Archive for May, 2013

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

It’s the Holy Grail of cycling, the object every cyclist seeks. It’s the part of the bike which evokes most fear from newbies. Everyone wants a comfortable bicycle seat.

Big spongy seats are for bikes which transmit road/trail shock vertically up your spine ... not always the best solution for people with back issues

Big spongy seats are for bikes which transmit road/trail shock vertically up your spine … not always the best solution for people with back issues

One of the most predictable statements from people coming in to purchase their first adult bicycle is, “I don’t want one of those skinny seats that professional cyclists sit on.”

Well, Halter’s doesn’t have many professional cyclists as customers, but I think I can say that if we did, they would not want to spend seven or eight hours a day perched on a seat which was torturing them.

A more "aggressive" position means back shocks are directed obliquely ... but a narrower seat will be more comfortable

A more “aggressive” position means back shocks are directed obliquely … but a narrower seat will be more comfortable

So, some basic advice;

If you’re new to cycling and buying a new bike give the seat a chance. A reputable bicycle manufacturer is going to fit the seat that’s going to suit most people who ride a particular bike. They want you to buy it after all.

Save your money ... check your seat adjustment

Save your money … check your seat adjustment

It’s likely that your whole body will feel it’s getting a workout the first few times you ride it. The same goes for your backside. If it continues to be uncomfortable get back to us. At least you’ll be able to tell us in what way it’s bothering you and we can work from there.

Check your current saddle is correctly adjusted. Most people find a level seat or slightly nose down is best. This assumes your bike is the correct size and type for you. If it’s not then comfort is going to become a more remote goal.

It's tempting, but gel covers often make a bad situation worse

It’s tempting, but gel covers often make a bad situation worse

If you’re looking for a new seat for your old bike and thinking fatter and squishier or adding a gel cover is the way to go, think again.

Our most sophisticated range of seats outsell our basic, go-to value saddle at nearly ten times the price ... for a good reason

Our most sophisticated range of seats outsell our basic, go-to value saddle at nearly ten times the price … for a good reason

To be rather indelicate, do you think growing a new layer of fat on your backside would make your present seat more comfortable? No, I didn’t think so. Big, wide, cushy seats have a purpose, but are not necessarily best for you.

Most seats in a bike shop have varying amounts of gel, a resilient plastic which may help ameliorate shock from the road. Quality of gel is important. Better quality gel may appear and feel thinner but may have better shock-absorption characteristics.

Most seats are available in women's and men's versions

Most seats are available in women’s and men’s versions

If you’re looking for a new seat, bring your bicycle in so you can try out one or two around the parking lot before purchase. Be prepared to describe the issues you’re having with your old saddle. We’re bike shop professionals here … We’ve heard it all.

Better still, bike seat issues can be best addressed by a full professional bike-fit which will address your whole position and stance on the bike before settling on a new seat. This service is free with the purchase of a new road bike from Halter’s.

Our experienced bike-fitters will further induct you into the mysteries of ischial tuberosities and other arcane stuff, all of which will enhance your comfort and, thus, your performance.

It’s hard to believe, but anyone would find a concrete bicycle seat comfortable if its the right shape in the right place.

Halter’s stocks a full range of quality seats by Giant, Terry, SMP, Brooks, fizik and other good brands from around $40 and up. One will be right for you.


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Two out of Three ain’t bad …

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Light and strong ... but not cheap ... strong and cheap ... but heavy ... you get the idea

Light and strong … but not cheap … strong and cheap … but heavy … you get the idea

A bike shop conundrum.

The horns of a trilemma?

When deciding on a bike or accessory, you can pick any two of these three attributes, but you won’t get the other.

We advise … You decide.


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Myths:

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

myths

Click to expand the image


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Bike-Shaped Objects : BSOs – Toys or Bicycles?

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

The other day I was idly surfing the online catalog of a well-known BigBoxMart* store and decided to look at what was on offer in the way of bicycles. I was rather taken aback to find even adult bicycles in the TOY section of the store, although on reflection I suppose I had no reason to be surprised at all.

So - you're going to buy a car. Where do you go? The toy-store obviously ...

So – you’re going to buy a car. Where do you go? The toy-store obviously …

One of the most frequent questions we get asked in the bike store is, “Why does this child’s bike you’re offering cost $210, when I can get one in BigBoxMart for $60?”

Remember, BigBoxMart sells “bicycles” in its toy department! And I’m not just talking children’s bikes … I’m talking adult cycles too.

Halter’s is a bicycle shop. We sell bicycles. We do not sell toys!

BigBoxMart ... it kind of looks like a bike ... what are your expectations? PS: That's our red arrow ...

BigBoxMart … it kind of looks like a bike … what are your expectations? PS: That’s our red arrow …

A bike shop quality child’s bicycle is designed and built from the same components full size bicycles are constructed from with no compromise for quality or safety.

A bike shop does not regard a bicycle as a toy. It’s a transportation device designed and built up to meet a specification which can be ridden safely and without failure on the nation’s roads and by-ways.

The bicycle will be built of quality components which will remain serviceable for many years. And even then replacement parts will continue to be available.

A toy is built down to a price point. After all, it only has to look like a bike … sort of …

So here’s another top ten question, “The wheel on my child’s PinkFairy/BlueSuperHero bike is bent. Can you fix it?”

Okay, now it’s turn for one of our questions. “Why don’t you go back to BigBoxMart and ask them to fix it?”

I guess we know the answer to that one, right?

“Well, this wheel has no serviceable parts on it. I mean, it only looks like a wheel. It’s a toy wheel after all.  A replacement wheel will be around $40 plus labor.”

“But the bike only cost $50!!!”

“It’s not a bike. It’s a toy. Our replacement wheel is a quality bicycle component which will not bend or fail.”

We love our customers to come back and see us, but not if it’s because they’re going to complain about some shoddy part we sold them which was bound to fail.

But let’s assume you’ve brought in your adult bicycle purchased from a toy store, erm … I meant BigBoxMart. It needs tuning and a couple of replacement parts. Okay, I’ve dealt with the cost of them, but it also requires adjustment to enable it to ride efficiently and safely.

Here’s a bike shop trade secret; it takes much longer to service and adjust a cheap, nasty, BigBoxMart toy bike than the most expensive and sophisticated bike store bought bicycle. The bike store bought bicycle will be built by skilled and experienced mechanics, have bike industry quality parts which are well-designed, durable and quickly and accurately adjustable which will stay in tune and last.

The toy bike will be assembled by some kid after school, from non-standard parts, frequently leave the BigBoxMart with stripped threads, bent and broken components before you’ve even ridden it, plus major assembly issues like having the fork on back-to-front, which makes for a dangerously unstable bike and similar safety issues. There is little scope for accurate adjustment and even then the work may only last half-way though your next ride. And you still want us to fix this?

If you’re in the market for a bicycle, for yourself or a family member get on down to your local bike shop and get some advice about purchasing a safe, quality bike which is unlikely to have issues, but if it does, the bike shop will address for you. Shop around for sure, but if you want a safe, quality bicycle, then buy from a local bike shop.

Feel free to buy a toy bike from the toy shop, but don’t be surprised when your local bike shop quotes an economic price for a safe, quality repair or service.

In reality, if you’re a conscientious parent who maintains your child’s bicycle a cheap toy will cost you as much in the long run as a quality child’s bicycle, except it’s going to spend a lot of time in the workshop.

Support your local bike shop!!!

Toy? Or real bicycles from Giant and Cannondale

Toy? Or real bicycles from Giant and Cannondale

*BigBoxMart is a figment of English Al’s imagination and bears no similarity to any large, discount warehouse type shops you might be thinking of … no really …


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Memorial Day : May 27, 2013

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Halter’s will be closed this Monday, 27 May 2013, for Memorial Day.

Then it’s back to regular summer hours:

Monday : 11.00am – 7.00pm
Tuesday : 11.00am – 7.00pm
Wednesday : 11.00am – 7.00pm
Thursday : 11.00am – 7.00pm
Friday : 11.00am – 7.00pm
Saturday : 10.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday : CLOSED – gone ridin’
Halter's Cycles : 732 329-9022 : www.halterscycles.com

Halter’s Cycles : 732 329-9022 : www.halterscycles.com


Cannondale Demo @ Six Mile Run State Park – 5.26.2013

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

URGENT : RAINED OUT

Rain Date to be determined. Watch this space.


Halter’s is hosting a Cannondale demo day this Sunday the 26th at Six Mile Run State Park. 9.00am-2.00pm.

www.cannondale.com

www.cannondale.com

Now’s the chance to ride your dream Cannondale, road or mountain-bike.

Bring your shoes and helmet.

Please park your car considerately.

Last rides from 1.00pm.


Date: 5.26.2013 : 9.00am-2.00pm

GPS address:

Six Mile Run State Park
2298 Lincoln Hwy
North Brunswick
NJ 08902 USA

Halter’s Cycles
4095 Route 1
Monmouth Junction
NJ 08852 USA

phone: +1 732 329 9022

 
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