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When was the last time you had to hack a mountain bike repair?

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6/22/2020 8:13 AM

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Are you still having to hack, tweak and improvise on your current bikes and setups. Are you having to make your own tools to work on your bikes? Or are those days long gone?

Mountain bikes and their technology have come a long way in recent years. Tubeless tires are the norm on mid-to-upper level bikes, 1x drivetrains are refined, chains aren't derailing with just a sideways look and suspension, out of the box, is next level.

While hanging out with Sean Griz McClendon the other day, he was building up a new DH bike and putting on tires. He was still using the *ghetto tubeless* technique on his wheels and tires. The term "ghetto tubeless" comes from the technique of using a 20-inch diameter BMX inner tube that's filleted and stretched around a mountain bike rim to create an airtight seal, resulting in inflated tires that don't require inner tubes. The valve from the BMX tube is used to inflate the tire. Griz was able to inflate the system with a floor pump, not needing a compressor, which isn't always the case.


Tubeless mountain bike tire technology today is pretty darn dialed. Rims, valves, rim tape and tubeless-ready tires usually allow for easy install and inflation, but Griz still swears by this old method from a time when tubeless MTB tires weren't the norm.

That got us thinking. Improvising, tinkering and being part mad scientist used to be a significant piece of the mountain biking life. Now, bikes are ready to roll, out of the box, with the twist of a few allen wrenches and we wonder if the DIY days are gone.

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Dave Camp (along with many others out there) improvised by making the entire bike. You can see his custom BoXXer modification, which is a schraeder valve from an inner tube, JB-welded into the coil spring side of the fork (he can elaborate more on the details).


A few years ago, Joe Barnes created this sketchy-but-efficient DYI Coke Bottle Air Compressor. Proper eyewear required LOL


Erik Saunders is always tinkering whether he needs to or not. Inspiration for days.

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Nigel Reeve, Canyon Factory Racing mechanic, created this epic DIY brake-bedding system.
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6/22/2020 8:42 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/22/2020 8:43 AM

I use the 2L tubeless hack all the time since I'm in an apartment and wouldn't really to be great to have a compressor in my kitchen. Always scares me a little though. Even though I know the bottle and cap (unmodified) are rated to higher PSI than your mtb tubeless tires. #ppe

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6/22/2020 9:29 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/23/2020 4:16 AM

I just left the tyre on its side out of its packaging and it mounted up with crappy track pump. Last hack was stiching a 25mm slash in a Brand new tyre at the last foxhunt. It worked for a few months.

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6/22/2020 9:59 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/22/2020 10:02 AM

Does this count?





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6/22/2020 10:24 AM

awesome @pohsoonteng

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6/22/2020 10:52 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/22/2020 10:54 AM

Is there any other way then hack??? I run an interesting system in my wheels. Drill a second valve stem hole. Then run a small tube inside the tubeless chamber. The tube sets bead, then I add most of the air to the tubeless chamber. I get prevention of bead roll, tube or tire punctures very rarely get both, I don’t ever get flats, and it has saved my bacon on a long way from the car ride several times. Has a cool feel too.

Don’t even get me going on suspension hacks. (Replacing IFP rubber caps with Schaefer valves, repairing damaged shock shafts with filler and some polish time, etc etc.)

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6/22/2020 11:14 AM

I managed to crack a brake lever mount due to a crash, and with no income had to find a solution to keep shredding.
Came up with this reinforcement that seems to be holding just fine, since the plate I made supports the side of the lever under compression.
To make sure everything stayed solid, I removed the pivot in the lever clamp and replaced it with a screw which holds the lever and the plate together.
A slight bonus to the plate is it makes a nice spot to put my thumb when doing longer fire road climbs, I might keep it even after I get new levers.
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6/22/2020 11:45 AM

Also here's one we did of a Shimano R7000 shifter for a dropper post. Actually dremelled the wrong thing so we just took it apart and rebuilt it with parts from a cantilever brake, shock bolt, etc... We have since done another R7000 shifter and made sure we dremelled the right thing this time round, so now i have a spare... Frame was also drilled for internal dropper cable routing with a piece of camelback bladder hose and black electrical tape as a guide smile

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7eUeAllT9N/

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6/22/2020 11:51 AM

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6/22/2020 12:07 PM

Cougar797 wrote:

Is there any other way then hack??? I run an interesting system in my wheels. Drill a second valve stem hole. Then run a small tube inside the tubeless chamber. The tube sets bead, then I add most of the air to the tubeless chamber. I get prevention of bead roll, tube or tire punctures very rarely get both, I don’t ever get flats, and it has saved my bacon on a long way from the car ride several times. Has a cool feel too.

Don’t even get me going on suspension hacks. (Replacing IFP rubber caps with Schaefer valves, repairing damaged shock shafts with filler and some polish time, etc etc.)

When I first got some Mavic DeeMax wheels with proper tubeless rims and tires, I didn't want to deal with messy sealant. So I just ran them with a tube inside for primary pressure and if it pinched, I could still ride home with all that air sealed in by the Mavic system. I used old school Michilins and never tore a sidewall.

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6/22/2020 3:11 PM

I'm using an XT shifter with the ratchet tooth filed off and release trigger removed as a dropper lever.
Simple but effective.

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6/22/2020 6:12 PM

Cougar797 wrote:

Is there any other way then hack??? I run an interesting system in my wheels. Drill a second valve stem hole. Then run a small tube inside the tubeless chamber. The tube sets bead, then I add most of the air to the tubeless chamber. I get prevention of bead roll, tube or tire punctures very rarely get both, I don’t ever get flats, and it has saved my bacon on a long way from the car ride several times. Has a cool feel too.

Don’t even get me going on suspension hacks. (Replacing IFP rubber caps with Schaefer valves, repairing damaged shock shafts with filler and some polish time, etc etc.)

Ie ghetto procore.

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6/22/2020 7:45 PM

Velocipedestrian wrote:

I'm using an XT shifter with the ratchet tooth filed off and release trigger removed as a dropper lever.
Simple but effective.

crap! I use a XTR, am I too excessive?

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6/22/2020 8:44 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/23/2020 10:01 AM

One time I borrowed 8 rotor bolts off a wheelset and forgot to put them back on before a ride, leaving 2 rotor bolts per wheel. I rode for maybe 2 hours before my bike started to make a horrible knocking noise and pulsing when I braked. Turns out I'd ovalized the bolt holes for the 2 bolts that were left. The rotor mounts for those two holes were ruined, and because they were bent out of shape I couldn't put a rotor on the wheel. I got out my trusty dremel and cut the 2 mounts off each wheel. Worked great, and the wheels are running to this day with 4 rotor bolts per wheel.

This is a great thread, and for my money, a modified Shimano front shifter is the best feeling dropper post lever ever invented. https://www.instagram.com/p/BcN-E35nvoP/

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6/23/2020 1:24 AM

Patching tire slashes that are too big for sealant with shoe goo and amazon tire patches. Have to do it for every one of my rear tires somewhere along their lifetime.

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6/23/2020 5:08 AM

Broken Hope Tech 3 lever clamp. No local stores have spares, it's a Friday arvo and a brand new bike.. so scoured the warranty warehouse I work in for something that would work...boom...bmx stem face plate!

Hacksaw to cut it down and I'm set for weekend shreds!

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6/23/2020 1:31 PM

AvidTrailRider wrote:

Patching tire slashes that are too big for sealant with shoe goo and amazon tire patches. Have to do it for every one of my rear tires somewhere along their lifetime.

I always carry a small rubber cement tube and a few patches with me. I fixed two other riders tires on the trail in one weekend due to those bigger tears.

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6/23/2020 5:17 PM

The BMX stem is mad genius. So simple.

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6/23/2020 5:53 PM

I just started riding again after @ 2 decades off the bike, so being a cheap bastard and not having a quiver of bike tools anymore, I used Phil Kmetz's hack to seat tubeless tires with a $10 home depot pump sprayer:



and Neko Mulally's priceless tip to use a shop vac extension tube to seat a headset race onto my fork:
(can't find the link but it worked like a charm!)
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6/25/2020 4:07 PM

Perfect timing! I just ripped the hose out of my XT8100 Caliper, I had to order a replacement directly from Shimano and its about two weeks out.

In the meantime, I'll be running a low end shimano caliper my shop had laying around with my XT8100 lever. I'll get to the install tomorrow or over the weekend. Not the hackiest repair but it fits

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6/26/2020 4:13 PM

Oh, another one on my bike.
OneUp upper guide, with the outer plate dremelled off to clear my bash ring. I like the idea of a taco bash, but those little ISCG tabs don't take it like a crank spider can.
(Why don't people use bash rings anymore? Somehow they went from the new thing only groms used, to old school thing only dads use... Am I old?)

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7/22/2020 12:09 AM

Velocipedestrian wrote:

The BMX stem is mad genius. So simple.

sometimes the simple solution is the best, 1 month and 300km later and I only just got around to ordering a new one today

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