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We love to hear from readers and fellow riders. Sharing experience, tips and know-how is what RoadBikeRider is all about!

Every road rider is -- as we often say re: coaching -- an experiment of one. You're bound to find a different/better/unique way to do something related to cycling based on your own experience. And sharing your Quick Tips, Favorite Rides, Favorite Local Bike Shops, and more, with the community helps us all. Take a look at all the ways you can TALK TO RBR in the column to the right.

Consider Alpaca Instead of Merino Wool in Your Socks

My feet get cold even when I'm wearing purpose-built winter cycling boots. It's an issue, I know, for many riders. Some of us get cold hands, others cold feet. Blood simply does not flow as well to the extremities in cold weather, as our bodies are designed to, in effect, pull blood toward our core to help maintain our core temperature. Thus, the hands and feet suffer – and need extra help staying warm. This year I upgraded to Alpaca socks.

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Soak Your Chain for Extra Life

This QT is based on a recent experiment I decided to do on my last new chain. I am a years-long user of Chain-L chain lube (click for the RBR review). It is a honey-thick lube (in fact, it looks like dark honey) that you apply to a new chain, let it soak into the pins, wipe off the excess and install the chain. It's a bit of a messy, time-consuming process (I let it soak in overnight), but the results are unbeatable — you really don't need to re-lube again for the life of the chain. A slight touch-up after a rain ride, maybe; but that's it. Now, about that experiment.

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Good Vibes Keep a Ride Positive

Today's QT comes to us from Premium Member Russ Starke, who offers a suggestion for how to not let idiot drivers drag you down during – or after – a ride. It's about shifting your focus from the negative side to the positive side. Here's what Russ writes:

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Sometimes, a Frankenstein Approach to Tech Works

This QT is based on my recent experience with – of all things – water bottles. But it brought to mind a conversation I had several years ago at Interbike with a Shimano tech expert (I'll circle back to that in a minute). I came home from this year's Interbike with a couple of new Polar insulated bottles, which feature the new Zipstream high-flow, self-sealing cap. The new nozzle easily pulls up a couple of millimeters to open, then pushes back down to close. In my post-Interbike coverage, in a mini-review of the new bottles, I wrote:

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Defunkify Your Cycling Laundry

Editor's Note: We continue our recent series of QTs from the RBR Crew this this week's submission from Sheri Rosenbaum. Sheri offers some time-honored advice on laundering your cycling clothes, both to get out the stink and to make sure your clothes are best-positioned to clean them adequately. I add a couple of comments to Sheri's, including a recommendation for a workout clothing detergent I recently started using. —John Marsh

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Take Fit Specs, Do Pre-Ride Check When Renting or Traveling with Your Bike

Editor's Note: We continue our recent series of QTs from the RBR Crew this this week's submission from Coach Rick Schultz. Rick offers some solid advice on those times when you're traveling with your bike, or when you rent a bike on vacation. Here's what Rick writes: When traveling with your bicycle or when renting a bike via a bike shop or tour group, make sure to bring along your fit specs, and before riding give it a quick "once-over."

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Treat Your LBS Mechanics Well For Great, Timely Service

Editor's Note: We continue our recent series of QTs from the RBR Crew this this week's submission from Coach John Hughes. If you depend on your LBS to keep your bike in shape and make all the major repairs, it's time-honored advice. Here's what John writes: I just got back from Icebox Mountain Sports up here in Fraser, Colorado. They do all the work on my bikes in the summer and XC skis in the winter. I went in last week and asked for stronger legs. Deb, the owner, didn't have those but she ordered me a cassette with easier gears.

 

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File a 'Ride Plan' With Someone, If Possible

Editor's Note: We continue our recent series of QTs from the RBR Crew this this week's brief-but-worthy submission from Coach Dan Kehlenbach. After Dan offers his tip, I'll add a bit to it at the end. Here's what he writes: I try and file a "ride plan" with my wife and let her know the general route I plan on taking, just in case something happens. If I change plans while en route, I’ll send her a text. 

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Use the Correct Japanese Standard Screwdriver on Limit Screws

Today's QT is another homegrown one, from Tech Editor Jim Langley. It's probably safe to say that if Jim didn't know this, not many people do. Here's what he wrote: Thanks to the Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association I recently learned that all these years I've been using the wrong screwdriver to turn the limit screws on Japanese derailleurs! It turns out that there is a Japanese screw standard (who knew?).

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