Speaking of gravel riding hacks and helps – stuff that works, here is not really a hack but a warning. If you are going to bleed your hydraulic brakes, the fluid WILL shoot everywhere and contaminate everything. Save yourself a bunch of money and aggravation by being super careful with the pads and rotors. DO NOT leave them in while bleeding, do it right or you will end up with heinously shrieking brakes and will end up sticking a fork in your eye. Don’t touch ther brake pad surfaces and don’t touch the rotor surfaces. Period. Thank you.

Gravel riding shorts for wearing over your padded shorts

Traditional bike shorts with a padded chamois are pretty excellent, if you’re into that kind of thing. But now that you’re a gravel rider, you can relax a bunch and not have to look like a roadie. Not to say roadies don’t look good,  but try to look more like a mountain biker. Unless you’re in a gravel race, aero and weight just aren’t as big of considerations.

We have found a few solutions that have been working well and they usually under $30. The burgundy and olive shorts are from Arsuxeo and I found them on Ali Express for less than $30. The blue shorts are from Amazon for about $30.
Overall, the Eddie Bauer Outlet store has my favorite option in the Rainier shorts or I have gotten pants and then cut the legs off. They ran about $60 and are super comfy and fit over my bike shorts well.

The Blue shorts next to the have MTB on the label and are pretty heavy duty and can fend off weather pretty well. I seem to recall them being about $30 and probably came from Ali Express too.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to spend $100+ for mtb shorts.

Bring you bike computer back from the dead

My older Garmin 520 bike computer has been in service for a few years now and it’s been great until too many crashes cracked the screen. There is even a hole in the top corner and since I ride in the PNW, it’s plenty wet most of the time. My computer started shorting out after getting rain in it. It would take 2 or 3 days to dry out and start working again and it seemed like the next time it got wet, it would be tits up.

A roll of this heavy duty Gorilla tape was perfect. I cut a strip, put it on the face of the computer, cut off the excess with an Exacto knife and my problems were over. Voila.

Make a bottle cage into a bear spray holder

Since papa don’t take no mess, I always ride with bear spray and have found a great way to carry it. I took an old water bottle, cut off the top at the narrowest point to make it snug, then used electrical tape to finish it off. After that I then just slid the bear spray into it. I have it mounted on my front fork for quick access and you just pull it and the water bottle comes out, you don’t need the can to come out. Works like a champ, not a bad gravel riding hack

Get your GoPro 10 to perform up to its potential

Anybody who has a GoPro 10 knows that the stock batteries are absolute shit. I rode a 20 mile event recently and burned through 3 batteries and that was at mile 17.

The camera is an expensive hood ornament without battery power so when I got home, I went to work. GoPro has numerous accessories on their site and since I became a member, I get a discount.

I ordered 2 of the upgraded batteries, then the special battery door, and then hooked the camera up the an external battery. You need to have a battery in the camera for the external battery to power it, and cold affects the batteries quite a bit too. Fix this by cutting up an old fleece baklava and wrapping the external batteries, now it’s all good.

The custom battery door isn’t completely waterproof so that’s why I have 2 of the new batteries for extreme weather and underwater shooting.
I just use a top-tube bag to put the battery in and it all works great, the camera now kicks ass and lasts forever.