Most useful item bought

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
York Commuter
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Most useful item bought

Postby York Commuter » 19 Jan 2009, 7:42pm

OK folks we have the very entertaing most useless item bought

How about a most useful item ever - let's keep them cheap as surely the most useful ever must be our bikes :)

my opening offerings are

1) Schwalbe Marathon tyres - speaks for them themselves

2) Butterfly Bars - radically improved my non-cyclist wife's riding, she'll happily do 30 or 40 miles a day with them


A commuter since 1991 when I moved to York.
A tourer since 1992
Now a married man who spends longer in the garage repairing and building than riding!

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Mick F
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Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Postby Mick F » 19 Jan 2009, 7:47pm

Most useful?

How about my Mercian Vincitore frame-set?

Also my set of ball-ended chromium-plated Allen keys.

And the MacBook I'm chatting to you with!
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby Si » 19 Jan 2009, 7:48pm

solid axle for front wheel of more faffing around carrying two locks or removing the front to lock it to the back.

Lidl pannier, big, waterproof enough, easy to get on and off but stays in place when on, has a shoulder strap...£10

marathon tyres (as above)

hhhmmmm, funny how all the 'useful' things are on the commuter.

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Postby boink » 19 Jan 2009, 8:05pm

There had to be a positive riposte to my miserable topic and here it is!

Got to be my 'secondary' top of the bar brake levers. under a tenner from Parkers, delivered and fitted by a local bike recycling outfit. Use them all the time and without them I couldn't really ride with drops. At least not with cleats at slow speeds as I'd tend to fall off when startled. Reaching down to brakes whilst simultaneously getting my foot unlocked was impossible.

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 19 Jan 2009, 9:07pm

Oh, and my Carry Freedom trailer!!!!
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby rogerzilla » 19 Jan 2009, 9:28pm

The best-ever bike-related thing I've bought is my Howies Chevron courier bag, without a doubt. They don't sell them any more :cry:

It gets used most weekdays for work, really is completely waterproof and I've even done the shopping with it.

Hector's House
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Postby Hector's House » 19 Jan 2009, 9:32pm

hmmmm... Tricky. It's a toss-up between:

1. seat post for under twenty quid. Made me be, hmmm, 1cm higher than my old seat post, meaning I could get full use of my legs.
2. bull-horn handlebars. For twenty quid, they mean my back doesn't break when I do long-haul rides!
3. My new spd shoes. Didn't think they'd be waterproof, but after 30 minutes in pelting rain my feet were as dry as when I left the flat!

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Postby EdinburghFixed » 19 Jan 2009, 9:55pm

SPDs are a strong contender. Not cheap as it is, but I'd still use them at three times the price.

After that, I'm afraid the most useful thing I've come across is the fixed-wheel drivetrain. Sure, there are many disadvantages, but no more fiddling just to get the bike running smoothly - wow! It's as close to a maintenance-free ride as you will ever get.

(If only it had a SON hub... sigh)

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Postby mercurykev » 19 Jan 2009, 10:03pm

A gilet and arm warmers.

They provide the solution to sweaty back, cold arms syndrome and offer untold versatility. I wear them in all but the warmest and wettest days.

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Postby paulah » 19 Jan 2009, 10:06pm

buff buff buff buff

and woolly liner socks from Blacks
ergon grips
a saddle designed to support the wider style of pelvis

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Postby glueman » 19 Jan 2009, 10:08pm

Any one of the Brooks saddles I've owned since the 1970s. Vitually unimprovable.

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Postby Edwards » 19 Jan 2009, 10:09pm

Cheap Shimano indexed ATB for the wife in the early nineties. Without this she would not be riding now.
Single sided clipless pedals from Lidl for £10.
Bob Jackson Audax bike for the wife on holiday in Kendal £220. Not cheap but very good value.
Aldi panniers as Si had.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

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Postby DavidT » 19 Jan 2009, 10:16pm

A thin fleecy skull cap has completely solved the problem of cold ears with a helmet in winter months.

I am also totally impressed with my Altura Micro Fleece gloves which I have had for nearly two years. Thin, windproof, breathable, amazingly warm for their weight and cheap (£10).

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Postby Beakyboy » 19 Jan 2009, 10:20pm

Mmmm tricky but i would narrow it down to either my Adidas Girano shoes (they are the only shoes i've owned that doesn't hurt my feet) or my Montane featherlight smock.... then there's my carbon second wind pump........
May the wind always be at your rear!

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Postby patricktaylor » 19 Jan 2009, 10:42pm

Cheap and useful: disposable latex gloves for wearing when fixing punctures en route (and for lots of other bicycle maintenance jobs).