Archive for the ‘FAQ’ Category

Winter Draws On – but keep on riding …

Monday, November 10th, 2014

As the last leaves are falling off the trees thoughts turn to the winter. Yes, it’s possible to cycle through the winter, but you need to be prepared …

Prepare Your Bike : Riding cold salty pot-holed roads takes a huge toll on your bike. Salt etches away at frames, paint jobs and metal finishes, and grit and grime gets into bearings and friction surfaces accelerating wear and shifting mechanics out of adjustment. So if you have the choice don’t use your pride and joy.

Rather, pick a bike you can adapt without worrying ruining its expensive good looks. More than ever, ensure your choice is well-maintained and tuned up.

Nothing is as miserable as a preventable mechanical holding you up just as the street lights turn on and the sleet moves in. And of course, carry a small tool- and flat kit just in case.

The ultimate in winter tires, but won't fit all frames ...

The ultimate in winter tires, but won’t fit all frames …

Tires : In the winter flints, glass and rough roads subject tires to the limit. If you’re riding regularly throughout the season consider running heavier duty and wider tires on your road bike. Most road bikes will take 25mm wide tires and many will run 28mm wide tires.

Consider something like Continental 4-Seasons if you’re looking for toughness and performance. Continental GatorSkins provide great flat protection at a lower price and if you’re looking for the ultimate in winter protection look at the Schwalbe Marathons. If you’re regularly riding on ice and snow look at getting studded tires for greater control and security.

Fenders keep water off your back and muck off your bike - these are clip-on fenders

Fenders keep water off your back and muck off your bike – these are clip-on fenders

Fenders : Nothing says winter riding like the black streak up your back which accumulates after almost any ride. Fenders or mudguards not only protect you from the spray which splatters up your bike, but also helps protect the rest of the bike from excessive exposure to the elements and dirt.

Some bikes have fittings for fenders, but it’s possible to fit fenders to almost any regular road bike or hybrid.

Clip-on types are also available if you want the option of removing the fenders on fine weather days.

Stay Warm : Of course, you need to stay warm. As well as wearing winter-specific jackets and tights look after your extremities. Winter cycling shoes are, of course, ideal, but start with Merino wool socks. Wool can carry its own weight in water before it even feels damp and provides better insulation than most synthetics.

Insulated and water-proof shoe covers will help keep most feet warm. Use toe-covers if you’re looking for something you can stick in your back pocket as the day, hopefully, warms up.

Also, check your shoes for cooling vents. Some have the ability to be shut. Otherwise seal them up with some duct-tape or similar.

Lastly, resist the temptation to make your feet too snug. Leave enough room for circulation to help keep your feet warm.

Hands, of course, also need protection from the cold and wet. Choose a full finger, insulated glove, preferably with a high-tech synthetic barrier such as WindStopper or similar. Some people find their hands fare better in a mitten or lobster-claw variation. I find silk glove liners really help.

Heads are usually covered by a helmet, but features which make for a great summer helmet, like cooling vents, may prove too chilly for the winter. Look for a thin cap made from WindStopper or other synthetic which will help prevent heat loss through the top of your head and cover your ears. You might want to consider a face-mask or balaclava in really nasty conditions.

Get Lit Up : Never has effective bike lighting been so good and so available. Virtually all lights now use very bright and efficient LEDs, and many are re-chargeable. Re-chargeable lights cost more, but most are capable of, at least, 600 charging cycles. When looking at a regular battery light remember to factor in the cost of 600 sets of DuraCells into the true cost. A bright rear light is absolutely essential with most having a selection of steady and pulsing modes. Rear lights output from about 10 lumens of red light up to about 50 lumens.

Front lights fall into two types; conspicuity lights and headlights. Conspicuity lights feature a very bright, wide field beam which only minimally lights up the road, but ensures you will be seen – about 50 lumens to 100 lumens.

Headlight focussed beam lights tend to be more expensive, but really light up the road or trail, depending on their power – from about 300 lumens to 2500 lumens. Around 700-1000 lumens will be plenty for most road riders and commuters. The more powerful lights are for off-road use, although the extra power can be useful on the road too.


Visit Halter’s for :
Clothing by : Gore, Pearl Izumi, Castelli and other fine makes
Lights by : Blackburn, Cateye, Light & Motion and Knog
And, of course, we’ll tune-up and prepare your bike too …


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


How To Lock Up Your Bike

Friday, October 11th, 2013

It’s one thing to buy a good lock. It’s another thing to use it correctly. Honestly, if anyone really wants your bike they will take it. However, locking up your bike securely will put off that person who just wants a ride home or something to sell. At the very least it may just persuade them to steal a less secure bike because it’s easier.

Buy the right type of lock ...

Buy the right type of lock …

These valuable tips come from road.cc:

Lock your bike to a secure, immovable object. Trees and certain pieces of street furniture don’t make particularly good locking locations; trees limbs can be sawed through, and your bike can often be lifted over bollards and signposts.

The Cable Lock - available in different lengths and combination and key mechanisms

The Cable Lock – available in different lengths and combination and key mechanisms

Your wheels are the most vulnerable part of your bike. Make sure that your lock goes through both wheels and the frame, or use two locks: one for each wheel. Alternatively you can invest in a locking wheel skewer for your front wheel.

It doesn’t take long to steal a bike. Make sure that you lock your bike up properly whether you are leaving it for 30 seconds or half an hour.

Bike lights and other items and accessories that are not secured to your bike are easy pickings for thieves. Take them with you whenever you leave your bike.

No matter how safe you feel in your home, your bike is still at risk, especially if it’s in your garage or your shed. Lock it up at home like you would if you were on the street.

Not all bike locks are cheap, but you really do get what you pay for. If you treasure your bike, buying the best locks that you can afford would be a wise investment.

A U-Lock - Some come with an extension cable

A U-Lock – Some come with an extension cable<[/caption] If you come back to your bike and it’s got a mysterious puncture or damage, walk it home. It’s probably been marked in the hope that you’ll leave it there overnight.

Consider using a registration service, to physically mark your bike with an identifying feature and link it to your identity on a database. Some towns and police departments offer free solutions, and there are alternatives.

[caption id="attachment_1767" align="alignleft" width="300"]The "New York" Bike Lock - probably the most secure, but it is probably heavier than your bike The “New York” Bike Lock – probably the most secure, but it is probably heavier than your bike

If it does go missing you must report it. The police will only take bike crime more seriously if they have reason to do so.

If you’re down to one lock, or are particularly worried about the security of your wheel, taking your front wheel with you eliminates half of the risk of theft immediately.

Use secure bike parking wherever possible. Even for a price, your bike will be far better protected from theft inside a designated secure location rather than on the street, no matter how well you think you’ve locked it up.

What is wrong with this picture?

What is wrong with this picture?

Make sure that you lock your bike up in as public of a place as possible. If you leave it in a secluded location, it will give any would-be thief time to work on your lock undisturbed.

Make the lock mechanism itself hard to access. For example if you’re locking your bike to railings, point the lock mechanism away from the street so it’s harder for a thief to attack.

Replace your quick-release with a seat-pin bolt

Replace your quick-release with a seat-pin bolt

Don’t leave space in your shackle – any extra space gives evil bike stealing tools the room they need to do their dirty work. Don’t give them that opportunity.

If you’ve taken out insurance on your bike don’t buy any old lock. Make sure that the locks that you have purchased are featured on your provider’s approved products list as some insurance companies insist on their use.

But most importantly, wherever you’re going, please do not forget your lock!

lockup

Halter’s sells a range of locks from Abus, Blackburn, Knog, Kryptonite and other good manufacturers. Let us advise on what’s 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 | OldCranksCC Forum


Halter’s Workshop

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Halter’s don’t just sell new bikes. We also take care of your trusty bicycle. Anything from fixing a flat to programming your electronic gears, adjusting your brakes to a full overhaul.

Your bike deserves professional attention

Your bike deserves professional attention

We service and repair bikes from beach cruisers to full-suspension mountain bikes, hi-tech triathlon machines to cyclo-cross bikes and your trusty hybrid bike or commuter.

We are delighted to look after any quality bike produced by a reputable manufacturer – we have a list here – and sourced from an independent bicycle dealer or produced by custom frame builders and designers.

This adult Bike-Shaped Object - BSO - cost $140 in the toy department of a big box store - why?

This adult Bike-Shaped Object – BSO – cost $140 in the toy department of a big box store – why?

However, we reserve the right to refuse to service or repair bicycles purchased from big box and discount retail stores. These bicycles – Bike Shaped Objects – are often built to lower standards and use non-standard parts and components.

We are not able to warranty that any possible repair or adjustment to this type of bicycle is either safe, reliable or economic.

This bike, from a reputable manufacturer, cost $3000 from an independent bicycle dealer - why?

This bike, from a reputable manufacturer, cost $3000 from an independent bicycle dealer – why?

You can find out more about Bike Shaped Objects here.

Lastly, time moves on, unfortunately, and it’s been over three years since we published our last workshop tariff.

You can find details of our new tariff here although any menu cannot anticipate every circumstance. Naturally, we will call you should we find issues which go beyond our original quote/estimate.

Workshop turnaround is currently down to a few days, but take advantage of our quiet season – November to March – and get your bike in for its annual service.

For sure, in April or May you will want your bike for tomorrow’s first ride of the season and find yourself waiting a week plus.


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 | OldCranksCC Forum


Junior Ride Time

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Taking Junior along on your favorite ride is one of the great pleasures of cycling.

A number of adaptions and accessories enable you to safely transport baby with your bicycle, and some even allow them to put in some effort of their own to maintain forward progress.

Rack-mounted baby seat

Rack-mounted baby seat

The Co-Pilot Limo - carries a child up to 40lb/18kg

The Co-Pilot Limo – carries a child up to 40lb/18kg

The most common solution for most bikes is the rack-mounted child carrier.

A seat like this can carry a child up to 40lb/18kg. Your child should also be old enough to support his/her own head and realize the importance of wearing a helmet.

Most child seats can be quickly removed from the bicycle when it’s not needed and has a number of safety devices to ensure security on the bike.

There are a couple of types of bicycle which are not suitable for a rear carrier so check your bicycle is suitable to fit this type of seat. Full-suspension types are not possible and cruiser-type bike are often problematic.

We are frequently asked about front mounted child seats, but currently we have not come across any design we would be happy to put our own children on.

So, inevitably, children will grow, or you need to transport two of them. What then?

Bike Trailer - carries up to 2 children in comfort

Bike Trailer – carries up to 2 children in comfort

Bike trailers are a means of carrying up to two children, or a dog or other cargo for that matter. A typical trailer will transport around 100lb/45kg, but check individual models for exact capacity.

Bike trailers connect to a regular bicycle with a coupling which can be detached for transportation. Most also fold but this isn’t always a convenient option so trailers can be bulky to move around

The Wee-Hoo - make 'em work!

The Wee-Hoo – make ’em work!

The Trailer-bike - useful for children who can ride a bike but need support over a distance

The Trailer-bike – useful for children who can ride a bike but need support over a distance

Some models can also be adapted to strollers or even joggers, usually with the addition of a conversion kit.

Often children want to feel they’re making a contribution so find the Wee-Hoo exciting to ride. The trailer can be adjusted to suit most children, even older/larger children who may have mobility or other issues.

Finally, for children who are free-riders but would find any distance difficult on a child’s bike there is the Trailer Bike; half-a-bike which is also attached to the adult cycle.

This type of trailer also enables the parent to have a sense of security and control when cycling with younger children on the road or in busy areas.

Versions are available with gears, and even a 2-child tandem version to enable a true family pace-line.

... And Baby makes three

… And Baby makes three

Halter’s stock a range of children’s transport adaptions from Burley, Co-Pilot, Wee-Hoo and Giant. Come in and ask our advice.


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 | OldCranksCC Forum


Flats

Thursday, July 11th, 2013
Flat tire? It was okay when I bought the bike ...

Flat tire? It was okay when I bought the bike …

Let’s be clear about flats. Flat tires, that is.

Never a day goes by in Halter’s when we don’t fix at least a dozen flats. And hardly a day goes by when we’re not asked what the warranty is on a flat fix.

Well, of course we warranty our flat fixes.

Keep your tires pumped to the correct pressure

Keep your tires pumped to the correct pressure

However we can’t warranty that you will not have a flat the next time you ride the bike, pick up a piece of wire while rolling your bike from the shop to your car, that the tire will still be inflated next year or that you wont be back in next week saying you’ve had three flats in the last month; “What is Halter’s going to do about it?”

Well, again we’ll fix it, charge you the going rate and warranty that fix, but not that you won’t flat again even by the time you’ve rolled the bike out to your car.

Believe me, your tire is under attack from the moment you roll it out of the shop and then any puncture is just down to The God of Flats or lack of awareness and maintenance.

When a customer brings in a bike or wheel in need of a flat fix we always check the damaged tube and tire for evidence of how the puncture occurred.

Typical evidence includes;

  • A single pin-holesorry, there really was a bit of wire or tack in your drive or even in your garage. We don’t prick a hole in your tube just to make extra business. There’s no money in fixing flats. Really!
  • A “snake bite”two holes typically caused by running tires under-inflated or running the wheel into the ground. Offspring says s/he didn’t smash the wheel up the kerb? Really?
  • Tear around the valve stemcareless inflation though poor technique or the wrong pump.
  • Inferior quality wheel with built-in sharps including poor welds, untrimmed spokes, poor quality rim tape. Buy a quality bike from your local independent bike store!!!

We nearly always explain the evidence to the customer.

But sometimes it is just bad luck.

However, you can minimize the risk of getting a flat by ensuring your tires are correctly inflated before every use and checking your tires haven’t gathered any shards of glass, flints or even wire from vehicle tire debris after every ride. And watch where you’re steering … if you ride in the gutter you’re going to pick up all sorts of problems.

More information about maintaining your tires here …


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 | OldCranksCC Forum


Make the most of your Garmin Edge 810/800 – Turn-by-turn/Cue Sheets

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

3395

Apart from being able to display a real-time map on screen, the Garmin Edge 810/800 has another useful talent, the ability to display turn-by-turn instructions so you can follow pre-planned routes.

There are a number of bike mapping and route planning websites. I’ve found ridewithgps.com to be a good one. Just register and start planning a route. It will then compile a printable cue-sheet for if you don’t have a compatible GPS unit and a .tcx file for uploading to your Garmin 810 which can be used for turn-by-turn display.

Plan your route on your favorite bike mapping website

Plan your route on your favorite bike mapping website

While planning and plotting your route make sure you use the correct website settings. Most will have options for walking/cycling/driving and whether to follow roads and other refinements. I like ridewithgps.com’s option to use the OSM Cycle Map which has extra information appropriate for cycling.

Once you’ve saved your route you will have a number of options on how to export it.

ridewithgps.com's .tcx format file contains all the data required to display turn-by-turn instructions on a Garmin 810/800

ridewithgps.com’s .tcx format file contains all the data required to display turn-by-turn instructions on a Garmin 810/800

Download the .tcx file, then copy it into the New Files folder on the MicroSD card in your Garmin. I’m assuming by this stage you’ll be familiar with how to use your computer’s file explorer to do this and that you have already set your Garmin to use the card for data recording … see this if you’re not familiar with the Garmin 810/800.

Find the NewFiles folder on your MicroSD card mounted in your Garmin ...

Find the NewFiles folder on your MicroSD card mounted in your Garmin …

... and COPY your .tcx file into the NewFiles folder

… and COPY your .tcx file into the NewFiles folder

On removing the Garmin from your computer and turning it on, the unit will read the file in the NewFiles folder and process it and leave it as a .fit file in the Courses folder.

From the front page ...

From the front page …

... access your courses ...

… access your courses …

... and there it is

… and there it is

You can review information on your Course ...

You can review information on your Course …

... including a Course profile ...

… including a Course profile …

... even more data about your course

… even more data about your course

Please post questions, points and any other helpful advice in the Comments box below.


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 | OldCranksCC Forum


 
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