Cyclocross Magazine teamed up with ProGold to create the “ProGold Mechanical Tip” contest, giving away maintenance packages to three randomly selected winners. In order to enter the contest, participants had to give us their best mechanical tip and on November 4th we entered the names into the Cyclocross Magazine Super Computer (aka a random number generator) to select our winners. We would like to congratulate Joe (Silver Springs, MD), Colby (Marquette, MI), and Emil (Casper, WY) who were selected and will each be mailed a maintenance package from ProGold, as well as a one year digital subscription to Cyclocross Magazine.
With so many great entries (and some … unique ones) it would simply be wrong for us here a Cyclocross Magazine HQ not to share them with you. Ladies and gentleman prepare yourself as we give you the best and worst mechanical tips from the ProGold Mechanical Tip Contest.
Best in Class:
“Twice each season, completely dismantle your bicycle. Degrease every bearing, bushing and moving part. Inspect with all errors on the safe side. Re-lube all bearings, bushings and moving parts with loving care. Reassemble bicycle using torque wrench. Ride bike like you stole it. This rule is to be adhered to above and beyond any normal washing and maintenance schedule. Dirt, mud and goo will be found in the most impossible places. Remember, loving care!” – James
James: This is simply a great piece of advice, cleaning all of the little parts is important. Not exactly a mechanical tip, but we will take it!
“For someone with weaker hands/cycling arms, mounting tubular tires cleanly is difficult, even with tires properly stretched. To avoid getting tubular glue all over the braking surface and the resultant hours of clean-up with solvents, I put a layer of electrical tape on the braking surface. The stretch in the tape allows it to conform to the edge of the rim nicely compared to other tapes. Usually I only have to tape the side the rim I will mount the tire on and only the half away from the valve stem. 10 minutes of preventative work is worth potentially hours of cleaning. Just remember to take the tape off before your first spin!” -Isaac
Isaac: I cannot think of a better tip as I typically do this with my wheels. Suffering from chronic scrawny cycling arms, I struggle sometimes to get the tire on myself. During my last tubular gluing experience, I did not take this piece of advice and I am still removing glue from my rims brake track, my floor … and my cat.
“Spray your bike down with Pam to prevent mud build up.” – Lots and lots of people wrote this in
The Populous: This seemed to be a pretty popular tip and we had entries advising to spray cranks, cassettes, the entire bike, down tubes, chains, and on the pan for the post race empanadas. Do be careful with overdoing it with Pam, as chain lube isn’t intended to be supplemented with Pam and you don’t want to get cooking spray on your hands during a run up as you grab your downtube to sling your bike over your shoulder.
“Remember, the bottle opener has to be cleaned once a month. ONCE A MONTH , so that your beers don’t get mud in them.” – David
David: You are wise beyond your years and I will race cyclocross with you any day.
Worst in class
“Never ride your bike in the rain.” – Joe
Joe: I don’t even know where to begin with this and believe you should have your cyclocross card revoked. All cyclocross races should be held in the rain and/or snow. The end.
“Don’t forget to put the seat on before you go riding … ouch” – Patrick
Patrick: Interesting tip here; however, it is important to remember. Imagine riding without a seat? Or lets say the last 20k of Paris Roubaix without a seat like Kurt Asle Arvensen did during the 2011 Paris Roubaix.
“Clean your chain with saltwater two days before race … if you happen to be in my field.” – Adam
Adam: Salt water is probably not your best choice for cleaning chains nor is water in general. Note to self, don’t race against Adam or let him anywhere near my bike before the start of the race.