I feel like I’ve never properly cleaned my bike. Actually it’s more than a feeling. Its a truthing.
Partly (mainly) this is because I’ve never had the confidence to take the dirty bits apart in order to give them a proper deep clean.
The last time I took my bike to my friendly local bike mechanic, I got a friendly rebuke. As he replaced my broken front derailleur, he noted that the teeth on both the cassette and chain rings were worn. The chain was stretched. The rear hub was on the verge of knackery. The cause: infrequent (and ineffective) cleaning.
After returning from our holiday in Cornwall, where both long motorway journeys saw the roof-mounted bike being doused with finest English summertime rain and road muck, I decided to rectify past transgressions. I would give the bike, and specifically the drivetrain, a really good clean. And this would mean that an incompetent would be taking apart his bike (and hoping he could put it back together again).
I thought I would record my ‘journey’ to share on this here blog, perhaps to share some useful information, but more to provide fellow mechanically challenged people with the confidence that they too can destroy a bike and then half put it back together again. [click to read more…]
Since going back to work a couple of years ago, I’ve struggled to piece together a consistent period of riding. Work, family and laziness have tended to get in the way, particularly if the riding conditions were anything less than ideal.
This situation seemed to have improved in early summer 2017 as I managed to ride consistently (sort of) during … [Mont frantically checks Strava records] … June and July.
I wanted to maintain this improved record during our summer holiday in south west England. I needed some impetus for bring my bike on holiday with us. And I found it in a book. [click to read more…]
So my current bike computer is close to giving up the goat. And the ghost.
I’ve been waiting for this moment for some time. Having been in new bike GPS purchase mode almost constantly for the past 4 years (who isn’t?), it’s time to thrust my short Yorkshire arms into those deep Yorkshire pockets and ‘level up’ my electronic bike bling.
What’s that? The Garmin Edge is not the only show in town, you say? (Shurely shome mishtake.)
But it is true, we have a new(-ish) biketech contender in town in the form of Wahoo Fitness, with what finally can be described as their ELEMNT range of bike computers (until recently they just had one model). And based on my research THEY ARE GOOD! [click to read more…]
Everyone will tell you a sportive is not ‘really’ a race, and then visualize leaving you behind in a proverbial ball of smoke. No matter how you approach it, everyone wants to maximize their bike’s performance and do what they can to gain an edge on the road.
So as a race-loving mechanic, here’s the down-low on my various last-minute hacks that can help you prepare for your next sportive.
Note from Monty: Today’s post comes from Simon Laumet, an experienced bike mechanic based in London. Simon’s post has already inspired me to give my drivetrain a proper clean (the drivetrain on my bike…), which will be the subject of a future post (ooh, can you contain your excitement…). If you find the post useful, please do let me know in the comments below (along with any tips you have). [click to read more…]
In an ideal cycling world, every day would be pleasantly warm, with little or no breeze to slow you down. The day would stretch out before you, with no work or family responsibilities to intrude upon your ride time.
But this isn’t an ideal cycling world.
In fact it’s piddling it down outside, the temperature is close to zero and you have just 30 minutes for a cycle session, or serious relationship repercussions are heading your way.
Cycling indoors is your only option. (“Turbo Wan, you’re my only hope”).
But what do we mean when we talk about indoor cycling?
Not all indoor cycles were born equal. Or something like that.
In this post, we’re going to look at the options for a cyclist that doesn’t want to go outside…. [click to read more…]
Last Saturday afternoon, I was about as grumpy as I’ve ever been.
Despite the physical ease of surfing a desk at work, weeks (months, years!) of early morning starts had taken their toll. The afternoon was looking like a write off.
The midday power nap (with a pre-nap coffee chaser) hadn’t helped. In fact I felt worse for it.
I could barely get off the sofa. Grey thoughts clouded through my mind.
Our chatty 8 year old (let’s call him “Elmo”) chewed by ear off about the next naff Kindle Fire app he needed and our belligerent 15 month old (“Semo”) voiced her displeasure at the passing heatwave with a siren-like wail.
Something had to give. [click to read more…]
I love cycling, me. And I love coffee.
Coffee and cycling go together like monkeys and tennis rackets (“monkey tennis!”). Like Ginger Biscuits and Fred Astaire. Like Bert and Ernie. Like salt and caramel (or so they’ll have us believe).
As a committed coffee drinker and a somewhat less committed cyclist, at least right now (based on my Strava records) I thought I’d look into the mighty bean and the drink it produces, with a cycling bent.
And then write a post about it. Please to enjoy. [click to read more…]
Perhaps surprisingly, until recently there were just three closed road sportives in the UK: one in England (RideLondon) and one each in Scotland (Etape Caledonia) and Wales (Velothon Wales).
The RideLondon event is probably the best known and this race report will give you an idea of what it is like to cycle with thousands of other cyclists on closed roads.
Later this year, Velo Birmingham will become the fourth closed road sportive and having sold out within 4 days, it looks like there will be 15,000 happy cyclists on Sept 24.
Note from Monty: This is a guest post written by Mark from bikes.org.uk, a UK-based blog for cyclists of all disciplines.
[click to read more…]
So you’ve decided to take the next step towards cyclo-service self sufficiency.
You need to take your cassette off the bike, either to clean it or to replace it. It is one of your core principles that you don’t knowingly elect to shred your fingers whilst undertaking bike maintenance.
You therefore need a chain whip and a lockring tool.
And in this post we’re going to find out what they are, who sells them and which is the best (or rather, which will do the job with the minimum fuss). [click to read more…]
When it comes to staying active and exploring a new area up-close and at your own pace, there are few options that are better than cycling holidays. If you love cycling then exploring new locations on two wheels should definitely be on your holiday wish-list. [click to read more…]