Maintaining Your Bicycle Parts – Do It Right And Enjoy A Safe Ride

The best way to maintaining your bicycle parts is to carry out normal defensive and precautionary preservation. Much of this up keep can be accomplished by you while a little work may necessitate the skills of a qualified cycle repair person. The bicycle parts that necessitate habitual examination, oiling and greasing are the tires, brakes, wheels, handlebar and chain.

The tires take the greatest weight and force, and have to be inflated as per the manufacturer’s terms. Besides air pressure, tires need to be watched for any obvious ripping or wear and tear. The wheels too need usual fine-tuning and correction, and should be checked for dents and twists that may occur by way of impact with firm objects or when the bicycle falls. The optimum method to inspect a wheel is to rotate it fast and look at it for unusual movement. The wheel should rotate without movement from side to side. If it does, make sure to adjust it. The spokes also must be firm and fixed tightly to the rims. The spokes convey weight and, when damaged, must be replaced right away.

Next to the handlebars and brakes, the tires are the most critical for safety and a good ride.

The handlebar is similar to the steering wheel of an automobile, and a critical element in directing the bicycle. It should to be aligned to have the best fit for comfort and safety. The first modification is the elevation. It should not be too high or too low, but should be positioned so that you can hold onto it at ease. The handlebar must be correctly aligned with the front wheel, to get the best results when the bike swerves or to make even changes in direction. In the same way, it is essential that the front fork is in proper position and in working order. It stabilizes the handlebar and should be fixed firmly to the handlebar post. The bike pedals should be observed to be sure that they are securely in place.

The brakes are vital for a cyclist’s safety and must be looked at continually for best operation. To inspect the brakes, squeeze the brake levers and move the bike forward. When the brakes are adjusted properly, the brake gripper pad will be maintained squarely on the rim surface without coming into contact with the tire and the wheels will not move forward. If the brake levers, come into contact with touch the handlebar when applied, it indicates that the brake cables are too loose. Adjust them or change them if they are worn out.

The chain needs proper lubrication for smooth and proper movement. The chain should also be cleaned of debris frequently using a good de-greaser to get rid of the grime that accumulates on the lubricant. Remember to apply new lubricant as soon as the old grease has been removed. This will help stop the chain from jumping the teeth or getting stuck and will keep it from rusting.

The seat adjustment is a critical part of comfort and safety too. It should always be tight and the height of the seat should allow for full extension of your legs when the pedal is in the lowest part of it’s circular motion. This keeps the legs from being bent all the time.

The height of the bicycle should be tested for each individual rider. The height is tested by straddling the bike with both feet on the ground and lifting the front tire off the ground. You should be able to raise the bike about an inch before the bikes bar is restrained by your crotch area.

You don’t need any hi-tech tools to keep your cycle in prime riding condition. All that you need is the time and the desire to keep it fit.

Puncture Proof Your Bicycle – A Fools Dream?

Bicycle tube punctures are a real downer. While all the rest of your crew are off playing, you’re sitting there fiddling with your pump and patch kit on the side of the trail. This is not really how you envisioned the day’s ride, so you can’t help but wonder about all the ways that you could protect your bicycle tubes from flats. There are at least 7 things you could do to help keep you riding, including using a puncture proof Kevlar bicycle road tire.

First and foremost though, you need to understand the various types of flats that can stop you dead in your tracks. Slow leaks, pinch flats and plain old holes each have their own cause and cure. To make matters worse it’s important to understand as well that there are always tradeoffs. Any solution usually suggests money and weight in a reverse relationship. The more money you spent the lighter the solution and the better the protection. First here’s a general discussion of the various types of flats.

Slow Leaks:

Slow leaks can be caused by a number of problems. The most common is from tiny pin holes in your tire. But if you have purchased a natural rubber tube this is what to expect. Although natural rubber tubes have many advantages, their key disadvantage is that they are somewhat porous and don’t hold air as effectively as their synthetic cousin. Weekly top ups are essential and common. Assuming you have the more traditional butyl rubber bicycle tube, slow leaks can also be caused by a faulty tube stem.

Pinch Flats:

Pinch Flats are affectionately called a “snake bite” because of their characteristic double elongated slices in the tube, that are similar in appearance to the marks left by the fangs of a snake. They are caused by the tube getting squeezed and pinched between the tire rim and the tread of the wheel, typical off a hard landing when the tire rolls over on its side. There are a number of options to avoid pinch flats other than toning down your ride style.

Bike Tube Puncture Wounds:

This is your plain jane hole! It can be caused by various forms of road and trail debris from thistles to nails and glass. It will be specific to the geography of your ride and always requires you to patch your bicycle tube.

It is important to understand that the type of puncture that you tend to most often experience will determine the correct solution, or at least where you can get the best bang for the buck. The solution for flats caused by roadway debris can be quite different then the action you might have to take for avoiding pinch flats. So when you’re fixing a flat make sure that you take an extra minute to understand what type of flat you seem to be experiencing the most, as the first step in avoiding it in the future.

Since my typical flat is caused by sharp items on the roadways associated with city riding, my biggest concern is eliminating puncture wounds. Cleaning the tire thoroughly when you do get a flat is probably the best advice I can offer. You’d be surprised how many times a thistle or nail is still caught in the tire tread and causes almost immediately a second flat. Calk the tire where the tube valve lines up and then when you identify the location of the hole in your tube you can line it up with the tire and identify the area you should inspect more carefully.

Tire Liners, some with strange names like Mr. Tuffy, Slime Liners and Flat-Away Kevlar Tape offer a great solution for standard puncture wounds as well. Tire liners are thin strips of various materials that fit between the bike tube and the inside crown of the tire. Some are peel and stick and others you just must fiddle with to align correctly when you replace your tube, either way their purpose is to deflect sharp objects before they reach your tube. The tougher the tire liner the more it can deflect. Tire Liners are a good example of price and weight in a reverse relationship, pay more and they are definitely lighter and tougher, leading to better overall protection.

There are many other means to reduce your risk of a bicycle tube failure, including even a puncture proof Kelvar road bicycle tire we suggested earlier and self-sealing slime tubes. For a more complete discussion on all 7 secrets of puncture prevention, and how bicycle tube and bicycle tire selection can help, visit our website: mywheelsandmore.com

Tips for Riding a Bicycle on a Busy Road

Riding a bicycle either as a sport, recreational exercise or as a means of transportation is becoming popular these days. More often, cyclists choose roads with less traffic. However, when it cannot be avoided, some bicycle riders have to go through busy streets and bike their way through traffic.

When riding a bicycle through a busy street, no matter how covered and protected you are with your helmet and safety gears, if you don’t follow traffic rules and road discipline, you might be putting yourself at risk with danger.

Accidents do happen anytime and anywhere but there are things that you can do to avoid encountering one when you ride your bicycle on a busy street.

A bicycle, once it hits the road, it is treated like any vehicle on the road. Therefore, when you ride your bicycle on a busy street, it is advisable to follow traffic rules such as stopping on a red light, know when to yield, avoid overtaking on the shoulders, and follow bike lanes or bike paths if there any.

When on the road, you might want to remember to always keep your hands on the handle bars and a finger or two over the brake levers so you can be prepared to hit the brakes when needed.

More experienced bicycle riders advice beginner riders on the road to be heard and be seen. You may want to use a horn or bell so pedestrians can hear you or other motorists can be alerted of your presence. Have your bike installed with reflectors as well as with head lights and tail lights. You may also want to remember to avoid a driver’s blind spot so cars and trucks ahead can know of your presence.

You can also avoid accidents if you ride in a predictable manner so that cars can go around you without bumping into you. Using hand signals will also alert motorists of your movements and can spare you from road mishaps.

Just like any motorist on the road, it is wise to observe road courtesy. You may want to smile when you make that turn or wave as a signal of thanks when you are given the right of way.

Good riding habits are also important to remember. Just like driving cars, it is not wise to ride a bicycle when you are intoxicated as this may affect your reflexes and may result to poor judgment on the road. Another road hazard to avoid is texting while cycling.

Finally, it is wise to plan your route and stay alert when riding on a busy street.

How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bicycle

Cycling training – a different approach that works!

Hey, it’s much easier than you think. The old way of doing it (running behind or along side your child and pushing her) is an outdated and undue punishment for both you and the frustrated student. A punishment for you, the parent, because you quickly run out of breath (you’re not the sprinter you used to be in high school), and a punishment for your child because she doesn’t understand why on earth she crashes every time you’re getting tired and release your grip of her saddle. She realizes that learning to balance is a scary and stressing ordeal.

Well, I’m here to break the good news: kids aged 4 to 6 can easily and quickly (and I mean quickly) learn to independently ride without training wheels and without an adult gripping their saddle from behind.

The technique described here is much safer than the old one and has a much higher rate of success, based on the experience of many happy children who learned to ride this way.

This is how it works: remove the training wheels and remove the pedals from your child’s bicycle. Lower the saddle so your child can easily place both her feet on the ground while seated. From this point on, your young student takes full control. She is in charge of moving the bicycle, with no help from you, with no pushing or balancing on your part (unless she asks for it). You can compare the bicycle with no pedals to a two-wheel scooter, which kids love and enjoy riding and balancing with no fear.

A word on children’s capabilities: it may come as a surprise, but little children do have good instincts and common sense which translate into self esteem and confidence it they get a chance to use them. In the old way, the student is taught to rely on someone else to balance the bicycle, and not on himself. The adult was the one who controlled the situation, the movement, the speed. The adult was the one preventing crashes and providing a false sense of safety which crashed when he let go. This erodes trust and makes the experience scary.

With the suggested technique, your young student is the one making the calls. She determines how fast she goes, she is the one moving and balancing, and controlling the bicycle from the get go, she is the one preventing the crash by simply placing her feet on the ground. This builds trust. Trust in her capabilities. This builds self esteem and confidence.

You explain to your student that all she has to do is create a little movement ahead while balancing. You tell her that she can’t fall, because the minute something doesn’t feel right, she can always put her feet down on the ground (which is the starting position) and brake. She has to try and hold her feet in the air a little while and keep pushing this way.

Make sure you choose the right spot for this training: flat ground (no slopes), no vehicles, and no obstacles. You can also take her to the park and find a grassy field, so if she does crash, it’s a softer landing. Long pants are advisable, to prevent scratches when falling. Use this opportunity to teach your child to wear a helmet, so she can get used to it.

After just a couple of lessons your child will get the hang of it. Now she feels the balance, and she masters the first and very important skill of balancing. You can now replace the pedals, move the saddle up an inch, so her feet comfortably reach the ground, but not as easily as before.

Next, choose a grassy field with a gentle slope, and let your child go down the slope, balancing with her feet on the pedals. After a few runs, she will feel comfortable and add pedaling. It’s important you explain to her in advance how to apply the brakes. At this point all you have to do is behold the magic: your child enthusiastically pedals and just can’t get enough!

Many parents say that after years of painful failures, their child finally gets the hang of riding a bicycle with this technique. Enjoy.