Tools & Maintenance

I bike commute 28 miles most workdays year-round and have been doing it now for more than six years almost entirely on the same bike, a 2010 REI Novara Randonee touring bike. At this point I estimate that my go-to ride now has somewhere north of 20,000 miles on it, so it needs some regular…

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I bike commute year-round on a 28-mile round-trip journey just outside of Boston, much of it on the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway. In winter, when snow and ice coat the bike path, I switch from my regular commuting bike to a 29er mountain bike with fully studded tires. And it’s this bike that takes the brunt…

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Proper bike tire inflation is essential for the safety, comfort, and durability of your tires. A few key tips: Buy a floor pump with an integrated pressure gauge—an invaluable tool for proper inflation. Recommended pressure is listed on the tire’s sidewall and ranges from roughly 30 to 50 pounds per square inch (psi) for wide…

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It was late one night in September 2014, probably past midnight, and my wife, Sarah, and I were in the garage, bolting 5-gallon buckets onto our kids’ bikes. Together with a bike trailer, these “poor man’s panniers” would carry all of our food, clothing, equipment, and tools for the five-day bike-camping trip on which we…

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Flat tires can happen on any surface, to any type of bike. If you ride, you have to be ready with the tools and knowledge necessary for a roadside repair. With practice, the right equipment, and a little baby powder, you’ll be back on the road or the trail in no time. BEFORE YOU HEAD…

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Over time, dirt and body oils steadily permeate your sleeping bag and rain jacket, decreasing their warmth and breathability. Practicing some basic outdoor gear maintenance can extend the life of your equipment. Wash them once every season or two, depending on how often you use them. Apply leather conditioner to your hiking boots at least…

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