacks out there to save you money or help you out in a tricky situation - here's our list of 5 of the best/most genius.
1. Deflation-Busting Banknotes
Every carries spare inner tubes (or at least they SHOULD) in case of a puncture, but it's just not practical to carry a spare tyre on the off-chance you'll suffer a blowout.
But if it does happen what to do? A tear in a tyre wall is a disaster that will bring any ride to an immediate end and leave you calling for the service car (aka your spouse)...usually.
Happily, banknotes can help you out in this situation. A folded up banknote placed between the inner tube and the tear in the tyre can be enough to prevent the tube from coming out of the tyre and bursting. It won't win races but it might be enough to get you back home.
2. Hey Presta-O!
When you eventually throw away an inner tube - whether it's been repaired once too often or it's beyond repair - make sure you keep the valve cap.
Why? Because it can be turned into a very useful Presta-Schrader converter. This is especially useful if you find yourself with a flat and a broken pump or no more CO2 canisters. Simply chop off the top of the cap and screw it onto the valve, leaving the Presta valve open. This will then allow a Schrader valve to fit and will just about allow you to fill up with any pump or at any petrol station.
Worth keeping a couple in your saddle bag as a precaution!
3. Wet News
Everyone has been caught out in the rain or cycles in rainy conditions often, especially in Britain. One of the worst things about this is having to deal with soggy shoes for the next ride.
Fear not! If you have some spare newspaper lying around then you can scrunch this up and put it inside your wet shoes to help dry them out quicker. For best results take the soles out too, you'll be riding dry in no time!
Just don't forget to stick the soles on the radiator or something to dry them out as well.
4. Bottled It
Sometimes your saddle bag can be so packed full of stuff, stopping to repair a puncture is more like an exercise in strategic packing rather than a quick fix.
If you're packing for every eventuality in your saddle bag then this hack is for you.
Take an old bottle that you don't use anymore or that you're willing to sacrifice. Fill it with excess gear such as tubes, repair kits, gels, keys, etc. Stick it in a bottle cage and away you go! Simple but effective.
Another excellent use of old bottles it to mix your degreaser in when cleaning the bike. Cut the top of the bottle off leaving it open, then when you've made up your mix you can use the bottle cage on the seattube to keep it in place whilst you apply the degreaser.
5. Hand-wash Your Hands
Cleaning your bike leads to dirty hands. Even the simplest repair job leaves you with hands that look like you've spent the day playing with a combustion engine.
Gone are the days of relentless scrubbing of your hands until there's nothing left but dirt down your fingernails, which is virtually impossible to get out.
Mix a little washing detergent into the bowl and scrub as normal. Voila! Your hands will be good as new with no trace of oil or grime. Just don't do any washing at the same time....