Says Ernest Hemingway, "it is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”
We couldn't agree more. Nowhere looks more like itself than the way it looks on two wheels. And no matter your pursuit, there's a bike for it. Whether you're looking to spin for miles through country lanes on a road bike, run errands on a stout commuter bike built for comfort on city streets, or zip down tree-lined single track on a mountain bike, at the end of all the fun and adventure, you're going to have to get back to where you started. Safely, efficiently, and, hopefully, comfortably.
Bikes have moving parts...it's precisely what they're designed to do. And things with moving parts need maintenance to keep them moving smoothly. And since a bike's very design is to move forward as its parts move, you either need to a) get your bikes wheels off the ground while maintaining access to gear shifts and break levers and b) grow two more arms and hands.
If you search for a list of best books about bicycles, you'll find several... and among them, you'll notice a definite trend. They're all about "cycling" - the competitive racing of road bikes - rather than "bicycles" - the thing with two wheels and a chain and handlebars.
Not that we have anything against competitive cycling (we love it), but only true dedicated fans of the sport need a list of biographies and recaps of historic Tour de Frances, and the like.
So instead, we set out to create our own cycling library that encompasses all aspects of the simple, brilliant machinery that is the bicycle, and all the fun that comes with it.
For our money, there's no better way to spend an afternoon than spinning on two wheels. But if the weather's not cooperating or the sun gone down too soon, then there's no better way than spending an afternoon getting inspired to ride tomorrow by watching a great movie about bicycles. Here are seven you can stream right now with your Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts.
Let's say you've learned to make basic adjustments on your family's bikes, and then assembled a basic bike-specific tool kit to keep things running smoothly and avoid labor costs and long turnaround times at the bike shop. Let's say you actually enjoy it, and have learned to appreciate the zen and simplicity of keeping things running smoothly. Let's say you're actually good at it.
If that's the case, then it's time to really upgrade your collection of tools to tackle almost any problem your bike might have.
Once you've identified the essential tools you should take with you on every bike ride, and built a small tool kit to keep things running smoothly, it's time to look at assembling the right tools and materials to keep your bike in good shape without having to take it to the shop every time you need a small adjustment.
A lot of that comes with knowledge, but you can find loads of free information on simple adjustments online, and especially on YouTube. The trick is to make sure you have the right tool to tackle whatever you're learning.
Bikes, by their design, have moving parts. And as we know, anything with moving parts requires a little care and maintenance from time to time. If you, your friends, or your kids enjoy riding (and you should!), it's important to keep all those parts in good running order to keep everyone fast, make riding as easy as possible, and to stay safe on those roads.
A bicycle is an amazing machine. Easy to ride, but full of all sorts of moving parts that work together smoothly when everything is aligned, just so. As an active cyclist, I advocate for making friends with your local shop - they'll likely give you basic adjustments for free. But there's plenty of tune-ups you can do at home to keep things running smoothly, and save the trip.
So, as riding season seems to finally be poking its head in and cyclists of all types are getting prepped to ride regularly, here are five easy tune-ups you can do to get your bike ready for spring.
Have you ever stumbled across an old wooden crate at your local flea market and wondered "what can I do with that"? Here's one option - turn it into a unique and functional accessory for your around-the-town cycling.
There's all sorts of reasons you might need to hang your bike inside your home: perhaps you live in an urban area, and it's really the only place to put it. Or maybe, you just love cycling so much you wanna pay homage to its design, and you'll proudly display your ride as a piece of functional art.
The bicycle basket is a long standing accessory that's great for carrying anything from picturesque picnic supplies to laptops to bulldogs apparently. The copper piping makes for a slightly antique or hipstered look and could be all the makeover your bike needs. Alternately, just build the basket and keep it around the house, fill it with plants, fill it with dogs, etc.
ManMade Essential Toolbox: Why You Need a Full Set of Hex Keys (Allen Wrenches). Here's What to Get.
If you're anything like me, your first set of hex keys came with some generic tool kit someone gave you before heading off to the freshman dorm. They were wrapped in wire and wrangled around a key ring. They worked, kinda; they were constantly tangled and forever frustrating, but they sorta got the job done, and so they stayed.
This happened: my brother and I were out for a bike ride (mountain bike; single track) early this spring. It was the first day of open trails, so the place was packed. And it was my brother's first time on a mountain bike, so we were going a little ... um, slow. Dudes in latex gear on fancy bikes were passing us left and right, as if we were going in reverse. We felt a little like rookies, but we were still having fun.
Then a guy with tree-trunk-sized quads flies by us on a cross bike (y'know, skinny tires), and 20 seconds later we come across him stalled on the trail with a flat. He was getting ready to walk all the way back out to the
I've said this many times on ManMade, but, just to confirm: I'm really into bicycles. I use them for transport, and for exercise, and for recreation, and, hopefully soon, for travel. (Let's go bike touring!) And in order to get more time on the bike, I've been trying to streamline the process for prepping for rides.
Because when you're out in the middle of nowhere, there's actually a lot of stuff you gotta carry and prep so you can get home safely. So, I'll take anything to speed up the shorts - jersey - HR monitor - sunscreen - socks - shoes - food - water bottle - spare tube and patch kit - tire levers - pump - multitool - computer - grease the chain - fill the tires - and GO! - process for a standard 35 mile ride.
Cycling enthusiast and maker OddJob has created the "BAR T.A.B.," a "take along bar" mounted to the inside of a bicycle frame. It's basically all our favorite things in one simple project.
Here's a clever DIY project that solves a need, looks sharp, and can be completed in under 30 minutes with just a few tools. It's a leather frame strap, designed to attach a six pack to your bike's top tube for easy transport.