Bike Hacks: Tackle(box) Your Parts Organization


Bike Hacks: Tackle(box) Your Parts Organization

Today Spencer highlights some tips for keeping your bike parts bin(s), bolts, and other small bits more organized, with an unlikely suspect, a tackle box. Get inspired to keep all your parts tidy and close at hand with today’s bike hack…

When I moved into my current home, I decided to draw a line in the sand: NO MORE BOLT JARS. I went so far as to even organize the bolt jars from the previous owner into little cubbies by screw type, bolts, etc. Once I built my backyard bike shed I planned to expand my no-bolt-jar ideal to all my bike parts. As luck would have it, my partner gifted me a cool vintage tackle box, courtesy of whomever Watt might have been. Since I am barely a fly fisherman, I had no need for such a large tackle box. I decided to use it to organize the plethora of bike bolts that insidiously populate my life.

The tackle box has made a great home for all those errant M5 bottle cage bolts, disc brake mounting bolts, washers, cleats bolts, and valve stems. Most any small part you commonly use and don’t want to have lots of small containers for. Being able to avoid digging around to find that bitty presta nut or cable ferrule at the bottom of a jar is so satisfying. In my shed, the tackle box conveniently rests on top of a rolling cart that also houses some of my tools. I can pop it open look for the bolt and then stash it away quickly.

While the tackle box functions exquisitely for wrangling smaller bits, I have also found craft and/or construction organizers to be great for slightly larger parts. Think thumb shifters, cleats, lights, brake calipers, headset parts, and bottom bracket cups. The kind of parts that would otherwise end up at the bottom of your parts bin can be easily found in these organizers. All of these organizers were found at the thrift store, so no need to break the bank to stay organized.

Despite my best efforts I still have a parts bin, but it is so much easier to manage when only filled with larger components. To wrangle even larger parts, I’ve got an old filing drawer for seatposts and cranks. And, another bin for cassettes and derailleurs. I don’t think I’ll ever be truly rid of a proper parts bin, especially with as many products as I run through, but having the small parts organized is truly satisfying.

I hope this article inspires you to find a way to organize and easily find those cool parts you’ve been hoarding. So when the time finally comes to use them you can actually use them! Don’t get frustrated rummaging through jars and boxes only to not find what you need and buy something new.

Since I have the better part of a bike co-op in my backyard these days, I’m always trying to keep my friend’s bikes rolling as best I can. Now, when a friend asks for some help and I need, say, some old square taper crank bolts, they’re right there in the tackle box. Valve stem leaking or clogged? Right there in the tackle box. Got a snake bite? Right there in the tackle box. I decided to leave a few of the quirky bits that came with the old tackle box for fun, even the “snake bite” kit. Don’t buy a snake bit kit y’all, they don’t do shit.

Do you have a great system for organizing your parts small or large? Share them in the comments below!