There is nothing more appealing than seeing photos of your dream bike – after all, gawking at a $10k bike is the next best thing to riding it. Scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, I’ve seen far too many bikes that have been ruined by improper bike-photo etiquette. Here are some tips to keep your bike photo-ready.
Clean the Bike
Preparation is 90% of perfection. This is especially true when it comes to your bike. Having a clean bike will not only provide a healthier bike and a smoother ride but will also give it that shimmer that will wow you and your friends. I like using a basic solution of Dawn Dish Soap. Get some water in a bucket with a splash of Dawn and scrub away with your sponge. Dawn acts as a powerful, yet gentle degreaser and is a simple way to get the muck and grime off your bike. The next most important step is relubrication. The degreaser acts in a way that not only takes the nasty muck off but will also strip your bike of the necessary lubricant. We swear by Tri-Flow here at The Bikesmiths as the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to bike lubricant. Tri-Flow is a simple way to get your chain, pivot points, and overall bike back to the highest standard. Apply to pivot points such as derailleurs and brake leavers to ensure proper protection.
Make Sure Your Crank is in the Proper Position
As silly as it may sound, yes there is a proper position to put your crank arms in before you snap your photo. Having the crankarms at a 3 o’clock position is the most aesthetic place for your arms to be. Even going to a 4 o’clock position to be in line with the chainstays is acceptable.
Put your chain in the big crank ring
Nothing ruins a photo more than not having the chain in the big ring. Perhaps the most golden rule of bike photography, plus you don’t want people thinking you use that small ring, do you?
Always Take the Photo With the Crank Side Facing You
As perhaps the second most important rule, as of course, the big ring is #1, you must always have the crank facing the camera. The crank is the powerhouse to your own bike, let it be the powerhouse of the photo as well.
Location, Location, Location
One of the best things about riding your bike is the sense of freedom that it gives. Being able to go anywhere on your time is liberating. It’s important to take advantage of when taking a photo; being able to show off your bike while showing off where you’re riding it, is killing two birds with one stone. One of my favorite places to go in a downtown setting is parking garages. Being able to get some climbing training in (if you don’t get hit by a car) is a perk along with the “roof-top” photo of the skyline. Downtown Milwaukee has one on Mason street, for any locals reading, that is prime for this. Besides a cityscape, being able to take a photo in front of an ocean, lake, mountains, you name it, is worth the journey in and of itself.
Photo from: Tyler Klein
Now that the prep work is done, its time to capture the perfect photo. The more photos the merrier, remember, you can always delete them later. Now go enjoy the rest of your ride knowing that you have captured gold on your phone, and for Pete's sake, stay out of the small ring!