Fork Mod

Pictured with thew stem I don’t like.

This Schwinn straight bar knock-off I bought a couple years ago takes a fork with a 1 1/8th inch steer tube. I didn’t have a fork that size and bought one used from my LBS. I did have one stem that would fit and have been using it but I don’t like it. Instead of buying a new stem I decided to see if I could adapt the fork to take a smaller sized stem which I have plenty to choose from.

There was too much of a difference between the diameters of the fork and any stems I had that a shim wouldn’t work so I decided to see if I had a piece of tubing with the correct outside and inside diameter I needed. To my surprise I did. Probably leftover from an old girls Schwinn 3 speed that I hacked up long ago. The tube was a snug fit in the fork and I drove it in with a small sledge hammer till it wouldn’t go any more.


Then using an angle grinder with a cut off wheel I cut off the excess flush with the top of the steer tube.


I doubt the tube I inserted would ever move but I went ahead and drilled some holes in the steer tube and welded it to the tube inside.


New stem, new handlebars and new brakes. I always had a hard time getting the brakes that I’d originally put on properly adjusted so a quick trip to the LBS and now I have new, better working brakes.

Not-So-Tall Bike Mount And Dismount

The most FAQ I get about the tall bike is about how I get on and off. Here’s a short video showing how.

This bike is barely 2 frames tall. My previous tall bike was slightly taller. I find this one to be a good height. Tall enough for the fun factor and to see over cars yet not so tall that I can’t easily bail if needed.

Bicycle Patches On Messenger Bag

Over time I’ve aquired a few bicycle related patches. For years I’ve proudly displayed them inside this tin.

After my recent purchase of messenger bags I decided to place some of the patches on the one made from a recycled U.S. postal bag. After some quick Googling I decided to use E6000 to adhere the patches to the bag. Note: the Errandonnee patch is from one of the previous years that I did complete the challenge.

After applying glue to the patches and placing them on the bag I applied weight while the glue cured.

I’ve only carried the bad a couple of times now but so far so good. I didn’t apply patches to the right third of the bag to leave “Domestic” visible. I’m undecided whether to cover up the Timbuk2 logo.

Speaking of bags… while I recently had all of our duct tape out to make myself a new wallet I beefed up a ziplock bag that I use to hold various things that I carry in my messenger bag. Even though the bags I wear have many pockets for these various things, keeping them in the ziplock bag makes it easy for me to switch between the different bags. Some of the various things in the ziplock bag are napkins. hand wipes, aspirin, contact lenses, knife, lighter, velcro straps, innertube rubber bands and a pen.

Here’s a shot of my old wallet of 6+ years and the new one.

Making An Alcohol Stove

How I make the alcohol stove that I take on my rides for coffee outside. To make your own stove I suggest searching Youtube. Many great tutorials there.

DIY Bendix Automatic Adjusting Cone Lock Nut Tool

In order to disassemble and reassemble a Bendix Automatic 2 speed “kickback) hub you need a special tool. I made this crude one from a socket a few years ago.


The tool goes in to the 2 slots on the adjusting cone lock nut.

Since I didn’t use a deep socket to make the tool I have to hold it with vice-grips. Use an adjustable wrench to hold the adjusting cone while you remove the lock nut.

DIY Headset Bearing Cup Remover


A foot long piece of 3/4 inch conduit with slits cut in to it and then fanned out.

Got the idea from RJ The Bike Guy.

A Beginner’s Guide To Bicycle Geocouching


What is Bicycle Geocouching?
“Finding a dumped, upholstered, couch, loveseat or chair while on a bike ride & photograph yourself sitting on the furniture with your bike also in the photo.”
All of my Geocouching finds can be viewed here.

Follow the simple steps below to make your first Bicycle Geocouch score…

Spot a dumped couch while on a bicycle ride.

Lean bicycle against couch.

Set self-timer on phone or camera. Lean phone/camera against an object like your water bottle or a found object. Push the shutter button on phone/camera.

Seat yourself on the couch and strike a pose.

That’s It!

Practice these simple steps in your living room so you’ll be well prepared while in the field.
With a lot of hard work and a little luck you too can become an awesome Bicycle Geocoucher.

As with any extreme sport, Bicycle Geocouching has it’s risks. Please be careful and enjoy.

Like the Bicycle Geocouching Facebook page where you can share your Geocouching finds.
Also check out the Bicycle Geocouching map with scores from all over the world. E-mail us or contact us through the FB page to have your find added to the map.

DIY Handlebar Grip End Caps From Bottle Caps


After removing the plastic seal from inside the bottle cap I use a 2 part epoxy to glue in the bolt. The proper size socket with a long extension can be used to attach the but to the bolt inside the grip.

How To Photograph A Bike

Here I used a small chunk of concrete I found to place under the kickstand to position the bike more upright.

Here I used a small chunk of concrete I found to place under the kickstand to position the bike more upright.

I thought I’d share some of my photography tips that I believe make for better bike photos. The title should really read ‘How I Photograph A Bike” as I am not an expert on photography nor bikes. These tips are for photos that aim to show off the bike only, not the bike and it’s location and/or rider.

Drive side out!
Probably the most important thing in photographing a bike and the mistake most often made. Bikes look awkward from the non-drive side. Show off that sprocket and/or chainguard.

Check your background. Non cluttered backgrounds will allow you to make out the details of the bike better. Building walls are a favorite background of mine. If the building is brick or has horizontal and/or vertical lines, you will want to make sure your camera is really straight both horizontally and vertically. If you have no choice other than a cluttered background, distance the bike from the background if possible to help get bokeh (background blur).

Set up straight. No leaning.
I like to keep the bike as upright and straight as possible. I will generally prop a bike up against a wall using the (left) end of the handlebar. I believe it makes for a better photo when the bike is not leaning.

If you must lean.
Kickstands are great when parking your bike but don’t make for the most flattering angle of the bike for photographing. If I do use the kickstand I generally place something under the kickstand so the bike isn’t leaning as much. A rock, stick or even my wallet (which I’ve went off and left so I don’t recommend that) will help in putting the bike in a more vertical position. This also aids in keeping the kickstand from sinking if you are on soft ground. If the bike still has more lean than I think looks good, I find that shooting the bike from a slight angle and turning the front wheel slightly toward the camera looks better.

Crank position.
Position the crank so the arms aren’t intersecting with the tubes of the bike. I generally place the crank arms around the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position if no chainguard (the right crank at 3 o’clock) and at 4 & 10 if the right crank arm and pedal interfere with the chainguard. You may want to position the pedals so they are level horizontally.

If your tires have lettering spin the wheels around where the writing is legible and not obstructed by the frame/fork or grass. Place the valve stems at the same position (i.e. bottom) on each wheel.

Other things to watch for.
Pay attention to where shadows fall. If the bike is against a wall and the sun is low and behind you casting shadows on the wall behind the bike. It can be hard to differentiate what is actual bike and what is shadow.
Handlebars intersecting with seat or top tube when shooting from front or rear. Adjust your position up or down.

More is better.
This is the digital age. You’re probably not paying to have film developed. Take many photos. It betters your odds of getting a good one. For every one photo I keep there are probably 10 or more that get deleted.

Don’t blame poor photos on the camera. Even smart phones have excellent cameras now. Most all my photos are taken with a Panasonic point and shoot camera or my Iphone. More important than what you shoot with is taking an extra moment to think about and compose your photo.

Photo examples…

Here is a not so good photo.

Non-drive side, leaning, poor crank placement and cluttered background.

Non-drive side, leaning, poor crank placement and that old Ford truck is cool but it doesn’t make for a good background.

I generally take 3 full bike photos and maybe some detail shots. For the 3 full photos I take one from the (drive) side trying to keep as straight both vertically and horizontally as I can, then photos from the front and rear each at a slight angle not straight on.

From the side straight on.

From the side straight on.

Towards the front at angle and from the rear at angle.

Towards the front at angle and from the rear at angle.

Be careful though when trying to position your bike in it’s most upright position.

Be careful when trying to position your bike in it’s most upright position as it can easily fall.

Shooting from a slight angle with the front wheel turned towards the camera.

Leaning on kickstand. Shooting from a slight angle with the front wheel turned towards the camera.

no kickstand? how about a stickstand.

No kickstand? how about a stickstand.

As a last resort you can photograph the bike on the ground. Try to make sure the front fork/wheel is straight which may require placing something under the wheel to prop it up.

As a last resort you can photograph the bike on the ground. Try to make sure the front fork/wheel is straight which may require placing something under the wheel to prop it up.

Do you have any tips or tricks for photographing bikes? Leave a comment below.