This past winter I had two of my bikes rebuilt at the bike shop, one new bike put together and highly customized, and I rebuilt one bike myself. After many years of riding bikes that looked exactly like they did the day I bought them, it was kind of fun to customize my bikes and give them a bit of personality. If you want to customize your bike the easiest place to begin is by replacing the stem cap (AKA, headset cap). Stem cap don’t offer much in the way of functionality, but they do offer you a chance to add some personality to your bike. To say these caps are easy to replace would be a gross understatement—a trained monkey can do it in under two minutes.
KustomCaps.com makes beautiful, laser-etched headset caps in a variety of anodized colors. Their stock caps come with phrases like, “Shut Up And Ride,” “Point It And Go,” “Ride It Like You Stole It,” and my favorite, “Mud, Sweat, And Gears.” The stock caps retails for $8. You can also have a custom message laser-etched on a cap for only $16.
The most famous bike shop in Texas has to be Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, mainly because it is owned by Lance Armstrong. Back when Lance was riding the Tour de France he called the yellow jersey (the maillot jaune) the Mellow Johnny. While you might never visit his shop you can still feel like you did by buying one of the Mellow Johnny’s Stem Caps. These caps all have the same design, but they are available in several different colors. The caps retail for $10 and will add a touch of class to any bike.
I installed StemCAPtain Stem Cap Thermometers on two of my winter bikes. The folks at StemCAPtain have several stem cap products available, but I like the thermometer the best. The temperature range on the thermometer goes from -15 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit (-26 to 57 C). I have found the thermometer to be very accurate when during the winter and when the bike is in the shade. However, if the bike is sitting still in full sun it can sometimes show several degrees higher than the actual temperature. On the other hand, this stem cap is so cool I’d hate to live without it. The StemCAPtain Stem Cap Thermometer retails for $25.