5 Easy Cycling Hacks to Improve Your Commute

One of the best and least strenuous ways to stay fit and keep healthy is cycling.

According to WebMD, cycling burns as many calories as running does, and it also gets your heart rate up. If you’re on the onset of joint issues or simply want to stay in shape, cycling is a good choice as it doesn’t stress your joints and is gentle on the body.

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Meanwhile, the United Kingdom’s Bicycle Association stated that bike sales increased by a whopping 63% during the coronavirus lockdown this year. This growth was realized between April and June 2020. It is likely because it is much safer to travel alone on a bicycle than share public transport regardless of whether the transport providers follow safety protocols.



Suppose you’ve been stuck in the house all these months and are dying to leave. Then, what better way than to take a bike ride down the streets of your neighbourhood. Or ride down to the neglected parks and remind yourself how beautiful nature is.

Suppose you’ve never bought a bicycle and are only considering it now as a safe way to travel. In that case, you can easily purchase one through Shift. They will deliver right to your doorstep, so no need to worry about that either.

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Now that you’re about to embark on your cycling journey, here are five easy cycling hacks to improve your commute, making it that much more enjoyable.

#1 Drivetrain Cleaning without Equipment

Even without perfect bike maintenance equipment to hand, you’d be surprised how little you need to keep your bike spotlessly clean and smooth running without specialised gear. Indeed, with just a sponge, an old toothbrush, and a shoelace, you’re good to go.

You’ll use the shoelace to clean between the chain link. The toothbrush will prudently get into the nooks and crannies surrounding the rear derailleur, and that includes the pulleys. Lastly, the sponge, with the help of a degreaser, gives your bicycle the ultimate polish.



#2 Double Up Your Handlebar Tape

When cycling, tha main parts of your body you use are your hands and legs, so it’s worth protecting them.

By covering your handlebars with two lots of tape, it not only soaks up the road noise, but it’s a great deal easier on your hands. Professional cyclists have successfully used this trick for years.

A cheaper option that’s equally effective is using an old inner tube cut to your handlebars’ length. You then wrap the tube around your handlebars below the present tape.

#3 Your Plastic Fiver Isn’t Just Currency

Changing a tyre is probably something we have all done at least once. However, a tube puncture is a lot more complicated to fix. But not to worry, if you ever get stranded due to a slashed tyre, the new plastic £5 notes make a good temporary patch. In case you don’t have one on you at the time, you can try an energy bar wrapper. It’ll work just as well.



#4 Always Carry A Spare Derailleur Hanger

Your bike’s gear hanger gives the rear derailleur and frame of your bike protection, but it is intended to break when stressed. The gear hanger is usually made of metal and is quite sensitive as even just using the wrong gear can make it snap.

Hangers come in various types and are specific to the bike frame. Looking for a replacement when on the go can prove to be a challenge hence why it is advisable always to leave the house with a spare mech hanger.

#5 Talc Powder

If you thought baby powder was just for babies, you’re very wrong. They come in very handy for bikes too.

Put your spare tube in a small plastic bag, when it’s out of the packaging box, of course, then sprinkle it with baby powder.  This allows the tube to smoothly glide around into the tyre as you inflate, eventually avoiding unnecessary pinch flats and reducing friction.

With these great hacks, your cycling experience is bound to be safe and enjoyable. There’s no better time to start cycling than now. So go ahead and order that new bicycle and join the latest cycling enthusiasts on the trails. Plus, while you’re at it, you’ll stay fit and your general health in great shape.



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Pete Reynolds

Pete is the co-founder and editor of Discerning Cyclist. He commutes by bike daily from his home to his co-working space. Originally from Wirral, UK, Pete now lives in Spain. When visiting a new city, Pete loves nothing more than to explore it on two wheels. See Pete's Muck Rack profile

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Coffee funds may be converted into beers funds on Fridays.