5 things that make life a little easier

5 things that make life a little easier

Bikes are great, but bikes are for riding. We enjoy a good tinker as much as the next person, but realistically the more time you spend messing about with your bike the less time you have to actually ride it. Here are five simple things that'll help you minimise faffing and get you out riding as quickly as possible. 

milKit

Sure, a milKit injector kit might cost more than those free tubeless valves that came with your wheels but guess what? They're better - and if you want nice things you have to pay for them. The ability to insert and check sealant levels by just removing the valve core and using the supplied syringe really does save time and hassle, and stops you spilling sealant all over the carpet and getting in loads of trouble which has definitely never happened to us...

Dynaplug

Tubeless is a really good thing. Ride quality is better (yes it is), you can't pinch puncture and you don't need to keep buying inner tubes. It seems perfect. There is one question though, and that's what to do when you get a hole in your tyre that sealant can't deal with on its own. 

The answer is, of course, plug that hole - and that's where Dynaplug comes in. The name might have given the game away, but Dynaplug is a system that fills those holes in your tyres with viscoelastic rubber cores that stop the air coming out and keeps you riding when you'd otherwise be reduced to making the call of shame and asking for a lift. There are a bunch of different models available but the Racer is the one that keeps things simple. It carries two cores: one standard and one Megaplug (three times bigger for when you're really in trouble) and you just prod it through the hole, pull it out again and there you go, one tubeless tyre fixed. 

Chain quick links

There isn't a good time to snap your chain (we genuinely can't think of one) and for the most part a snapped chain means a fair bit of messing around before you can get riding again. Oh, and mending a chain using the chain breaker on most multitools and a standard pin is a thankless task and one that has to be done perfectly otherwise the thing will just snap again the next time you stamp on the pedals. 

Enter the quick link. Two sections of chain link that snap together in seconds and click into place with a hefty push on the pedals. No more sitting on the side of the road close to tears after 25 minutes of sweaty swearing as you realised that you'd never actually tried the chain breaker on your multitool until now, only to find out that it's totally unfit for purpose and more stressful than trying to solve a Rubik's cube upside down. In a swimming pool. At gunpoint. 

Now all you have to do is use that tool to remove the broken links (breaking is always easier than fixing, that's a universal constant), insert the quick link to rejoin the chain and you're riding again. So simple. 

Finish Line Speed Bike Degreaser

Here's the thing about Speed Degreaser: it feels like cheating. You spray it on and the grease literally drips off your drivetrain in front of your eyes. It sort of spoils that 'job well done' feeling after spending half an hour cleaning your bike because cleaning a bike doesn't take that long any more. Sure, you don't want to use it all the time as it's more of a fix for when you have to clean the bike in a rush, but knowing that it's always there when you need it gives you that warm, comforting feeling inside. 

Park Tool IR-1.2

Modern bikes are better than ever which is something we can all be thankful for. But bikes are also more fiddly to assemble than they've ever been, with integration on integration and it can make certain tasks a massive pain. Installing cable housing or brake hoses being a prime example. That's where Park Tool's internal routing kit comes in handy. Sure, you could use a bent-out-of-shape coathanger, some old thread or any other homegrown method, but this is about making life easy and all of those come with more than their fair share of hassle. 

Park's IR-1.2 with its plastic-coated wires, magnetic attachments and large magnet to guide the wires through the frame is a legit time-saver. The ribbed attachement that screws into the end of cable housing is our particular favourite, really good for traversing the inside of internally routed handlebars which is a task that can often feel like trying to stuff a watermelon through a letterbox. 

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