Tips and Tricks for all season Urban or rural Assaults!
At first I thought I'd call this an Urban Assault Bike, but after doing some research, I've learned that a road bike is less than ideal for Urban assault style rides. So, henceforth the name.
I'm going to share with you just a few of the modifications, equipment, and clothing I use when I go for a ride, winter and summer. This is just a short intro, and there is no substitute for experience.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada has one of the most extensive cycling pathway systems in North America. I can get from my house in the 'burbs, to the downtown core, pretty much exclusively on the pathway system. Calgary is also the only city in Canada to have a Provincial Park within its city limits. Fish Creek Park spans the city east to west, and has excellent paved and dirt paths.
Probably not as difficult as an extreme rider would like, but not too bad for a good work out.

Step 1: Carry Yor Stuff

Most cycling sites encourage using panniers and bike bags to carry the load. However, I don't like the thought of leaving the bike locked up with bags all over it; also, if I have to bail out, or the bike is lost, I've still got my gear. When I go geocycling, I do not hesitate to dismount when the terrain becomes too rough, lock the bike to a tree and carry on.

For winter use, I use a large sized day pack. It's a little less restrictive than a waist belt and with a pack, I can carry the extra winter stuff, such as a a spare dry layer, fire lighters, thermos, etc.

<p>Thank you for your tips! ;)</p><p>DAMN, I'm one of that fools who cycle without an helmet. My justification is VERY STUPID: I feel not cool with that (well I am a VERY low self-exteem person, you don't know?! ;) ). There are very cool helmets, bmx-style (they recall soldier's ones) and they are cheap too (15 euro--&gt; 20 USD). The day I will tear apart my head and will live with thick scars on my face I will remember this post! .-( I am planning to wear an helmet so soon.</p><p>But I still wear a gumshield: it's very &quot;el cheapo&quot; (5 USD?!), they're self molding, they're transparent, coloured, with funny themes (like...vampire teeth! eheheh)...maybe they're badass too?! :-) Well, I was/am a thay boxer, so I've already had mine at home so: why don't wear extra protection? (extra?! I need my helmet!).</p>
thanks! it will help me a lot!
Haha! I really liked this instructable even though it's the polar opposite of the way I&nbsp;bike. I&nbsp;like everything light and to only bring the bare minimum.<br /> <br /> You, however, could get attacked by a bear, struck by lightning all while getting lost and somehow survive.<br /> <br /> This made me realize how bad I&nbsp;need to get a repair kit and eye protection, though. Thanks!<br />
I think this guy's hardcore and goes on long wilds in wilderness / winter conditions. He did say he varies it according to the ride. But glad it made you think!
And u-locks can only lock the front wheel. The frame is worth much more than the front wheel!
I have a big U lock and it locks the fame and both wheels. Ideal for leaving it in town. <br> <br>It's funny though - you see both u locks and cable locks locking just the front wheel - and often on a quick release bike.
U locks can be used in different ways, not only to lock the front wheel. When I use my U lock, I lock the rear wheel + frame to the bike rack. Rear wheels are more expensive than front ones ;).
I work in a bike shop and have seen many bikes come in that were in the same condition as that bike. I have also personally had a couple of bike destroyed be oncoming cars...... most of them costing hundreds of dollars to repair!
Good Info Tommi..Enjoyed the read and favorited it...Hey we all know that we all have different ideas on how to ride and what with..As Tommi said it's his take ,Not the Law...IF,IF,IF!!!...If your Aunt had &quot;Cahoonies&quot; she'd be your Uncle.Good Instructable Tom....Good clean Information for the&quot;Newby's&quot;.Thanks
i hate those thin ones with lots of holes and stuff. on wipeout i had stones punched through the thin plastic layer and almost 2cm into the Styrofoam. after that i got a skate board helmet and there tuff. 20$ was worth it rather then 10 on a plastic on that took one wipe out to destroy. the skate board helmet has taken so many hits and can take even more
actually all helmets are designed for only one large impact. Everything from motorcycle helmets to ski helmets to skate helmets are only good for one hard hit-- even falling off a shelf-- after that the foam is compressed/cracked and it will not protect from concussion, just road-rash.
I used studded tires in the winter here in SW Ontario. Wholly agree that their is alot of friction from the big knobs. A short trip (which I had, about 7 kms.) they are ideal, longer trips they may be very tiring. The studs 'crackle' when on clean pavement. Also, nothing will help you on wet ice, just don't turn. Don't ask how I know. :)
I agree here. The golden rule really applies when cycling urban areas: do onto others...
I had a 8 week old mountain bike end up in this shape once. I got clipped by a car, got away with only 2 steel screws in my ankle and a cut on the back of my head that required 3 staples and left a raised scar, I was not wearing a helmet at the time, I was lucky as the back pack I was wearing bunched up around the back of my head and neck and saved me from going full force onto the road with my head.<br> <br> Needless to say I wear a helmet now.<br> <br>
I'm live in Ecuador and MTB is extremly difficult for the geography but at the same time it's just simple amazing because you can travel a couple hundreds miles and you can be at beach, highlands or rainforest, your instructable was very helpfull, even went here don't snow never but our temp will be very low, with rain and fog or very tropical hot.&nbsp; Anyway, your instructable get me some new ideas and make me tune up my bike and take a road path.&nbsp; The only miss that you have it's personal security on road, maybe I will change the bear spray for pepperspray, the human animals are more dangerous.&nbsp; Well done, thanks. (sorry for my english obviously it's not my primary language)<br />
This really makes me want to load up my bike and take it for a long day-or-so ride back home. It also makes me want to go start wearing a helmet. I will say though, that traditional bike helmets do look tacky, but a skate helmet isn't so bad.<br />
I love your instructable. As an avid &quot;greenway cyclist&quot; myself I enjoyed seeing your take on some of the equipment used. I did notice a couple things that I disagree with though. I'm not trying to come down on your 'ible, just offering my own oppinion.<br/><br/>(1) You said you don't like U locks because they are too heavy? A U lock offers a lot more protection than a cable lock and weight is not really an issue on a bike loaded down like yours is in the pictures.<br/><br/>(2) Why carry a patch kit <em>and</em> a spare tube? In the unlikely event of multiple flats on one ride, call a friend to pick you up or just walk home. I did not see a pump or canned air in your gear so how do you inflate your tire after a flat anyway?<br/><br/>(3) Why carry chain lube and a cog brush? Drivetrain care is important but lube your chain before you leave the house and you shouldn't need to re-lube it until you get home.same with spare parts. Tighten stuff up beofre you ride and you shouldn't need to replace anything mid-ride.<br/><br/>(4) How did &quot;Body Armor&quot; get a full step dedicated to it? Anyone who rides agressivly enough to require that level of protection should already be well aware of the safety gear required. <br/><br/>Some things you might add that can really improve the quality of a ride:<br/>Bicycle headlights and tail lights<br/>Bike-specific shorts (lycra or MTB style)<br/>Clipless pedals<br/><br/>
1) Agreed 2) Because you don't have to call a friend in such case, a patchkit doesn't wheight anything I agree to the lights. I prefer a helmet light tho. I'm not a friend of lycra. The smallest twig can rip that open, then you have to ride at 0°C with a nekkid butt. No thanks, i use some old military trousers.
Multiple flats in one ride isn't so unlikely, and it can sure ruin a ride being stuck with a flat tire. Anyway, its nice to have an extra just in case you run across someone else who blew a tube. I usually carry two, just in case I get the chance to be a nice guy.
When I go light,with only a pack, I prefer the coiled cable, although this cold weather has me rethinking my lock choices. You're correct about a U-locks protection factor (I lost the last key for my U-lock, and thought the cable would be a good replacement...). -I carry a patch tube and a tube because of the weather; if it's really cold, I change the tube, and pump up with a pump (in a small frame bag or my pack). -I carry chain lube and cog brush because when it gets muddy / slushy and the gearing goes bad, I'll stop and clean the gunk /grass out from the gears. Sometimes I'm 100+ km from home, too. -I have no idea why I gave body armour a step of it's own. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I wear cycling shorts under my cycle pants; no one needs or wants to see me in Lycra / Spandex. I have the head / tail lights you mentioned, and use them in the dark; my glow strips are redundancies, as I do not trust any motorist. Thanks for the Positive Feedback!
If you are riding longer distances and in remote areas I can understand packing more stuff. I was thinking of shorter distance urban greenway rides and it seemed like overkill. Now I want to fly to Canada and ride those trails!
if you ever ride a road bike tire, you'll be amazed at how fast they roll... Even though they obviously aren't for "assault" bikes lol effeminate how offensive :P
A road tire just doesn't cut it on rougher terrain. BTW, this is my newest tire, it's quite heavy, but indestructable and reasonably fast on the street: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.schwalbe.com/gbl/en/produkte/mtb/produkt/?ID_Produktgruppe=44&amp;ID_Produkt=241">http://www.schwalbe.com/gbl/en/produkte/mtb/produkt/?ID_Produktgruppe=44&amp;ID_Produkt=241</a><br/><br/>The don't come cheap, but you need to have good tires if you ride through the thick of it.<br/>
lol u prob look like a hobo
He probably looks like a bike warrior. I like the velo-ninja style.
Sorry! I'm a foreinger and I haven't got the phrase: <<Cable locks freeze in a coil!! If I could do it again, I'd get a straight cable lock.>> ?Do you mean that you can't move the cable from the shape of the above picture, if it gets really cold?? (Thanks!)
Right, if it get's wet and then very cold the windings could freeze together. I haven't had a problem jet to break the ice tho.
i am going to go on a 3 day bike trip with a friend and we need to know what bags to have, what to bring etc. etc. the only difference is instead of a tent we are using backpacking hammocks.... does anyone know of an instructable that may be useful?
:-) Are you Danny Bonaduce?
Plenty of good, no, excellent advice there, I like to cycle (still need to get a helmet, but not had any major incidents yet), and I have learned some things the hard way (not taking food/water, cycling without knowledge of the area and getting lost, not using lights or having reflectors (hey, it was a scavenged bike!!!) and being told off by the police, not having a pump, not looking after the gears & chain and so on...), so now my bike is adorned with safety equipment, has a pannier bag set (comes off easily and can be carried like a briefcase), I carry LOTS of water and fruit juice, I pack plenty of food, I take 2 mobile phones (you never know if one will be stolen), I take my wallet but no cash (debit cards are accepted pretty much everywhere these days), and of course the tools, lock, pump and other essentials... :) I'm still worried about riding on the roads though, I have done it, but I've been scared out of my wits every time I do so, I don't know what foreign roads are like, but UK ones and the ridiculous traffic control we have can really put inexperienced cyclists off road riding... :S
Great Instructable.... A few points if I may? If I go into a Store, (7/11. liquor store, etc......) MY BIKE GOES WITH ME! Heck, Moms take strollers in a store, why shouldn't I take my BIKE? If the store don't like it, Leave and boycott them, there are enough places in these economically depressed times that don't mind if you park your MTB in the store or even wheel it round....... just my $0.02 worth!
It is Safeway policy, if you are not causing harm or riding your okay, unless it's overly crowded, if you are not in a bad town (because they only lock it in bad places) you can ask to leave your bike in the break room.
I have a set of apex front and back fenders like that laying around, took them off because they were such a hassle getting on and off the bike, rubbing on the tire constantly and "reshaping" them. Even just on my hardtail.
"I'd rather get yelled at for cycling on the sidewalk than being run over on the street." Agreed. totally.
As for being prepared for multiple flats, or any other recurring problem: After many months without any trouble at all, I was presented with no less than six (yes, six!) flats in one 52 mile ride. I inspected the wheel/tire after every flat (I work on these things on a regular basis, so I know what to look for), and installed a new tube every time. There's safety in numbers, in more ways than one. As one of the rolling club mechanics, I carried a few extra tubes... but still had to borrow two by the end of the ride. After that ride, the same tire/wheel went through a couple years of riding around the Dallas, TX area, including downtown and the 'burbs, with nary a problem.
my u-lock attaches to my frame
Great tips. I'm a big fan of hockey stick tape for frame protection and mounting accessories. It's not a durable as cable ties and tubes, but it is cheap and lightweight.
Panniers don't have to stay attached to the bike. Good ones go on and off very easily and have shoulder strap attachments. I agree however that it's very fun to go on a bike/hike trip but in that case I bungee the backpack to the rear rack.
Thanks for all the tips, there were a few in there I hadn't thought of, plus I found online how to make a homemade map holder as well. Sweet gear in the first pic, I like the urban assault look.
Yeah, I remember when that guy got shot. Edmonton's a freaky city lately, and with the worst drivers in the country to boot. Good instructable!
Nice instructable, but how did you attach the bags? Also, won't the bags get in the way of your pedalling? Thanks for any replies...
where do you get that kind of armor?!I WANT SOME!!!!
You know you're from Canada when:<br/><br/>&quot;<strong>Beware</strong>: Cable locks freeze in a coil!! If I could do it again, I'd get a straight cable lock. I found the U-lock heavy and hard to store.&quot;<br/>
Or you are from Alaska.
Hahaha yes! I happened to me 2 or 3 times this winter... U Lock.... two tips here... first is what I learned later (and no real freeze since) from my LBS... drop a couple little bit of chain oil in the key slot. For the story, that's the same LBS that nicely washed my bike when I had it in for repair.... but on a day when it was maybe -15°C out... I took it during lunch, locked it and went back to work. When I left that night not only was the lock dead frozen, but the shifters were too ;P took a good kilometre or two before everything came back to normal. The second option is a lighter (preferably the butane torch type), it will unlock a frozen lock in a couple of seconds, as long as you don't mind burning the nearby plastic a little.
Intense. +1
it looks like you couldnt aford a moving truck
Nice.... very nice... Good job on the Instructible too...!
gonadectomy - that is so true! I would suggest adding passive protection at night. A bit of 3M reflective tape on your bags will do wonders when you must go off the path. And as always, a good quality front and rear lights are a must. Cateye makes some very good units. They run about 25 each (front or back) but God knows it hurts to be hit by a car. Also, you van have the occasional pothole hide in the dark I salute you for biking in such cold weather. I usually stop urban cycling around 20F. The windchill just gets to you.
Great! What about an electronic blinker though? Being able to see is just as important as being seen in my opinion.

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