Posts Tagged ‘bicycle maintenance’

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


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


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


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


Basic Bike Check ABC

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Before taking off on a bike ride you should always take steps to ensure you have an enjoyable ride and also be prepared for contingencies.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. Use the check to get familiar with how your bike works and its general condition so you can spot issues before they become a problem or even a danger.

Pump your tires up to the correct pressure and check your wheels and tires while you're at it

Pump your tires up to the correct pressure and check your wheels and tires while you’re at it

Air : Bikes roll best when tires are pumped to the correct pressure. You’ll also resist flats better. While you’re checking, also look at the condition of your tires; any cracks, bald spots, canvas showing through, etc. Wheels? Any loose spokes? Cracks/dents in the rim, wobbles? Is the wheel on tight?

You can buy a bicycle pressure gauge, but most floor pumps have a pressure gauge already fitted.

You don't need to know how to adjust your brakes, but you need to know when something's wrong

You don’t need to know how to adjust your brakes, but you need to know when something’s wrong

Brakes : It’s great to go cycling, yes? But it’s even better to be able to stop. Squeeze the brake levers. Is the action nice and smooth? No? Your brakes may need new cables, lubrication or adjustment. Do the levers come back to the bar-grips? That shouldn’t be. Are the brake pads acting on the rim correctly? Are the brake-pads worn? Do they even work effectively at all?

Check your handle-bars are straight and secure … heck, check your seat is adjusted and secure too while you’re at it.

Is your chain lubed? Rusty? Do the gears change smoothly? Are your pedals secure?

Is your chain lubed? Rusty? Do the gears change smoothly? Are your pedals secure?

Chain : A rusty chain drags, changes gear poorly and may even snap. It’s also an indicator of the general mechanical condition of your bike.

While you’re down there lubing your chain check your pedals are secure and there are no clunks or grinding noises from the bottom bracket.

While checking your bike, keep your eye on the big picture. A well maintained bike is a safe bike.

Maintaining your own bike isn’t rocket science, but it does demand a degree of knowledge and experience which can be found in your local bike shop.

Book your bike in for a basic safety check or full service to ensure your bike is in tip-top condition, but you still need to remember the ABC every time you take your bike out.

The workshop guys will be pleased to demonstrate a quick bike check to you when you pick up your bike.

Ride safe – and don’t forget your helmet!!!

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


 
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