Bikewagon's own Cole Chandler is back with another Maintenance Monday. This week, he teaches us how to remove a rear bike wheel and re-install it. Continue reading
Whether you are assembling a new bicycle or your chain has succumbed to chain stretch, changing out or installing a chain can be an intimidating, dirty job if you don't know what you are doing. Luckily, the process is very straightforward. Let's dive in!
First, we have to understand the basic nature of a bike chain. It consists of a repeating set of links connected by rivets (also known as pins). Over time, the holes through which the chain rivets pass can elongate due to the strain of powerful pedaling stokes. This is called "chain stretch" and can make your chain slip while shifting or when pedaling powerfully.
In the last few years, tubeless tire setups have become the wheel systems and tires of choice for mountain bikers. While still not nearly as popular as in the MTB world, road and cyclocross setups have also started taking hold in the last year or so.
If you've heard your friends talking about their tubeless setups but haven't yet made the effort to switch, we've put together a few videos to help you understand the process.
Part 1: An overview of tubeless tires
If you're not already doing it, you've probably at least started thinking about riding to work. That's great! With a little preparation, riding your bike to work has all kinds of benefits. And it's a lot more fun than sitting in a car, stuck in a traffic jam!
If you're new to the whole commuting thing or just haven't done it in a while, I've put together our top 10 bike commuting tips to help you get over the learning curve sooner than later.
1. Plan your route.
Narrow, busy roads are no fun when you're on a bike. Big trucks and careless cars zooming by while you try to stay within a 1-foot shoulder can create a lot of anxiety, and for good reason. So before you start, check out a map and run through the options. If bike paths or roads with bike lanes are available, use them, even if they're not the most direct route. A couple of added minutes each day are much less worse than getting hit by a truck, and the commute will be much more enjoyable if you have plenty of space.
Keeping on top of regular bike maintenance is an important task for all riders. Paying proper attention to the wear and tear on your bicycle may seem like a chore at times, but the smooth riding and years of dependable service you will get from a well-tended bicycle is well worth it.
Knowing what bike maintenance tasks should be done when can be confusing to many riders. This tutorial will help to explain the basic procedures that you may want to do and the timing for them.
Be aware that these recommendations will vary depending on the rider; cyclists who ride in wet or muddy conditions should probably service their bikes more regularly, while casual cyclists who ride less frequently can scale back the frequency of basic maintenance. Many of these operations are simple and can be done by novice riders, while others are more complex. If you feel overwhelmed, your local bike shop will be able to provide all the maintenance services described here.
The rear derailleur is responsible for shifting between your sprockets, the rear set of gears on your bicycle. The derailleur consists of a guide or cage for your chain that can be shifted from side to side by means of a cable that follows the frame of your bike and attaches to your shift levers. The spring-loaded arm of the rear derailleur maintains tension on the chain as it shifts between different gears.
On new bikes, these cables are fresh and may stretch a small amount over the first several months of riding your bike. This can cause your derailleur to become slightly loose and rub against your chain, which puts wear and tear on both parts and decreases the efficiency of your pedaling.
Fortunately, adjusting your rear derailleur is easy and only takes a basic set of tools and a few minutes. You may have to adjust the derailleur every few months if you ride a good deal, or every few years if you are a more casual rider, so it pays to learn this simple technique.
Bicycle racing is a fascinating and heart-pounding sport. The strategy required to move up in a multi-stage race, the pure power of an all-out sprint, or the grit of a time trial: in every case, bike racing is a beautiful example of competition at its best.
Today we are going to list the top road races in the world. While you might never be able to participate in these yourself (although who knows; keep on training!), you can participate through watching. Spectating the world's top bike races is a phenomenal experience, especially with the breathtaking camera work that makes you feel like you're in the middle of the pack.
Many cyclists choose to use cycling shoes -- clipless shoes that match to specialized pedals. We've written about these shoes before, and they are a phenomenal option for many riders. They increase the efficiency of your pedal stroke, help balance the muscles of your legs, and add power.
But some folks just don't want to use bike shoes, for various reasons. Some don't want the added expense, while others aren't comfortable with the feeling of being attached to the bicycle and not being able to put out a foot rapidly to catch a fall. Many people just want to be able to walk around comfortably when riding from place to place.
As I mentioned in my first post about power meters, training with power in cycling can be fairly complex, and the very first step is the easiest of all: collect data. Begin your first few weeks of training by simply riding with your power meter and collecting data.
Some cycling power meters come with their own software suite for collecting and analyzing data, such as PowerTap's PowerAgent, and there are some freeware programs out there you can use, as well (e.g. Golden Cheetah). Training Peaks is an online software suite that offers free and premium accounts, and they even have an offline version called WKO+. Regardless which product you use, it’s important you collect data from every ride. More on that later.
As a female road cyclist who rarely ventures onto the trails but seems to constantly be dating guys who love throwing themselves down rocky trails on their bikes, I've had my fair share of successful and unsuccessful couple mountain bike rides.
If you're thinking of taking your relationship to the next level and becoming an "adventure buddy" couple, here are a few tips for before you start in. (These tips apply mostly to those couples where one person is already involved in biking or any other outdoor activity but the other is not. If you both already love biking and are quite competitive, that's a whole different can of worms.)
1. Make sure you both know what you're getting into.
It's no fun to show up to the trail unaware and unprepared for the rocky 3,000-feet elevation gain in the first three miles, only to drop back down that in the last three. It's also no fun to have seriously underestimated your significant other's athletic ability and propensity to whining. Be clear about the trail, judge your significant other's capabilities beforehand, and figure out a trail you can both feel comfortable on.