BikeE Tips & Tricks

I'm gradually learning about the BikeE.  As I think of neat stuff, I'll add it to this list.

1) The Easy Way To Wax Your Chain
The biggest problem with oiling a chain is the nasty tendency that oil has to attract dirt.  There is a lot of surface area on a bike chain.  The road grit mixes with oil to form an abrasive compound that causes rapid wear to the chain, derailleurs, etc.  I discovered White Lightning a couple of years ago.  It seems to be parafin dissolved in a volatile solvent.  It has a viscosity similar to water.  Apply it to the chain while back pedaling and it works its way into the links as well as coating the surfaces.  In a few minutes the solvent evaporates leaving a clear coating of parafin, which is an excellent dry lubricant and rust preventative.  Dust doesn't stick to a waxed chain.  If a larger drop of mud splatters onto the chain, it will drop off, perhaps taking a little wax with it, but the chain stays clean and shifts great.  The last batch of White Lightning I bought had been reformulated and seemed too thin.  Several other manufacturers make a similar product.  I just ordered Ice Wax, a similar product from Pedro's and I like it a lot better.  It seems to be a softer wax but still remains on the chain well and does a good job of sealing, protecting and lubricating.  Your local bike shop should carry some type of chain wax.  The first time you fix a rear flat and your hands are clean afterward, you'll really appreciate a waxed chain.

2) Topeak Pump and Tools
This is a fairly blatant commercial plug.  I had heard good stuff about Topeak products and customer service.  I bought their Mini Master Blaster pump and like it.  It's light weight but solid.  It pumps on both the extension and retraction strokes.  Then I bought the Alien and Hummer mini tools.  Both are lightweight, well designed and well built.  I carry the Hummer on the BikeE.  It has almost everything needed and is narrow enough to fit in a Tool-E style rear trunk.  I wanted the 15 mm open end wrench from the Alien so I could take off the rear wheel to change a flat.  I emailed Topeak to inquire about buying a replacement 15 mm wrench.  They wouldn't sell me one, they just mailed it at no charge.  Wow!  Great company, great products.

3) Tool-E Tray
BikeE owners rave about the Tool-E tray.  It's a good way to give your BikeE an internal frame mounted trunk.  It's ideal for storing spare tubes, tools, or a wallet.  I made my own, just for the fun of it.  The design is very well integrated into the BikeE frame.