Even though part of my job involves testing the latest and (supposedly) greatest mountain bike gear, I still have a stockpile of items that see regular use despite being multiple seasons old. Things like shoes that fit too perfectly to retire, knee pads that have saved my bacon on dozens of occasions, rain jackets that have kept me dry through multiple Pacific Northwest winters; the list goes on.
I started thinking about this topic the other day as I opened up a fresh tube of ShoeGoo in an attempt to eke a few more miles out of a shoe with a delaminating sole. As the toxic fumes wafted through my basement hideout, I started wondering what other riders do when their gear starts to get tattered and worn. A little time with a needle and thread can go a long way, and you don't need to be a professional seamstress to patch a rip or a blown-out seam. The fixes don't need to be pretty either, as long as they work – the goal is to revive an item's function, and fashion can take a backseat.
I'm far, far from the world's best sewer, but I can muddle my way through basic repairs thanks to all the practice I got fixing torn ski pants and jackets during my ski bum days. Back then, duct tape was the first step, and when that inevitably failed it was time for a better fix. Now, if a strap rips off a pack, or I tear a hole in the side of a favorite pair of shorts I'll at least try to repair it.
That brings us to this week's poll question - how often do you repair your mountain bike gear? In this case, gear is a blanket term for everything from shorts to shoes to backpacks. Basically, the non-bike components that you regularly use while riding.