How to Take Care of Your Bicycle’s Chain and Deraileurs

If you ride your bicycle long enough your chain will become worn and stretched and need replaced. You can buy special tools that will measure how much it has stretched and most shops have these. Most riders however do not purchase a special tool just to see if their chain is stretched.

The simplest way to find out if you need a new chain without buying a special tool is to use a 12″ ruler. Hold the chain straight, I like to lay it on a flat surface like my workbench and measure from the center or a rivet to the center of the rivet closest to 12″ away. If the distance is more than 12 1/8″ throw out the chain and get a new one. A new chain right out of the box should be exactly 12″. Some riders simply keep track of their mileage and change the chain every so many thousand miles. Depending on the rider and sometimes on the rider’s pocketbook that is often anywhere between 2000 and 4000 miles.

Sometimes you may hear scraping noises coming from the crank area. This noise often indicates that the chain is rubbing the front derailleur. If the front derailleur is bent like one I got in just the other day, replace it. Sometimes though you can fix it with a slight adjustment, simply by moving the derailleur enough to center the cage but not cause a shift.

Sometimes on some bikes extreme chain angles occur if you are using a gear combination like using the largest rear gear with the smallest front gear or vice versa. Some people would say just don’t use those combinations. I have a Giant OCR 2 and a Specialized Expedition and have ridden numerous other brands and models of quality bikes. I have used those combinations both ways on more occasions than I can count and have never heard noise from that area on any quality bike. I have only heard this noise on some of the department store bikes I have ridden at various times. Personally I think if the bike is a quality bike is maintained properly and the parts adjusted properly you won’t have that problem.

Your chain should be kept lubricated, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Too much oil or lube can cause a build up and may cause sand and grit to cling to the chain and soon damage the chain, cogs, and cassette. The general rule is 1 drop of lube per link, wipe off the excess and allow chain to dry for 24 hours before riding if at all possible. This will allow the lube’s liquid carrier to evaporate and keep the drivetrain much cleaner.

If you ride in the rain, your will find it best to hose off your bike which will remove most of the grit and grim from it. You should also towel it off and spray some lube in the derailleur and brake pivot points anywhere where water may accumulate such as the ends of cable housings to keep those areas from rusting and causing problems in the future. Again wait 24 hours before riding and wipe off any excess lube.

Using Your Bicycle to Get in Shape Fast

If you have a bicycle, it may be easier than you think to lose weight and get in shape. Riding a bicycle on a regular basis can really help you to lose those extra pounds that you want, get in shape and feel better. There are a lot of positive reasons why you would want to ride a bicycle and not only is it a great way to get in shape and get everywhere that you need to go, it is also a very affordable way to get the exercise that you want and can help you to use the bicycle instead of having to spend a lot of money on other types of gym memberships.

If you have been thinking about joining a gym or investing a lot of money into new exercise programs, you may want to consider spending more time on your bicycle instead. There are a lot of easy ways that you can begin to use your bicycle instead of driving or riding public transportation around the city. If you want to start getting in better shape, and lose weight, try to find a way to use your bicycle to commute to your job, do some of the shopping that you need to do, and go for rides around in the park or area near your home.

Riding a bicycle is often much more affordable than other means of getting around like driving or public transportation, and you can find the benefits not only in helping you to save money, but in the weight that you are able to lose and improve your health. If you do not already have a bicycle and need to find a new one, you can find many that are affordable and fit your style. There are a lot of great web sites that sell used and new bicycles so that you are able to find the one that you want.

You can also find a lot of different styles and types of bicycles that can be used for different riding both in the country, and in the city. The bike that you choose to ride depends on where you are going to be doing most of the riding, and what size and type of bicycle you are looking for. If you have been trying to find a new and better way to get in shape and feel great, you can find that riding your bicycle even some of the times that you would normally use other transportation can not only help you get in better shape and make you feel good, it can also help you save money and you can feel better.

A Bike Carrier Can Make Transporting Your Bicycle a Snap

It doesn’t matter if you’re a single person or an ever expanding family, investing in a bike carrier will benefit those who love to ride bikes everywhere. If you ride a bike, you will probably want to take it with you everywhere, including the beach, mountains and the park. Many carriers you see are made for storing multiple bikes. While single people may find a hard time justifying the need for one, they should focus on using it to simplify their lives. Instead of struggling to fit both the kids and all of your bikes inside of the car, using a carrier will allow for a seamless family outing. A bike can easily get damaged if they are put haphazardly into a vehicle with lots of bulky items around it. You will not only protect your investment, you will also make travel easy with a carrier.

Living the single life often makes people feel like they have to purchase everything in multiples of one. Even single products built for multiple users are avoided for fear of having wasted space and resources. A bike carrier does not fall into this category. You can easily purchase one built for a single bike, remove it from your vehicle when not in use and store it compactly. As far as expense is concerned, you will easily spend more money on other bike related accessories. Other people have a fear of their bicycle getting damaged while in transit. There are plenty of models that are specifically built for putting bikes on the roof of the car, while others can be modified for the top of the car or rear bike storage.

Families sometimes get overwhelmed in the process of getting everything together for a trip without forgetting the important things that they don’t consider items perceived as less important. While this is a valid point, ignoring items that make trips easier is not good idea if your objective is simplified travel. Using a bike carrier will save much needed car room. It will allow everyone to attach their own bikes, not only saving time but stress as well. Even when you reach your destination, there is no need to take your bikes down until you need them. This can keep the space you are occupying less cluttered while lessening the risk of leaving any bicycles behind.

If you are a professional cyclist, you probably already know the benefits of owning a bike carrier. You probably keep multiple bikes on standby during competitions should anything go wrong with the one you are riding. A car usually travels with competing cyclists with the spares. The carrier allows bicycles to be stored outside, so they can removed quickly and easily.

All in all, if you own a bicycle having a bike carrier will be a worthwhile investment. From couples traveling for a secluded mountain ride to the professional cyclists, having a way to transport and store your bicycles will protect against damaging them. They’re easy to set up, inexpensive and can keep stressful situations from arising when getting the family ready for a trip. Try a bicycle carrier out if you want a simpler way to transport your bike.

How To Stay Safe On Your Bicycle – 7 Ways To Practice Safety While Riding Your Bike

You want to be safe when you ride your bike. The increased popularity of cycling now means that bike riders are a major part of the traffic stream since more people ride bikes as a form of transportation. So how do you stay safe when riding your bike? Here are some ideas:

Wear a cycle safety helmet. There are many styles and makes of bike safety helmets but not all of them provide the safety you will need when riding your bicycle. The cycle helmet you choose will depend on your personal circumstances but bear in mind that the price will reflect on the quality, not only in the protection but also the fitting. In the event of an impact, your helmet should not move so correct fitting and the ability to alter straps is important factors when buying a cycle helmet. Of course there are those detractors who say that a bike helmet will not protect you if you were to be hit by a car at, say, 40 mph. Everything has its limitations so to have some head protection is better than having none at all.

Wear visible clothing. When you are out on your bicycle you need to be seen and one of the best ways to be noticed by vehicle drivers is to wear some kind of fluorescent clothing. It could be a full reflective jacket, reflective belt and arm bands or a reflective tabard. Whichever you choose, it will ensure that you are seen while you are out on your bike.

Consider wearing cycle gloves. Cycle gloves not only protect your hands while cycling but they will also offer your hands protection should you fall off and your hands hit the ground. There are different types of cycle gloves but consider ones that have gel-padded palms which offer extra protection and they will ease the pressure on the palms of your hands against the handle grips of your bike.

Inspect your bike each time before you ride it. When you take your bike out of the garage or wherever you have it stored, take a careful look at your bike. Check that the brake pads are making contact with the wheel rim. Check that the chain doesn’t slip and the gears are operating correctly. Sudden mechanical malfunctions when riding your bicycle can cause you to lose concentration and balance. Bikes don’t last forever so check for any severe rusting of the bike frame, in particular check the bike forks for damage as they are the most likely to become damaged through wear and tear.

Be Seen In the dark With Your Lights On. It’s a fact that some bike riders do not bother to a invest in lights. They instead prefer to ride on roads and pavements in the dark dressed in black and expect everyone else to see them, with no consideration to others. Having a proper light set on your bike will ensure your safety when you ride your bike in the dark.

Attach reflectors to your bike. Although you should already have lights on your bike, this is an additional safety precaution. Place them on the front and back wheels attached to the spokes and on the front and back of the frame. At least they will reflect in vehicle headlights giving you some amount of added protection from being knocked off your bike.

Cycle Bell. Let others know you are behind them. You can either shout for them to get out of the way or use a cycle bell. Shouting is a little anti social and may be taken the wrong way, so consider having a bell on your bike and using it to pass pedestrians when you are on a designated dual cycling/pedestrian route.

Cycling can be fun and healthy pastime provided you ride your bike sensibly. Remember that when you are using the road with other road users, that traffic laws apply. So stay safe and be seen and enjoy your bike.