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JACK’s Top Hacks

Good bike hacks turn good rides into a great rides. They can save you money and help your bike do something it couldn’t do before. Sometimes they make you smile, other times they make you feel smug. They can end in disaster, but often they actually save you from daily mini-calamities.

Here are five we love, in no particular order:

1. The ‘Hairband Handbrake’ - Courtesy of Cassie McCracken

Hair tie hack

Photo Cassie McCracken @mccracken.cassie

Cassie is a Tour Aotearoa finisher and generally top lady. This little hack helps her park her fully loaded mountain bike without the worry of the bike rolling and falling with her precious cargo. Not what you want when you’re tired and hungry at the end of a big day riding.

HOW TO: Keep a hairband doubled over on your grip. When you park your bike, pull it over your rear brake lever and your steed will stay exactly where you left it!

Perfect for anyone with a loaded bike. Nice one Cassie!


2. DIY Mudguard Mudflap

Image from instructibles

We love when hacks go the extra mile to make people smile. These pimped out mudguard flaps not only show off your style, but they also keep the person behind clean and dry.

HOW TO: Check out this great instruction article on Instructables to learn how.

Look funky and saves your mates and you from grime.


 3. Punctured Tube Bungee Cord

 Innertube bungee

Image from Omnium Cargo

Just need a strap now? There’s nothing cheaper or stretchier than your old inner tubes. We never throw them away, specifically for this reason. We’ve personally done entire backpacking trips like this. Omnium, the makers of the classic omnium cargo bike, have even designed their frames for them! If bicycle couriers are doing it, you know it’s pretty hardcore.

HOW TO: Cut an old tube at the valve, tie it where you need it, and then stretch it over your rack or pack.

Upcycle your inners, retain your load, for nothing!


4. JACK Basket Hack.

JACK Basket Hack

Yes Yes, we couldn’t resist including one for JACK because JACK was originally a bike hack from 2014. And we’ve made sure it’s retained this soul even in his modern refined form in 2021. JACK’s a platform for whatever carry container you have lying around the house / garage / nearest street corner.

HOW TO: Get a couple of straps, or a few zip ties (The reusable ones save waste!) and tie your container to JACK. We specifically like the Wald 137 basket. You can get it here from Wizard Works without the mountings, for a little cheaper!

Transform your rig from a Rack-Packing machine, to a Basket-Packing cruiser in literally 1 minute.


5. Electrical Tape Cage Mounts - Courtesy of Bikepacking.com

Electrical tape cage mounts

Image - bikepacking.com

We this one from the grand masters at Bikepacking.com, who have also compiled a list of their favourite hacks. Go check it out here.

Electrical tape is a staple of any bikepacker. It can be used for anything from frame protection to hacking your rather expensive dynamo light. This can give you extra hydration on any type of bike, allowing you to add that essential 1 or 2 more litres. And if it fails? Tape it back up, no probs. Brilliant!

HOW TO: Wrap the frame where you want the cage, with tape. Then place the cage in that same position and tape it as much as you think makes it secure. We’d say a good 3 / 4 layers of tape will do the trick for anything under 1l, but do more if you’re unsure. Now, just add bottles!

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Got any hacks you think we’re insane for missing off this list, then let us know. Sign in and leave a comment below or get us on rideon@wholegraincycles.com or Facebook or instagram.

Ride on Peeps. xx