Hints & Tips

This section is a collection of cycling hints and tips submitted by OBS members. This is not intended to be a bike maintenance course nor an all-inclusive tutorial on cycling. It is rather a collection of little tidbits of information that may make your cycling experience more enjoyable or assist you in maintaining or adjusting your bike. If you have a tip, trick or technique that you think might benefit others, please send it to us. Submissions may be anything from one sentence to a short article.


Bike Size and Fit – submitted by Jim Foreman

Ten Tech Tips (Oldies by Goodies) – submitted by John Wente

Bicycle Tune-Up Checklist – compiled by Ken Denham, Guthrie Bicycles

How to Change a Flat – submitted by John Wente

Tube Patching Notes – submitted John Wente

A Simple Bike Map Holder You Can Make – A dollar or tow and a little time is all you need.

Personal ID and Insurance Information Tips – Absolute necessities in case of an accident.

Some great tips from the Road Biker website

Bicycle Cleaning 101

Winter Riding

A Treatise on Saddle Construction



LAB’s Better Bicycling Fact Sheets – LOTS of good information here.

Group Ride Etiquette and Guidelines – If you’re gonna ride with a group, do it right!

Balance and Ride-Without Tears – Teaching young children to ride a bike

Effective Cycling Notebook – Excellent cycling safety series from League of American Bicyclists

On The Road: Bicycle Safety – Some great safety tips from Traveler’s Insurance

Guide to Safe Bicycling – From a website selling shoes? Yes, but still a wealth of great information.



  • Which way is north? Ever been directionally confused while riding and not sure of your directions? The easy way to orient yourself is to look for a satellite dish — they always point somewhere close to south (at least in the northern hemisphere).
  • Cheaper than a dollar bill! Organized rides and races often give you jersey numbers made of Tyvek or another tough material. Save them. A small piece can serve as a perfect tire boot if you get a gash through the casing.
  • And you thought donuts were just for eating. To protect a saddle sore and still ride, use the Dr. Scholl’s foot product that looks like small foam donuts. Center the hole on the sore. These pads stick well and are available in several sizes.
  • Tennis anyone? To stretch foot muscles and tendons and possibly reduce foot discomfort while riding, roll your feet on a tennis ball. Start with short sessions, one foot for a couple of minutes at a time, to see if it’s helpful. If it is, keep a tennis ball near your bike gear and roll your feet before and after each ride. Other good locations are near your computer or toilet.
  • Stop the buzz! If you are using a bicycle carrier that attaches with nylon straps and they tend to “drum” in the air as you drive, give the strap a half twist or else half-hitch the loose end around it so it forms a round tube. This will stop the aerodynamic flutter. (this from someone who has built and flown two airplanes–he knows aerodynamics!)