Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Bouncy, Bouncy …

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Keep your suspension working like new

Keep your suspension working like new

Probably one of the most maintenance intensive areas of a mountain bike is the suspension.

A combination of wanting the lightest weight, maximum performance and receiving the maximum abuse means that bearings, bushes and seals on all suspension units are subject to great stress and wear.

Wear in bushes will quickly evolve into wear which may not be serviceable and leaking seals will ooze suspension fluid leading to loss of efficiency and further wear.

It's not just forks ...

It’s not just forks …

Regular riders should have their suspension inspected and maintained at least once a year, or as recommended by their manufacturer.

Now, oddly enough, this is a great time to get your mountain bike into Halter’s for inspection and maintenance. We have the area’s best and most experienced technicians to work on your pride and joy, and the bike will be ready to shred when the good weather gets here, not sitting around feeling sorry for itself leaking fluid or with seized components just waiting to let you down on your first ride of the season.

So get in here now!

We service and maintain RockShox, Fox and Leftys, as well as Manitou, Marzocchi and other quality brands. Most jobs done on the premises.


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


Then there was light

Monday, December 1st, 2014
Fits to virtually any seatpost or seat stay

Fits to virtually any seatpost or seat stay

One of the biggest developments in cycling equipment over the past few years has been the evolution of high-power, rechargeable lighting in a compact size.

A rear light which has become a favorite with the guys in the shop is the Cateye Rapid-X.

Plenty of lights in stock ...

Plenty of lights in stock …

Unlike many rear lights the Rapid-X is easy to fit to an aero seatpost or, if seatpost real-estate is lacking, will readily adapt to a rear seat stay. Also, unlike many lights of this type, the Rapid-X has excellent 180 degree visibility, so maintains conspicuity even from the side.

Of course, rechargeable lights do cost more than regular battery lights, but factor in the cost of dozens of Duracell batteries and they don’t seem so expensive.

And finally, a bright year light is also useful in the summer and many’s the time when I’ve dived under the tree canopy along a Sourland country lane, listening to a monster SUV bowling up behind and felt some reassurance that, the driver can see me.

We have a great stock of these lights as well as other fine lights and electronic accessories by Light & Motion and Blackburn as well as Cateye.


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


Tune Up Now!

Friday, November 21st, 2014
Getting the full treatment

Getting the full treatment

There is no doubt. A carefully adjusted and well maintained bicycle is a safe and efficient bicycle.

Most regular cyclists recognize the need to keep their bike in good condition. For a regularly used bicycle, about once a year should do it unless it’s being used for all-weather commuting or engaged in really high mileage.

Bicycles for occasional use may only require a tune up every couple of years or so. Don’t forget your old grandad’s bike which has languished in the garage for years. They require a tune up more than anything to check for rotten tires and dangerous corrosion.

Now, speaking as someone who regularly helps out in a full-service bike shop, nothing says the good weather’s coming like on the Friday before the first 60F+ weekend in April than having a queue of customers who need their bike tuned up “by tomorrow.”

Look. We’re keen to help out, but there’s a limit to what can be done in 24 hours when workshop turnaround time is, at that time of year, seven to ten working days, more if specific parts are needed.

It just so happens that the next two or three months are an excellent time to bring your favorite road bike or mountain-bike, hybrid, cruiser into Halter’s and give them the spa treatment. And, unless your bike requires some obscure replacement part, get your bike back in a couple of days. Or less.

Items included in a Halter’s Tune Up include:

frame wipe down; gear hanger alignment checked and adjusted as required; wheels checked and trued; adjust, lube/grease wheel hubs as required; tires examined and condition noted; brake cables checked, lubricated and adjusted; gear cables checked, lubricated and adjusted; adjust, lube/grease bottom bracket as required

So. Don’t get caught out by the first sign of warm blue skies in 2015. Give your bike the luxury treatment now and be prepared.


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


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


Head Case

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

It’s that time of the year again when, if you don’t already have a bicycle helmet, you should be thinking of getting one. And even if you already have a helmet it might be time to think of getting a new one.

Helmets are the number one cycling accessory

Helmets are the number one cycling accessory

All the gals and guys at Halter’s wear a helmet whenever riding a bike, no matter if on the road, on the trail, or just cruising around the neighborhood.

In fact, most of our customers think that way too, although, in New Jersey it’s not the law that you must wear a helmet when cycling.

However, it is the law in NJ that children must wear an appropriate helmet even if they’re just a passenger on a bicycle.

There is an argument that there is no need to wear a helmet, and indeed it is a personal choice.

It’s true that in more cycle friendly cultures very few people, even children, wear helmets and the accident/injury rate is lower than in most helmet wearing societies.

Unfortunately, this happy situation does not apply in the US, and on balance we strongly recommend every cyclist wears a helmet.

Helmets really do have a limited life in use. Any helmet that has already taken a hit in a crash should immediately be replaced.

Helmets that have been subject to sunshine, UV, sweat and extreme temperatures should be replaced every two or three years. If the adjustment pads are rotten or missing, you can replace them, but their condition is a good indicator of the state of the rest of the helmet.

Helmets are not just a chunk of poly-foam, but at the very least have an interior structure and reinforcements which can degrade over a period of time or can be disrupted and made less effective once it’s taken a hit and done its job.

Tripp's helmet after a trail fall

Tripp’s helmet after a trail fall

Halter’s wrench, Tripp, recently took a fall as his helmet shows here. His GPS showed an instant 21mph to zero and, typically for a mtb incident, the helmet protected Tripp from a strike to the back of his head.

Helmets designed for MTB use tend to give more protection to the back of the head for this reason. They also usually include a peak which provides some eye protection in the woods.

Road helmets tend to give more protection to the temples and don’t have a peak to make looking forward when on the drops easier, but riders who wear glasses may find a peak a benefit.

Regardless, most riders wear whichever helmet is most comfortable and suits their needs whether they’re on the road or the trail, or just around the neighborhood for that matter.

All helmets on sale at a quality independent bike store will usually comply to at least two out of three of the principal international standards whether they cost $40 or $400.

US, European and Australian certifications and requirements are slightly different, but in practice any helmet which meets any one of them promises the best protection available regardless of cost.

More expensive helmets will be sized for a better fit, be lighter, enable better air-flow, be available in more colors, and have many detail enhancements, which may or may not be important to you.

Halter’s sell helmets by Bell, Cannondale, Giro and Lazer.

Be sure you start the season with a safe helmet.

You know it makes sense …


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


Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

New year! New bike? Well, that would be nice, but not absolutely necessary …

Our experienced team of expert bike mechanics

Our experienced team of expert bike mechanics

Now is a good time to get your bike in for a tune-up.

Thinking about it when the nice weather hits will leave you queuing around the block to get your bike in the workshop and a long wait before you get your rail back on the road.

Your bike deserves professional attention

Your bike deserves professional attention

A full tune up includes; a full frame wipe down; truing wheels (as required) and checking tires; adjusting/ greasing/ lubing bearings as required – hubs/drive train; adjusting brakes, gears and lubing cables; checking and, if required, adjustment of gear hanger and frame alignment; adjusting steering/ headset bearings. In fact, just about everything possible to get your bike riding like new.

Replacement parts are not included in the cost. Our guys will call you if there’s a significant cost implication.

A full overhaul service is also available which will dismantle your bike down to its component parts and rebuild. This will almost always involve fitting new cables and handlebar wrap which are not included in the cost.

Halter’s is happy to work on any quality, specialist bicycle retailer bought bike.

Bicycles bought from big box discount retailers and the internet do not respond well to a full service and we reserve the right to decline to service this quality of bicycle.

... or on the road ... ride a happy bicycle

… or on the road … ride a happy bicycle

So, we wish you a happy and safe cycling new year. As usual we will continue to support cycling and cyclists in the central New Jersey area. And remember, the only thing better than a freshly serviced bicycle is a brand new one … we can help there too.

Halter’s will resume our regular winter hours at 11.00am, Thursday 2 January, 2014.

Happy New Year!!!


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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