You have too many old bike tricks. Here’s what to do with it.


The bicycle is arguably the cleanest and most efficient mode of transportation and recreation known to mankind. “Well, what about walking?” you might be wondering. Well there is a study that said, walking is more effective once you overcome a certain slope, but you have to wonder if the researchers don’t have the Big Shoe pocket.

However, if you ride a lot, you generate a fair amount of “waste” in the form of worn out parts and clothes. Plus, you may even find yourself having to replace a component while it still has some life left in it, so naturally you put the old one away for future use. The problem is that over time these things can build up to the point of taking over entire rooms of your home, destroying your personal relationships, and ultimately collapsing and killing you when you try to grab that old quill stalk you archived at some point. the Reagan administration.

So how do you decide whether to keep something or throw it away? And if you’ve already given away your garage or basement to your bike scraps, how can you ever get it back – or at least justify hanging on to all that bullshit?

Deciding whether or not to hang on to that old frame you won a race on in 1996 is a tough proposition, so let’s put it aside for now and focus on the low-hanging fruit that will deliver results. at present. For example, do you have a stack of well-meaning inner tubes? You know, that massive mountain of perforated butyl you totally planning to patch on a rainy day?

Yes, throwing away an inner tube after a single flat tire is a farcical display, like lighting a cigar with a $100 bill. Fixing a tube is easy, and there’s no excuse not to. Even if you don’t repair them, flat tubes also have myriad ancillary uses: wrap around your chainstay to silence chain slap (less of a concern in the age of clutch derailleurs); cut them and use them as ties when shipping a bike; you can even salvage the valves and use them for tubeless conversions. These are all good reasons to keep the tubes perforated.

At the same time, if several years of rainy days have passed and your well-meaning tube stack is only getting bigger, it might be time to admit to yourself that you’re an idealist when it comes to reuse and reuse things, and that the actual space is more valuable to you than the symbolism. We’ve all gotten rid of bikes and components over the years that we wish we still had, but I’m willing to bet there isn’t a rider on earth who’s nostalgic for the old inner tube that he threw six years ago.

An exit clause for those who suffer from separation anxiety: keep five hits, but no more. This will free up space while still covering you in a pinch (pun intended).

Tires are – quite literally – more cut and dry, in the sense that if they’re cut or dry-rotted, you just have to get rid of them. Plus, as someone who’s been known to cling to worn tires for years, I can assure you that the tread doesn’t grow back, so you might as well get rid of it. Granted, if you’re overly crafty, you can make something out of your old tires to sell on Etsy, but if you’re a normal human with a normal schedule, you’ll be much happier if you free yourself from the onerous presence. what is your tire. pile. If you are conscientious and/or prone to guilt trips, just ask your local bike shop as they may accept your old tires and inner tubes for recycling.

Another exit clause: don’t keep more than one worn but structurally uncompromised tire for each bike you own, because in the event of a catastrophic tire failure, it could at least get you that far. that you can obtain a suitable replacement.

Speaking of things that wear out, let’s talk about your wardrobe. Do you have 18 seasons of Lycra taking up half your wardrobe? It’s time to shrink down. First, pull out anything you haven’t worn in the past 12 months. Then pull the elastic arm and leg clips. Do they crackle like old parchment? If so, get rid of it. You don’t have to throw it in the trash either – just open a new window in your browser right now and enter the words “textile recycling”, there’s probably somewhere not too far from you that will accept it. The same goes for socks and other stuff with holes, because let’s face it, you don’t mend anything, Betsy Ross. Also, if something doesn’t fit you anymore, accept the reality that the likelihood of you losing enough weight to wear it again is about as likely as the tread of your bald tires growing back.

A final exit clause: keep two or three pairs of old bibs for sub-short use, or wear them on the trainer if you get into that sort of thing. And you only keep a jersey if you’ve won a race there.

Alright, now on to the important stuff: frames and components. Stems, handlebars, saddles, cranks, cassettes and chains… If you feel altruistic and need to free up a lot of space at present because your in-laws are coming to live with you, so pack it all up and donate it to your local bike co-op. Done and done.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

So, is everything still there? I thought so. If you were selfless enough to give it your all, you wouldn’t be clinging to it all in the first place. Don’t worry, it’s fine. Short of giving it away (or selling it, a process so tedious and complex that it deserves its own standalone column), here’s the best way to thin out your coin stack and take inventory of what you have in the process :

Build a coin-operated trash bike!

If you’ve been hanging on to parts for a while, chances are you’ve got close to the value of an entire bike, maybe even multiple bikes! If you don’t quite have everything you need to build a bike with parts bin, you can even afford to buy a few new things to complete it, because it’s worth getting all those parts out of spare from their bins and drawers and put them on a bike. some additional expenses and accumulations. There are all sorts of new and used frames just waiting to be hung up with your old stuff – like pretty much everything Surly does, for example. Building a trash bike is like running an electromagnet over a pile of junk. It gets your gear stores in order, it keeps your mechanical skills sharp, and most importantly, in the end, you end up with a bike, which you can ride, sell, donate, or give to a member of family as appropriate. Perhaps.

Your coin bin is a garden. Neglect it and it becomes a tangle of weeds again. But if you take care of it, cultivate it and prune it once in a while, you will find that it can bear fruit. In fact, over time, it may even become self-sufficient as you reuse and recycle its contents.

Remember: you only have too many things if you don’t use them.


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