Take the 2-minute tour ×
Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I see this once in a great while around the city: two or more tennis balls stuck inside the spokes, right up against the hub. It usually seems to be on older-looking mountain bike commuter/beater bikes, but I think I saw it on a newer fixie a while back, too.

Does this server some function to which I am not privy?

share|improve this question
    
AFAIK you'll need to loosen your spokes to get one in there. So maybe it shows you have a spoke wrench? –  dotjoe Oct 13 '10 at 20:08
    
From an engineering point of view it adds drag to the rotation of the wheel. Especially because the fuzz on the surface of the tennis ball was designed to do just that, drag, while it moves though the air. –  QueueHammer Apr 9 '11 at 18:42
2  
I cut a slit in the ball and keep my drugs in it so if i get stopped my the cops they search me and find nothing. –  user2154 Aug 16 '11 at 20:09
2  
I was told this is extremely "out" nowadays. The new cool trend is to ride with bowling balls hanging from the handlebar. –  heltonbiker Sep 29 '11 at 16:21
    
Because the playing card makes a different noise when it hits the tennis ball. –  GvS Sep 30 '11 at 14:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted

I believe it's a stylistic choice, and doesn't actually serve any function.

share|improve this answer
    
Indeed. It's just a way to be "unique". –  Vache Oct 9 '10 at 2:29
    
@Brock - It's a cool/trendy thing, and you're not the only one who's bewildered by it: bikeforums.net/showthread.php?685676-Tennis-Ball-in-Spokes –  Neil Fein Oct 9 '10 at 15:59
1  
It gives you a spare tennis ball in case you happen to need one, for example, to play with a kid, or with a dog, or to hit a road-raged driver without hurting it, or to play a tennis match ;o) –  heltonbiker Sep 29 '11 at 16:19

Where else are you supposed to put the tennis balls when you are carrying them?

We used to do this all the time as kids when we were going to the tennis courts. The racket is carried in your hand, preferably without a cover to cut down on drag, and the balls go in the spokes. If you don't have a pannier or a backpack, it's great place to put the tennis balls so you don't drop them.

share|improve this answer
1  
Great answer, although I don't think there are as much tennis-playing bikers as there are bikers with tennis balls stuck between their spokes. –  heltonbiker Sep 29 '11 at 16:20
6  
Gee, that's where I was getting it wrong!! I always held the tennis balls in my hands and put the racket in the spokes. –  Daniel R Hicks Sep 29 '11 at 18:47

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.