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
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.
If you do much cycling on the road, you understand the rational fear of getting hit by a car. It seems like everyone has either been hit or knows someone who has. These incidents can range anywhere from a simple side-swipe that causes little to no damage to much worse. While we all hope to never experience colliding with a car, it’s important to know what to do in the event that you do get hit.
A few years ago, I had the misfortune of getting in a minor accident with a car while I was on my bike. Not having prepared for such an event, I did everything all wrong, causing me more stress and grief than it would have otherwise.
You’ve probably had this experience: you are driving along in the middle of the city, and you come to a stoplight. Suddenly, you notice a bicyclist waiting for the light to turn, but instead of standing over the bike normally, he or she is poised -- balanced on the pedals -- with the bike completely stopped. When you first see it, it seems impossible. But this move, called the “track stand,” is far from impossible. You can learn it yourself! Here’s how.
Track stands are named after the sport of track racing, where track stands were sometimes used as part of strategy during races. In everyday riding, track stands can be useful for brief stops at stop signs and lights, as they give you a bit of a head start when it’s time to ride again. And, let’s be honest, they just look cool, too.
I've got a flat and no extra tube or patch kit. Can I make it home?
Ok, so you’ve got a flat but no extra tube or patch kit, although you do have a pump. Here's one advanced trick to get home in a real emergency with no extra tube: First, remove your tube. Then, using a knife or the edge of your chainring, carefully cut your tube right at the site of the puncture.
One of the nightmares that many cyclists have revolves around aggressive dogs barking, snarling, and chasing you as you ride. Unfortunately, this is a serious concern; it happens to many riders (especially in rural areas) and can be a heart-stopping moment. There a few different strategies to avoid trouble in this situation, and this article will go over these. So read on and learn the best ways to stay safe in the face of dogs, large and small!
1. The verbal warning
When a dog sprints out of a nearby yard and begins to approach, a verbal warning can sometimes be the most effective. Use your voice to try to stop it. Be very firm, forceful, and loud; use your most authoritative and dominating voice. A deep, powerful and loud shout of "STOP RIGHT NOW" or "STAY BACK" is a warning that often crosses species barriers and has been used effectively by many cyclists. However, sometimes this method won't work if the dog is too angry to be reasoned with. Read on for more tactics that might work if that is the case.
Many newcomers to cycling don't think about inflating their bike tires to the proper pressure. To them, a tire is either flat or not, either bad or good to ride. The reality is much more complex. Just like for an automobile, bicycle tire inflation can have a dramatic effect on efficiency and handling characteristics, and we cyclists can use some of these effects to our benefit. Let's jump in and learn more about tire inflation.