October 2018 - Man Cave Master

Monthly Archives: October 2018

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Riding your mountain bike is really cool but what happens if, you know, trouble follows you wherever you go? A slipped bike chain? Sharp cables? Punctured wheel?

Well, a bike shop can help you with those things, but it would be nice if you could do that stuff by yourself. In this article, we are going to show you some easy bike maintenance tips you can put into practice on the go.

So, without further ado, here are our best five must-learn basic repair techniques.

1. Handlebar Wrapping

You know that the rubbery thingamajig on your handlebars will eventually wear off? Not to worry – redoing the wrapping is a piece of cake once you’ve done it a couple of times. Here’s what you will need to do to fix those handlebars like a pro:

  1. Pull the hoods off your shifters to reach the old tape.
  2. Using a straight screwdriver or a tire lever, begin removing the plastic caps from your handlebars.
  3. Unwrap the old tape with care. You don’t want pieces sticking to your handlebar.
  4. Inspect the brake and shifter cables. If they are loose, secure them in place with electrical tape.
  5. Pour some brake cleaner on a clean cloth and remove any old adhesive , grease from the handlebar.
  6. Take the new roll of tape, unwrap it if it has an adhesive strip.
  7. Keeping the tape under tension, start wrapping it around the handlebar. You have to make sure that half of your tape goes on top of your previous fold. Continue doing this until you reach the end of the handlebar.
  8. Tuck in the excess inside the handlebars and put back the plastic caps.

2. Cap Off the Cables

Capping off loose cables is not just for the looks. If you want to work clean and like pro, cap off the ends of the brake or shifter cables. That way, you won’t end up cutting yourself while riding the bike. You can do that using a common pair of pliers.

Once you cut off the sharp end, you can trim them some more using a file. Also, if you really want to do a great job, you might consider putting some small, metallic caps on.

3. Truing the Wheels

Probably the least pleasurable aspect of owning a bike is having to go through the whole rim truing process. Reading about it or seeing someone doing it in your stead might look like neurosurgery, but it’s not all that bad.

Still, it is a meticulous and time-consuming process. Now, truing very much depends on your bike’s wheels.
For instance, MTBs are easier to calibrate compared to city bikes since the design allows for on-the-spot repairs. Check out these cool 26 inch mountain bikes tires reviews to get an idea of what you’re up against when trueing those tires. So, with this in mind, let’s talk shop.

    1. Turn the bike upside down and start by removing the tubes.
    2. Using a spoke wrench, check to the spokes to determine which are tight and which are loose.
    3. Take a ruler or something resembling one and place it underneath the fork.
    4. Give the wheel a couple of spins.
    5. If the wheel touches the ruler, use your spoke wrench to tighten the spoke nipples.
    6. Move on to the brakes and give those wheels another spin. At this point, the wheel’s edges should be equidistant from the brakes. If a wheel hits the brakes on either side tighten the spokes.

Congratulations! You now know how to true your bike’s wheels.

4. Fixing a Puncture in the Bike Tire

What do you do when there’s a puncture in one of the wheels? No, taking the bike to the nearest bike shop doesn’t count as doing it yourself.

To fix a puncture, put your bike upside down and take out the tube. To find out where the puncture is, put some air into the tire and place it under water.

You can also use some soap to see the hole. Once you have identified it, check for sharp objects. If there are none, use regular glue and sand on the damaged spot. After that, apply a wheel kit patch onto it and you are ready to go.

5. Reattaching a Bike Chain

The last item on our list has a bit to do with a mountain biker’s worst nightmare – a slipped bike chain. Fixing it is easy and we are going to show you how to do it.

Turn the bike upside down, push the rear derailleur forward. Take the chain off and put it back on the ring. Lift the rear wheel a bit and start turning the pedals forward. That’s it.

You now have everything you need to repair the most common issues in mountain bikes. As you can see, you really don’t need to spend a fortune on super easy jobs when you can do them all by yourself.

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Remember that old as the world adage, kids – just because something’s old, that doesn’t mean it’s useless.

Because every little bit of yourself should reflect the kind of person you are, in today’s article we are going to talk about old-school grooming products.

Some of you have probably seen them in your grandfather’s bathroom or shaving kit, while others are far too young to have heard about them.

No worries – we’re going to prove to you that, sometimes, going old-school is better than only sticking to mainstream shaving solutions.

Our choices in Old-School Grooming Products

1. Shaving Soap

Let’s begin our stroll down memory lane with something you guys are going to love – ye old shaving soap. What’s that you ask? Well, not too long ago, that’s before the shaving cream and/or appeared in drug stores, men used shaving soap to moisten their facial hair before the grand finale with the razor.

If this is the first time you’ve heard about shaving soaps, let us try to describe them a bit and, perhaps, provide you with some valuable info.

So, the shaving soap is best described as a hard soap, not unlike the one you use to wash your hands, or the one our grandmothers used to wash laundry.

To use it as a shaving product, you will need to whip it into a lather, as the saying goes. The process’s very similar to what happens when you want to make butter out of cream. Appearance-wise, the shaving soap looks just a hockey puck.

Now, as far as the shaving part goes, this old-school grooming product is great for dry skin and, of course, for keeping those hairs up during shaving.

If you’re able to find shaving soap anywhere, here’s what you’ll need to do for that old-school experience – put it a cup, add water, and use your shaving brush to whip until you get a nice lather. Apply it to your face with the brush and start shaving.

Just because you finished shaving that doesn’t mean the experience’s over. For the best possible feeling, you should consider applying a hot towel immediately after rinsing your face.

Get a nice, clean towel and run it under the tap. Put the towel into the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds, then apply it to the face. Enjoy!

2. Aftershave and Face Tonic

That bottle of aftershave may be the last thing that could save you from those nasty razor burns, but it’s not the only thing our parents and grandparents used to get that spit and polish look.

Long before the aftershave lotion became available, gents took to the barber shop for various hair care products. Among the most popular was the so-called face tonic, commonly used to soothe the skin after the hot towel was removed.

The stuff’s been used for the better part of the 20th century, being slowly replaced by the more modern approach. Although the idea of going to the barber’s shop for a hot shave might have been abandoned, it was never forgotten.

And now, you can have the same post-shaving feeling as your grandfather did if you manage to purchase a bottle of face tonic. Careful with the bottle! The lotion’s pretty potent, so don’t put too much on your skin or else you’ll probably wind up smelling like you just took a dive in a perfumer’s vat.

3. Safety Razors

Forget about interchangeable heads or disposable razors! If you want the best shave of your life, trying getting your hands on one of these bad boys. And now, for a little history lesson. Did you know that the first patent for the safety razor has been filed in New York in 1880?

Back then, safety razors had a single edge which held in place a single blade which could have been replaced. Over the years, the patent evolved. The 20th-century safety razors packed stainless steels razors instead of those made from carbon steel. Why? Because they tend to rust easily.

Nowadays safety razors which take after the original design are made from high-quality stainless less and have an enhanced grill which prevents nicks or more serious injuries.

Why choose a safety razor over a 5-bladed cartridge? Well, it’s all about the distance between the blades and your face.

If you’re one who uses a razor more often than an electric shaver, you should have noticed by now that the blades are set at an angle to prevent the blades from coming into direct contact with the face.

That might do wonders if you don’t want to end up with cuts on your face, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could experience that same thing you do when living the barber’s shop?

Well, you can with a safety razor, but exercise caution. Even though the grill prevents cuts, it’s still something different compared to your everyday razors. Use plenty of shaving soap, slow moves, and a hot towel afterward.

4. Body Powder

Summer time’s great – going to the beach, wearing T-shirts, stuff like that. Unfortunately, the same thing can’t be said about sweat. Yes, we get that you’ve tried every product on the market, but you just can’t shake that icky feeling.

Now, if you’re Gung-Ho about getting rid of that malodorous body odor, you should consider going old-school.

This is where the so-called body powder comes in. If the name doesn’t ring any bells, maybe we should mention that the stuff’s also goes by the name of talcum powder. Yes, the powder that athletes used before their performance can be employed to fend off those nasty smells.

It’s easy to get ahold of – just visit your local supermarket or drug store. If you can’t find one in the men’s body care department, you can always grab one from the infant care.

5. Pomades

If you’re a classic movies buff, then you probably heard the word “pomade” more than once. Now, for those of you who don’t have any clue, pomades are creams used for hair styling. Very popular in the 18th and 19th century, these products were used to give the hair that slick and shiny aspect.

As far as the ingredients are concerned, the first pomades were made from lard or bear fat.

After a while, the manufacturers ditched fat-based ingredients, and, instead, opted for stuff like petroleum jelly, lanolin, and, of course, beeswax.

Pomades are popular even nowadays, especially for those who took a liking to hairstyles such as the quiff, ducktail or pompadour. Try this awesome stuff yourself, we dare you!

6. Brylcreem

Manufactured in the United Kingdom since 1928, Brylcreem is a thick hair cream made from mineral oil and beeswax. Although it might seem like a bad idea to put the stuff on your hair, Brylcreem can really give it that shine you’ve been looking for.

For the best possible results, you should try putting the stuff on after a shower. Just run a comb through and that’s it. Unfortunately, nowadays, Brylcreem is hard to come by.

Still, with a little luck and a quick Google search, you’ll be able to find a can or two.

7. Hair Tonic

If you really want to give your hair that freshly combed aspect, you should definitely try out some hair tonic. Similar to pomade, hair tonic has been used until the ‘70s for hairstyle and to stimulate scalp blood flow.

Regrettably, with the advent of styling products like hair conditioner and mousse, the hair tonic fell behind. Luckily, the traditional barbering avant-garde brought back this golden oldie.

As we’ve said, hair tonic’s commonly used to massage the scalp. It stimulates follicle regeneration and makes your hair look really shiny. Some hair tonics even have scents to make your post-trimming hair smell nice.

8. Styptic Pen

And the last item on our list is the so-called styptic pencil, an item that all of you should have in your shaving kit. What’s that you ask? It’s a chemical pencil laced with an antihemorrhagic substance.

In other words, it helps you treat small nicks. This will come in handy the next time you’ll cut yourself during shaving. Just apply the tip of the pen to the wound, wait a few seconds, and, voila! There’s no more bleeding.

Conclusion

There you have it, folks – the lost but not forgotten grooming products. As we’ve probably mentioned a couple of times, these are kind of hard to come by, but not impossible. Check with your barber to see how you can get ahold of these products.

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In a world of increasing gender fluidity, we find ourselves at a rocky, masculinity impasse: what does it mean to be male in the 21st century?

As we navigate our way through a Kafka-esque labyrinth of social acceptability, who can the modern man look to for guidance to reinforce what manhood really means? Has masculinity become an anachronistic construct in a world desperate to find balance through equality of the sexes? Or can equality be reinforced by alpha behaviors that we’d all like to demonstrate, regardless of our birth gender?

Here are five of manliest movie characters every big movieholic wish could be. And perhaps, along the way, we can examine how we can all become a little more like them.

1. Indiana Jones

A lecturing university professor whose obsession with historical artifacts sends him around the world on hazardous archeological digs. OK – as elevator pitches go, that one’s drying up quickly. But, to his credit, he can hold down several jobs in synchronicity.

 

Jones is surely the ultimate beacon of masculinity, and one of the great male archetypes from whom we could all glean something positive. A man of true action, he might lack a little oratory charisma in the lecture hall, but he certainly makes up it for in dedication to the cause.

His research missions restore balance to the planet: returning artifacts to their rightful owners and defeating Nazis hell-bent on world domination.

Quick on his feet, a whizz with a whip, and a smooth-talker to boot, Indiana Jones could charm the hind-legs off of the proverbial donkey. And he never gives up.

One of Indy’s most manly moments has to be in the Temple of Doom: on the run from a murderous cult and trapped in the middle of a creaky old rope bridge – enemies approaching from either end.  He ties his foot precariously around an unreliable-looking piece of string, and hacks at the supporting rope. Rock hard.

2. James Bond

James Bond is a rainbow of contradictions – a gentleman and a womanizer; with both brain and brawn; a hero and a killer. That’s quite a worrying combination of character traits for a man who holds a License to Kill. He’s a shoot-first talk-later kind of guy.

Perhaps, in some incarnations, James is an anachronistic parody of 1980s throw-away sexism – but in each of his incarnations, his actions reflect the times. And, thankfully, those times have changed.

Take the Roger Moore school of Bonding – he rarely has a hair out of place, with women inexplicably falling at his feet; and when he does get into a scuffle, it’s fought with a distinctly lackadaisical nonchalance, leaning much closer to camp than Herculian.

But some Bonds are manlier than others – hitting the pinnacle in his current incarnation as the fight-hard, die-hard, nearly-die-trying Daniel Craig.

Bond is determined, single-minded, dashing, and self-assured. He fights for the good, even if it’s not always completely clean combat. But who doesn’t need a little bit of that in their life?

3. The Terminator

OK – stick with me on this one.

Firstly, Arnie’s titular Terminator, played with all the panache of a dining table chair, goes on a journey – from total bad-ass who refuses to die, to good guy protecting the characters he was out to destroy earlier in the franchise.

Schwarzenegger’s T-800 embodies everything that’s uber-manly – the physique of a Greek god; the single-minded objective to kill or protect; and who could ever forget the hilarious one-liners? It seems that even this most testosterone-driven android from a terrible fate has a hidden, sensitive side. He probably knits in private.

If there was ever a bad-guy cum good-guy that you’d want protecting you from super-androids on a mission to kick your ass into next week, it’s going to be Arnie’s T-800. The brain of a computer; the brawn of a machine; the charm of a microwave oven. We could all be a little more Arnie.

4. Han Solo

Han might be a self-interested opportunist, sharing a hunk of junk with a growling walking carpet, but he’s the total epitome of masculine bad-ass who finds a conscience.

From his opening scene in Star Wars: A New Hope, this scruffy nerf-herder confronts the no-nonsense Greedo; leaving no doubt that Han is the guy you’d want to shoot across the galaxy at light-speed with. Of questionable ethics, perhaps, this loner goes on a transformation journey through this classic series of movies, from rooky trier to team-player of the Rebellion.

We grow to love this trigger-happy freedom fighter, battling against the Dark Side for the principles he comes to believe in. Han Solo is a truly great role model; without any of the sugar-coating.

5. John McClane

John McClane was the real turning point for actor, Bruce Willis; who’d risen to fame as the wise-cracking David Addison – love interest of Cybill Shepherd’s Maddie Hayes – in the glorious comedy detective series, Moonlighting.

McClane is probably Willis’s most notorious role, firmly planting him in the Hall of Fame of good guys unafraid of spending a day off fending innocent civilians from evil terrorists with unreasonable demands.

McClane is rock hard, with a determination that’s unswayed by gunfire or dodgy South African accents. He might break into a serious sweat, getting gravely injured along the way, but his die-hard determination makes McClane a role model of strength, justice, and a life-long advocate of the unbranded, white T-shirt.

So, when the world is awash with contradictions, we can always look back and admire the man; unafraid to be strong when strength is demanded, and sensitive when sensitivity helps him win the day.

Determination, strategic mastery, and a can-do attitude go a long way in reinforcing the alpha traits of the manliest characters of the silver screen and way beyond.