6 Money Saving Mountain Bike Hacks
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6 Money Saving Mountain Bike Hacks

October 10, 2019


– Once you’ve got yourself a mountain bike and a decent helmet, going riding doesn’t
have to cost much money. However, riding regularly on rough terrain will inevitably lead
to worn out components and transmissions and a few
broken things here and there. However, with regular maintenance and a bit of smart thinking, you don’t have to fork out loads of money. Here are our best tips
to avoid spending lots. Clean your bike. The root of all maintenance issues do stem from being masked by dirt. You can be cleaning your
bike with a bucket and brush. You might be convinced that
doing it with the jet wash or even just a garden hose is
the best way of doing things but you can damage your
bearings in doing so, and also you’re not gonna be inspecting the bike in the same way. If you’re working around a bike systematically with a bucket and brush, it gives you opportunities
to look at these. You can see if the scratch
is more than a scratch. Work your way around the chain set. You can see if anything’s
loose, any bolts are missing, if any chain links are damaged, even see if any spokes
are loose on the bike. Systematically work front to back and look at every single
component on your bike. It’s the best way to find out if anything’s broken that’s
gonna cost you money. Once you’ve completely cleaned your bike and inspected everything,
looking for cracks and any sorts of damage to components, you wanna have a look over the whole bike. Check all your bolts. Check your controls, most importantly. Check your wheels are on safely. Check your disc rotors are attached. Check the callipers are attached to the frame properly and all secure. Check your seat clamp bolts. Literally check every single bolt that could possibly
come loose on your bike, and you really should
make a point of doing this at the end of every ride so your bike is all set for your next ride. The more maintenance you give your bike, the better it’s gonna perform and the less likelihood you’re gonna have something failing out in the trail, and that leads to costing you money. Due to the nature of mountain biking, they’re gonna get dirty and your transmission is
gonna get caked in stuff. It’s important to make
sure you drive chain is always as clean as
possible and well lubricated. Depending on the conditions
that you ride in, make sure you use the correct lube, there’s dry and there’s wet. Dry lube is generally
used in dry conditions and the reason for that
is it’s a thinner lube that attracts less grit
and sand and stuff. The downside to it is it
does wear out a lot faster and you’ll have to re-apply it. Wet lube is a significantly
better lubricant. It stays on your chain a lot more, but the downside of that is it
attracts so much stuff to it. Again, you’ve got to make sure you use these in the relevant conditions, and in between so, make
sure your drive chain is nice and clean before you apply it. Next up is the actual wear
of your transmission itself. On a one by 11 setup like this, the cassette is the single
most expensive part of this, so you want to maximise the use of this. To do that, you want to keep
a close eye on your chain, which is the cheapest part to replace. Typically you’ll get two
chains to one cassette, as long as you monitor the
wear on the actual chain. It’s well worth getting one of
these little chain checkers. With the chain checker itself, there’s a bunch of markings
ranging from zero to 1.0. For a 10 speed chain, it’s acceptable to run anything up to .75 and that’s the point, buy a new chain and you’ll still be able to use it on your existing chain ring and sprockets. The back, with more modern
11 and 12 speed, is up to .5. That’s quite a lot of wear. As long as you keep an eye on things, you can definitely get another use out of your cassette with another chain. I’m just gonna demonstrate this. There’s these two pins and
you push this into your chain and it will tell you
how worn your chain is. It won’t even go in on the
basic zero setting on mine so you can see it’s quite a new chain so it’s plenty of life left in that. Chain checkers like this one are a bit more expensive
than the basic ones, but they’re well worth investing in. Mountain bikes rely on the rubber tyres and obviously they wear out with use. Don’t be so quick to throw them away, and the same with any tubes, because you can recycle
these for different purposes. The number one thing is an inner tube that’s been knackered or
punctured too many times. You can actually cut this
up into little strips, like I’ve done with this one here, and you can use these to
protect parts of your bike. This is especially good if
you’re going away on a holiday, let’s just say to the Alps, or Whistler, or something like that. You can wrap this stuff
around your chain stays, make sure they’re nice and
protected against your chain and flying rock chips and stuff like that. Another thing great to do with an old tyre is to protect your down tube with it. Although this particular bike has got down tube protector on it, if I was taking this to the Alps or Whistler, or somewhere like that, you’re still gonna get loads
of flying rocks come up and it can still chips
your paint work on that. It’s worth getting an old tyre,
cutting it into a section, and keep the tyre on. It’s just so durable to protect your bike. Riding on gnarly, off road terrain does take it’s toll on your tyres, does tearing the nobbles
off and stuff like that, but don’t throw your tyres away just yet. As long as your carcass is
okay and it’s not too worn, there’s no nicks and cuts in it, it’s worth chopping down
your centre tread a bit and turning it into a bit of a file tread, like a bit of a semi-slick. Nice fast roller, great for
commuting, great for summer use. Get more use out of the same tyre. Suspension, obviously, is quite an expensive subject to tackle here. Your rear shocks tends
to look after itself because it’s kind of
contained within the frame, but even then you still
need to pay attention to it and make sure it’s clean
and working correctly. Up front, though,
suspension fork is subject to a lot of abuse and it is
in the firing line for mud, and muck, and all sorts of stuff. The key to any suspension
fork working well and not costing you money in the long term is by keeping it clean
and well lubricated, pretty simple thing to do. In your lower legs
there’s an amount of oil and this particular fork
has got 10 CCs of oil. That oil is purely to keep the upper leg, the seals, and the bushings lubricated. As soon as any of those things dry out, it’s gonna start costing you money. Pay particular attention to that. If your seals look like they’re dry, if there’s any scoring or
marking on your stanchion tubes, make sure you treat your
forks with a bit of TLC. You can see here, I’ve got some
seals and o rings in my hand that are not expensive
components on their selves. Even if you’re not comfortable doing a fork lower leg service
or anything like that, at the very least, make sure
your fork is always clean and you do inspect it for damage. Something you can do
to help aid lubrication of the lower legs is turn
your bike upside down from time to time because
that lubricant that sits at the bottom of the fork can
then trickle onto the bushes themselves on the inside and
also lubricate those seals. Don’t be so quick to
throw away old bike parts as soon as you’re done with them. Whether they’re damaged, from overused, or you’ve bent or broken the thing. This particular rear
mech has been damaged. It’s too bent now to index properly, but it’s still got plenty of life in some of the components on it. The jockey wheels themselves,
got plenty of use in those. There’s no play in them. A bit dirty, must be
cleaned with a de-greaser, freshen them up. Worth keeping as spares. Also, personal favourite of
mine to take from rear mechs is the little cable pinch bolt because these can rattle
loose from time to time and disappeared in pavement cracks or anywhere else annoying, so keep those. Also, when you’re filtering through all the other junk
you’ve got lying around, I mean there’s nothing
wrong with these grips but there is actually a
bolt missing from here. That’s just the sort of thing that I’d like to have as a spare part. You can often have old stems
like this particular thing. We don’t use that on a
mountain bike anymore, it’s a pretty long one. They’re nice little formula bolts. They’re quite long,
they’re hardened steel. Well worth having
because you can round off stem bolts quite easily. Definitely worth keeping
in the collection. Then again, I’ve got a
big pile of stuff here that I’ve recycled from old
bike componentry and bits. They’re all worth keeping. You’ve got chain ring bolt spaces, old tubers valves from old broken wheels, the slightly longer
chain ring bolts there, and even from a sram shifter mount, just a little bracket
bolt that holds it on. Really good to make sure you salvage all those bits from broken componentry because it can save you a lot of money just in having to go to body shop and spent the fibre on
something you’ve already got. A great way to avoid
spending money on your bike is to not unnecessarily upgrade stuff. You may well be lured into a nice, shiny, one by 11 transmission, but is the transmission you’ve
got still fit for purpose? You should use this stuff,
like this, until it’s absolutely not fit for
purpose, ready for the bin. There’s teeth hanging off this thing. This chain is so stretched,
it’s really sloppy. This is ready to be upgraded. With that in mind, you don’t really want to be upgrading your stuff
at the wrong time of year. Just when winter hits
and the trails get muddy, with nature’s grinding pace
that really wears stuff out, you don’t want to be hitting those trails with a brand new chain. See the winter through on your old gear until it’s really fit for the bin and then upgrade in Spring. It’s gonna last you a lot longer. Hopefully some of our money saving tips will have been useful to you, but let’s not forget what mountain biking is really good for, and that is riding any terrain that you put in front of it. You might not be fortunate enough to live with trails on your doorstep, but it does mean that you can ride your mountain bike everyday, anywhere. Sometimes, if you want to save a few quid, that’s a great way to do things. Click on the globe here to subscribe. There’s a great, new
video every single day, and click up here for how to service a secondhand mountain bike, and down here for your to
service your Shimano gears. If you like the video,
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  1. Doddy is great isn't he, brilliant team now at GMBN!

    With old innertubes, i glue the cut strips together and make them into underpants! Sure they smell a bit rubbery, but you save money because you never have to wash them (just wipe them down with a damp cloth). Also with an old chain and a pair of mole grips you can make a chain whip to get your cassette off!

  2. Don't leave your bike on the open place when it's raining and try to keep it under the roof when it's possible.
    Rust is enemy for your bike!

  3. Hi guys from GMBN and Community, in four weeks I'll go to Austria for a week to ride in the alpes and in the forests. I am not quite sure, wether I should buy myself a backprotecktor bagpack or a new set of tires because the ones I use now are pretty worn out. The center nobbs are like 1mm long. What should I buy? And can you make a suggestion what tire I should buy if I should buy one.

  4. #askgmbn any videos on a extensive fork rebuild, I've got a set of old rockshox Judy's 100mm and was thinking about rebuilding them for a 90's retro build do you think I'll be able to get the parts?

  5. Life hack! Tape a bottle stuck to a bottle cage and store some multitools or sparetubes and stuff it with paper so that it doesnt make any noise and then you can wear a smaller hydrationpack.

  6. 7th and best hack is using paraffine wax! Using wax/mineral oil mixture on your chain will save you the money of the lubricant and the cassette will last longer! Waxing your bike will save you the time of washing it!

  7. i have a btwin from decathlon it's a budget mtb and very durable but i made it go threw alot of abuse in less then 2 month and now i am facing a bend rear axl, burned out brakes, loose spikes, washed out rubber, dirty drivetrain, bend rear shifter, the front shifter needs an adjustment because it's not shifting well, and i may have the most dirty and leaky fork ever, and i have no money ;p but most of these problems are very basic and i can fix them my self, i hope in the future i ll take more care of my bike and when i have money upgrade to a new bike, i am very intrested in downhill and everything but in my country there's no such thing so i just abuse my bike on pavement in every possible way, gotta say that i've almost died a few times, ah well don't know what's the point in telling these stuff but it's 3:30am in the morning and i have an editing project to present tomorow and i am no where near finished so just screwing my life the easy way the youtube way, thank you

  8. just use a ruler to check your chain, you'll quickly discover they take a lot of abuse if you look after them……..best way to not spend money on your bike is to not use it but having been out four times this week and using the GMBN calculator I'm about 2 grand in the red………think it's capra time : )

  9. "The life of 2 chains is equal to 1 cassette" …hahahahahahaha
    I've gone through at least 3 chains with the same basic shimano cassette I've got.

  10. Speaking of money, I've found a chainguide with the BB adaptor. it has no brand on it. Is a chainguide worth the money or should I get a new chainring? I've been dropping my chain a bit recently and it's been slowing me down while riding with my friends.

  11. #askgmbn should I get a full sun w remote sus lock out or a hardtail for a 100 mile race the race has long up hills and long downhills but its a rocky race its a xc race

  12. Any ideas how to help,I bought a new stem and accidentally stripped the bolts to tighten the handlebar what can i do i have no money left

  13. I was hoping that someone can chime in for me …

    I'm looking to get a Specialized P3 , or P3 Pro ( this years ) . I was hoping to see what people's opinions are ? Main differences are the shocks , brakes , and aluminum spindle for your cranks . Is it worth spending the extra bit ? All black looks good .

    I was thinking about getting a Radio Griffin , but the frame isn't full chromoly and coming from a BMX background and trying my friends NS at the local jumps I'm pretty sure id bend it . Any suggestions on the above ? Is it worth getting a decent bike and then replace bits as I choose ?

  14. don't upgrade just before winter because it'll last longer? its september here in North Wales, it's 14 degrees, blowing a gale and the rain is horizontal! welcome to the endless Welsh winter! lol

  15. Good material. Second one since new presenter took over. Congrats. Please make another one about regular bike cleaning after visiting bike park or muddy terrain.

  16. keep an old chain to make a spare chain-whip tool. or take an old chain apart completely and use the link plates to mount guitar effects pedals to a board (google it). keep EVERY screw from any broken part, and even the springs.

  17. #askgmbn If you were to say replace your chain once a year, or more often, how much longer might your cassette last? I am thinking $20 versus $120 or more…

  18. #askgmbn I see you often talk about wrapping your downtube and chainstay. It doesn't look that great so by doing so, aren't you only protecting the bike to look good for the next owner?

  19. 'However, riding regularly on rough terrain will inevitably lead to worn out components and transmissions and a few broken things here and there.' Like collarbones. 😀

  20. Remember that when checking your chain for wear; have the chainline as straight as possible I.e on the middle of the cassette.

  21. I see a bit of a pattern here, bolts rounding off, check your allen keys for wear, check your bolts after every ride.
    If you're going to check your bolts every time then those things are gonna happen.
    It's torqued tight, so you're going to over tighten it or just put wear on the bolt head and tool face when you don't need to.
    It's also a good way to loosen a tight bolt, tighten it just a fraction more then it'll come undone a lot easier. At the very least you'll crack your loctite seal meaning it'll shake loose easier later.

    If it's got thread lock where required, and/or it's torqued right, leave it alone.

  22. Another great hack is to instead of using cable terminals for the gear cables just apply superglue to the cable end.

  23. I’ve been riding on fairly tough trails (with jumps) on my £150 Halfords bike. I’m looking for a Hardtail for £500 new or used what is the best budget mountain bike?

  24. Scrub those tires and spray them down with 303. They will look like brand new. Provided they are not broken or cracked too badly.

  25. What cleaning compound do you guys use to put into water when cleaning your bike? Something like CykloStar or what? Just to ensure it won't make any potential damage to rubber (or any other) components of the bike.

  26. Saving those old bolts and bits and pieces is the most important one! If i go to the local bike shop they dont even have those separately – you have to buy a new derailleur etc. So keep´em.

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